Industry calls for fines for non-compliant tourism accommodation
The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAA) has made a submission to the Productivity Commission calling for fines to be applied to non-compliant tourism accommodation.
The Productivity Commission is undertaking a public inquiry into barriers to setting up, transferring and closing a business and identifying options for reducing barriers where appropriate.
"The Accommodation Association's base policy position is that there should be less regulation for businesses in our industry, not more", said Accommodation Association CEO, Richard Munro.
"However, given that in the 2013-14 financial year, there were more than 50 million room nights occupied in Australia, the duty of care to guests who stay in accommodation establishments is paramount. In essence, the level of regulation in Australia's accommodation industry must strike a balance between the safety of guests and the cost of administration and compliance."
"Companies that create a platform for residential properties to be used – illegally – for tourism accommodation are severely compromising the safety of guests and should be the subject of a much stronger compliance regime."
The Accommodation Association emphasised the following key points in their submission:
- The Accommodation Association supports the Productivity Commission developing a standard, national definition for tourism accommodation which should be that tourism accommodation is any continuous stay which is not longer than 90 days.
- Building fire safety is a significant factor in the cost of maintaining a safe tourism accommodation business in Australia.
- Companies which generate business by creating a platform for residential properties to be used for short-stay tourism accommodation are displaying a flagrant disregard for numerous regulatory requirements, including planning laws, building fire safety, disability access, insurance and payment of taxes.
- Each regime should be funded by significant fines for non-compliance of not less than $1 million per property.
- Zoning arrangements by local government authorities should ensure that traditional holiday rentals will not be adversely impacted by changes to the regulatory regime that the Association is advocating for.