Airbnb’s Australian public policy and media spokesperson has declined to comment on whether his company is waging a political campaign against NSW Labor’s policy on holiday letting.
Last week The Echo reported that Airbnb had emailed its property hosts across NSW from its Ireland headquarters, specifically attacking Labor (and Greens) support for a registration system.
Such regulation is standard in many large European and US cities.
Revolving political and big business doors
Furthermore it’s emerged that the Airbnb spokesperson, Julian Crowley, is a former staffer to the NSW Liberal-National coalition.
According to his online LinkedIn profile, Crowley was an adviser to the NSW Attorney-General (April 2015 – January 2016) and an adviser to the minister for Family and Community Services (April 2014 – April 2015).
It’s not uncommon for political staff to be employed by large corporations who are also political donors to the same political parties.
Former NSW Liberal premier Mike Baird’s staffer – when treasurer – was Stephen Galilee. Galilee has been CEO of the NSW Minerals Council since leaving that post in 2012.
The Echo also asked, ‘Why wouldn’t Airbnb want to ensure that its Australian customers operate in a safe and regulated environment?’
No on-record reply was received, only ‘background information’.