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Full Debate - Short-stay Accommodation and Housing Crisis

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Tags: Housing, Housing Crisis, Short Stay Accommodation, Tenants Union

Short Stay Accommodation Regulation - Full Debate: Cassy O'Connor, 13 June, 2018.


Ms O'CONNOR (Denison- Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I wish to point out that there is a problem with the way the schedule runs. It is always the Greens who lose time because the clock strikes at 5 p.m., there is a vote and it cuts into our time. It is frustrating and I argue that it is unfair. 

Madam Speaker, I move -

That the House -

(1) Notes recent data released by the University of Tasmania (UTAS) which shows that in Greater Hobart, at least 1993 properties are listed on just one short stay platform, more than double the amount listed in 2016.

(2) Recognises that of these, over 75% are entire properties, not just rooms in a primary residence.

(3) Acknowledges that peak usage of short stay platforms is yet to hit.

(4) Further recognises the significant detrimental impact short stay accommodation is having on the housing market.

(5) Calls upon the Government to -

(a) pause the issuing of new permits for visitor accommodation in existing dwellings in residential zones, with such pause to be reviewed by Parliament each year before expiration;

(b) make visitor accommodation in existing dwellings a discretionary use, with impacts on housing availability and affordability in the performance criteria; and

(c) commit resources towards enforcing compliance with visitor accommodation rules, including operation without a permit where a permit is required.

We require a vote. This motion is our initial response to what is clearly a growing housing crisis in Tasmania. Hobart is now the nation's least affordable capital city. We now have the lowest vacancy rates in the country. We have people sleeping at the showgrounds, families sleeping at the showgrounds, at the Domain, sleeping rough in our city every night of the week.

We, as a parliament, must take the opportunity to press pause on the listing of new whole homes on the Airbnb and Stayz platforms. There is no question short stay accommodation, whole properties that would otherwise have been rented, is having a profound and measurable impact on the availability of homes in greater Hobart, in other parts of Tasmania and on the affordability of those homes. I have two amendments to move to the motion. I have been in discussion with my colleagues about this. I hope these amendments receive support.

I acknowledge the long-standing work of people in the housing and homelessness and Social Services sector and share, on behalf of the Greens, their depending concern about the housing situation in Tasmania. There has been an underinvestment in social and affordable housing. There has been a failure of the planning laws to ensure that we can increase the supply of social and affordable housing and provide for social housing in new development areas. We had a housing strategy that was finalised in 2015 before the data went off the charts. The housing strategy delivered by the previous Human Services Minister, Mrs Petrusma, which was good work, is no longer. Not only is it not meeting its targets because there was not enough money put into the strategy in the first place, but it is no longer capable of responding to the situation that an increasing number of Tasmanians are finding themselves in.

We decided today was the day to bring on this debate because parliament has an opportunity to provide an immediate relief and a quick fix while we get the data and the policy response right to place a moratorium on new whole homes going onto Airbnb from that point forward. I note that the TasCOSS, Shelter, the Local Government Association of Tasmania and the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania have come together in a unique and impressive display of unity to say we need to do something to tackle this problem. There is widespread acknowledgement within the sector and among key stakeholders, and particularly among people who work on the frontline of housing distress and homelessness, that we must deal with the explosion in properties on the short-stay accommodation market.

This is the last private members' time before we come back on 21 August, so from a Greens point of view we could not live with ourselves and not use this time as an opportunity for the parliament to take some control over this situation. The market does not always get it right. Clearly, while Tasmania's population is growing and the economic times are improved,there are people who are victims of a growing population and the boom in visitor numbers. I point members to the research undertaken by the UTAS Institute for the Study of Social Change. This should be a wake-up call for every member in this House who represents their constituents and wants to be sure that housing that is available prioritises Tasmanians.

The overview of the data that has been released by the institute makes it very clear we have a problem on our hands and now we have the capacity to fix it. The key findings are that there have been constraints on the supply of new housing and a decline in housing completions relative to the five-year average since 2016; the population growth in Hobart is accelerating and net migration losses are declining; and there are significant increases in whole-property short-stay accommodation listings in the state, particularly in the Hobart local government area. It states:

Taken together, this data highlights a significant and growing gap in the Greater Hobart housing supply since 2016. Consequences of this, typically borne by the most vulnerable in our city, include low rental vacancy rates, rising rents and declining affordability that translate to increased housing stress and risk for low-income Tasmanians.

