LGA ready to join Airbnb bid

The Advertiser - - NEWS - FRI­DAY JUNE 15 2018 SIMEON THOMAS-WIL­SON UR­BAN AF­FAIRS REPORTER

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.”

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