Given the broken promise by the NSW Liberal-Nationals government on allowing Council to regulate the short-term rental accommodation (STRA) sector in the Byron Shire, The Echo asked NSW Labor what they would do if elected in March.
Local Labor candidate for Ballina, Andrew Broadley, told The Echo, ‘I do not wish to comment further on the STRA issue’.
There is no record of any previous comment on the issue by Broadley, according to a search of his social media posts and website matierals. He added, ‘I will be making a submission to the public hearings that the IPC has planned for later in February. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hearings are cancelled at the last minute – considering the track record of the government’.
The Echo also asked NSW Labor’s Courtney Houssos, Shadow Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, ‘If elected, will Labor restore integrity to this process by allowing Council – as originally promised by the Lib-Nats – to regulate the industry? If so, how would it work?
Would the IPC be asked to step down with its intervention, for example?’
Supply issue: Labor
NSW Labor MP, Courtney Houssos, replied, ‘After 12 years of Liberal and National Party neglect, there is a rental crisis in NSW.
‘One of the key factors driving this crisis is a lack of supply.
‘Labor understands that there are certain communities in which the underlying lack of supply is being exacerbated by the impact of short-term letting.
‘This is creating significant pressure on prices and availability of rental properties for local working people.
‘We are keen to work with local government to find practical solutions to this crisis – a crisis that is occurring across both Sydney and regional NSW. It’s also why NSW Labor has committed $30M for a Build to Rent pilot program on the South Coast to address the lack of permanent rental accommodation.’
According to page 143 of NSW Labor’s Policy Committee Report from 2022 (available at www.nswlabor.org.au), the Byron Bay Labor branch have stated, ‘NSW Labor recognises that short-term holiday letting is having an impact of the available housing stock for the long-term rental market’.
‘NSW Labor will implement regulation that prioritises building the stock of long-term rental properties over short-term holiday letting’.
And on page 140, it reads, ‘NSW Labor will prioritise long-term rental properties over short-term holiday letting’.
Local Greens MP, Tamara Smith told The Echo that NSW Labor is ‘missing in action’ on the issue.