The STA nightmare in our streets is real, and it’s personal

“ Now we  know what Gaslighting feels like”.  One Noosa resident with lived STA experience is responding to the characterisation of Short-Term Accommodation (STA) problems as being ‘imaginary’.  

Health practitioner Dr Alison Asher, and her family live in a duplex impacted by Short-term Letting of the adjoining property.   

Dr Asher says: “It’s long been the case that perpetrators of abuse have dismissed the lived experiences of their victims by denying reports of the abuse. The modern term is ‘gaslighting’.

“Residents of Noosa don’t have to imagine, because it’s happening. And as happens to all victims of gaslighting, these people feel powerless, anxious, and most of all traumatised.” 

The characterisation of the problems associated with STA as being ‘imaginary’ is at odds with Noosa Council’s research that has found around one-in-five of Noosa’s dwellings are available for STA, with much higher penetration in beach-side pockets up to about 50 percent of dwellings.  That’s right – half of the homes in some of our beach areas are locked out to residents, and only available for STA.

Expert opinion has long confirmed the experience of Noosa residents and the impacts on them. More than a decade ago, Justice Rachel Pepper of the NSW Land and Environment Court found a short-term let property caused severe stress and anxiety for neighbours and on-going impacts on amenity and well-being. 

She found: “The action of landlords in letting residential housing as short-term holiday rentals offends and undermines the planning regime of the Local Government Area and ultimately the State.

When landlords ‘host’ tourists rather than residents …. neighbourhoods change.

Professor Nicole Gurran, University of New South Wales

There is some truth in the media assumption that short term rentals invariably cause a nuisance for the community.

Associate Professor Thomas Sigler, University of Queensland

At 10 times the national average, STA penetration in Noosa is real, and possibly Australia’s highest in some areas.

Of four Mayoral candidates, only Frank Wilkie makes a credible case, based on his voting record, that he will look at the STA Local Law and  “ensure a review of the performance of it as a top priority”.

Residents’ enjoyment of their homes and availability of rental properties have been drastically affected by STA businesses”

Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie

At the other end of the spectrum is Amelia Lorenston – the councillor who was the first to call the basis of complaints ‘imaginary’. 

She now lists addressing short-term accommodation issues as a priority, but with no indication of the outcome she is seeking and with a distinctly poor voting record on the issue to back her up.

And finally, you only need to ask the local residents whose lives have been turned upside down by finding themselves living next to a party house if this nightmare is real or imaginary.

This is my bedroom. C’mon. We’re all friends. I thought I’d show you. Every single room of my home is constructed like this. I bought my home because I value design. I bought my home because it has been specifically designed by a local designer for local conditions. I have aircon. I can count on one hand the times I have used it in 14yrs. 

Tomorrow, a designer etc are coming to visit. To work out how to destroy the architectural integrity of my property to attempt to retro-fit against STA intrusion. I have a neighbour, a Noosa property owner of 40-plus years. My neighbour has installed double glazing. Didn’t do the trick. My neighbour has now installed some kind of sound silencing material in bedrooms. Our neighbour says it seems successful. 

We few remaining neighbours are keen to have a look. Keen to know. My question: when did it come to this and how is this acceptable that residents must incur the cost of retrofitting, or in my case destroying, their properties in order to continue to live here, because our Council refuses to act and refuses to protect residents?

Julia Craddock

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Avatar

    My name is John Evans
    I have read many, many articles about the Noosa STA situation and your most recent story has prompted me to tell my story from what may be considered to be a different set of circumstances
    The background of my situation started when my wife and i became very early settlers at the Parkridge Noosa complex in November 2019.
    We were partly encouraged to do so because of early advertising promises and sales people advice that we would be living in a RESIDENTIAL environment.
    Way back in April 2021 the Chairperson of the Principal Body Corporate wrote a message in which he states that he decided to buy into the community because he thought he was buying into a residential apartment building
    He presented a plan to the relative Body Corporates to fight the possibility of Parkridge becoming a RESORT HOTEL
    While this was going on the Developer was communicating with the Council and Parkridge ended up becoming a resort hotel.
    My understanding is that as a resort hotel the numerous short term letting agents are exempt from the harsh Council rules such as 24/7 caretaker demands.
    I must further note that there is no hotel at Parkridge and because of recent events no restaurant


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