All members of the House today would have received correspondence from the Tenants Union of Tasmania. This is an organisation that is absolutely on the front line of the housing crisis. I acknowledge the outstanding work of the Tenants Union of Tasmania and I believe Ben Bartl from the Tenants Union is joining us in the Chamber today. The letter from the Tenants Union implores us to take this opportunity for action. It tells the heartbreaking story in the opening chapter of the human cost of not getting on top of the housing supply issue in the past term of government and not properly planning for the growth in visitor numbers. The correspondence to members starts with:

Over the past year the chronic shortage of safe, secure and affordable housing in Tasmania, particularly in Greater Hobart, has reached crisis point. It seems like every day there is a new story in the traditional media or on social media of men, women and children made homeless and having to live in tents, caravans and other less appealing places. As well as the media, our staff have also heard harrowing stories on our telephone advice line and face to face that points to a significant problem, namely the growth in the short-term accommodation industry at the expense of long-term rental accommodation. As a result there has been a number of adverse impacts, including increased rents as supply has reduced, growing unaffordability and increased insecurity.

The letter goes on to cite some of the key points from the UTAS report which finds that we have not reached peak Airbnb in Tasmania and, as we know, the increase in the number of whole properties going on to Airbnb is also driving up rents. The data that is cited from the UTAS report and the letter from the Tenants Union shows that there has been a 184 per cent increase in entire properties being rented out on Airbnb in Tasmania between July 2016 and February 2018; a 244 per cent increase in entire properties being rented out on Airbnb in the local government between July 2016 and February 2018; and a 212 per cent increase in entire properties being rented out on Airbnb in Greater Hobart between July 2016 and February 2018.

The numbers are frightening and they do not detail the human story here. What they tell us is that the market is out of control and that market failure and a failure of government to regulate properly is putting Tasmanians out of homes that they otherwise would have had to rent. When you look at the data in the UTAS report it makes it really clear that we are not talking about families, singles, couples who choose to rent out a part of their home on the short-stay market. We are not talking here about HomeShare. 

In rare situations we are talking about Tasmanians who have enough of an income to afford an investment property that they can then put onto the short stay market. There are some obviously who have that, but when you look at the data - and now I speak to you, Mr Jaensch - it is very clear that what is happening here are multi-listings so we are getting corporations basically buying up homes in Tasmania and adding then to an Airbnb portfolio. What we see here in this report is an increasing proportion of multi-listings which may be an indicator of increasing activity by commercial operators and professional managers. Data shows an increase in multi-listings during the period to close to half of all listings. You can see it there; it is very graphically depicted. What we are talking about is interstate and overseas money being invested into the real estate market in Tasmania at a cost to Tasmanians who need a home. It is as straightforward as that.

It comes down to what we value as a community and what we prioritise. Surely we should prioritise providing homes for Tasmanians. This is not a wealthy state. Everyone here knows that. We recognise that the federal Liberal Government made it very difficult for the previous government to invest adequately in increasing the supply of social housing. One of the first acts of budget savagery they did which had a direct impact on the supply of affordable housing was to cut the National Rental Affordability Scheme. That instantly evaporated a pool of money which was available to increase the supply of affordable housing.

There has been no debt relief offered to Tasmania for the crippling albatross of the Commonwealth-state housing debt. When we were in government I went first to speak to then minister, Ms Plibersek, about the Commonwealth-state housing debt and then Ms Giddings, who was the premier and the treasurer, and I spoke to the then federal treasurer, Wayne Swan. Both times we were told effectively that if the Commonwealth forgave our debt then they would have to forgive the debts of other states and territories that have not paid their debts. The issue is that we are a small and economically disadvantaged state and having a Commonwealth-state housing debt which sits at around $200 million means that at least three- quarters of the money that comes from the Commonwealth for the Commonwealth-state housing agreement gets sent in the post straight back to Canberra as our repayment on the debt. So we had an under-investment from the federal government and then we had it compounded by a substantial under-investment from the previous Liberal government and we were three years into the term before any more substantial money was put into the housing supply basket.

We have Shelter Tasmania making it clear that Hobart is the least affordable capital city in Australia. We have respected researchers from the University of Tasmania making it clear we have a problem on our hands. We know that the first step to the solution is to press pause. What we are talking about here is a moratorium on new permits being issued for whole homes. 

I can now indicate to the House the two amendments I seek to move. I understand Labor's Ms Standen has some amendments too and I hope the amendments I am putting forward ease some of her concerns but let us have the discussion.

