Alderman Darren Alexander defends motion before City of Launceston on regulating Airbnb, Stayz and others

Future-proofing Northern Tasmania and ensuring there is equity between accommodation providers is the aim of a notice of motion to go before the City of Launceston on Monday.

That’s according to Alderman Darren Alexander, who said his suggestion to investigate regulation of the share-economy was not about preventing competition.

At the meeting he will seek support for the preparation of a policy paper on regulating accommodation.

“There are some concerned hoteliers and accommodation providers in Launceston who seems to think the pendulum is swinging too far to one side,” Ald Alexander said.

“What I am actually doing is having a grown-up conversation with our council, that’s responsible for this, for the betterment of the city … so I am asking our officers to investigate, if you look at my notice of motion and read it you will see that it doesn’t say ban Airbnb or Short Stayz.”

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Alderman Alexander said he recognised the good things short-term accommodation offered to the economy and the region, but it did not come with the same compliance costs forced upon hotels and motels.

“We have got somewhere between $200 and $300 million that is going to be invested in our city, with the possibility of four new hotels,” he said.

“All of those hotels create jobs in construction, seasonal employment and jobs in full-time employment, and these guys have huge compliance costs.”

He said the hotel operators would be offering commercial rates and good services but could be at a disadvantage when compared to hosts in the share-economy.

“I just think that the compliance relaxation that we have given them is too much and I am asking the question of should we allow this,” Ald Alexander said.

”What’s going to happen in 10 years time if we don’t have some control of our own destiny and own visitor economy.”