In July 2015, Legal Counsel for the Department of Premier and Cabinet wrote:
“The Independent Commission Against Corruption (the ICAC) has been established specifically to deal with allegations of corruption involving public authorities or public officials. The Code of Conduct for Ministers of the Crown has been prescribed as an applicable Code of Conduct for the purposes of the ICAC Act. If you have any evidence of corruption you should bring the material to the ICAC’s attention.”
Having failed to declare ownership of short-term rental properties and/or income from this activity, Members of the NSW Parliament were referred to the ICAC. It is understood they were subsequently reminded to make good their statements on Parliament’s Pecuniary Interest Register, though it is not clear whether or not they were required to declare their “illegal” activity or the Court Orders on their properties to the Parliament.
Shortly before their retirement at the last State election, these same so-called Honourable Members voted on a Bill that will reportedly ‘green light’ Airbnb, Stayz, China’s Tujia plus hundreds of other online holiday booking platforms’ open access to every NSW home.
Tujia now has more than 1.4 million global listings, while Airbnb claims it has in excess of 6 million. Visitors to Europe and elsewhere cannot fail note the hollowing out of city centres and holiday regions, with residents and support infrastructure for normal daily life now a rare sight indeed.
Local, home-grown operators such as Alloggio, Holiday Rental Specialists and MadeComfy are cashing in furiously. Between them, these three agents have removed 1,112 homes from our housing market; 1,112 homes that are no longer available to house NSW families. Local Council representatives acknowledge their embargo on enforcing residential zoning, while waiting for State Parliament to decide whether to uphold residential proprietary rights and observe Land and Environment Court case law.
The concept of residential housing and communities will soon be relegated to ‘museum status’ as our homes, buildings, towns and cities are appropriated by an unlimited number of operators for commercial tourism purposes.
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones
People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers