City to launch drive to in­form on short-stay

Mayor Barry Sam­mels says coun­cil­lors con­sider the mar­ket an un­even playing field hence the cam­paign

Southern Telegraph - - NEWS -

The City of Rock­ing­ham is launch­ing an ed­u­ca­tion and in­for­ma­tion cam­paign to re­mind po­ten­tially un­law­ful short-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion providers about the rules and reg­u­la­tions be­hind op­er­a­tion.

Statewide calls for ac­tion from reg­is­tered providers were an­swered late last year when the State’s Eco­nom­ics and In­dus­try Stand­ing Com­mit­tee launched an in­quiry into the reg­u­la­tion of short­stay ac­com­mo­da­tion in WA.

While out­comes from the in­quiry are ex­pected to be re­ported to the Legislative Coun­cil by June 27, Rock­ing­ham coun­cil­lors be­lieve a govern­ment re­sponse could still be 12 months away.

There are more than 200 hol­i­day homes in the Rock­ing­ham area listed on web­sites in­clud­ing Airbnb and Stayz, most of which do not have devel­op­ment ap­proval.

Mayor Barry Sam­mels said coun­cil­lors con­sid­ered the mar­ket an un­even playing field, and had launched an ed­u­ca­tion and in­for­ma­tion cam­paign to in­form hol­i­day home­own­ers about the City’s re­quire­ments and nec­es­sary ap­provals needed to let out a prop­erty for short-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion pur­poses.

He said the City was com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the amenity of peo­ple liv­ing near hol­i­day homes and pro­tect­ing ex­ist­ing ap­proved busi­nesses, which are com­pli­ant with the City’s re­quire­ments.

“Even if op­er­a­tors are com­ply­ing with all the pol­icy re­quire­ments of those plat­forms, they still need devel­op­ment ap­proval from the City,” he said. “If they don’t have it, they must im­me­di­ately stop let­ting the house out for short-term ac­com­mo­da­tion un­til they do.”

Un­der the Food Act 2008 all premises that prepare or pro­vide food for sale are re­quired to be reg­is­tered un­der the City’s Health Ser­vices and in­spected ac­cord­ingly. Swim­ming pools at hol­i­day homes are con­sid­ered pub­lic pools and re­quire additional ap­proval. The City will con­tinue its com­plaints-based ap­proach in gov­ern­ing un­reg­is­tered providers, with own­ers op­er­at­ing with­out devel­op­ment ap­proval facing a $500 fine.

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