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Tips from Airbnb’s ‘hosts’ on how to maximise the monetisation of the homes they control are abundant. (See photo.) Prostitutes find an Airbnb is cheaper than a hotel, and the Hotel Industry has seen its traditional ‘hot pillow trade’ decimated as sex workers move on to penetrate our residential buildings and communities.

Across Politics, MPs are profiting from short-term rentals: Nationals Deputy Premier Barilaro’s Estate @ $1,957 per night, Labor Jodi McKay’s bargain @ $350 per night, and take a visual tour of Federal Liberal John Alexander’s ‘Iona Park’@ $1,736 per night. Be mindful of the additional $500 cleaning fee etc. Alexander’s Agent, Holiday Rental Specialists, currently advertises 339 homes with links across DestinationNSW’s ‘VisitNSW’ website. John Alexander and his Agent have been asked whether or not his property has been upgraded to meet Federal Building Codes, Disability Access plus other Legislation. To date, no reply. NSW Greens Upper House MP David Shoebridge – whose wife reportedly has a multi-million dollar property portfolio – volunteered that Neighbours Not Strangers’call to respect NSW Residents’ proprietary rights and the rights of accredited Small Business Operators, over the demands of Airbnb/Expedia etc, “smacked of entitlement”.

Brent Thomas from Airbnb was called, made a statutory declaration, and was examined by a Select Committee in the Tasmanian Legislative Council last Friday. Mr Thomas brought two Airbnb ‘hosts’ with him. (A transcript of the Hansard record is here.) Data reveals Tasmania is in the grips of a housing crisis; Thomas would blame this situation on the number of residents, students and others needing housing and decries Airbnb’s corporates being used as “scapegoats”.

Apart from Airbnb lobbyists and former senior Tasmanian Staffers to Premier Will Hodgman, Brad Stansfield and Brad Nowland, Mr Thomas was asked how many direct employees Airbnb had in Tasmania. His response was evasive. Suffice to say Thomas finished by declaring:

“Our distributors in Tasmania are our hosts…They are not employees of the company but they are our representatives on the ground…It is a bit like our hosts are our partners…”

Tasmanian Parliamentarians might have asked Airbnb’s Brent Thomas to respond under oath to the following:

How can any good corporate citizen -

  • Market activity that it knows is against a Commonwealth/State/City’s Construction, Disability Access, Fire/Rescue and Zoning Legislation – the fact that Brent Thomas and Airbnb are lobbying for deregulation proves that there is effective Legislation,

  • Accept thousands of listings which they know emphatically are an “Illegal Use of Premises”,

  • Produce Legal disclaimers so that responsibility falls solely on the landlords to whom Airbnb is marketing and recruiting,

  • Profit from the above, with millions of dollars directed to corporate tax havens such as the Republic of Ireland.

In response to a ‘survey’ being circulated in the Byron Shire by Southern Cross University, one Resident wrote yesterday:

“I really think that Airbnb ‘Hosts’ have had more than their share of their views and experience and wants in the Media and in Research. I do get sick of this ‘balanced’ approach… There is no reference at all in the Explanation of Intended Effects (EIE) (to) any of the regulatory standards that would apply. The problem with the tourism perspective is that they know nothing about housing, planning, strata or anything else so they do not have the expertise to address the issue and nor are they social researchers as such. It’s asking for peoples’ experience but it’s also asking them to comment on what would be an appropriate regulatory response. The EIE makes it abundantly clear that even the poor quality regulation that will be put in place is unenforceable. Even the (NSW) Department of Planning can’t explain it.”

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits

Neighbours not Strangers

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