National Industry Alert
TO ALL SHORT TERM RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION (STRA) INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS IN AUSTRALIA INCLUDING HRIA MEMBERS, REGULATORS, OWNERS, MANAGERS & SUPPLIERS
I’m pleased to write to update you on what has been an extremely busy period for us and at the same time take the opportunity to thank our Board and industry colleagues for their hard work.
Since the new Board of Directors were appointed in May 2017 we have knuckled down to develop and promote our organisation, grow our membership and engage extensively on the grass roots but also with key industry regulation stakeholders.
At present, the HRIA Board is composed of lead grassroots stakeholders (owners and managers) across Australia. The Board’s new Industry First approach has been well received and we feel it is the best way forward for future sustainability.
While it is has been pleasing to welcome many new members, we must continue to lift our profile and grow our membership so we can be adequately resourced to better represent you and our industry. The sudden departure of a significant commercial supporter presented us with a significant challenge this year which are working diligently (mostly with a volunteer approach) to overcome.
As always, the changing regulatory environment continues to hold much of our attention and effort and there are a range of regulatory reviews running right across the country from Parliamentary Inquiries through to Local Government initiatives at the moment.
While our industry’s strong contribution is increasingly recognised and backed by strong support, our position is constantly challenged and tested. Though the adverse impacts, over millions of visitor nights each year are few and isolated, there are lingering misconceptions that our industry is defined by party houses, or excessive impacts on strata buildings or affordable housing. These perceptions are amplified by traditional accommodation providers keen to protect their market share, others who want to impose limits or blanket bans and others again, seeking to win competitive advantage through regulation.
Of the regulatory reviews, the release of the NSW Planning Enquiry: Options Paper, after an exhaustive 18 month Parliamentary Inquiry has focussed our attention due to the impact it will have in establishing regulatory precedents across the country, With strong proactive input from VicAIA, a national forum of key industry representatives was formed to canvass views from across the country and distill this into a national approach. Informing the industry approach, every submission made to the NSW and Victorian Parliamentary Inquiries was researched and we engaged with most stakeholder groups, both for and against us, with a view to developing a genuine solution. A project team including two HRIA Directors and two very experienced independents helped formulate our final approach which was endorsed by the National Board before submission to the NSW Government.
Reflecting the extensive work done by the NSW Government and the depth of understanding of the recipients, our HRIA submission is succinct rather than colourful, and focus on the regulatory approach rather than reciting the benefits or the mechanisms by which each impact is specifically addressed.
You can read our overview, and a full copy of our submission, here.
With over 4,000 submissions, the Options Paper has drawn a very broad response. The process for us has been challenging, forcing us to reconsider and review every aspect of our approach. We believe the result is framework that has the quality and flexibility to provide an enduring solution, not just for NSW, but a model that can be successfully applied more broadly across Australia. We now look forward to working with the NSW Government to develop and implement a successful approach.
Beyond the challenges of regulation, we have a broad agenda in terms of member services, promotion of our services, and evolving our mission and vision in line with our Industry First commitment. As always we would welcome your input on the priorities we should focus on to help assure we are on the right track.
It’s a busy time for us and right now we need owners and managers of Short Term Residential Accommodation (STRA) in Australia to JOIN US so we can continually build upon the support we offer our membership and to advocate for fair industry regulation and long term sustainability.
Please make contact with us at any time.
Holiday Rental Industry Association (HRIA)
Please note all financial members also have access to our closed Facebook group/forum. A great platform to network and share ideas and challenges with other niche short term & holiday rental managers in Australia.