State governments have indicated they are considering the findings and recommendations of the study into short-term holiday rental platforms commissioned by the Australian Coastal Councils Association.

The NSW Department of Finance Services and Innovation has indicated it will consider suggestions from the research report in the process of drafting a Code of Conduct for the short-term rental accommodation industry.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Government has advised that the study report has been forwarded to the Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development to consider as it finalises the government’s position in relation to the issue over coming months. Subsequent correspondence from the Office of the Minister for Innovation and Tourism Development in Queensland, Kate Jones MP, advised: ‘Tourism is a cornerstone of Queensland’s economy, so it’s important that an appropriate balance is struck in any Queensland response to the short-term peer-to-peer accommodation sector to create opportunities for tourism industry growth, while also safeguarding hosts, guests and the community.’

The report is also being considered by Consumer Affairs Victoria,  the West Australian Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the Tasmanian Department of Justice.

The study into planning responses to the impact of short-term holiday rental platforms was conducted by a research team led by Professor Nicole Gurran, Chair of Urban and Regional Planning and Policy, at The University of Sydney.

The report recommended that State governments need to help councils by setting baseline standards for short term rentals in residential areas and clarify the definition and use of short-term rental accommodation. They should support local planning and regulatory responses which reflect the specific contexts of each community and ensure that online platforms share data and help ensure local requirements are met.

The report notes that holiday homes are part of the character of coastal towns and there is no dispute that online rental platforms have created new tourism opportunities in coastal areas. However, in some communities, the rapid growth in listings has emerged as a major challenge with potentially serious consequences. “Coastal councils have found long-standing planning and management practices have not kept pace with the changes occurring in the holiday rental market,” said Barry Sammels, Chair of the Australian Coastal Councils Association.

Professor Nicole Gurran said holiday home-sharing via online platforms, has a particular significance for coastal communities where tourism forms an integral part of the local economy. “Getting the right planning and regulatory framework in place to manage short-term rentals in the digital era is critical to the economic and social sustainability of these communities,” she said.