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24 December 2016

A BIG YEAR FOR "WE LIVE HERE"

“We live here” is celebrating its first birthday and a year of successful outcomes.

SUCCESS IN BLOCKING SHORT-STAY BILL

“We live here” had a great win after lobbying all sides of Victorian Parliament to block the Owners Corporations Amendment (Short-stay Accommodation) Bill 2016.

Through this process we have developed close relationships with Liberal shadow ministers, the Greens and other parties.

The Hon David Davis and Russell Northe picked up the mantle, as did Greens Ellen Sandell and crossbencher Fiona Patten.

The parliamentary debate focused on the submission from “we live here” and our case is now recorded in Hansard.

Thanks to the parliamentary vote in our favour, the issue of short-stays will now be the subject of an open enquiry to be chaired by the Hon David Davis, that will report back to Parliament in March 2017.

“WE LIVE HERE” FINANCIAL SUPPORT GROWS

“We live here” members now represent 180 buildings from around Melbourne, all states of Australia and even one in the USA.

Thank you to those buildings and individuals who have provided financial support to date. As a not-for-profit advocacy group we rely on donations for survival and we hope your support will continue in 2017.

NEWSPAPER COLUMNS

“We live here” has contributed 11 monthly columns to the Docklands News, CBD News and Southbank News. These columns have enabled us to provide regular updates on the short-stay issue, which is why the “we live here” movement came into being.

We have also actively supported the City Schools for City Kids Campaign, and the residents of Docklands who have been campaigning long and hard about the lack of consultation in the development of Harbour Esplanade and Harbour Esplanade Master Plan.

COUNCILLORS MEET THE RESIDENTS FORUM

In May 2016 we organised a well-attended forum for Melbourne residents to meets councillors standing for election. The meeting was chaired by Mr Michael Kennedy, an author of the Owners Corporation Act 2006. Speakers included Cr Ken Ong, Cr Jackie Watts, Cr Cathie Oke and Cr Richard Foster and they were all enthusiastic participants in the Q&A session that followed.

PARLIAMENTARY FORUM

In August 2016 we were invited to conduct a public forum at Parliament house on short-stays that was also very well attended. Speakers included Ellen Sandell MP, Hon David Davis, Russell Northe MP and Barrister Tim Margetts QC.

MEETING WITH COUNCILLORS

Throughout this year “we live here” met regularly with the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor and Councillors to discuss a variety of issues affecting residents. In particular, we’d like to thank Councillors Cathie Oke, Jackie Watts, Kevin Louey and Rohan Leppart for their support.

Submissions to Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) review of the Owners Corporation (OC) Act 2006

“We live here” has made two detailed submissions to CAV for its review of the OC Act. We thank Mr Tom Bacon for his pro bono work on these substantial submissions. We have now been invited to participate in discussions with CAV in the New Year.

SURVEY OF MELBOURNE CITY COUNCIL ELECTION CANDIDATES

We conducted a survey of City of Melbourne candidates about short-stays in residential buildings and published the results in our ‘we live here’ column in October. We were pleased to see that all successful candidates supported our aims. A high profile candidate who opposed our policies, Stephen Maine, was unsuccessful and later commented that he had learned his lesson – take notice of residents groups!

MEETINGS WITH AIRBNB

With the support of Cr Cathie Oke, “we live here” has met with Airbnb executives to see if we can find any common ground. The short-stay industry has been regulated in several major cities around the world and Airbnb has been impacted significantly.  We are keen to learn from these precedents and see if there is a regulatory framework that could suit Australia.

 

WE WISH ALL OUR SUPPORTERS A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.

 

 

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About We Live Here

 

We Live Here is a recently launched advocacy and lobby movement focussing on generating legislative change to protect owners and long-term residents living in high-density areas. The movement aims to give a voice to and protect the rights of these owners and long term residents, and to tackle issues that are not being adequately addressed.

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