Yesterday (20/06/18) in the Legislative Assembly, NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong’s motion recognising Housing as a Human Right passed the NSW lower house. HomelessNSW applauded the move:
“Currently less than 1% of rental properties are affordable for people on low incomes and there are over 60,000 people on the social housing waiting list so we are hopeful to see this inspirational resolution be followed by concrete action in addressing this issue.”
A day earlier, NSW Greens MP Jamie Parker addressed the NSW lower chamber on the commercialisation of Residential Housing and Minister Matt Kean’s Fair Trading Amendment (Short-Term Rental Accommodation) Bill. Mr Parker, plus many other State MPs, raised concerns over anti social behaviour in short-term rentals, impacts on traditional rental markets and accommodation providers, land tax, council rates and insurances, access for people with disabilities, disabled parking space, traffic management, development applications, compliance obligations around fire safety audits, annual food safety audits and swimming pool standards, ‘hosts’ operating multiple listings – one NSW Airbnb ‘host’ has 197 properties and we can see many, many others with similar numbers - etc.
Critically, Mr Parker raised Environmental Planning Policy that does not permit short-term rentals in residential zones. The Member for Balmain went on to say, in relation to Matt Kean’s Bill: “…(the) impacts should not be underestimated. The Greens are unable to support the bill at this time.”
Minister Kean’s Fair Trading Bill on Short-Term Holidays passed the NSW lower house on 19 June 2018.
Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into legislation covering Short-Term Holiday Rentals, Nationals MP Geoff Provest, reaffirmed in Parliament on the same day that he and the State Member for Lismore Thomas George “…work as a very strong and committed team.” Mr Provest is well aware of his Lismore colleague’s record on short-term rentals. One notes also that MP Provest is Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on the Independent Commission Against Corruption…and another State Nationals MP, whose short-term rental property is also listed on NSW Land and Environment Court Orders, also sits on this Committee.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has refused to date to answer our questions on Parliamentarians’ conflicts of interest when short-term rentals are before the Parliament. Perhaps the Hon Geoff Provest would answer why so many State MPs who have not disclosed their links with Short-Term Holiday Rental Platforms are voting on legislation and bills in the NSW Parliament which are related directly to Airbnb, Expedia et al?
We know that Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts is preparing his assault on NSW Residents and Small Business Owners. The Roberts Bill, according to many, will introduce a new State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) and that Instrument will facilitate ‘Open Slather’ holiday rentals, removing from NSW Local Councils the ability to regulate commercial rentals in Residential Strata and Zones.
If you are concerned, write to NSW Upper House Members – a very short and personal message please.
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones
People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers