SAVE OUR BEDS
Hosts call on council to support short-term holiday letting:
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.”
HOLIDAY HOMES: Jordan Brown and Paul Mcmahon of LJ Hooker Kingscliff welcome the new government policy on short-term holiday letting.