Media release – Roger Jaensch, Minister for Housing and Minister for Planning, 2 June 2020

Labor and Greens in lockstep on short stay accommodation

Alison Standen has yet again demonstrated Labor’s only plan when it comes to short stay accommodation is to follow the Greens.

At a time when our tourism sector and hospitality businesses are hurting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is utterly reprehensible that Labor would seek to demonise short stay accommodation and the benefits it brings to our state.

Our short stay regulations are nation-leading – they strike the right balance between embracing the sharing economy and ensuring everyone plays by the rules.

We are also delivering on our commitment to increase the supply of social and affordable housing in Tasmania, with over 400 homes built in the last 12 months and around 250 currently under construction. Community Housing Grants worth $34 million are also expected to deliver 300 new homes over the next few years.

This work will be more important than ever in our recovery from COVID-19 and while Ms Standen will no doubt continue to talk it down, we won’t be discouraged and will continue to deliver for Tasmanians.

Media release – Alison Standen MP, Shadow Housing Minister, 2 June 2020

Liberals housing blame game continues

Peter Gutwein’s attempt to shift Tasmania’s housing supply issues onto local government exposes the desperate measures the Liberals will go to avoid tackling Tasmania’s housing crisis.

The Premier said it was up to local councils to restrict short-term rental properties if they felt it would increase housing availability – despite local government not currently having the power to cap short stay visitor accommodation numbers.

Shadow Housing Minister, Alison Standen, said the Liberals had repeatedly ignored calls from Labor to tighten regulations on short stay accommodation.

“The Premier is looking to shift the blame to local government rather than respond to calls from Labor – backed by recommendations from two parliamentary inquiry reports over the past year – to tighten regulation on short stay visitor accommodation,” Ms Standen said.

“Councils would have to make an application to the Tasmanian Planning Commission to amend their local planning schedules, which is a complex and protracted process that could take years.

“Only the State Government has the power to act immediately on visitor accommodation by amending the Short Stay Accommodation Act 2019 to place caps, or freezes, on short stay permits.

“Addressing issues arising from the visitor accommodation sector must be a key part of developing a long-term, evidence-based strategy to deal with Tasmania’s housing crisis.

“Peter Gutwein’s attempt to shift Tasmania’s housing supply issues onto local government does nothing to assure Tasmanians that he is capable of managing Tasmania’s housing crisis.

“Only the government can act quickly to ensure the recent increase in housing availability is delivered to tenants in rental stress in the longer-term.

“The Liberals have been given recommendations from two parliamentary inquiry reports over the past year to deal with Tasmania’s housing crisis and they are currently stalling on releasing the latest data from short stay platform providers for the Jan-Mar 2020 period – it’s time they faced the facts about Tasmania’s housing crisis and finally got on with doing something about it.”

Media release – Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson, 2 June 2020

Now is the Time to Regulate Airbnb

CoreLogic’s latest data about the availability of rental properties in Tasmania shows the clear impact Airbnb has had on housing availability. It reinforces the need to introduce meaningful short stay accommodation reform.

There has never been a better time to regulate short stay accommodation than now.

Tasmania has the chance to address a key factor in the housing and homelessness crisis. Failing to regulate would be a huge missed opportunity, with negative impacts on Tasmanians needing a home.

The Liberals underfunded and botched housing the first time around. Now they’ve got a chance for a fresh start – to ensure the rental market becomes more affordable in the long term, so more people have a place to call home.

In the recovery from COVID-19, no Tasmanian should be left behind. This is a chance for a fresh start for housing, and an opportunity to shape our state for the better and fairer.