Councils to get say on ‘party houses’

Queensland Government

Families in popular Queensland tourist areas will be freed from the excessive noise, offensive social behaviour and violence that can come from so called party houses, under changes proposed by the Queensland Government.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said proposed amendments to the Sustainable Planning Act would give Councils greater say over party houses.

“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,” Mr Seeney said.

“They show that our government has a strong plan to create a brighter future for residents and tourists in Queensland’s most popular holiday destinations.

“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.

“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.

“We promised at the election to grow tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy and these changes will deliver on that.”

Mr Seeney said the amendments provided a definition for a ‘party house’.

“This will allow local government to require that existing or new party houses obtain a development approval,” he 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 Mermaid Beach, Ray Stevens said he was very pleased to be part of a Government that is empowering local councils to regulate the operation of party houses.

“These amendments will be a win for families that, through no fault of their own, have suffered at the hands of party house operators who deliberately and knowingly flouted the rules,” Mr Stevens said.

“These operators come in where they’re not wanted and compete most unfairly with legitimate holiday accommodation providers who do the right thing.

“It has been an issue of great concern to residents unfortunate enough to live adjacent to party houses and I congratulate the Deputy Premier for addressing this issue.”

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

“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.

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