DevelopmentsManagementTourism

Queensland’s short stay apathy threatens growth and jobs, says sector

Leading accom bodies are warning the Queensland government’s lack of action on short-stay regulation could damage investor confidence and impact tourism jobs in the sunshine state.

A senior advisor to state tourism minister Kate Jones told AccomNews last week that despite setting up a  reference group in June 2018 to formulate a policy position, the government had no pressing plans to regulate the short stay industry.

While Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and WA have all moved to control the sector, the insider said Queensland was looking to the national government and local councils to lead the charge on short-stay policy.

Industry figures have reacted with alarm to the news, Accommodation Association chief executive Dean Long saying: “The likely consequence of inaction will be a piecemeal council-by-council approach, which has the potential to impact investment and confidence in the commercial tourism accommodation industry.”

Eacham Curry, Stayz corporate affairs director, argues inaction on state-wide regulation will put tourism growth and jobs at risk.

“Stayz urges the Queensland government to implement state-wide regulation that contains a simple registration scheme for all holiday rental listings, a code of conduct that is backed by a strikes-based disciplinary regime, and an industry body to adjudicate compliance with the code of conduct,” he said.

“A piecemeal approach to regulation for our growing industry will create a web of uncertainty about the management of key questions around urban planning, amenity and housing.

“If short-term rental accommodation policy is left to local governments, we fear holiday homeowners will be left stranded with the vagaries of local government boundaries and councils changing rules on a whim.

“This will create uncertainty for our industry and make it harder for the mums and dads who own holiday homes to plan for the future.

“Without a strong holiday rental accommodation sector, economic growth and jobs associated with the tourism sector will be put at risk – this is particularly the case in regional areas where holiday rentals are a key catalyst for tourism.”

It is a position backed by Queensland local councils, the majority of which last year voted in support of state-wide regulation.

Airbnb has vociferously lobbied for such controls, alarmed at the spectre of numerous local councils all drafting separate rules governing holiday rentals. In July 2018 the home-share giant called on its 29,000 hosts across the state to write to their local MPs calling for legislation which would apply to all short-stay accommodation providers in Queensland.

Dean Long says the Accommodation Association supports a consistent national response to short-term rental accommodation and sees the new Australian Tax Office data matching program as a move in the right direction for greater fairness and transparency in the sector.

“But, he says, there must be “action at a state level that recognises the significant impact of short-term rental accommodation”.

“States have an important role to play in ensuring appropriate planning controls are in place that govern not only commercial tourism accommodation but short-term rental accommodation,” he said.

“The Association has been active in Western Australia, NSW and Tasmania in advocating for a strong code of conduct that protects visitor safety and amenity, planning controls that prevent the growth of ‘quasi hotels’ and a registration system that assists in monitoring compliance.”

Mr Long says the association will be meeting with Kate Jones later this month to reinforce that position.

“We have worked in good faith with the Queensland government on a framework for regulating short term rental, and in fact in mid-2018, the minister for innovation and tourism industry development, Kate Jones, issued a media statement.

“That statement suggested that a code of conduct for hosts and guests along with a limited number of ‘strikes and you’re out’ policy would be central to Queensland’s response to short-term letting.

“The Minister also said the government would look to introduce a system of data sharing in the short-term accommodation sector.

“The likely consequence of inaction will be a piecemeal council-by-council approach, which has the potential to impact investment and confidence in the commercial tourism accommodation industry.”

Tags

Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Close
Back to top button
Close
Close