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Reports this week that the ACAT (the ACT’s equivalent of our NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal NCAT) has acted against Wotif, for “misleading and deceptive conduct”. A client booked an apartment with beach views and was housed in a “dilapidated basement with views of an outdoor kitchenette – he felt ripped off”.

The ACCC’s Rod Sims is also taking on Google and Facebook over their sizeable market power. The ACCC’s probe was scured by the Nick Xenophon Team. It’s lamentable that “Edna” from the ACCC’S ‘Infocentre’ wrote today, in respect of Airbnb and Expedia’s business model and complaints lodged with Rod Sims:

“When the ACCC takes action, it is to remedy market problems; we are not a complaint handling body.”

So here are Airbnb and Expedia and of course an unknown number of Others who are reportedly advising their commercial ‘partners’ (landlords) that they have no right to be given the real identity of those booking into their residential dwellings. Keys, security swipes and homes are being accessed by these unknown and unverified “trusted members of Airbnb’s community” via lockboxes hooked to trees and council or private property (see photo), resulting in what Acting Assistant Commission (Victoria Police) Tim Hansen says are “aggravated burglaries linked to an emerging crime trend in short-stay apartments”. Here is Tim Hansen on video. Meanwhile, NSW Minister Matt Kean tells Nine’s A Current Affair that there’s a crackdown on bad behaviour while granting ‘open slather’ to short-term rentals.

Again: Submissions to the NSW Government’s Parliamentary Inquiry that detailed Criminality and other Reports plus NSW Case Law were marked confidential.

All Submissions on the proposed changes to the NSW Department of Planning’s Explanation of Intended Effect for the Environment SEPP – Short-Term Rental Accommodation Framework – have been pulled from the Department’s website. “Suzie” at the Department of Planning advises that Submissions are being reviewed and the Department will relist once those that are to be marked and treated as “confidential” are identified. “No date for relisting can be provided at this time.” We recommend calling the Department of Planning and adding one’s email address so that one can attempt to identify the extent of Residents’ reporting which will be kept out of public view: Tel: 1300 305 695.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Elizabeth Farrelly wrote last Saturday: “New South Wales Planning Minister Anthony Roberts’ extraordinary speech to the housing industry last month was little more than a pathetic passing of the buck. Having correctly identified the public’s loathing…Roberts shouldered no blame and offered no governance. Instead, he pleaded with developers to restore public trust, as though that were their job.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again declined to answer direct questions on her Government’s handling of short-term rentals; her Parliamentary Secretary once more ‘passing the buck’ to Anthony Roberts.

Airbnb “does not have any sort of corporate presence on its website. Does this smack of dishonesty or…?” In turn, adjacent and nearby Residents toAirbnb-type rentals are exposed to all sorts of criminal activity.

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits

Neighbours not Strangers

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