Noosa proposes state’s first STA local law

Noosa STAs to be regulated under local law.

Noosa Council will become the first council in Queensland to enact a local law to regulate short stay letting and home hosted accommodation if its proposed law is accepted at its Ordinary Meeting next Thursday.

The purpose of the proposed Local Law (No. 1) 2021 put forward at Tuesday’s Planning and Environment Committee Meeting in its regulation of short term accommodation (STA) is to manage the negative impacts on residential amenity and guest safety.

Under the law, all STAs must have council approval to operate, renewed annually, with exempted properties limited to those on sites identified in the Noosa Plan 2020 as “visitor only”.

The law requires a local person manage the property, be available 24/7, be located within 20km and respond to complaints within 30 minutes and that guests abide by a code of conduct to ensure residential amenity.

Complaints about an STA are to be made to the contact person in the first instance and then elevated to council for ongoing issues or local law breaches.

Council officers told the meeting there had been extensive legal review and public, stakeholder and State Government consultation over a two year period leading up to the preparation of the final version of the local law.

During this time council received 615 written submissions including 300 submissions from resident, 23 from letting agents, 66 from community groups and two from online platforms.

In response to feedback, officers recommended council establish a 24/7 complaints hotline and register of complaints and trial security services contracted to observe activity when required.

Council expects to receive more than 3600 applications for STA and more than 150 for home hosted accommodation under the proposed local law which will come into effect on 1 February 2022.

Enforcement of the local law by council can include the issuing of fines, show cause and compliance notices and the suspension or cancellation of STA operating approval.

The costs of implementing the local law are expected to be greatest in the first three years with the initial costs in 2022 estimated at $680,000, including $375,000 for staff.