Madam Speaker, I move -

That paragraph 5(a) be deleted and replaced with the following new paragraph 5(a) -

(a) pause the issuing of new permits for visitor accommodation in existing dwellings in residential zones until such time as Parliament resolves, by way of motion, that the pause should no longer apply;

That paragraph 5(b) be deleted and replaced with the following new paragraph 5(b) - 

(b) ensure that current exemptions from permit requirements, including principle place of residence exemptions, still apply.


It was originally our intention to only apply this motion to the listing of whole properties and entire homes in the Greater Hobart area, but since the conversations I have had with people working in the sector, I recognise the growth in Airbnb and the impact on housing availability and affordability is also having an impact on Launceston, and places like St Helens, and other parts of Tasmania.

Madam SPEAKER - If you are about put through an amendment, you have to formally table a copy.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Madam Speaker. I did provide the amendments to the opposition spokespeople. I thought they had been sent through but that is fine, that is my responsibility.

We believe this motion is entirely worthy of the House's support. We believe it would help the Minister for Housing to have a more informed response and the breathing space that is needed in order to ensure we get the policy settings right. I expect to hear from the minister that we do not know about the impact of Airbnb on housing supply and rents and that we should wait until the Legislative Council inquiry is complete. 

We know about the impact of short-stay accommodation on the housing rental market and on rents. The data is in. There are obviously data gaps and the UTAS report makes it clear - and this is a problem for government and for people trying to get on top of this issue - that the number of permits granted does not reflect the scale of short-stay accommodation activity in Hobart. We understand that there are investors who list their properties on Airbnb and do not seek permits. Obviously there needs to be compliance, resourcing towards compliance, monitoring and enforcement of the short-stay accommodation market, which is why the notice of motion we have on the table today states in the final paragraph that we must commit resources towards enforcing compliance with visitor accommodation rules, including operation without a permit where a permit is required. 

In closing, this is the complete motion that I am asking the House to support today on behalf of the Greens, but more importantly on behalf of Tasmanians looking for a home and needing a home:

(1) Notes recent released by the University of Tasmania, which shows that in greater Hobart, at least 1993 properties are listed on just one short-stay platform, more than double the amount listed in 2016. 

(2) Recognises that of these, over 75 per cent are entire properties, not just rooms in a primary residence. 

(3) Acknowledges that peak usage of short-stay platforms is yet to hit.

(4) Further recognises the significant detrimental impact short-stay accommodation is having on the housing market.

(5) Calls upon the Government to:

(a) pause the issuing of new permits for visitor accommodation in existing dwellings in residential zones until such time as Parliament resolves by way of motion that the pause should no longer apply;

(b) ensure that current exemptions from permit requirements including principal place of residence exemptions still apply; and

(c) commit resources towards enforcing compliance with visitor accommodation rules, including operation without a permit where a permit is required.

This is a sensible step. It places a moratorium on whole homes owned by investors being placed on Airbnb because more money can be made out of Airbnb than can be made out of providing a rental home to a family, a couple or an individual that needs it. This is a tool that parliament can use now to make sure that we get the policy settings right, that we give the Minister for Housing breathing space and the opportunity to be less concerned about property investor's rights and more concerned about a strong response to the growth of Airbnb and whole homes going on the Airbnb market. 

We could make a real difference today to the lives of Tasmanians. This is not a panacea but a moratorium on whole homes being listed on Airbnb until we get it right. This does not impact on anyone who has a property on Airbnb or Stayz right now, not one person who is in the Airbnb market now. What we are saying is that if we prioritise as a parliament providing homes for Tasmanians, then we must support this motion and we must support a moratorium on new listings of whole properties - homes that would otherwise be rented out - on the short-stay accommodation platforms. 

[5.28 p.m.]
Ms STANDEN (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, I will start with amendments to the motion, and forgive my inexperience in procedural matters here. We would be happy with the Greens amendments to 5(a) and the replacement of 5(b), but we would want to go further. Do I outline those now? 

Madam SPEAKER - My understanding is we cannot vote on your amendment until we have voted on Ms O'Connor's, but if you wish to articulate them you can foreshadow. 

Ms STANDEN - I will outline the full amendments. Our amendments would be to leave out 5(b). We would be happy with the Greens' amendment to replace that with ensure that current exemptions from permanent requirements including principle place of residence exemptions still apply.

Add in 5(c), the pause on new approvals to remain in place until the findings of the parliamentary inquiry.

And 5(d), parliament to use the findings of the parliamentary inquiry to ensure the best policies and regulations are put in place to protect our state and complement the opportunity that short stay accommodation provides.

