Short-stays referred to committee

The State Opposition has delayed the second reading of the short-stay accommodation bill by successfully referring it to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny.

The second reading of the Owners Corporation Amendment (Short-Stay Accommodation) Bill 2016 will now not proceed before March 7 next year when the Environment and Planning Committee is due to report back to the Legislative Council.

Successfully moving to send the matter to committee on November 7, Eastern Victoria Member Edward O’Donohue wants the committee to report on:

“Undertaking proper consultation with peer sector economy providers, individuals and owners’ corporations short-stay letting providers;

The impact on individuals, families, apartment owners and owners’ corporations of short-stay letting in apartment buildings; and

The adequacy of owners’ corporation rules in managing impacts on amenity, noting also the lack of adequate planning on the part of the building and construction sector to accommodate the impact of high-intensity short-term lets.”

While yet to oppose the Bill, the Opposition is taking the issue of short-stays in residential apartments more seriously since being heavily lobbied by the We Live Here movement.

When the Government introduced the Bill in May, We Live Here was scathing in its criticism.

“Victoria let a golden opportunity slip to set an example to the rest of Australia and take a strong stance on short-term lets and Air BnBs that ruin the liveability and amenity of high-rise buildings,” spokesperson Marshal Delves said.

We Live Here director Barbara Francis was in Parliament to witness the delaying tactics adopted by the Opposition.

“We are very pleased with this decision, and we are very proud to represent the nearly 1 million residents in apartment buildings in Victoria in continuing to advocate for serious regulation and reform in this area,” Ms Francis said.

“We have tried to schedule a meeting with the Consumer Affairs Minister so many times this year, but they are not interested in engaging with residents and owners.’
“Finally, by blocking this Bill and by sending it off for inquiry, we will have an opportunity to have our voice heard. The Labor government has been sent back to the drawing board, and the onus is back on them to engage with the community, and next time get the balance right with any proposed legislation.”

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