Holiday homes in regional destinations have been booked out like never before with people stuck in WA and it has opened the door to more problems for local councils to consider.
- The City of Busselton wants short-stay hosts to live within 30 minutes of their property so they can respond to problems
- The sector welcomes a discussion on regulations after busy COVID bookings
- Banning holiday homes in certain areas could form part of the city’s new regulations
Winter in the state’s South West usually signifies quieter times but since COVID-19 hit and borders closed a constant stream of tourists have remained in the region.
For the City of Busselton, home to some of the most popular tourist destinations in southern WA, it has led it to suggest a range of regulations to combat growing concerns from residents about short-stay accommodation in the region.
One proposal includes banning short-stay owners from living further than 30 minutes away from their property and reducing the time it takes owners to respond to complaints from 24 hours to 12.
The city has also pitched the idea of having exclusion zones where there will be a ban on holiday home approvals.
“We want to make sure that we are looking at a policy that looks after the holiday homes, which are an integral part of our tourism accommodation and have been for many decades.
“But also recognise the impact that they can and do have sometimes on residential neighbourhoods.”
Ban on properties not a solution, says business owner
John Ryall runs a business that oversees about 140 short-stay holiday homes throughout the City of Busselton and Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.
He said it was an ideal time to explore short-stay regulations and welcomed the discussion.
“That amenity for local residents is of paramount importance for sustainability of our sector and obviously having a discussion around that is a good thing.”
He said much of what the city was proposing made sense but introducing exclusion areas would be problematic.
“I’m not sure how you could arbitrarily define those zones and what impact that would have on people’s already approved development applications with short-stay status,” he said.
The city will put the proposals out for public discussion with a range of stakeholders.