Leave out the existing 5(c). The existing 5(c) reads -

Commit resources towards enforcing compliance with visitor accommodation rules including operation without a permit where a permit is required.

Instead, insert 5(e) -

Government to outline appropriate funding towards enforcing compliance with visitor accommodation rules, including operation without a permit where a permit is required.

I hope that is clear. Labor congratulates the Leader of the Greens for putting this motion on a pause for short stay accommodation. Labor has been calling for a pause on short stay accommodation for stand-alone investment properties in high stress areas in particular and understands the amendments that the Greens have moved today to incorporate other areas of high stress, including Launceston and other places.

We are keen to support the current Legislative Council inquiry and to see the outcomes and recommendations from that flow through in this place.

Importantly, we see that putting this pause in place will send an important signal to the market. If just one home is released to the private rental market as a result of this motion, that would be good. One in three permits issued is for whole, entire residences being made available in the market. Clearly there are issues with the existing regulatory and compliance regime. It would be good if we see tightening and monitoring in this space. 

From the last couple of weeks, the rental affordability index has highlighted the extraordinary situation of Hobart overtaking Sydney as the capital with least rental affordability. This is no longer an issue that only impacts low income people. This is impacting people creeping into the low to middle income brackets, blue collar workers who are simply being squeezed out of the private rental market.

We are seeing unprecedented situations with homelessness and so on. Regulation in this space will be a good thing for sending that signal to the market for putting a pause on short stay visitor accommodation. This will be a move in the right direction.

Mr JAENSCH (Braddon - Minister for Housing) - Madam Speaker, I also propose an amendment - 

Ms O'Connor - Which you have chosen not to share with other members of the House.

Mr JAENSCH - I have it here. So what I would like to take your advice on is how the amendments that have already been tabled and foreshadowed can be addressed so we then have an amended motion that I can then speak to and I will put mine so we have a chance to discuss that.

Ms O'Connor - Sure, it would be lovely, and in fact, polite, of you to provide a copy.

Mr JAENSCH - I shall do that as soon as we clear the deck.

Ms O'Connor - This is not going to play out well for you guys if you are going to do this with amendments on the run. It is not going to work for you. It is not in the spirit of goodwill.

Madam SPEAKER - We are going to move Ms O'Connor's motion and the amendments first. The question is that the amendment be agreed to.

Amendment negatived.

Madam SPEAKER - I am now going to put Ms Standen's amendments.

Ms Standen - Our amendments would actually include the amendments put by the Greens so we will be replacing 5(a), we will be leaving out 5(b) and inserting instead 5(b), 5(c) and 5(d) and leaving out former 5(c) and replacing it with a new 5(e). I appreciate it is very complicated.

Mr Brooks - I believe Ms O'Connor's amendment has been dealt with and Ms Standen is now moving her amendment that includes aspects of Ms O'Connor's amendment. We do not have a problem if they include the amendment because it is a secondary amendment. For ease and given the time constraints we should deal with Ms Standen's amendment then the Government has an amendment to move as well.

Ms Standen - Our amendments as tabled would not include the last part of the sentence to 5(a) so it would read instead of 'pause the issuing of new permits for visitor accommodation in existing dwellings in residential zones and such pause to be reviewed by parliament each year before expiration', that would be replaced with 'pause the issuing of new permits for visitor accommodation in existing dwellings in residential zones'.

Ms O'Connor - Ms Standen, given the way you have stepped through these amendments we could accept your amendments in their entirety.

We are now voting on all your amendments, as I understand it. We might get some advice from the Clerk but we could do that because it does not diminish the effect of the original motion.

Ms Standen - That is right.

The House divided -

NOES 11 

Dr Broad
Ms Butler
Ms Dow
Ms Haddad
Ms Houston
Ms O'Byrne
Mr D O'Byrne
Ms O'Connor
Ms Standen
Ms White
Dr Woodruff (Teller) 

Ms Archer
Mr Barnett
Mr Brooks
Ms Courtney
Mr Ferguson
Mr Gutwein
Mr Hodgman
Mr Jaensch
Mrs Petrusma
Mr Rockliff
Mr Shelton (Teller


Mr Bacon
Mr Hidding

Madam SPEAKER - The result of the division is 11 Ayes and 11 Noes. I therefore have to use a casting vote. In accordance with standing order 167 I cast my vote with the Noes. With the indulgence of the House I will again explain my decision. Given that I have been furnished with an alternative motion and this is an issue very close to my heart, as all of you would know, and given the fact that there is such poor compliance with permits at the moment, I am not certain how a pause will work in effect. I believe the motion before the House significantly strengthens the rules and I urge the Government to work on it as fast as possible. We will now take the amendment by the Minister for Housing. 

