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Sabrina Bethunin often adds up to five Airbnb listings to her haul of properties every week; her commercial operations in residential dwellings attract no enforcement action from Sydney Local Council administrators. Note well: far from every client leaves a review and Sabrina currently has 4,144 reviews across 282 Airbnb properties. Will Sabrina crack 300 homes lost to Airbnb rentals by New Year?

Our humble Neighbours Not Strangers Facebook page now has 995 ‘Followers’ – those who daily see our reports on illegal activity and Airbnb & Co’s penetration of housing. Might we reach 1,000 Followers by New Year? A big vote of appreciation goes to our co-administrators for their tireless efforts and as one in our Community wrote two days ago:

“Thank you Neighbours Not Strangers for all your work this year.

The situation would be worse without you.”

Meanwhile, Airbnb’s Sam McDonagh is touting the organisation’s 2018 success - NSW regional centres showing huge losses in housing to holiday rentals. Unchecked losses included: Wagga Wagga (289% more homes lost year-on-year), Blackheath (281%), Corowa (175%), Jindabyne (166%), and Mudgee (158%). McDonagh told the Media: “One of the big global travel trends we are seeing is that people want to live like locals. They’re travelling for the experiences they want to have, and they’re actually finding more meaningful reasons as to why they want to travel now, rather than just looking for a holiday.” Local Council Administrators, how many true Locals can still be housed after such plunder?

McDonagh trumpets one can also now book an Airbnb sleep-over (meal included) with one’s child at a NUBO play centre in Sydney. Wonder how this goes down with Zoning/Fire & Rescue/Disability Access and other Legislation?

And we’d like to ask well-known Byron Bay short-term rental advocate John Gudgeon (President of Holiday Letting Organisation) about the legal obligations of one who is short-term renting two properties in Evans Street Byron Bay and campervanning around Australia for much of the year. When he is back in Byron it’s understood this person lives in his van in the backyard of a Patterson Lane house. (Isn’t that also illegal?) And we’ve heard that a recent schoolies party at a nearby holiday let kept this person awake until 03:00. One wonders if John Gudgeon was woken by a call to his ‘Noisy Neighbour Hotline’ or was he indeed already awake…the STR ruckus too noisy to sleep through?

Yesterday a representative from Neighbours Not Strangers asked Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton and Parliamentary Short-Term Rental Chairperson Mark Coure MP why not a single Local Government Authority was enforcing Residential Zoning and why the Berejiklian Government is intent on retrospectively removing Residential Title Deed Holders’ proprietary rights in favour of short-term rentals. Mr Coure has agreed to a January meeting.

Mark Coure MP, Chair of the 2016 Parliamentary Inquiry into the Adequacy of Regulation on Short-Term Rentals in NSW, failed to address the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, failed to obtain Legal Advice on the decision of the Hearing Committee to retrospectively alter the proprietary rights of Residential Title Deed holders, denied requests to address the Committee from those who have lived for years with short-term rentals, marked “Confidential” Submissions setting out case law and other documented aspects of the destructive nature of short-term rentals. Concurrently, Coure personally welcomed Airbnb Staff/Landlords behind the scenes at Parliament House. Yesterday Coure assured Oatley Residents: “There will be no high-rise in our electorate”…Coure controls Planning in NSW?

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits

Neighbours not Strangers

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