Tourism accommodation body predicts a climb down.
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Mr Kean’s announcement, with some details expected by 5pm today (Wednesday), will form the government’s response to a NSW Legislative Assembly Committee on Environment and Planning report into short-term holiday letting, released in October 2016. The report recommended the NSW government adopt a light regulatory touch to short-term rentals and said restrictions should be eased so that home owners could rent out a room – or their entire house – without being fined by local councils for failing to lodge a development application for change of use. The report, which examined how the sector should be legally regulated, split home owners and renters, cheered retailers and restaurateurs and horrified hoteliers, owner corporations and strata residents. Local councils will also be closely scrutinising the NSW government’s position and hoping for clarity and guidance on how they should regulate the sharing economy through the planning policies they apply in their own backyards. This came up in last year’s committee report, which recommended a concrete definition of short-term rental accommodation (STRA) to help local government, for example specifying the number of bedrooms that could be occupied or the number of days a property was rented in one year. The committee also recommended giving NSW councils more detail around planning regulations and how to apply these to STRA. Another suggestion was that the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) on exempt and complying development be amended to permit STRA and make the process quicker and easier. Local councils has responded quite differently to Airbnb depending on their location. Some NSW coastal councils, such as Gosford, Pittwater, Shoalhaven and Kiama have welcomed Airbnb but others like Byron Shire Council have battled with an onslaught of partygoers, while rising house prices lock locals out of the market. Meanwhile, many metropolitan Sydney councils, such as City of Sydney and Randwick have demanded planning permission for short-term accommodation as complaints from residents grow. Although the inquiry recommended greenlighting Airbnb and sweeping away penalties, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA), the peak body for the hotel industry, is tentatively predicting that the Minister will be more circumspect. A TAA spokesman said that while the NSW government was unlikely to follow the lead of cities like New York, Berlin or San Francisco and ban Airbnb lets that were not owner-occupied, it was hopeful that some safeguards would be in place to protect residents from city apartment blocks being turned into 'quasi hotels'. “It has been hard to ignore the millions of dollars that Airbnb has poured into ads and MP’s ‘advocacy’ over the past few months but we are confident the NSW government will be able to differentiate between genuine 'sharing' and the commercial exploitation of the new online platforms,” he said. There is a possibility that the government will establish a committee to examine the more contentious aspects of short-term rentals. TAA CEO Carol Giuseppi said in her response to the original inquiry that TAA did not oppose genuine sharing, where the owner was present during the stay, but that figures from Inside Airbnb had shown this was not the majority of cases. Inside Airbnb reported that 61 per cent of Sydney listings were for whole houses or apartments and that 39 per cent of these were available for 365 days a year, a sign they were effectively functioning as commercial businesses. Almost one-third were listings for multiple properties. “Our biggest concern is that city apartments will be turned into quasi-hotels, which has already taken place though in a number of cases residents have gone to court to force commercial operators out,” said the spokesman. “The concern is the NSW government could make it harder for residents to keep Airbnb out, thereby wrecking their community and going against all the rules that were originally in place to keep the apartments for residents only.” Instead, the TAA wants to outlaw those short-term lets that are obviously commercial and for councils to be given stringent powers to enforce the rules. It is also hoping that the state government will limit the number of days accommodation can be let out in a year. The TAA believes that operators like Airbnb should be accountable for properties being compliant, in order to protect the safety of renters and other residents from nuisance. [post_title] => NSW government’s response to Airbnb report imminent [post_excerpt] => Tourism accommodation body predicts a climb down. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 26941 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-21 11:16:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-21 01:16:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26941 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26922 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-04-18 16:21:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-18 06:21:39 [post_content] => Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announces the end of 457 visas. Pic: YouTube. By Madeline Woolway Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced today that his government would abolish 457 visas, replacing them with a new temporary visa. “We’ll no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” Turnbull said via a Facebook video. “However, it is important businesses still get access to the skills they need to grow and invest, so the 457 visa will be replaced by a new temporary visa to recruit the best and the brightest in the national interest.” Mr Turnbull said the 457 visa scheme had "lost its credibility". The new visa will require workers to have previous work experience, a police check, better English language proficiency and labour market testing. The government will also establish a new training fund with the aim of filling skills gaps. It is understood that there will be two types of visa: a two-year visa, with a 'substantially reduced' number of skills that qualify or a four-year visa, where better English skills will be demanded. In March 2017, the government cancelled fast tracked 457 visas for the fast food industry. Writing for Hospitality after Trump's election, Justin Browne said the 457 visa program was at its lowest level of approvals in five years, outlining the merits of utilising overseas talent under the program. With the hospitality industry in the midst of a skills shortage, a number of chefs have taken to social media to air their thoughts