Thursday, September 08, 2005

Backpacker, Visitor and Tourist Accommodation

Living in Potts Point and being surrounded by lots of backpacker hostels I am only too aware of the good and the not so good side of this industry. In Potts Point and Kings Cross most backpackers are responsibly run with only a few rotten apples spoiling the reputation of the industry. As a local there is something dynamic and cosmopolitan about walking along the street and hearing young people talking in different languages. It is exciting to share our city and country with so many young people just starting their journey in life and who will always remember their stay with Australia.

The ‘rotten apples’ spoil the image of the industry and no doubt also spoil the experience for our young visitors. The Backpacker accommodation industry therefore needs to be better regulated by Council to achieve a higher standard of service and safety for tourists and to manage the impacts upon community amenity. The goal of this DCP is to bring together five different sets of planning controls currently in place to assess backpacker accommodation. Five planning policies has resulted in various methods, inconsistency and confusion amongst residents and applicants. The DCP deals with basic planning policies for hostels including minimum floor space, furniture, facilities and open space. As well as the most important issues of fire and personal safety.

It must be remembered that every backpacker who walks off a jumbo jet is the equivalent in foreign currency earnings to approximately 10 tons of wheat loaded onto an export ship. That does not take into account the thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly created by this growing segment of tourism industry. I will be supporting this DCP and calling on the industry to be more proactive in removing the bad operators and promoting the benefits of the backpacker tourism industry to the broader community.


Toby said...

You forgot to add that some of the backpackers are none too ugly either...

Seriously, though - one has to wonder. It seems that ecouncillor's answer to every problem, real or perceived, is more regulation.

Reagan said many wise things - three of which were to the following effect:

"The worst words in the English language - we're from the [government] and we're here to help"

"The closest thing to eternal life in this world is a government programme"

"Government is like a baby's alimentary tract - a gaping mouth at one end, and no control at the other"

Anonymous said...

It's good to see Shayne's awareness of the backpacker market. The new controls are probably OK as long as they don't force prices up. I know someone who got bedbugs recently from a Kings Cross hostel, but it's now closed down along with many others. Perhaps Shayne can start campaigning against the sniffer dogs rampant in Kings Cross which scare the pants (literally) off young visitors from more civilised countries. One tourist gets searched and the whole hostel knows about it in minutes. The deportations that result are GREAT word of mouth for Kings Cross, Shayne. Not. Or perhaps you think all tourists should be stripped and searched upon entry so we only get the 'respectable' ones?

James said...

There have been no known deportation of bakcpacker becaus eof sniffer dogs.
This is just a Michael Gormly urban myth.
The more we can do to rid the streets marijuana smokers and drug pushers the better for everyone.

Mark said...

And I am sure you wilL support a move to double the amount of Danish Backpackers.
There are so mnay refenrences to Denmark on this blog site I honestly thought it was sponsored by the Danish government.
Or danish salami or Odense marzipan, or the little mermaid on the rock - or something.

Peter@Newtown said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

How much in developer donations has your campaign kitty received from these backpacker developers?

Anonymous said...

If you believe in a free market economy why do they need more regulation?
The fact is, there is no such thing as a free market economy. There's no such thing as free speech or a free lunch either.
Each country protects its own economy actively or passively.

James said...

A previsou blogger put it very well: "What does BLOG really mean??
Bullshit Layered Over Gumph.

Shayne Mallard said...

James(is that your real name?), thanks for your virtual anonymous flaming of my blog site - not. let us know your one so we can enjoy your intellectual brilliance. SM.

All donations to my campaigns are disclosed per the laws of Australia and policies of Council. I sincerely thank those who support my campaigns because without them (and its the same for Greens or Clover Moore - dont duck that one) we could not get our message out in the campaign. SM

Phil said...

More and more regulations - all unenforceable fron a councillor who epouses a "free market" economy - a nihiism if ever there was one.
Where are the market forces giving customers and the community what they want now?