Doug Luke, Co-ordinator VOHL
Victims of Holiday Letting (VOHL) agree with Cr Lyon on the negative impact of holiday letting on Byron Shire and the failure of the NSW government to grant an exemption from the NSW Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) policy (EchoOctober 10).
The long-awaited DPE’s (Department of Planning and Environment) policy is on public exhibition for comment until November 16.
The 33 councils that make up the Greater Sydney Region will have the number of days available for STRA legislated to a maximum of 180 per year for a dwelling where the host is not present. Regional councils like Byron Shire will have to submit an expression of interest to reduce the number of available days to 180.
Latest data compiled by Inside Airbnb indicate the number of STRAs in Sydney LGAs ranges from 14 in Camden to 5,222 in the City of Sydney. In comparison, Byron Shire, with a smaller permanent population, has 2,912 STRAs representing 18 per cent of total dwellings.
Premier Gladys Berijiklian’s electorate in Willoughby has 243 STRAs, planning minister Anthony Roberts in Lane Cove has 157 and fair trading minister Mat Kean in Hornsby has 149.
VOHL is amused at the ludicrous attempt to define STRA. The policy says that those staying in an STRA are not residents. This would imply a degree of permanency if they were. The policy also says that they are neither tourists nor visitors.
As a former high-profile NSW public servant (retired) said, ‘What do we call those who stay in STRA? Blow-ins?’