Ratepayers pleased council holds nerve on short-stay letting
Making short-term stays in low residential an inconsistent use in Noosa and require property owners seek council approval to start up has been applauded by a residents’ watchdog.
The reaction from NSRRA president Adrian Williams was one of relief after the adoption of the new Noosa Town Plan.
“After scare campaigns, misinformation and the State Government placing monitoring conditions on the Wellington Councils’ hard line against Airbnbs, there was real concern our new council may reject the new rules to limit the investor buyout of our suburbs,” Mr Williams said.
“Aside from leaving suburban residents vulnerable to Airbnb or party house investors, if council didn’t pass the planning scheme, four years and over $3 million dollars in ratepayer money spent on public consultation would have been wasted.
“While we are relieved the new plan was passed by council, our committee was disappointed new Mayor Clare Stewart and Councillor Amelia Lorentson put the entire process in jeopardy when they voted not to adopt the New Noosa Plan, after citing concerns over short-term accommodation rules.”
He said the special council meeting held to adopt the plan revealed around 6000 properties in Noosa were already operating whole of house letting for tourism which was limiting availability of rental properties for workers.
Mr Williams said the NSRRA held a public forum in 2018 to highlight the impact of Airbnb investment at the Lions Football clubhouse to air local concerns.
“This was heavily attended by residents unhappy their streets were being turned into tourism party precincts,” he said.
He said during debate the special meeting, reasons given not to support adoption of the plan included fears the new rules on short-stays may be unlawful, despite being approved by the State Government, council’s solicitor and nine other Queensland council’s adopting similar legislation.
Mr Williams said his association congratulated council staff for “their massive effort in compiling the New Noosa Plan” and credits the previous council for improving public consultation processes, including “the live streaming of meetings to make our representatives more accountable for their decisions”.