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We Live Here - July 2017

29 Jun 2017

Short-stays: Let owners decide

By We Live Here

The Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee has recommended significant changes to a Bill before Parliament aimed at regulating short-stay accommodation.

After a successful campaign by We Live Here, the Short-stay Accommodation Bill was blocked in the upper house and referred to Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee.

The committee included Labor, Liberal and Greens members and was chaired by the David Davis MLC.

The Bill has now been thrown back to the lower house to be rewritten virtually from scratch.

“What is clear is the Bill presented to Parliament by the government did not address many of the key issues adequately,” Mr Davis said on tabling the report.

“Many provisions in the Bill were confusing and ambiguous. Other matters raised with the committee, but clearly of concern to many apartment dwellers, were not dealt with by the Bill at all.”

The committee has recommended that the Victorian Government consider giving owners’ corporations power to regulate short-stay accommodation in their buildings.

“Recent legal cases make it clear the current law is inadequate with owners’ corporations unable to adequately regulate or manage on behalf of residents in apartment towers,” Mr Davis said.

The committee also agreed with the Tourism Accommodation Association (Vic) that the government should investigate a registration and compliance regulatory framework for short-stay accommodation providers, where properties are listed for more than 90 days or a single owner has multiple listings.

We Live Here welcomes the recommendations to address concerns that thousands of residents share about the commercial short-stay industry.

The rapid rise of commercial short-term accommodation in apartment buildings is an unregulated industry and has resulted in significant detrimental impacts for residents living in those communities, including:

  • Safety and security issues;
  • Higher maintenance costs due to increased wear and tear; and
  • Disruption to residents through unruly, offensive or noisy behaviour of short-stay guests.

Residents right across Victoria are growing increasingly frustrated and it’s time we found a solution that puts everyone on a level playing field.

We Live Here welcomes the recommendations made and so do our members who, until now, have felt their concerns have been ignored by the government and short-stay operators.

It is gratifying to know that politicians now understand that the short-stay issue is about safety, security and the unfair cost burden on the majority of owners. The short-stay industry results in an enormous increase in wear and tear caused by the overuse of lifts and common areas by short-stay guests and the tonnes of laundry that is dragged around every year.

We Live Here believes owners’ corporations should have the right of self-determination – the ability to pass and enforce a rule which might limit commercial short-stay accommodation.

Any rule would need to be passed by special resolution, with the acceptance of 75 per cent of lot owners.

We Live Here is a voice of reason in the short-stay debate. We are here to work with all parties, to ensure a level playing field that is good for residents, for businesses and the tourism industry.

Docklands school feedback

We Live Here congratulates the Victorian School Building Authority for its community consultation workshops in Docklands last month. Community members were given a well-structured forum to discuss and document issues and priorities. An online survey was also available to gather feedback from the community.

Key themes that emerged included developing a community and natural environment – we hope the government listens.

The workshop outcomes and online feedback can be found at: engage.vic.gov.au/docklandsprimary

At the workshops the information flow was primarily from the community to the government. As the project advances we hope to see the consultation continue and for detailed information to be published as it becomes available.

We Live Here will continue to support the Docklands school as an important part of developing a local community.

Campaign donations

As a not-for-profit organisation, donations from individuals and buildings keep our campaigns going. A special thank-you to those behind the generous and important financial support we have received recently.

To register as a supporter of We Live Here or to make a donation please visit our website at welivehere.net

 

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