WHICH MINISTER / DEPARTMENT IS RESPONSIBLE COVID COMPLIANCE?
An unidentified member of ASTRA – Australian Short Term Rental Association - wrote to members in a Facebook post a propos commercial operations in residential buildings/zones: “The industry antagonists will do everything they can to encourage neighbours to make complaints to Fair Trading…the code (of Conduct) protects you too!” As ASTRA themselves had earlier reported: “ASTRA board members and advisors…have been intimately involved with the creation of the NSW Code of Conduct for ASTRA that becomes effective December 18.” Yes, ASTRA (formerly HRIA), ‘the peak industry organisation for Short Term Rental Accommodation owners and stakeholders in Australia’, appears to have been granted representation at Parliamentary Inquiries, State Government round-tables and ‘intimately involved’ in setting policy that will potentially impact every home owner/resident in NSW.
A constant reference of ours to State Ministers and Public Servants is that those wishing to report anti-social activity under NSW’s ‘Code of Conduct’ are open, at the very least, to a counter-claim of ‘private nuisance’, as per NSW Supreme Court case law. And in one recent case reported to the Melbourne-based We Live Here, an apartment owner investigating excessive noise coming from a nearby apartment was “punched in the head by a party goer”. The police were called, the partygoers evicted and fined, but the case was thrown out of the VCAT (Victoria’s equivalent of our NCAT) because the Strata Manager who submitted the application on behalf of the Owners Corporation reportedly used the wrong form… We Live Here writes: “With no proper regulation and the State Government refusing all requests to engage with us, short-stays have proliferated in Melbourne and long term commercial operators have been running rampant.”
We learn via the UK Daily Mail of ‘Riot Squad called in to stop illegal wild Airbnb Sydney firework display’. And from 7 News: ‘150 teens…some armed with weapons…Boxing Day…Airbnb…Destruction…Riot Police’ in Perth. And then, ‘Airbnb Gang Terror in Castle Hill’, nine males armed with an axe, knife, hammer and firearm.
South of the border, a ‘Wodonga Airbnb host had Sydney travellers refuse a COVID test’.
ASTRA Board Member Joan Bird is listed on Linkedin as Managing Director at Ray White Jindabyne and Snow Escape Holidays – 25 holiday listings, also available via Airbnb. Writing under Jindabyne Accommodation/Snow Escape Holidays, an unidentified person yesterday: “Oh dear Trish – given that this property has LGA approval to operate and helps support a local family AND a tourism driven regional economy your comments (calling on holiday makers to support accredited tourism operators) are unwarranted. As for being a “scam lord” your defamation is becoming wearisome- as a fully licensed business that ensures that every property under our management complies with local, state and federal regulations your negativity and degradation is appalling.” And our response to this claim: “…great to hear that all your holiday homes are fully accredited and licensed to operate as B&Bs, with in-house staff? Given that all your listings are reportedly compliant, your organisation would no doubt welcome action against the “illegal use” of residential premises. Are you able to please clarify the status of all other properties/operators that ASTRA represents? Happy New Year.” No response received from Jindabyne.
According to his Stayz listing, Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s Dungowan Estate is already 77% booked for January. That’s apparently $59,000+ for the month. As the State Member for the Snowy Region, including Jindabyne, unsurprisingly ASTRA’s Joan Bird…‘I’M BACKING BARRA’ (see photo).
A recent US publication upholds an Airbnb staffer’s claim that Australia is “the most penetrated market for short-stays in the world”.
NSW Government website: As of 01 January 2021, hospitality venues…will be required to use the NSW Government QR code system. We are wondering which NSW Minister or Department is, or indeed possibly can, see to the enforcement of this requirement, given that an unknown number of residential dwellings are being used as non-compliant and therefore unlicensed commercial holiday rentals? Would it be unreasonable to assume that the majority of those operating unlicensed holiday rentals from residential dwellings aren’t listing their details on a COVID QR Code registry? Which Minister of the NSW Government, or which Department, is responsible for mandating the use of QR Codes during the COVID pandemic?
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits
Neighbours not Strangers