LGA ready to join Airbnb bid
THE Local Government Association of South Australia says it will join the push to regulate short-term accommodation rental listings if more of its members continue to raise significant concerns.
LGA executive director of public affairs Lisa Teburea said if enough members followed the lead of the City of Holdfast Bay, Adelaide Hills and the Adelaide City Council, then the organisation would look at a “possible solution”.
“If our members wish us to investigate and develop a pos- Year/Number of Listings: 2017: 5300 2016: 3600 (Home-sharing rules came into effect) 2015: 2000 Suburb listing growth 2016-18 Adelaide metro: 317 per cent ition on this matter, we would consult with councils to better understand the issues involved and develop the best possible solution,” she said.
Other lobby and representative groups are being asked by members to enter the de- Adelaide city: 342 per cent Unley: 328 per cent Norwood Payneham and St Peters: 312 per cent Glenelg: 307 per cent Mitcham: 281 per cent North Adelaide: 224 per cent bate or are firming up their position as the State Government is called on to bring the short-term listings in line with regulations covering bed and breakfasts and traditional accommodation.
But Airbnb’s head of public policy for Australia and New Zealand Brent Thomas said any changes would go against SA’s push for innovation.
“The city is leading the nation with progressive, forwardlooking statewide rules for home sharing and are reaping the rewards of tourism growth first-hand,” he said.
The councillor behind Holdfast Bay’s decision to write to Planning Minister Stephan Knoll requesting shortterm rentals be redefined as hotels, Mikki Bouchee, said it wasn’t a slight against Airbnb or any of the service providers.
“I’m not against it (the concept) but there has to be some regulation,” she said. “It has just become out of control.”
Independent data provided to The Advertiser by Sydneybased company BnbGuard – which monitors the growth of the sector – shows the amount of short-stay accommodation listings in Glenelg rose by 307 per cent from 2016.
Listings in the Adelaide City area rose by 342 per cent, while Unley experienced a 328 per cent increase over the period.
The rapid rise in Adelaide as a whole – the second fastest in the country behind the Gold Coast – has led to concerns from established tourism operators and bed and breakfast owners about the effects on their businesses.
Helen McArthur, who runs a luxury bed and breakfast at Aldgate, said it left a sour taste in her mouth that she had to pay council fees to provide a service that many were now able to run for free.
“I feel very strongly that it should not be unregulated like it is,” she said.
“It just needs to be a level playing field. We have to satisfy all these requirements so it’s only fair that others should. And I actually find comfort in those regulations, you know you are offering a good product and people will be safe.”