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If you have purchased a home in NSW and your neighbours are the “selfish pond scum” that occupy the corridors of Parliament – so-named by a respected writer on all things Strata - know that no other State MP, Government Department or Tribunal will back you if you are threatened and harassed by the Hon Members from Macquarie Street. Voting in favour of a relaxation of legislation covering Airbnb-type rentals as they exited and no longer needing to attend Parliament, the retirement of numerous regional State MPs has seen their Sydney properties listed for sale.

Purchased in 2009 for $370,000 by the wife of the retiring Member for Albury, their apartment is now listed for sale at $739,000. A handsome capital gain of $369,000, should the sale meets expectations. In a Daily Telegraph (16OCT16) report Greg Aplin MP confirmed he claimed a living away from home allowance during Sydney visits.

Other retiring MPs Thomas George (capital gain $279,000) and Kevin Humphries (capital gain $420,000) have already left the same (Bridge Street) building. On top of pocketing their Parliamentary travel allowances to stay in their Sydney apartments, they were involved in the “illegal” short-term rental of their residential dwellings when back in their regional electorates; their Sydney premises were captured on NSW Land and Environment Court Orders.

ICAC starlet and former MP Garry Edwards purchased his Sydney pied-a-terre in 2013 for $350,000. The property is now valued at $560,000, with Airbnb advertising right alongside, even though short-term rentals are specifically banned.

Disgraced former State Nationals MP for Murray Darling and short-term rental advocate John Williams and his cohort still control the Bridge Street building, where the return of Airbnb and other illegal rentals is met with zero resistance.

Airbnb’s US-based ‘Head of Hosts’ Laura Chambers is live streaming this weekend to a select group of Australian landlords. Keynote speakers at the two-day Airbnb ‘Retreat’ are Sydney-based hacks Brent Thomas and Sam McDonagh. Attendance is by “invitation only”. Some landlords are angered that, in order to list exclusively for Airbnb’s ‘Plus program’ they must not“use any other (competing) online booking service or platform to book or promote” their short-term rental listings. They must also ensure that they “list, book, and distribute Plus Listings that are managed, maintained or otherwise controlled…exclusively on the Airbnb Platform…and agree and acknowledge that Airbnb has the right to immediately terminate (their) Listing…” Zero concern from Airbnb for those looking for affordable rental housing, neighbours or our accredited B&B operators.

A New Zealand family is lobbying Airbnb to enforce a "very clear" no tolerance policy on hidden cameras. They are urging the company to bolster its vetting process, and to ban hosts that do not comply with privacy policies. Fruitless, given that there is no requirement to comply with any legislation, let alone a ‘privacy policy’ when using Airbnb.

While Airbnb sues the city of Paris over its claimed “right” to advertise illegal listings, it’s buying Paris with marketing gimmicks, courtesy of the trustees of the Louvre. Sydney is indeed fortunate that Jan Utzon decried Airbnb and SOH CEO Lousie Herron’s plans to similarly commercialise our World Heritage Opera House.

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones

People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers

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