15 August 2018
The Liberal/National Party last night voted against Greens amendments that would have given communities like Byron Bay and local councils more power to regulate short-term rental accommodation including Airbnb.
The Greens support the sharing economy and the new business models and opportunities it provides.
However, the Fair Trading Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) Bill 2018 passed last night fails to balance these opportunities with the impacts on people and communities, particularly in popular coastal destinations such as Byron Bay and the NSW South Coast.
Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, “The Liberal/National Government’s one-size-fits-all attempt at addressing short-term rental accommodation will not ease the pressure on Byron Bay and cities at risk of becoming overrun by de-facto hotels,” she said.
“A boom in short-term, make-a-quick-buck rental accommodation is already changing the character of Byron Bay and making it harder to maintain and build community on the North Coast.
“The Greens were pleased that this bill doesn’t restrict the ability for people to rent out their spare room or house while they’re away on holidays, but we’re concerned it leaves neighbour and communities exposed to the worst impacts of ongoing, continuous short-term rentals.
“That is why I will be introducing a Notice of Motion in the Legislative Assembly to amend the Environmental Planning Assessment Act 1979 to ensure that the provisions of councils’ Local Environment Plans relating to short-term rental accommodation prevail over the provisions of any State Environmental Planning Policy.”
“A home is more than space for rent or a commodity, it should be a place where people can enjoy peace and security and connection, regardless of the type of dwelling or where they live.
“The Greens are advocating for the empowerment of local people and communities to make local decisions on whether they find the impacts of short-term rentals acceptable and the safeguards they need in place.
“What works in Bondi or Bundeena, will not necessarily be right for Byron or Ballina,” she said.
Greens Fair Trading spokesperson Justin Field said, “These new laws fail to ensure the short-term rental sector does not overwhelm communities and adversely impact on rental affordability for local community members and workers.
“Residents stuck living near a ‘party house’ or subjected to anti-social or intrusive behaviour are not given sufficient support or backing to resolve conflicts. We have little or no detail on so many aspects of these changes, including a new Code of Conduct without specifics.
“We don’t want these community tensions to simmer, the NSW Government should support the Greens sensible plans for giving local communities power over how they share the wonders of their home with visitors and tourists,” he said.
Take action now: sign the Local Control for Short Term Holiday Letting petition.
If you are an approved accommodation provider who will be affected by this legislation, contact this Facebook group: