Sharing market changes ahead

The state government couldrelax restrictions in the holidayhome-sharing market by increasing the current permit-free period.

Premier Will Hodgman used his State of the State address at aCommittee for Economic Development of Australia to announce the changes which wouldaffect up to 3000 Tasmanian property owners.

The government has already proposed that a property owner would beable to rent their property for up to 42 nights without a permit

The Tasmanian Planning Commission is gatheringfeedback on theproposal.

There are about 2000 activeAirbnb listings in Tasmania and 1000 Stayz listings.

Mr Hodgman said almost 10 per cent of visitors to Tasmania, or 124,000 people, used this mode of holiday accommodation.

“With a booming tourism industry, it has become even more important that we embrace the sharing economy,” he said.

“Indeed, it is a fact that without the sharing economy and companies like Airbnb and Stayz, Tasmania would have a serious accommodation shortage.

“The challenge is to strike the right balance between the competing interests of existing businesses and those in the sharing economy.”

In his speech, Mr Hodgman labelled managing the state’s health budget as the government’s biggest challenge as the population aged and health costs escalated above the rate of general inflation.

He said the state government had fully committed to funding the final years of the Gonski rollout –despite the federal government not doing so.

Mr Hodgman said that the government’s plan to extend the voluntary starting age and make compulsory school leaving provisions would close the gap on Tasmania’s lagging school resultscompared to the rest of the country.

He said year 12 extensions at 12 high schools had yielded a 57 per cent increase in enrolments at those schools over two years.

Mr Hodgman in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull following the electionlisted education budget cuts from 2018 in state schools as a result of the most recent federal budget as a concern and sought an ongoing funding commitmentfor the Mersey Hospital past June 2017.

Mr Hodgman on Monday said the decision to make the Mersey a day surgery centre had freed up beds at the state’s three other big hospitals.

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