Doug Luke, Co-ordinator, Victims Of Holiday Letting (VOHL)
Airbnb recently stated in media releases that it has registered as a lobbying group for the NSW election. Before Airbnb registered, it emailed their 65,000 NSW landlords asking them not to vote for any candidate who is in favour of registration of holiday-lets. That is, Labor and The Greens.
Airbnb has said that it is opposed to registration as it would bog down their landlords in red tape and bureaucracy. However, registration would be a simple and easy process. The real reason for Airbnb’s position is that it has seen its listings decrease when registration has been introduced overseas. Airbnb is only interested in maximising profit. In contrast, Stayz, also known as Homeaway, fully supports registration.
At a recent meet the candidates meeting, Ballina electorate Nationals’ candidate Ben Franklin was asked whether he supported registration. He responded that he has “no problems with registration”. This strongly contrasts with his LNP government’s position where they said in Parliament that they did NOT support registration.
Amazingly, the government fully supported the only amendment accepted to the holiday-letting bill that there may be a registration scheme where landlords are required to list the dates that they will make their holiday-let available for short-term letting.
Ben Franklin should use his skills to persuade government leaders to accept his view. But he might find a difficulty with Nationals’ leader and deputy premier John Barilaro. Mr Barilaro holiday-lets his rural retreat Dungowan Estate at an average rate of $2,050 per night in an environment where it could be considered illegal. A major conflict of interest.