Columns
10 years on Image

10 years on

Melbourne Water moving to Docklands
Read more >>

Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree
Read more >>

Chamber update Image

Chamber update

COVID-19 and Docklands businesses
Read more >>

Docklander Image

Docklander

A staunch Docklander
Read more >>

Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Conflicting speeds
Read more >>

Chinese

墨尔本市长工作寄语
Read more >>

Owners' Corporation Management

Performance-based alternative solutions the key to cheaper cladding replacement costs
Read more >>

Fashion Image

Fashion

Top five street style trends
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Don’t let working from home compromise your health and wellbeing
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

Bring on the lasers
Read more >>

Business Image

Business

Something fishy from The Espressionist
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

Social distancing in apartment blocks is hard to do, but necessary right now
Read more >>

Maritime

Tyranny of distance?
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Full of Beans!
Read more >>

SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

OC support in a time of COVID-19 - a tale of two cities …
Read more >>

Street Art Image

Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios
Read more >>

Sustainability

How fast is fast fashion?
Read more >>

The District

Eat your way through our most delicious hot spots
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Microorganism dismantles Airbnb - will it ever recover?
Read more >>

Abby's Angle  Image

Abby's Angle

The world is a battlefield. Fight, but without exception, choose kindness
Read more >>

Editions

We Live Here - September 2016

31 Aug 2016

Call for action on court ruling

Apartment residents, the hotel industry and developers of high-rise apartment buildings are under threat unless the State Government acts.

In a decision released in the Supreme Court on July 22, Justice Riordan invalidated an original rule created by the developer of the Watergate building, meaning that owners’ corporations throughout Victoria are unable to prohibit owners from letting out their units to short-term guests.

In his judgement Justice Riordan said: “In my opinion, the prohibition of businesses generally and specifically businesses related to short-term letting exceeded the scope of what was intended by the Parliament in enacting the Owners Corporation Act 2006.”

The State Government needs to act quickly to amend planning laws and to legislate to regulate short-stay accommodation in residential buildings, otherwise:

Inner city apartment buildings will be overrun with party guests, holiday makers, boarding houses, backpackers, etc with fewer owner-occupiers and long-term residents and Melbourne could quickly become a city of ghettos in the sky;

The tourism and hotel industry will be severely affected: hotel revenue will decline substantially and tourism jobs will be lost; and

Property developers will have difficulty providing guarantees to potential owner occupiers that their homes would not be turned into quasi-hotels.

Owners’ corporations Trojan Horse

To date, the only response from the State Government to the Supreme Court ruling has been to reintroduce into State Parliament, for a second reading (Tuesday, August 18) its Bill on short-stays, which was first introduced into Parliament on May 23.

This Bill merely addresses the issue of noisy guests and nothing else and arose from the findings of a flawed “Independent” Panel set up by the former Minister for Consumer Affairs, which was compromised by conflicts of interest among some panel members.

On the panel was a short-stay operator but there was no representation from community or relevant resident groups and no consultation with these groups at any time.

During the second reading, held late in the day when very few MPs were in the House, all the government speakers followed the party line in saying how wonderful the Bill was and that it would address current problems in the short-stay industry. The common theme was that the ALP was meeting an election promise and they were feeling pretty good about it.

Clearly the new Minister for Consumer Affairs, like the previous minister, is totally unaware of or doesn’t want to know about the real issues and problems surrounding short-stays in residential buildings.

The one ray of light during the second reading was the contributions by Ellen Sandell, the sitting Member for Melbourne and Russell Northe, the Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs both of whom had spoken at length to We Live Here and had an excellent grasp of the issues.

What can we do about it?

We Live Here is already in discussions with the City of Melbourne about amendments to local planning laws, which is a good start as it does understand the issues.

We now need to have discussions with the State Government.

Letters have been sent to the Premier, Ministers and all other ALP members requesting them to reconsider the Bill and to meet with us to discuss the regulation of the short-stay industry so there is a level playing field for all.

To date there has been no response and all previous attempts to meet with the Ministers for Planning and Consumer Affairs over the past 18 months have largely been ignored or hand-balled to one another.

We will keep up the fight until the government begins to engage with us. We now ask those of you who are affected by short-stays to also write to the government. The more pressure we bring to bear the better.

A meeting to discuss the issues will be held at Parliament House on Wednesday, August 31 from 6pm until 7.30pm to which all are invited. A flyer will be sent out shortly.

To assist us in maintaining the fight, please donate to our fighting fund which can be accessed via the We Live Here website at http://www.welivehere.net

Curious

The residents of Docklands are curious about what is pictured here. The photo shows part of the west side footpath at the southern end of Batman’s Hill Drive which seems to have been commandeered as part of a building site for months and months.

As Docklands residents we understand that the east side footpath is closed during building activity, however how can a developer apparently make free use of the public foot and cycle path on the west side?

What of the safety and tripping hazards for those using the path? Who would be responsible if an unfortunate injury occurred? Why do we have to put up with this unsightly jumble of building material as well as multiple rubbish skips? Would this be permitted anywhere else in Melbourne?

Clearly we don’t want both footpaths closed as that would be severely inconvenient for everyone; but as we live here, we are rather curious by what we see happening in Batman’s Hill Drive.    

On receipt of this contribution, We Live Here contacted the City of Melbourne. Within 48 hours a fine had been slapped on the builder and the rubble was removed.

People power at work!

Please continue to send us your contributions and feedback and join up to We Live Here.

 

Stay in touch with Docklands. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Docklands News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.