THE HEATED BATTLE OVER "WARM, COZY AND INVITING HOMES"
On Thursday, 22 November, at a Byron Shire Council meeting, Staff will give an update on the release of the Short Term Rental Accommodation Planning Framework by the NSW Department of Planning and the Environment. (See agenda, Item 13.21for full details.) Council will ask State Government to reduce the number of days that short term rentals can operate from 365 days to 90 days per year and, interestingly, “exclude short term rental accommodation from (to be nominated) areas in the Byron Shire that are needed for permanent residential and key worker accommodation”. Who ‘wins’ and who ‘loses’ isn’t outlined and there is no mention of compensation for the residential ‘losers’.
Word has it that Minister Matthew Kean’s committee members stitching together a ‘Code of Conduct’ for users of short-term-rental platforms are conducting themselves in a manner that could not be called ‘proper conduct’ in a meeting room, let alone in an alcohol-fuelled holiday home. Excluded from Matt Kean’s group of 16 are, among others, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Byron Bay’s Resident Community Group VOHL, the Yamba Residents Action Group, the South Coast Group Friends of Durras, and Neighbours Not Strangers. They’re our homes after all that the STR Industry is targeting. And NSW Fair Trading hasn’t provided an explanation as to why 15 Industry Representatives would be pitted against the Owners Corporation Network representing an undisclosed number in Strata. (Exactly how many paid up Members in the OCN?)
When individuals die or come close to dying in short term rental properties, Airbnb makes noise about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, even at times offering a battery-operated give-away to their ‘hosts’. From social medial complaints it would seem that Airbnb doesn’t keep their word and provide what’s promised, even following deadly and near-death episodes.
We asked the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner to help us source a Report from the Queanbeyan Coroner – the death of a four-year-old boy in a holiday home fire in the Snowy Mountains. Having provided details, the Small Business Commissioner’s Director of Advocacy wrote, after we followed up: “We have not been able to source the report that you are after...”
Airbnb: “Warm, Cozy and Inviting Homes“ – perhaps too ‘warm’ for those using Airbnb-type non-accredited premises.
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits
Neighbours not Strangers