Tuesday, 21 February 2023
Questions without notice and ministers statements
Sarah MANSFIELD (Western Victoria) (12:34): (40) My question is for the minister representing the Minister for Consumer Affairs. Right now we are in the middle of a housing crisis, and thousands of properties across Victoria are sitting empty. Rather than giving a secure home to a family or an essential worker, short-stay properties are accumulating wealth for investors because they can make double the rent by leasing their second, third, fourth or 50th property, unregulated, through platforms like Airbnb. In my region of Western Victoria the Surf Coast shire has a vacancy rate below 1 per cent. If you are looking for a long-term rental today in Apollo Bay, there are only two properties listed on realestate.com. As the rental crisis worsens, will the government follow through on their commitment to urgently review our weak short-stay regulations?
Enver ERDOGAN (Northern Metropolitan – Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice, Minister for Victim Support) (12:35): I thank Ms Mansfield for her question and her interest in a matter that is directed to the Minister for Consumer Affairs. As is the practice of this place, I will take that question on notice and seek a response from the minister, as set out in our standing orders.
Sarah MANSFIELD (Western Victoria) (12:36): Thank you for that response. The legislation that this government previously passed was solely to regulate unruly parties in short-stay properties. In the midst of a rental crisis, the current regulations do nothing to support renters in search of a home. Without secure housing, hospitality businesses, farms and essential services like health and education are unable to attract workers. People in our community are being displaced, and homelessness is rising. Right now investors with multiple properties are able to rent out their secondary homes as short stays for as little or as long as they like. Minister, will you regulate a 90-day cap on the number of nights a year that a property can be rented out as a short stay to incentivise property owners to make their secondary homes available as long-term rentals?
Enver ERDOGAN (Northern Metropolitan – Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice, Minister for Victim Support) (12:36): I thank Ms Mansfield for her supplementary question directed to the Minister for Consumer Affairs. As is the practice in this place, I will make sure that question is taken on notice and seek a response from him in due course.