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Deputy Premier John Barilaro has taken to radio, telling 2GB’s audience that he is pushing to have household gathering limits at least doubled, from 20 to 40 people, or eliminating a cap on numbers altogether. It would be “a reward for our citizens for doing the right thing”. The thing is, Barilaro’s seven bedroom Dungowan Estate sleeps 20, and pre-COVID, it was a popular spot for weddings. A look at the Deputy Premier’s Stayz listing sees, “this property is already 87% full in January” (refer photo). Friends, the Airbnb calendar shows that from mid-December to the end of January 2021, Dungowan Estate is already booked for 42 nights, at say $2,876/night, that’s $120,792 to our Deputy Premier. And, there’s a $550.00 ‘Cleaning fee’ plus $660.00 ‘Service fee’ on top of every (minimum 2-night) booking. Little wonder John Barilaro wants his fellow MPs voting to change legislation so such money-making activity is seen to be legal in all residential dwellings across NSW.

Three people have been charged following a public order incident at Surry Hills during which officers were injured. According to the Police NSW official website, at about 1am this morning, police were called to a unit complex on Nobbs Street, Surry Hills, following complaints about loud noise coming from a party. A female constable was pulled inside the unit, capsicum spray was deployed…and other police from nearby Sydney City, Surry Hills, Kings Cross Police Area Command and the Public Order and Riot Squad were called. Police estimated the occupants at more than 100 people. “Initial inquiries indicate the premises was being used as a short-term rental.” Airbnb has whipped the listing down from its website, however the property is still visible on lastminute, Expedia, and Stayz. The Sydney Morning Herald, 7News, 9News all failed to mention that the incident took place at an illegal short-term rental. Only France’s News24 reported that the incident took place at an Airbnb.

The Central Coast Community News has reported that the “Rise in Airbnb” is putting the squeeze on long-term rental accommodation (see pages 1 and 7) with families reporting that it is impossible to find rentals. The report goes on to say: “In addition to increasing pressure on housing market supply and demand, reducing residential vacancy rates and increasing average weekly rents, impacts include increased stress on local infrastructure, reduced amenity (noise, anti-social behaviour and so on), and increased homelessness. When combined with the fact that Central Coast already has the highest homelessness or at-risk count in NSW, and one of the lowest rates of building approvals in Australia, the impact of an unregulated short-term rental market is severe.”

What did Gosford Council do to manage their illegal short-term rental situation? Well, after the landmark NSW Land and Environment Court judgment, in which Council’s failure to enforce residential zoning was described as an “abrogation by the council of its fundamental duties and responsibilities…council, by its inaction, (had, in the judge’s opinion), failed to fulfil its core functions and has failed its constituents”, Council altered its Local Environmental Plan to make short-term rental accommodation exempt development.

Byron Shire Council will address the “Impacts of and management options for short term rental accommodation (STRA)” at a meeting this coming Thursday. Recommendations (see 13.21)…That Council:

  1. Notes the update provided on the status of the planning proposal and state management options for short term rental accommodation in Byron Shire.

  2. Agrees to amend the planning proposal to include precinct areas that permit non hosted STRA for 365 days in those areas that have already been taken up almost exclusively for STRA, and 90 days for those areas that have not….

  3. Authorises staff to submit an amended planning proposal to the Department of Industry and Environment for Gateway determination that satisfies item 2.

  4. Pending gateway determination, undertakes public exhibition of the planning proposal and consult with government agencies in accordance with the gateway determination…

Byron Shire Residents and Ratepayers write that they are: “appalled.”

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits

Neighbours not Strangers


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