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AAoA’s scorecard on Labor’s Sharing Economy Principles

Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten

Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten

Accommodation Association of Australia has responded to the release of the Australian Labor Party’s Sharing Economy Principles, with many of the proposals scoring a zero out of 10.

“While there are some positive aspects to what Labor is proposing – such as greater taxation obligations for sharing economy companies – overall, the principles fall short of ensuring there is a level playing field for operators of tourism accommodation businesses and platforms which enable private residences to be used for tourism accommodation,” said Accommodation Association of Australia Chief Executive Officer, Richard Munro.

“The lack of a level playing field would have the potential to further compromise tourism accommodation investment in Australia and would mean that people with disability could be left without adequate access to accommodation booked through a sharing economy platform,” he said.

The Accommodation Association’s perspectives on Labor’s Sharing Economy Principles are:

Extract from principles: Additional property used to deliver services does not fall within the scope of the sharing economy
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 1/10
Munro said: “Standard commercial regulations and requirements should apply to any property which is used for tourism accommodation.”

Property compliance responsibility should rest with sharing economy platform operators
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 7/10
Munro said: “Platform operators must not shirk responsibility for compliance with regulatory obligations set by all levels of government in Australia.”

Sharing economy services must not undercut the wages and conditions of Australian workers
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 8/10
Munro said: “Even allowing for the fact that sharing economy accommodation businesses employ very few people in Australia and create very few jobs in Australia, workers in the accommodation industry must be paid in accordance with appropriate awards and/or in accordance with Australia’s Fair Work Act.”

Sharing economy companies must pay company tax at the standard corporate rate on all revenue generated in Australia
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 9/10
Munro said: “This proposal would stop Airbnb from funnelling to Ireland transactions involving guests and hosts who are located in Australia.”

Australians delivering sharing economy services must pay income tax and collect GST when their activity exceeds the GST-exemption threshold
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 4/10
Munro said: “All companies operating in Australia’s sharing economy should pay the same taxes and ‘bricks and mortar’ companies, including GST and company tax.”

Compliance responsibility for meeting insurance requirements should rest with sharing economy companies
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 7/10
Munro said: “If a platform which promotes private residences for tourism accommodation does not have appropriate insurance, the safety of consumers is at risk.”

State and local governments should develop licensing and inspection codes specific to sharing economy services
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 0/10
Munro said: “Why should a sharing economy business in the accommodation industry be treated any differently to any other accommodation business by government?”

Sharing economy services should comply with accessibility standards negotiated with disability advocates
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 0/10
Munro said: “Disability access requirements for accommodation businesses are mandated by government, therefore people with disability could be left without adequate access to accommodation booked through a sharing economy platform under this proposal.”

There should be zero tolerance for companies that flout Australian laws
Accommodation Association assessment of this proposal: 10/10
Munro said: “There should be zero tolerance for companies that flout Australian laws.”

AAoA CEO, Richard Munro

AAoA CEO, Richard Munro

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