on the decision. On Bishop Sessa's Facebook page a message read: "Good luck Australia! Good luck finding Australians willing to work and be trained. "Who genuinely thinks we prefer to employee foreigners? "Who imagines investing time, money and effort in an employee with a finite future in our business is our preferred business model? "Who really believes that given an option between an Australian resident and a visa holder with the same experience/qualifications we would choose the visa holder? Eau De Vie's Sven Almenning said: "This has the potential of being absolutely devastating for the hospitality industry. Chefs in particular are in high demand with a very limited local 'supply' of trained chefs. As someone who sponsors a number of people I can testify to always looking for Australian residents first (sponsorships are both expensive and risky for us), but often there simply are not enough locals with the skill level or experience that we need that apply for these jobs. Personally I am quite concerned about what this populist election move will mean for our industry." This story first appeared in Hospitality Magazine. [post_title] => Turnbull abolishes 457 visas [post_excerpt] => Temporary visas come in. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => turnbull-abolishes-457-visas [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-18 16:46:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-18 06:46:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26922 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26246 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2017-02-14 12:39:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-14 01:39:00 [post_content] => Opposition to forced NSW council mergers has been intense. Pic: Facebook. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has dumped pending regional council mergers but told Sydney councils they’ll have to win in court to stop their amalgamations from going ahead and the 20 completed mergers will stand. Ms Berejiklian and her Cabinet made the decision in an extraordinary Cabinet meeting this week. Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro – who was installed late last year after a disastrous Orange by-election result for Nationals leader Troy Grant, partly due to council mergers – called for a selective halting of regional council mergers in January. But while Mr Barilaro was keen for some amalgamations to be shelved – namely, Blayney Shire, Cabonne and Orange; Dungog and Maitland; Bathurst and Oberon; Uralla and Walcha- he was silent on other regional council mergers. The Cabinet’s decision means that mergers such as Shellharbour and Wollongong and Newcastle and Port Stephens will also be abandoned. The outcome is a massive blow to merger opponents in Sydney. There will be no plebiscites for those 19 councils who were merged in May last year [and the new Bayside Council in September], while Sydney councils still battling their mergers in court will have to win their cases or merge. Regional councils can now drop their expensive legal battles but the five metropolitan councils currently in the courts will need to win theirs to halt mergers, with another round of appeals likely to be heard in the NSW Supreme Court later this month. This includes councils such as Mosman, Woollahra, Strathfield, Hunters Hill and Ku-ring-gai. Premier is taking a significant political gamble in refusing to wind back mergers or hold plebiscites. Two Sydney by-elections are looming where voters may punish the State government at the ballot box for forced amalgamations. Former Health Minister Jillian Skinner’s North Shore seat is up for grabs, which includes the local government areas of Lane Cove, Mosman and North Sydney - all of which are the subjects of merger proposals. Former NSW Premier Mike Baird’s Manly seat will also spark a political contest. Northern Beaches Council was formed in May 2016 from Manly, Warringah and Pittwater Councils, a move vociferously opposed by some locals, who vowed to punish the government at the earliest opportunity. Both seats have been hotbeds of resistance to council mergers and are vulnerable to incursions by independent candidates. Council mergers may also have some influence on another imminent by-election. The resignation today (Tuesday) of Labor Gosford MP Kathy Smith due to ill health means a by-election in a marginal seat: Ms Jackson won Gosford by 200 votes in 2015 and Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils merged to become Central Coast Council in May last year. More to follow. [post_title] => Regional council mergers halted; Sydney mergers stand [post_excerpt] => No plebiscites. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => regional-council-mergers-halted-sydney-mergers-stand [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-15 16:10:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-15 05:10:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=26246 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25916 [post_author] => 659 [post_date] => 2016-12-21 09:42:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-20 22:42:21 [post_content] => Emu Plains Correctional Centre. The Baird government has backed down on building a pop-up prison for maximum security inmates in Western Sydney, after strong local opposition to the plans. NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott announced today (Wednesday) that the new quick-build prison for 400 inmates, which was to be built next to the 200-bed women’s prison at Emu Plains Correctional Centre, would not be going ahead. The NSW prison population is at record levels and the government is scrambling to deal with the crisis. A spokesperson for Mr Elliott said the NSW government had received a hydrologist’s report which indicated that the site, which is on a flood plain, was at risk of flooding. Mr Elliott said: “I have heard community concerns about the proposed expansion and updated flood modelling provided to Justice Infrastructure shows that the flooding risk with the proposed increase in capacity could not be fully addressed at the site. “We are continuing to look at additional sites to increase capacity in the NSW correctional system.” He said Emu Plains was chosen for expansion because it was a large open site within the Sydney metropolitan region and would have brought more than 400 new jobs to the local economy. Mr Elliott said the NSW Government would invest $3.8 billion over four years to provide about 7,000 additional beds across the state to cope with NSW’s increasing prisoner population. Shadow Minister for Corrections Guy Zangari said the government had been forced into an “embarrassing backflip” because it had failed to consult properly with residents or with its own planning department. Mr Zangari said the prison would have been built close to an area surrounded by houses, schools and a train station. “The community is outraged that they were never consulted about this pop-up prison. Now Minister Elliott has been forced into back-flipping on a flimsy plan that lacked detail about keeping nearby residents safe,” Mr Zangari said. “It took a community backlash to make the minister see sense and ditch this idea. It just goes to show how out of touch he is.” Mr Zangari blamed the Baird Government for creating “the worst prison bed crisis” in the state's history. He said 1700 inmates were expected to come into prison corrections next year but only 900 new beds. [post_title] => NSW government shelves pop-up prison after community backlash [post_excerpt] => Emu Plains site a no-go. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-government-shelves-pop-prison-community-backlash [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-02 15:11:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-02 05:11:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=25916 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 25133 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2016-09-30 00:03:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-29 14:03:18 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_25135" align="alignnone" width="287"] Adjunct Professor Trent Victor, working as the senior specialist in safety analysis and human factors at Volvo. This was said to be the first Australian driverless car trip.[/caption] Australia could unlock $95 billion a year in economic value and generate 16,000 new jobs by taking a more proactive approach to the introduction of autonomous vehicles in Australia, according to an economic analysis by Australia’s peak driverless vehicle organisation. The report, authored by economist Brian Haratsis, executive chairman of the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative’s (ADVI) program partner MacroPlanDimasi, argues a coordinated industry- and government-led approach is needed to mitigate the risks of rapid uncontrolled autonomous vehicle adoption from 2020. “This country is in need of a clear government-mandated roadmap for the rollout of automated vehicle technology to ensure we maximise the social, environmental and economic benefits automation can bring," Mr Haratsis said. “We have the high-tech research, design, testing and manufacturing capabilities to make us a leading exporter of mobility services and technology across the APAC region. By taking first-mover advantage in this emerging global industry, we can not only mitigate the forecast 40,000 jobs to be lost in car manufacturing, but create a new specialised high-tech export market.” “If the average $2 billion in assistance to car manufacturers between 1997 and 2012 were invested in intelligent mobility, direct employment could be doubled from 7,500 to 15,000. Add that to the estimated baseline $80 billion economic saving from improved road safety and congestion thanks to autonomous vehicle technology, and the incentives for swift and decisive action are clear.” The report found growing Australia’s stake in the global intelligent mobility sector from 0.25% to 1% would inject $15 billion into the economy and create 7,500 direct jobs and an additional 8,500 indirect jobs. Mr Haratsis said a prime example of the sector’s growth potential was the more than 75 ADVI partner organisations collaborating on driverless technology, many of which were already leading the world in research and deployment. ADVI is advocating for the development of a five-year funding and incentive package focused on research, development, demonstration and deployment similar to the UK’s £100m (AUD $177m) Intelligent Mobility Fund, which is predicted to fast-track £900b (AUD$1.6 trillion) in productivity benefits. The report cites research predicting shared autonomous vehicles will account for 10% of vehicle sales by 2030 and 30% of all kilometres travelled, with each shared vehicle replacing around eleven conventional vehicles. “Transitioning from a society of car ownership to car sharing will have significant benefits for road congestion and the environment,” Mr Haratsis said. “It’s also the much needed catalyst for changes to outdated funding mechanisms, including fuel excises, registration and licensing fees.” “The research shows our cities will see a 15-20% increase in land use efficiency through car park and road infrastructure reductions so it’s important that town planners, designers and engineers understand the implications automation will bring so they can start preparing now.” “For example, we need to ensure driverless vehicles integrate with our public transport options for ‘last mile journeys’ and we still encourage active people-powered travel within our cities so we don’t cause a congestion spike from autonomous vehicles shuttling commuters around in high volume environments.” In summary The ADVI believes that the Commonwealth Government should prepare and explore mechanisms to fund and manage the introduction of autonomous vehicles on the following basis:
- To maximise employment outcomes targeting 20,000 new jobs by 2025.
- To maximise the social and economic benefits of introducing AV’s in Australia.
- To maximise the technology spin-off industries in Australia.
- To put Australia in a competitive position to export mobility services expertise.
- To maximise the productivity of existing transport infrastructure.
- Create a new funding mechanism to replace the outdated system of shadow taxes, including fuel excises, registration, licensing fees etc.
- To create the opportunity to develop a new industry based on the delivery of a best of breed ‘mobility ecosystem.
- Assess whether Australia should own or invest in AV system control to collect, filter and interpret data and to make ethical decisions in emergency situations.
- To encourage vehicles to become electric, connected and automated.
- To manage the operational characteristics, ownership funding and maintenance of the AV operating system.
- To ensure that patents required to develop the AV operating system are developed and owned in Australia.
Emu Plains site a no-go.
Not driving them, building them.
Education is more than a course.
Power blame continues.
Up and up no go in Balmain.
220 new jobs to mind 400 prisoners.
The strikes roll on.
Online or in your work hours.
Airport strikes postponed until after Easter long weekend.
Complaint over $200 worth of funding