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Headlines during the last 24 hours for members of Airbnb’s ‘trusted community’ include: Pop Smoke shot dead by masked gunman after rapper inadvertently shared Airbnb location, 25-year-old suspect turns himself in for murder of woman at…Airbnb, and Security guard who stabbed US Tourist to death when she fought off his rape attempt is jailed in Costa Rica. And Ex-diplomat’s daughter held without bond in murder trial – the murder is alleged to have taken place at an Airbnb where the pair had been drinking. Our ABC is reporting that Airbnb is using around 4% of housing stock…and growing. Who wants Airbnb clients staying next to their family members and homes?

With its IPO approaching, Airbnb has employed an army of 120 lawyers and is devoting $60 million to tear down regulations that keep residents and communities safe. According to Bloomberg, Airbnb has filed at least 11 lawsuits against an American city or state government since 2008 and has appealed an adverse decision at least three times. Half of these legal challenges have come in the past two years alone. According to US Attorney General William Barr: “Online services…have evoked (legal) immunity even when they solicited or encouraged unlawful conduct, shared in illegal proceeds or helped perpetrators hide from law enforcement.”

So then, where is our NSW State Opposition on the issue of illegal short-term Airbnb-type rentals? Ah, absolutely silent.

It is thanks to Minister Matthew Kean’s parody of NSW Labor Opposition Leader Jodi McKay, recorded by Hansard for all to see, that Residents are aware of Ms McKay’s short-term rental. The property – Kia Ora Lookout Retreat - is listed among four properties owned by the Hon Member on the Register of Disclosures by Members of the NSW Parliament. Kia Ora Lookout Retreat is managed by Ms McKay’s husband, Stephen Fenn; Stephen’s Airbnb profile photo gives no indication of his true identity. Ms McKay received correspondence in September 2018 and again this week, requesting confirmation on whether the property is zoned Residential, if it meets with National Construction Codes (NCC) for commercial use and Fire Safety requirements under the NCC, if Disability Access for commercial rentals is in place, Liquor Licensing Act Regulations, Food Safety Act NSW, Hospitality Industry General Award, NSW Residential Tenancies Act, Federal/State/Local taxation requirements, State Land Tax, Commercial water rates, Commercial public liability insurance and other requirements are met, whether any mortgage is paid at commercial rates of interest, if approved operator road contributions and ‘Developer Contributions are paid to Council, and Sewer upgrades are in place, etc, etc. Latest photos show that the property is also used as a campsite. Regrettably Ms McKay has not responded to these requests for clarification on the status of the property. Jodi McKay/Stephen Fenn have all bases covered; Kia Ora Lookout Retreat is listed on: The State Government’s DestinationNSW, along with Airbnb, Stayz,, Rent by Owner, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Gites(France), TravelOKA(Indonesia), HotelsCombined, ExecStays, ehotelsreview, Agoda,,,, gloucestertourism, zenhotels, priceline, viamichelin, ar.trivago(Argentina),, Airbnb(France), Orbitz, cybevasion(France), Airbnb(Spain), barringtoncoastalbusinesshub, Airbnb(Mexico),, accommtbuller, Airbnb(Indonesia),,, Airbnb(Netherlands), accommodationcooktown, Airbnb(Sweden),,, ivivu(Vietnam), top4, shopandfly(Turkey), gcattractions, Airbnb(Israel), cdn.australia.51(Japan),, the Victorian Government’s victourism – plus many more platforms...

Last October Merryn Tuck – who goes by the name of Mez Tuc on Facebook – registered Sunshine Coast Host Your Home – which is not currently registered for GST. Mez and Team have multiple Airbnb listings. Yesterday Merryn/Mez alerted fellow landlords on how best to post homes on Airbnb’s platform so that Councils can’t track down their activities and levy commercial rates, plus undertake necessary safety inspections. Tuck/Tuc writes: “Let’s put a stop to councils doing this. We need to expose their strategies for increasing revenue.” No mention of ‘Mez Tuc’ increasing her personal revenue by turning homes into Airbnb ghost hotels. #Trust


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