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Airbnbs up for debate

Online short-term accommodation hosting sites like Airbnb will be up for debate at this year’s LGAQ Annual Conference as councils seek clearer policy around their community impact and current rates charges.

Noosa Shire Council submitted a motion ahead of the conference calling for online booking agencies to provide councils with property addresses to aid councils in adjusting planning and rating requirements and for greater consideration to be given to the long-term effects on housing affordability.

Speaking to the ABC, Noosa Shire Council Mayor Tony Wellington said the issue was not unique to Noosa.

"The upside of the online booking agency is that they're a great addition to the local economy and I'm sure being on Airbnb or helps many a household to make ends meet," he said.

"We're seeking the Local Government Association of Queensland to have a conversation with the State Government to determine if it would be appropriate for the State Government to introduce legislation that forces these services to divulge addresses," he said.

"Potentially they should be paying their very minimal tourism levy which is $60 a year, so that they contribute towards the marketing of Noosa along with all the other visitor accommodation types."

"The downside is that we don't necessarily know how many there are or where they are."

Brent Thomas, from Airbnb, said the company was not opposed to the introduction of a levy but believes it should be applied to all accommodation providers. 


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