A code of conduct for hosts and guests and a “strikes and you’re out” policy will be central to Queensland’s response to short-term letting issues, says state tourism minister Kate Jones.
Chairing an industry reference group meeting on the issue this week, Ms Jones told Accomnews the group would present formal recommendations to the government based on the concept in coming months.
“Tourism is a cornerstone of Queensland’s economy so it’s important that we strike a balance in our response to growth in the short-term accommodation sector,” she said.
“After a productive discussion with the industry reference group yesterday, what’s clear is the need for a clear set of guidelines to promote respect among hosts and guests here in Queensland.”Ms Jones said the government would also look to introduce a system of data sharing in the short-term accommodation sector.
“We don’t want to target mums and dads who want to make a bit of extra coin to pay off their mortgage,” she said.
“But it’s important for councils to be able to tell the difference between someone who is renting out their own home and someone who’s running a business.”
On Monday, Accomnews revealed Airbnb was mobilising its hosts to voice their support for the home-share platform in the face of action by individual councils across Queensland to regulate the sector.
Airbnb is instead pushing for a state-wide solution to issues of poor behaviour by guests and hosts, and hosts avoiding paying business rates for commercially-run rentals.
Ms Jones emphasised the positives of Airbnb-style lettings for the state, saying “huge growth” in the short-term accommodation sector presented Queensland with “great opportunities” in tourism.
“More visitors than ever before want to come to Queensland and I’m committed to growing our tourism industry over the next three years,” she said.
“We want to make it easier, not harder, for people to come to our great state.
“But it’s also important to preserve our standard of living here in Queensland. That’s why we’re working with stakeholders to develop a system that will keep guests and hosts honest and allow us to capitalise on exciting growth in this sector.
“I also don’t want to re-invent the wheel. We’re closely monitoring the response from other states and I fully intend to borrow some policies that the reference group decides are most effective.”
The industry reference group will draft a list of recommendations which are expected to be presented to the government by the end of the year.