NSW Labor says councils should be given more control over holiday letting.
NSW Labor says councils should be given more control over holiday letting. David Nielsen

Calls for councils to control holiday letting

NSW Labor today backed calls by local communities like Byron Bay to have a greater say in determining the number of days that properties could be let out for short term holiday letting.

The Berejiklian Government has released a draft amendment to the Exempt and Complying Development SEPP that would allow short term holiday letting without development approval all year round, with councils outside Sydney only able to reduce the threshold to 180 days per year.

The proposed 180 day cap would mean a property could be let for all school holidays, public holidays and every weekend.

Labor said there needed to be greater balance and protections for the local community which is being negatively impacted by rampant holiday letting.

They said councils were well positioned to set appropriate caps to reflect local circumstances.

Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Yasmin Catley said: "Short term holiday letting is a growing industry and we need to get the balance right in terms of competing rights and responsibilities”.

"That is why Labor backs the right of local councils to make locally informed decisions on behalf of the community on the relevant number of days a property can be let on for short term holiday lets.

"My fear is that the Government's proposal may in fact lead to a free for all with local residents bearing the brunt of the impact.”

Labor said whilst a 180 cap could be appropriate in some areas of NSW, it was sensible to allow local councils to make local laws to reflect local conditions.

Labor pointed to the proliferation of short term holiday letting in areas like Byron Bay, and said it was only fair the council was able to have a stronger voice in regulating such activities.

They said the Government had so far failed to release a draft Code of Conduct for short term holiday lettings, as well as a mandatory registration scheme.

Labor candidate for Ballina Asren Pugh said: "A lack of balance in the laws are placing pressure on the availability of housing in the region, while the lack of a level playing field is threatening the viability of approved accommodation businesses that employee local people”.

"We are seeing our communities bear the brunt of the explosion of short term holiday letting - Labor will ensure that we have the right to make local laws to control it and get the balance right.”