Amendment negatived.


Mr JAENSCH (Braddon - Minister for Housing) - As the Minister for Housing I appreciate the efforts and the intentions of the many people and groups who are trying hard to help to resolve the current housing shortage in Tasmania and the severe housing stress affecting many Tasmanian households, particularly in the Greater Hobart area.

I will confirm that the Opposition and the Greens have a copy of the proposed amendment.

Ms O'Connor - Yes, we got it five minutes ago.

Mr JAENSCH - Thank you. We acknowledge that the housing situation that faces us requires a multi-pronged response and appropriate regulation of visitor accommodation is a part of that response. The Government has shown we are ready to listen to and act on evidence and expert advice, as we have done on receipt of recommendations recently from the independent Tasmanian Planning Commission. We are committed to listening to and working with key stakeholders to delivers policy that better meets expectations and that will work.

I believe we have done this. I believe we have also shown that we are prepared to do this well with the Land Supply Bill that was tabled yesterday which has been substantially modified in consultation with industry and community sector representatives. That is another example of our intention to work with people to get these things right. We take the same approach today.

We accept that there is a demand to properly regulate the visitor accommodation sector in Tasmania and to police those regulations and to do both of these things informed by reliable evidence and expert advice. On this basis we note that the original motion, even with the various amendments that have been proposed, contains elements that are going to be very difficult to make work and also, as acknowledged by the mover, are likely to be largely ineffective.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. The minister is misleading. I said nothing of the sort. I said it would not fix the whole problem but it was part of a solution.

Mr JAENSCH - I recognise that the independent expert, the Tasmanian Planning Commission's recommended changes which have been accepted by the Government introduce a range of very new controls which will have a similar effect to the intent of those proposed to date, particularly with strata title properties. That has not been fully appreciated in the discussion so far. 

I note the following, which is important. It was identified by the Tourism Industry Council, TasCOSS, Shelter Tasmania and LGAT in their joint statement today, we need good evidence and we need clear communication of regulations if we expect people to comply with them.

Ms O'Connor - The evidence is in. Talk to people on the front line. Go up to the Domain.

Madam SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, could we please hear the minister.

Mr JAENSCH - There have been shortcomings with the existing reliance on permits that people voluntarily seek and that are policed by local government in that there has not been the uptake we would have expected. 

There is an acceptance by the peak bodies that good, reliable data that we intend to extract from a new agreement with Airbnb and Stayz can be used in the process of ensuring compliance and can give those new regulations and permit processes the opportunities to work that they may not have had so far.

We have a set of regulations now. Part of the issue that has been identified is that people do not know enough about what they should be doing to comply with them. What is also proposed is another set of regulations that apply in the original motion for a period between now and when either parliament decides or on the other amendment, when the upper House inquiry decides. We would change them again. What we would have is one set of regulations that have been announced and will start in July. Another set that may change -

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.


Mr JAENSCH - If the Greens proposal had come across and we change the categories of properties again, and changed the regulations again when the upper House inquiry comes through, we would have three steps of regulations. We would be asking people to comply with them and there is that whole communication task that comes with it.


The amendment we have accepts the assertion that visitor accommodation is a factor in the management of housing supply in Tasmania. It gives new regulations developed by the TPC, adopted by the Government, based on evidence, consultation and expert advice, a chance to work. It clearly communicates to the industry what the new rules are and provides an evidence base and hard data from the listing companies that we can provide to councils and work with them to ensure compliance in accordance with the rules. Give these things a chance to work properly. It gives people who were involved in the sharing economy a chance to know what the rules are and that they are to be policed. We will continue to monitor the situation using proper evidence and data as TasCOSS, Tourism Industry Council, Shelter Tasmania and Local Government Association of Tasmania have called for.

We are prepared to commit to do these things, to note the calls from TasCOSS, Shelter Tasmania, the Local Government Association of Tasmania and the Tourism Industry Council for reliable data to assist the impact, to secure those data sharing agreements agreed to in the communiqué from the housing summit in March and to bring forward that evidence as soon as possible. It can be used to inform policy and to ensure compliance. We want to work with the local government sector and those peak groups on ways to better inform the community and the participants in the sharing economy. They will understand what is expected of them and they can comply. We want to work with local government to ensure they have the tools and information needed to police that compliance and make sure it happens.

