Fix needed for rentals

COUNCILS across the state are calling on the NSW Government to urgently develop rules for short-term holiday rentals – or let them make their own to suit local needs.

But as the busy summer season approaches for coastal areas, the Government is being coy.

At a Local Government Association conference in Tamworth last week, councils voted to demand the State Government develop a policy position on short-term holiday rentals that protects neighbouring residents.

Failing that, they asked the Government to let them include regulation and registration of short-term holiday rentals in their Local Environment Plans.

However, the Department of Planning said it was already considering the issue.

“Work currently being undertaken by the Department of Planning forms part of the NSW Government’s investigations into the most appropriate means of managing the issue of short-term holiday rental,” a department spokesman said.

“This work is ongoing.”

The current lack of regulation is a headache for Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham.

“Council’s not involved in safety provisions or ensuring that the amenity of neighbours is protected,” she said.

As a result, it could not make basic decisions about services like garbage bins allocation.

Cr Barham said the situation was at odds with the tourism industry, which had to go through planning processes and contribute financially to the community.

“It’s an unlevel playing field for the industry, as well as the impact on the residents,” she said.

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