AT THE CROSSROADS: Sunshine Beach is a short-stay hotspot in Noosa Shire.
AT THE CROSSROADS: Sunshine Beach is a short-stay hotspot in Noosa Shire.

Short stays crisis: say your piece

IT’S a vexed issue, with no simple solutions.

Some say short stays via Airbnb, Stayz and similar are part of the natural tourism fabric of Noosa.

Others say it’s a great way for local residents to make a little extra money.

Even more say some resulting “party houses” are trashing Noosa as a quality place to live, and without some controls, property values could crash and Noosa starts to become a northern Gold Coast.

So now it’s time for all of the community to put their views forward on how to manage the day-to-day operations of short-stay letting across Noosa Shire.

Noosa Council has released a draft Short-Stay Letting Local Law for the shire, which is open for public consultation until November 11.

Mayor Tony Wellington said the introduction of this new draft local law aims to provide some clarity on how to manage short-stay letting properties.

“Short-stay accommodation providers such as Airbnb are here to stay, so it’s imperative we put in place the right foundations to protect and preserve neighbourhood amenity,” he said.

“At the same time, it’s also essential that we provide clarity for those who use their properties for short-stay letting.”

The draft local law will regulate the day-to-day operations of short-stay letting including occupancy, residential amenity, parking, waste disposal and use of outdoor areas. Importantly, the local law will not apply to home-hosted properties where owners rent out a spare room or two in their own houses.

It is aimed at properties that are being let in their entirety.

“Short-stay letting has raised a lot of concern within the community. Indeed, this issue has generated more complaints to our planning team than any other matter in recent years. Complaints have tended to be around excessive noise, late-night revelry, parking and waste issues, as well as properties being let as party houses.”

Developed in consultation with local letting agents, Cr Wellington said the draft Short-Stay Letting Local Law would introduce a Code of Conduct to address problem issues.

The draft local law will also introduce a register of short-stay properties, with a proposed annual application fee to cover Council’s administration costs.

“This proposed new local law will operate in conjunction with the new Noosa planning scheme,” Mayor Wellington said.

“Once finalised, the new Noosa Plan will regulate where short-stay letting can and cannot occur, whereas this local law will manage the actual issues associated with the operation of the short-stay letting,” Cr Wellington said.

“For example under the local law, short-stay letting will require the nomination of a contact person who must live within a 20-minute drive of the property and who is thus able to respond to complaints such as noise.

“The local law also ensures that guests are parked onsite in a bid to manage road congestion, and that outdoor areas such as decks and spas will not be able to be used between the hours of 10pm and 7am. It also stipulates that waste bins will have to be removed from the kerb within 24 hours of collection.”

Mayor Wellington said the State Government has failed Queenslanders on this issue.

“The State Government have had plenty of time to act on this matter, but clearly they are dragging their feet. I was a member of the State’s reference group which last met 15 months ago. Since then, nothing has happened. We simply can’t continue to wait for the State. The complaints keep rolling in to Council, so we need to take genuine action.

“We urge the public to go to the Your Say portal on Council’s website and have a look at the proposed local laws. We genuinely want feedback on this difficult issue to make sure that we get our Council settings right,” Cr Wellington said.

To provide input on the draft local law, visit yoursay.noosa.qld.gov.au before November 11.


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