Stayz criticises Shire of Denmark after councillors support holiday home rate rise

Campbell WilliamsonAlbany Advertiser
Stayz corporate affairs director Eacham Curry said the company was “disappointed” with the council’s decision.
Camera IconStayz corporate affairs director Eacham Curry said the company was “disappointed” with the council’s decision. Credit: Cheyne Tillier-Daly/WA News, Cheyne Tillier-Daly

Holiday rental website Stayz has taken a swipe at the Shire of Denmark after councillors voted in favour of a steep rate rise for holiday homes.

The 20 per cent premium for holiday home owners contained in this year’s budget, and passed earlier this month, is up from the existing 12 per cent premium holiday home owners pay to the Shire.

In a statement, Stayz corporate affairs director Eacham Curry said the company was “disappointed” with the council’s decision.

“Stayz is disappointed with Denmark Shire Council’s decision to slap mum-and-dad holiday home owners with higher council rates,” Mr Curry said.

“We fear this decision will only serve to drive up the cost of holiday accommodation in the region and send valuable tourism dollars to other parts of the State. “The ratepayers of the Shire of Denmark would be better served by a Statewide response.

“This is something that Stayz is aware the WA Government is currently working on.”

In June, after the rate increase was first proposed, Shire officers said it was about ensuring holiday accommodation providers paid their fair share.

Speaking earlier this week, Shire chief executive David Schober said as a commercial company, Stayz, had a right to express its view, but he again emphasised that the change was about fairness.

“Stayz are welcome to put forward their view as a commercial online commission-based company,” he said.

“The Shire expects the company would advocate strongly in support of members who derive income from accommodation based in Denmark.

“The Shire has a strong view that property owners deriving income from short-term accommodation should contribute appropriately to ensure the rating system is fair and equitable to the whole of the Denmark community.”

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