In recognition, this alone is not going to solve it. We have a housing shortage that has many dimensions to it. We need to continue to accelerate the investment in the supply of new homes for people in Tasmania who need them. We also commit this delivery of new homes by the end of June 2019 and commit that over half of that supply will be delivered in the Greater Hobart region, where the pressure is greatest right now. We recognise that and commit to that as an outcome of this process.

That is our proposed amendment. We believe it is consistent with what the tourism industry, ccommodation, social services sector and the local government sector, who we would be asking to police any of these regulations, and what they have been calling for and it is consistent with key agreed outcomes of the housing summit.

Madam Speaker, I move -

An amendment to motion 28 -

(1) Remove the words 'significant detrimental' from clause 4.

(2) Remove clauses 5(a), (b) and (c) and replace them with the following clauses -

(a) note the urgent calls from the Tasmanian Council for Social Services, Shelter Tasmania, the Local Government Association of Tasmania and the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania for reliable data to assess the impact of short stay accommodation in Tasmania;

(b) secure the data sharing agreements with Airbnb and Stayz as outlined in the housing summit communiqué to provide an evidence base to inform policy to improve transparency in the rapidly changing sharing economy;

(c) work with the local government sector and peak industry groups on ways to better inform the Tasmanian community to ensure a clear understanding of the regulations in place for short stay accommodation;

(d) work with local government to ensure compliance with visitor accommodation rules, including the potential for increased penalties for permit non-compliance; and

(e) commit to the delivery of 900 new homes by the end of June 2019 with over half of that supply to be delivered in the greater Hobart region.

Ms O'CONNOR (Denison - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, tonight the parliament has absolutely let down people who are desperate for a home. It has let down people who are working on the front line of the homelessness crisis we are having in Tasmania. I point out to you, Madam Speaker, that what has been played here is an attempt to make you vote with the Government in order to ensure no action is taken on this issue. We have given parliament an opportunity today to place a moratorium on whole homes going on Airbnb. You know that is a problem. Instead, we have this. The Liberals will, 'note', secure the data sharing agreement. 

Who cares, honestly, that you will work with local government? Then you will begin your own self-promotion. This is a rubbish amendment. It will do nothing to stop the explosion of Airbnb in Tasmania that is shutting ordinary people out of homes. You have manipulated the processes of this place at the expense of people who know. They know Airbnb is ripping homes out of the rental market. They know it. Speak to people.

The guy who cuts my hair had lived in the one home for 12 years and he is told to leave because it is going to be an Airbnb property. It is happening all over Tasmania. It is happening in places such as St. Helens. What is our priority as a parliament? Our priority as a parliament is to look after people who elected us and to make sure we are not protecting the property classes. 

You are speaking for the Tourism Industry Council before you speak for people who represent the housing and homelessness sector in Tasmania. You have bought yourself time with this rubbish amendment to do nothing at all about the explosion in Airbnb. This commits you to nothing, nothing whatsoever. You have utterly let down people who are right now sleeping on the Domain, sleeping at the Showgrounds, sleeping in the rivulet and at the Coleman Pavilion. It is a disgrace. On your head. This parliament had an opportunity to do something about this. On his head.

Madam SPEAKER - This a very critical issue and close to my heart, as you would be aware. I am going to suspend the House for about five minutes while I seek advice.

Sitting suspended from 6.01 p.m. to 6.05 p.m.

The Houses divided -


Madam SPEAKER - The result of the division is 11 Ayes and 11 Noes. I therefore have to use a casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 167. I doubt I will sleep tonight. 

Today we have been presented with two motions and I have great sympathy for both. But at the end of the day I have an obligation to vote for what will actually work and I have taken advice from the department on the limited mechanism available to implement a pause. Their advice is there are also very limited options available to implement regulations that could pause any further entire homes being listed on platforms such as Airbnb and Stayz.

The only options that would be available are to legislate for the pause, possibly an amendment bill to LUPA, or to seek another interim planning directive. The issuing of an interim planning directive first requires that the commission make a recommendation to the minister that a draft planning directive should have interim effect. There are no options for the minister to make interim planning directives without the input of the commission. Given the commission has only just recently handed down its recommendations on planning directive number 6 it is hard to see how an interim planning directive that implements a pause on new entire house listings would be agreed to. And it goes on and on with a number of reasons. 

In that case and given that the minister has committed to get on with building 900 homes I will be voting with the Ayes.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.