Short-term holiday letting giant AirBnB has told members they will be able to continue letting virtually without restriction no matter who wins this Saturday’s state election.
In an email that went out to thousands of home owners across the state on Thursday, AirBnB said that holiday letting would continue ‘regardless of which major party forms government…’.
‘Your choice to responsibly share your home will be protected,’ the email continues.
The email appears to ignore the special exemption recently granted to the Byron Shire, under which empty properties cannot be let for more than 90 days at a time.
This impression is reinforced by AirBnB’s claim in the email that both the Coalition and Labor support ‘consistent, statewide rules’.
The incumbent Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, sprang upon the email as evidence that the major parties had made a backroom deal with AirBnB.
‘Once again Labor and the Nationals have caved into corporate interests, both parties have made vague commitments to our community but at the 11th hour we see it’s all smoke and mirrors,’ Ms Smith said.
She said that, should The Greens hold the balance of power after Saturday’s poll, they would ‘force the major parties to allow local councils to regulate short-term holiday letting’.
Both Labor and the Coalition have denied that they have made any backroom agreements with AirBnB or any other player in the short-term letting industry.
Labor’s candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh, said the Air BnB scorecard did not accurately reflect Labor’s policy and was ‘mischievous’.
‘I have always believed that evidence is the foundation for good policy,’ Mr Pugh said.
‘That’s why a NSW Labor government will introduce a registration scheme for all short term holiday letting hosts.
‘Armed with this evidence, local governments will be able to apply to amend planning laws in their community to restrict or cap short term holiday letting for unhosted stays if short term holiday letting is having drastic impacts on their community.’