HOW’S THAT ‘PARTY BAN’ GOING, AIRBNB? AND MINISTERS, BE HONEST!
You guessed correctly: In the last week Airbnb hacks have been sending out ‘print this’ messages to media everywhere and, true to form, outlet after outlet is parroting that Airbnb is extending its ‘party ban’ through until at least the end of the northern hemisphere summer. So successful has this much-hyped ban been, that this footage shows a floor collapsing at an Airbnb rave party. Lucky they didn’t sneak a dog into the premises hey? Imagine this in the house next to you…or the apartment above you. Night after night. Weekend after weekend.
Since quitting the Opposition Leadership post, Jodi McKay writes on social media that she has “had a restful break at the farm” – her “luxurious…(Airbnb) situated on 3 acres of rolling hills”. McKay writes that she’s back in parliament this coming week…her seven-bedroom property, purchased in August 2015 for $712,500, is booked most upcoming weekends @ $480/night.
And as reported, Chris Minns has taken the top spot on the State Labor ticket. Minns acknowledged in his 2015 Inaugural Speech to Parliament his close association with former Airbnb Global Public Policy Director Brent Thomas. The Australian (15/06/17) linked Mr Thomas with James Zhou and Mr Minns’ wife Anna Minns. Their ‘NoBorders’ operations (Brent Thomas, Director) raised questions: “NSW Labor rising star’s wife, pro-Beijing staffer in China venture.” A connection was also made between other prominent figures in the Sydney Chinese community James Zhou and Xiangmo Huang. Mr Huang’s Australian visa was subsequently ‘stripped’, with his and others’ dealings still apparently under investigation at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Minns and Thomas’ association involved at times Local Government matters as well as State. Yes, Mr Minns’ star has finally risen.
Both the Courier Mail and Cairns Post (pay walls) wrote this week that Stayz/Expedia’s Director of Government and Corporate Affairs Eacham Curry had ‘warned’ Noosa Council against rates increases for short-stay rentals: “Holiday rental website Stayz has slammed the move as a “rushed rate slug on mum and dad holiday homeowners.” Stayz/Expedia are miffed that NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes has introduced changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy that sees 180-night caps in any 365 day period in the Greater Sydney region plus a handful (only) of regional local government areas. Open slather elsewhere. Pressure has been applied to Stokes’ and his June commencement date; the start up of the new rules is now set for 01 November 2021, while it appears our Ministers scramble to somehow meet the demands of the US$21.5 billion Expedia Group.
Of course, short-term rental scamlords don’t worry about ‘night caps’. One just lists properties across multiple platforms, which makes tracking near impossible. Or, as is the case in other overseas jurisdictions, where night caps have been legislated, scamlords simply delist properties and then upload them again, immediately, under a different heading and with a different set of photos. Back in May 2019, Eacham Curry and colleague ran a webinar. As we reported at the time, Mr Curry advised:
“It’s not too hard to rejig things in such a way to be (sic) actually be able to record that information so that it can be policed too a bit. Now, if somebody wants to try and get around it, well, there’s always ways to do that…”
An excellent whitepaper clearly exposes the negative impacts of short-term rentals and debunks the positive spin touted by industry proponents, all of whom gain much more from their activity than the communities they target. But we’re wasting our time. NSW State Government representatives don’t want anyone to truly understand the magnitude of what they have recently legislated. Imagine: It's like when some must grow up without sufficient money or food; they are insatiable even when there is now a glut of both. And in the past, for many, travel was self-limiting for many reasons. In today’s climate, expecting voluntary, careful consideration of the impacts of one’s actions is perhaps as useless as asking a starving family to slow down at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Leilani Farha, former UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing: “#homelessness - one of the most widespread yet least recognized human rights violations: 150 million people worldwide. Governments adopt policies contributing to it with impunity. We can make a shift.”
Time to be absolutely open and honest Ministers Stokes, Kean and Perrottet, and explain in full what your recent changes to legislation will mean to the majority of NSW residents.
#Right2Housing Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits
Neighbours not Strangers