Fraser Coast council to check out unofficial B&B sites

THE Fraser Coast Regional Council will audit Hervey Bay properties listed on websites such as www.airbnb.com.au to determine if they comply with its planning scheme.

The council resolved to undertake the compliance audit at Wednesday's ordinary meeting in Maryborough after tourism and regional marketing councillor Stuart Taylor proposed the motion.

It came at the same time as a council report was completed on the unofficial commercial rental of rooms in private properties in the region.

The report was requested when it was revealed people had been renting empty rooms to international and Australian visitors through websites such as www.airbnb.com.au.

Tourism accommodation providers voiced concerns at the time that people using the sites had created an unfair accommodation market by offering similar services without complying with safety, licence and planning requirements.

"The frustrating thing from the bed and breakfast operators is they're offering a service; they're complying with all conditions required; they're ensuring their place is safe ... and that comes at a cost. (Then) there are other people are not complying to the same extent," Cr Taylor said.

"This is not about finding the people who are doing the wrong thing and hitting them with a stick. It's about educating those people who are not complying with the scheme and getting them to the level where they are."

It would start with www.airbnb.com.au to locate local users who were operating as a bed and breakfast.