City of Busselton enforce new rules to stop parties and loud dogs in holiday homes

Disruptive: Starting in September, new holiday home regulations are hoped to stop house parties in Busselton and Dunsborough. Picture: File image.
Disruptive: Starting in September, new holiday home regulations are hoped to stop house parties in Busselton and Dunsborough. Picture: File image.

Under new regulations guests at short stay holiday homes within the City of Busselton won't be allowed to leave dogs unattended, and will have to sign codes of conduct to keep all noise to 'speaking tones', beginning in September 2022.

At a recent council meeting, councilors unanimously voted to implement the new regulations as part of the conditions of registering a holiday home in certain areas.

Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the strict rules were 'reasonable', and put in place to discourage house parties that disrupt local residents.

"People who are surrounded by rented holiday homes have complained that they are inundated with people who are on holidays and partying, often during weekdays, when they have to get up and work in the morning," he said.

The new regulations also mean that managers for holiday homes will have to display a sign with their contact details on the property, that is visible to passers by.

Mayor Henley said the rule was hoped to limit the drain on City and police resources.

"They [locals] haven't got a contact to ring, so they ring the City or police. The police have better things to do than go around telling people to be quiet," he said.

A potential limit of 10 people per house, has also been proposed for new holiday home applications, which could be finalised later this year.

Mayor Henley told the Mail that the City did not hope to restrict respectful guests, but to better crack down on guests who behave anti-socially.

"You make regulations to make sure people doing the wrong thing can be taken to task," he said.

"If there are families that happen to have eleven people, I don't think anyone's going to be complaining. This is to deal with people who are doing the wrong thing."

The mayor said he thinks it's unlikely the rules would turn guests away from Busselton as a holiday spot.

"People have been coming here for a long time," he said.

"Our code of conduct has been embraced by residents and owners and operators of those properties."

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association Joint CEO Sharna Kearney said the MRBTA is very supportive of the changes.

"Short term rental accommodation supply in the region has grown significantly over the past decade," she said.

"MRBTA has strongly advocated for regulation of the sector to ensure that visitors have a quality experience, that negative impacts on residents are minimised, and that competition with other short term accommodation providers is fair."

The new regulations will be added to the conditions of registration for holiday homes, and in changes to local laws by mid 2022.

Once the State Government's position on holiday homes is confirmed, the new rules will also be implemented through changes to local planning policy.

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