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Broome Habitat Resort operator Michael Leake welcomes new short-stay rentals legislation

Cain AndrewsBroome Advertiser
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Broome Habitat Resort owner Michael Leake.
Camera IconBroome Habitat Resort owner Michael Leake. Credit: Cain Andrews/Broome Advertiser

A Broome resort operator and the Tourism Council WA have welcomed the Cook Government’s introduction of legislation for short-term rental accommodation reforms into State Parliament.

The legislation includes the establishment of a short-term rental accommodation register to be operated by Consumer Protection.

It mandates that all STRA properties be registered before advertising or accepting bookings.

An Airbnb property on offer in Broome.
Camera IconAn Airbnb property on offer in Broome. Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

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The register is expected to open in mid-2024, with all properties, both hosted and unhosted, required to be registered by January 1, 2025.

Broome Habitat Resort owner Michael Leake welcomed the legislation but said it was a long time coming.

“It’s about bloody time. This legislation has been sitting there for nearly three years,” he said.

“It’s certainly going to help because a lot of people walk in and out of the short-term holiday rental market, and that doesn’t help the local tourism industry.”

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the reforms will provide certainty for tourism investors, particularly in regional areas.

“It is important that regional local governments have the ability to require development approval because Airbnb unchecked can lead to over tourism in an area,” Mr Hall said.

Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the reforms will provide certainty for tourism investors, particularly in regional areas.
Camera IconTourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall said the reforms will provide certainty for tourism investors, particularly in regional areas. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

“What we want to see is proper private investment in new sustainable tourism accommodation for visitors, rather than visitors pushing out residents through Airbnb.

“Together with the State Government’s announcement of a Cabinet tourism investment committee, today’s reforms will trigger new investment in regional tourism.”

Mr Hall said new development of resorts, eco retreats, serviced apartments and regional accommodation with staff housing was also needed.

Commerce Minister Sue Ellery emphasised the reform’s role in addressing the tight rental market.

“We believe these reforms have struck a balance between more robust regulation of short-stay accommodation across the State and incentivising owners to make their properties available to people who need a place to call home,” she said.

Planning and Housing Minister John Carey said the reforms were balanced for both tourism and housing needs.

“The new short-term rental accommodation planning reforms will provide metropolitan local governments with guidance on STRA land uses in their planning schemes and frameworks through a balanced approach,” he said.

For further details on the STRA Incentive Scheme and planning reforms, visit the WA Government website’s STRA Initiatives page.

Planning and Housing Minister John Carey said the reforms were balanced for both tourism and housing needs.
Camera IconPlanning and Housing Minister John Carey said the reforms were balanced for both tourism and housing needs. Credit: Anna Cox/RegionalHUB

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