Our new State Ministry was recently sworn in. Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson had both Stayz and Airbnb in his Office in May/June, while Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres accommodated Airbnb.
In the Australian Federal Parliament, an ‘Orange Pass’ allows third party lobbyists and others to walk unescorted around the corridors of Parliament House. “Any lobbyist worth their salt will have one of about 1,000 passes”. The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet has to date failed to clarify whether such passes allow lobbyists and former Ministerial Staff Members/now Airbnb hacks to access NSW Ministers without the need to list meetings on the NSW State Parliament’s Lobbyists Register. The machinations of lobbyists are succinctly captured in the ABC RN podcast: “Who Runs This Place.”
Currently, official lobbyists for Airbnb include: Richardson Coutts and Statecraft. Lobyiists for Expedia/Stayz: Barton Deakin/(HawkerBritton), Newgate Communications and Atherton Advisory. This may explain why Ministers have no time to meet Resident Groups whose lives have been seriously impacted upon by commercial rentals.
As guaranteed by the NSW Parliament, the Department of Fair Trading stands ready to act on advice from Local Councils where Agents are running short-term rental operations in breach of Federal Building Codes and Residential Zoning. No Local Government Authority appears willing to respond to Residents pleas, when Real Estate Agents and rental platforms are blatantly ignoring legislation and putting neighbours and clients at risk. It is certainly not difficult to find those engaged in the commercial use of residential dwellings. Industry Members are highly visible.
Ten European cities have demanded more help from the European Union in their battle against Airbnb and other holiday rental websites, which they argue are locking locals out of housing and changing the face of neighbourhoods. In a joint letter, city officials said the “explosive growth” of global short-stay lettings platforms must be on the agenda of the next set of European commissioners.
The University of NSW City Futures Research Centre reports that private renters are doing it tough in outer suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne. “In low-rent outer suburbs, almost one in six households could not afford to keep their house cool and went without meals.”
Sympathy for the Melbourne wedding party caught in police pepper-spray crossfire: “I thought she was going to die: Newlyweds and guests in violent wedding.” Oh, Airbnb!