The Australian Hotels Association (WA) has commended the WA State Government’s response to the report produced by the Parliamentary Inquiry into Short-Stay Accommodation, which has outlined a clear roadmap to strong and effective regulation.
AHA(WA) CEO Bradley Woods said the Government’s endorsement of virtually all of the report’s recommendations reflects the bi-partisan and comprehensive work that was done by the Economics and Industry Standing Committee.
“We welcome the Government’s response which recognises the need to even the playing field when it comes to unregulated short stay accommodation properties and the platforms that host them,” Mr Woods said.
“The chaotic explosion of unregulated short stay accommodation has jeopardised jobs, damaged community amenity, undermined investment and threatened the viability of many legitimate accommodation providers.”
“The AHA has long advocated for fair but strong regulation of the short stay accommodation sector and the government’s response reflects the serious concerns within the community about illegal hotels operating in residential areas.”
Minister for Planning, the Hon Rita Saffioti tabled the government’s response in the State Parliament this afternoon, agreeing to nine of the report’s ten recommendations.
The establishment of an inter-departmental working group will help finalise the details of a mandatory registration scheme, which is widely recognised by jurisdictions across the world as key to regulating short stay accommodation.
“We know that mandatory registration is absolutely necessary however the devil will be in the detail,” Mr Woods said.
“What we need to ensure we avoid is the establishment of a tick-and-flick system that allows unregulated short stay accommodation properties to complete a meaningless application and suddenly become legitimised without effective standards or protections.”
“We must also ensure that the working group determines appropriate minimum health and safety provisions as well as the establishment of strong data sharing obligations on online sharing platforms like Airbnb.”
“As we have seen in other jurisdictions around the world, effective controls need to be complemented with strong financial penalties on hosts and online accommodation platforms who fail to comply.”
“We welcome the Government’s commitment to consultation and look forward to working to ensure the final outcome is one that protects jobs and the economic contribution of the sector, while allowing for genuine, shared hosting to continue - something the AHA has always endorsed.”
“We also commend the efforts of Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman, and other members of the Economics and Industry Standing Committee and the various industry representatives that have made ongoing and concerted representations.”