STAY MOVE: Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington wants short-term hosts to register voluntarily.
STAY MOVE: Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington wants short-term hosts to register voluntarily. Contributed

Council in for long haul over Noosa short stays

NOOSA should look at establishing a volunteer short-term letting register if the State Government does not legislate soon to help councils establish greater controls of this contentious accommodation sector.

That is according to Mayor Tony Wellington who is the driving force behind a short term letting issues paper prepared by Noosa Council that highlights proposed planning controls including a shire-wide ban on party houses.

"I have sent this document to the LGAQ (Local Government Association of Queensland) and also to Damien Walker the Director-General for the Minister for Tourism (Kate Jones),” Cr Wellington said during council debate.

"They (the LGAQ) wrote to the Premier only in the last couple of weeks and received a reply. The government, of course, is at the moment very much caught up in dealing with issues relating to flooding in north Queensland and also they have some budget issues, which have taken precedence.”

"However they have confirmed that this matter will still be dealt with by the Government when cabinet can get around to it,” he said.

Cr Wellington said Noosa Council has been advocating the LGAQ lobby the state back in 2017 for these online booking agencies to provide councils with information on properties used for short-term lettings.

He said the LGAQ had been very proactive on this front and last year the establishment of such listings became association policy with the vote 202 councils in favour and six against.

"They are generally in favour of the position which Noosa Council originally took to the LGAQ.”

The Mayor said under the proposed new Noosa Plan would allow principal places of residence would be able to let out "a room or a couple of rooms and become a home-based business”.

"This is about very much dealing with some of the negative impacts that are occurring and I have to say I am receiving weekly emails from residents concerned about those impacts,” Cr Wellington said.

He said Tasmania is implementing legislation that will insist all online short-term letting properties have to make all the property information to the government to be shared with councils.

"I would be thinking if the State Government doesn' t make a move soon, we need to start making some of the moves that are suggested in the (town plan) document.

"And I would think the first might be having a voluntary registration as a starting point so that people who have got these sort of properties can begin to register, if they choose to, and we will work out where we go from there in terms of local laws,” Cr Wellington said.

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