Calls for Airbnb property owners to dob in party bookings

 

 

GOLD Coast's top cop has urged Airbnb property owners to reconsider bookings or dob customers in to police if they suspect illegal parties will be held.

More than $30,000 in fines were issued to revellers at a Gold Coast Airbnb property at the weekend after police raided the holiday rental two nights in a row.

Seven men celebrating a birthday were issued fines on the first night, while 18 were busted the following evening.

Five men were slapped with successive fines making it a very expensive weekend away.

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler addressing the media around coronavirus (COVID-19). Picture: Jerad Williams
Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler addressing the media around coronavirus (COVID-19). Picture: Jerad Williams

Gold Coast Police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler labelled the actions of the revellers as a "blatant" breach of health directives.

Asked whether Airbnb owners should reject bookings, or report them to police if they suspected social distancing breaches, Supt Wheeler said: "It's up to them how they run their businesses, but what I would say is they have a responsibility like all of us do.

"If they know there's going to be a massive party that's going to endanger the public, I would ask them to really reconsider that booking … or advise police because there's a responsibility on everyone," he said.

Airbnb's head of public policy for Australia Derek Nolan said the company "unequivocally" condemned behaviour of anyone flouting rules in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

"There is no excuse for their actions and they're blatantly ignoring government advice and putting the community at risk. Airbnb is extremely serious about supporting efforts to combat COVID-19," Mr Nolan said.

 

One of the house parties shut down by police.
One of the house parties shut down by police.

He said Airbnb was committed to co-operating with police investigations into anyone flouting the rules.

"Our message has been consistent and clear; if you're not travelling for an essential reason, stay home," he said.

Supt Wheeler said police would be patrolling known Airbnb properties in the wake of this weekend's fines. He praised the public for dobbing in noisy parties and gatherings.

In an unrelated incident police also fined a man, 28, after he held a party in Pimpama at the weekend.

Originally published as Calls for Airbnb property owners to dob in party bookings


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