Queensland tourist areas will no longer be burdened by rogue party houses after Parliament last night passed legislative amendments giving councils power over party houses.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said amendments to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 would give councils a greater say over party houses, and local residents’ greater peace of mind.
“For too long residents and tourists in popular Queensland tourist areas have been plagued by party house operators who deliberately and knowingly flout the rules,” Mr Seeney said.
“Families living adjacent to large homes converted into party houses have had to deal with traffic hazards, excessive noise, offensive social behaviour, violence, littering, illegal activities and on occasion, criminal activity.
“Our government has a strong plan to keep families safe and these amendments will not only achieve that, they will restore some families’ quality of life.
“The problems caused by party houses have unfairly affected families in our tourism hot-spots like the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and North Stradbroke Island.”
Mr Seeney said the new rules passed by Parliament effectively deal with a planning anomaly that has allowed residential dwellings to be regularly hired, rented or leased for the sole purpose of hosting events.
“The amendments provide a definition for a party house and will allow Councils to require that existing or new party houses obtain a development approval,” Mr Seeney said.
“Councils will also have the power to investigate and prosecute party houses that operate without development approval.
“And rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach for an issue that is only a problem in a relatively small number of local government areas, we’re giving councils the flexibility to ‘opt in’ for all or part of their local area.”
Mr Seeney said legitimate rental accommodation providers could continue to operate.
“These reforms will not affect our state’s important, usual short-term accommodation and holiday rental market at all,” he said.
“Owners and operators of holiday rental accommodation can continue their current arrangements and will not be impacted by this particular legislative and planning reform.”