April 13 2021

“The NSW Government “announced” its final Short Term Letting policy late Friday, with no warning to housing organisations”, Jane Hearn, OCN spokesperson said today.

“In a bizarre twist, the Minister has legalised Airbnb in the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP, disguising the mass transfer of critical housing to the tourist market”.

“It takes some chutzpah to give into Airbnb and Expedia in the middle of pandemic, with house prices soaring, homelessness and housing shortages increasing. Meanwhile, licensed tourist accommodation is going to the wall.” “The Government has capitulated to Big Tech, stripping Councils of planning powers”

“ The 180 day cap is excessively generous by world standards, but these Big Platforms are still complaining” she said.

“Let’s make no mistake, the fight over short term letting has never been about “home sharing”, Ms Hearn said.

“The Airbnb behemoth sees no role for Local Councils or local communities. It’s being given free access to all our housing.” she said.

“This policy will not stop “quasi-hotels”.

Airbnb has already driven thousands of residents out of city apartment blocks. “It has turned apartment buildings into cheap hotels, destroying the security and quality of life of residents”.

The Register is a step forward, but this is now behind a wall of secrecy. It hides the extent of commercialised tourist letting,”

“It’s taken four years to deliver a “one size fits no one” policy”, she said. The Government is being dictated to by Big Platforms.

“The councils must be able to set a lower cap and impose development conditions that prohibit Airbnb in our apartment buildings”.

Media Comment: Jane Hearn, OCN Spokesperson M: 0432 618 937

Download media statement here – PDF