SAVE OUR BEDS

Hosts call on coun­cil to sup­port short-term hol­i­day let­ting:

Tweed Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Ais­ling Bren­nan ais­ling.bren­nan@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

TWEED’S bustling tourism in­dus­try is about to be flipped on its head as the NSW Gov­ern­ment hands over con­trol of short-term hol­i­day let­ting to coun­cils.

Part of the new pol­icy will al­low coun­cils to lower the limit of days a per­son can host their prop­erty on book­ing web­sites, when they’re not present, from 365 days to a min­i­mum of 180 days, if coun­cils deem it ap­pro­pri­ate.

But LJ Hooker real es­tate agent Paul Mcma­hon, who man­ages sev­eral prop­er­ties listed on STHL web­sites on be­half of the own­ers, said it was im­por­tant Tweed Shire Coun­cil sup­ported the boom­ing in­dus­try.

“The hol­i­day in­dus­try is about an $800 mil­lion in­dus­try in the Tweed that cre­ates thou­sands of jobs, cre­ates fa­cil­i­ties and en­hances our life­style so much,” he said.

“(Hol­i­day­mak­ers) spend ap­prox­i­mately $180 per per­son per day to come here.”

Ear­lier this year, Tweed Shire Coun­cil was crit­i­cised for crack­ing down on STHL op­er­a­tors with­out notice and is­su­ing fines to prop­er­ties that had com­plaints made against them.

Af­ter man­ag­ing sev­eral prop­er­ties af­fected by the coun­cil’s ac­tions, Mr Mcma­hon said reg­u­lat­ing the STHL in­dus­try would set bet­ter guide­lines for both op­er­a­tors and the coun­cil mov­ing for­ward.

“We were given a week’s notice to shut down an in­dus­try that we’d spent 30 years build­ing and then we were sup­posed to ring ev­ery­body a week be­fore Christ­mas and tell ev­ery­one they can’t come,” Mr Mcma­hon said.

“We need to be able to rely on the leg­is­la­tion we’ve got so we can prop­erly run the in­dus­try.”

Mean­while, Home­away (for­merly Stayz) di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate af­fairs Eacham Curry said it was im­por­tant coun­cils did not set an “ar­bi­trary cap” on short-term rental ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“Short-term rental ac­com­mo­da­tion is not only an im­por­tant driver of eco­nomic growth and jobs for the North­ern Rivers and Tweed Valley, but it also adds cru­cial tourism ac­com­mo­da­tion ca­pac­ity to the re­gion,” he said.

“Re­stric­tions on the avail­abil­ity of STHL will un­nec­es­sar­ily di­min­ish the eco­nomic ben­e­fit de­rived from the tourism sec­tor, drive up the cost of hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion, and send valu­able tourism dol­lars to other parts of the state.”

PHOTO: JOHN GASS

HOL­I­DAY HOMES: Jor­dan Brown and Paul Mcma­hon of LJ Hooker Kingscliff wel­come the new gov­ern­ment pol­icy on short-term hol­i­day let­ting.

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