The South Australian government takes a pro-growth and pro-competition attitude to tourism.

In welcome news, the South Australian Government has confirmed it will not impose more red-tape on the accommodation sharing service, Airbnb.

On 7 June the Deputy Premier of South Australia said he was making it clear that a person’s period of stay in a residential property should not constitute a “change in use” under the Development Act. This means that people who rent their residential property for short term stays will not need to seek development approval before doing so.

The decision to not impose more red-tape is great news for travellers, home-owners who rent their property using the online service and South Australia’s domestic tourism sector.

Travellers benefit enormously from the accommodation sharing service through more choice, competition with traditional hotels and added convenience. Airbnb can also prove to be a lot cheaper than the alternatives.

Accommodation sharing is also a great way for owners to supplement their own income. The average length of time Airbnb hosts in SA are renting out their home is around 25 nights a year, suggesting this is an occasional undertaking by many who rent their properties out.

Importantly, the last thing South Australia’s ailing economy needs is more red-tape. South Australia’s population is ageing faster than the rest of the country. It’s GSP growth is low and employment prospects, especially for the young, are dim. That is why so many move interstate when they finish studying.

The bottom line is that South Australia needs to be as competitive as possible if it is to reverse its economic fortunes and attract new businesses and job opportunities. Every additional traveller and every extra dollar spent at the local café, footy or Fringe festival will help.

This decision to not impose more red-tape on an already higher regulated sector is welcome news. Let’s hope the South Australian government continues to take a pro-growth and pro-competition attitude to future reform.