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Short term rental rules put on hold following LGNSW advocacy

14 April 2021

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to put controversial new short-term rental rules on hold until the end of the year so it can undertake more consultation with affected councils.

Cr Scott said the reversal was a real win for regional councils, many of whom were facing dwindling affordable housing in their areas because of the fast-emerging short-term rental accommodation (STRA) industry.

“I am so pleased the Government has responded so quickly to our concerns and put this new policy on hold,” Cr Scott said.

“If the new policy had gone ahead, councils would have been made to follow as one-size-fits-all approach when dealing with STRA, forcing them to seek amendments to the Statewide planning policy or prepare a planning proposal to effect changes such as setting cap limits in their areas.

“No level of government knows the needs of their communities better than local government, and we strongly oppose any policy that takes away councils’ ability to make informed planning decisions on behalf of their communities.”

Cr Scott said the reprieve removed some of the pressure on the growing affordable housing crisis facing many regional councils.

"Councils are best placed to balance the pressures of housing affordability and local tourism economies, and we hope that Minister Stokes recognises this in any future changes," she said.

“If there are no limits, property owners who think they can make more on the short-term rental market are not going to put their property on the regular rental market.

“Councils have been saying for years that STRA policy must be supported with ongoing research to monitor local impacts on housing affordability.

“These concerns have only heightened in light of COVID-19, and this policy, if it had gone ahead as is, would have hindered efforts to strengthen the affordable housing market.

Cr Scott said the Government had committed to putting the new policy on hold until November for “further consultation”.

“I look forward to working with the NSW Government to effect positive change that will allow councils to provide an appropriate amount of STRA for their communities while supporting efforts to boost affordable housing in their areas,” she said.

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