Councils to get say on  'party houses' 

Councils and residents in popular tourist areas will benefit from proposed changes to the laws governing “party houses” introduced into State Parliament today.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the proposed changes to the Sustainable Planning Act would give Councils greater say over party houses that cause a nuisance in residential areas.

“These amendments will deal with the problems caused for locals when residential dwellings are regularly hired, rented or leased out for the purpose of hosting events.

“Labor’s lack of planning allowed ‘party houses’ to cause problems on the Gold Coast, at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, as well as in Cairns and on North Stradbroke Island,” Mr Seeney said.

“Their laws allowed events to cause a nuisance in the form of traffic hazards, excessive noise, offensive social behaviour, violence, littering, illegal activities and criminal activity.

“We’ve listened to community concerns and have already taken action by giving police greater power to deal with anti-social behaviour at out of control events.

“And now we’re giving councils the power to decide where these houses can operate in their local area.”

Mr Seeney said amendments contained in the State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation and Amendment Bill 2014 provide a definition for a ‘party house’.

“This will allow local government to require that existing or new party houses obtain a development approval,” Mr Seeney said.

“Councils can then identify a ‘party house restriction area’ in its planning scheme meaning that any residential dwellings in the area don’t have a current or past right to operate as a ‘party house’ unless otherwise approved by council.

“We’ve also given councils the flexibility to opt in’ if desired rather than mandating amendments for all planning schemes for an issue that is only a problem in a relatively small number of local government areas.”

Member for Noosa, Glen Elmes, said he was pleased that Councils now have the power to regulate the operations of party houses.

“They come in where they are not wanted, and compete most unfairly with legitimate holiday accommodation providers who do the right thing,” Mr Elmes said.

“This is a win for local neighbourhoods and their quality of life.

“The new council powers honour an election promise I made to help target the problem in Noosa of large homes being converted into mass rentals.

“It has been an issue of great concern to residents unfortunate enough to live adjacent to one.

“I’ll be happy to give the new Noosa Council all the support it needs to see the new legislation applied once it’s passed through Parliament.”