ABC HIGHLIGHTING RENTAL CRISIS – MISSES ONE OUTSTANDING FACTOR


“In 2014, there were an estimated 216,000 STHL premises in NSW/ACT.” So said a 2017 NSW Department of Planning ‘Options Paper’. And according to Greens MP Jamie Parker, it was the explosion of Airbnb across our State after 2014, that triggered his calling of a Parliamentary Inquiry into the ‘Adequacy of the regulation of short-term holiday letting in New South Wales’. There are no updated figures on the number of homes in NSW now lost to commercial holiday rentals..


In a Twitter tweet, Deputy Premier (Airbnb landlord, with excellent booking stats @ $1,850/night!) John Barilaro, and his colleagues, including Minister for Regulation Kevin Anderson, have again fronted the media: “It’s essential that the people who work to support this state are living and working in the communities they serve, making connections with locals, experiencing life in the regions and becoming fully immersed in the community.” The Nationals were launching ‘Regional Workforce Principles’ – A New Era for the Public Service in Regional NSW. “Whether people already live regionally or are making the tree-change, they want to know there will be job security, career progression and a great school for the kids to get a good start at life, and both of (the Nat’s) announcements tick those boxes.” There was no mention of any affordable housing for this Regional Workforce.


The ABC is reporting, both on TV today and in the written media: Rental price rise, vacancies disappear as Snowy Monaro town struggles to balance new arrivals and workers.” Prices are up, supply is down, and conditions worsen. “Properties that used to be $400 a week are now $700 or $750…Who can afford that?” The ABC goes on to quote figures for Byron, Newcastle, Tweed and Wollongong. “Many parts of regional NSW are in rental crisis after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a mass exodus of people from capital cities in the 2020 September quarter. The Snowy Monaro region is one example, grappling with a surge in rental demand from contractors for the Snowy 2.0 hydroelectric project…”


One Agency’s principal licensee Craig Schofield told the ABC, “the Cooma region had always been popular due to its close proximity to the ski resorts”, but he said he had never experienced this much demand.


A search today for rental properties on Ray White Jindabyne’s website shows: No properties found.” There are however 25 properties available for short-term tourist/visitor rentals, at prices per night that might normally be the weekly going rate for a residential lease. Ray White’s Principal is Joan Bird. Ms Bird is also Vice Chair of the Australian Short-Term Rental Association (ASTRA), a supporter of John Barilaro; she has been advising Committee Members of changes to State regulations covering the use of housing.


Mission Australia’s Daniel Strickland told the ABC that they had witnessed the surge in demand for housing across southern NSW and the flow on effects of increased domestic violence, rental arrears, and homelessness.

There is no mention in the ABC’s reporting of housing lost to commercial short-term rentals.

For years, we have repeatedly called on the State Government to see that Local Government Authorities are mandated to enforce residential planning, zoning and approval to prevent the illegal short-term holiday letting of residential dwellings. Nil response from our MPs.


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