ABC North Coast is reporting that Byron Shire Holiday Letting is 85 times the national average. “One in every six properties in the Shire is now listed online for short-term holiday rental.” Someone needs to tell the ABC that our State Parliamentarians no longer refer to such operations as ‘short-term holiday rentals’; officially the term no longer exists. The Australian Coastal Councils Association has released a report that found 17 per cent of Byron Shire’s total housing stock is now listed on platforms such as Airbnb. Executive director Alan Stokes says the only other council area that comes close is Port Douglas in Queensland, which has 13 per cent of properties listed on home sharing platforms.
NSW State MP Tamara Smith writes that she asked Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts on the floor of Parliament to make an exception for Byron Shire that would allow the community to limit holiday letting for whole homes to 90 days per year instead of the 365 days a year that the State Government is imposing. (The Hansard extract can be found here.) Ms Smith fails to consider that even 90 days per year in an unlimited number of unmodified dwellings across multiple platforms would still equate to an intolerable situation for neighbours and accredited accommodation providers. Ms Smith further writes:
“Minister Roberts basically treated the question as a joke, dismissing my concerns and demonstrating once again the…disdain for our community. However the next day the Premier appeared at a Local Government Conference and discussed potentially back flipping on the issue by giving Byron Shire the exemption that the community…have been pressuring her for.”
Over in Western Australia The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has announced a plan to stop WA Residents running illegal operations out of residential dwellings and WA Labor and Liberal parties have joined forces to set up a parliamentary inquiry into regulation of the state's short-stay accommodation industry.
“Tension has erupted between owners of licensed short-stay businesses, such as hotels, serviced apartments and bed and breakfasts, and unlicensed, backyard operators who advertise through websites such as Airbnb. Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said the inquiry would aim for a bipartisan plan on the regulation of the industry.”
Airbnb immediately replicated its ‘war plan’ in WA, which was successful here in NSW (see photo). Our Parliamentarians have complied with every one of Airbnb’sdemands plus many a NSW State MP profits directly from commercial rentals.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian remains steadfastly silent on a request to adhere to NSW Land and Environment Court case law by seeking voluntary Court Orders against DestinationNSWand NSW National Parksto stop their large scale undisclosed collaboration with short-term rental platforms Airbnband Expedia/HomeAway etc.
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits
Neighbours not Strangers