National forum on short-term holiday rental platforms

4 October 2017 – The Australian Coastal Councils Association is planning a National Forum on Online Short-term Holiday Rental Platforms, such as Airbnb and Stayz, to be held on 20 March next year in conjunction with the 2018 Australian Coastal Councils Conference at Geelong.

Association Chair Barry Sammels said there is growing concern about the issue among coastal councils and as a result the Association is commissioning a research study to identify relevant planning responses. The study will be headed by Professor Nicole Gurran, the Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Sydney.

“The forum will be structured around a presentation by Professor Gurran on the initial findings of the study, which is being conducted in collaboration with coastal councils around Australia that will become case study areas for the project.”

Barry Sammels said the forum will provide an opportunity for presentations on planning responses already adopted by coastal councils, plus there will be an opportunity for input from state governments and short-term holiday rental service operators. The event is planned to conclude with a workshop with input from all participants.

“In recent times the issue has become a real dilemma for coastal councils,” Barry Sammels said. “While they welcome the role these websites can play in driving tourism growth some councils report complaints from neighbouring properties and from traditional accommodation operators, such as hotels and bed and breakfast premises. There are many aspects involved in this issue and that is why this new research is so important.”

The objectives of the study are to:

  • Identify the specific issues, opportunities and risks arising from online short-term holiday rental platforms in different coastal communities of Australia;
  • Identify relevant planning responses to the growth in online short-term holiday rental platforms in terms of local government planning frameworks, rating regimes, licensing and regulations, and complaints mechanisms;
  • Define the tools and strategies required to address concerns around the amenity, tourism, infrastructure, cost burdens and potential housing market impacts of growth in short-term, online holiday rental platforms; and
  • Investigate the adaptation of emerging international responses to the growth in short-term, online holiday rental platforms within the local context.

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