WA’s Opposition has torn into the State Government for its weak efforts to help with the housing crisis, including a $10,000 cash sweetener for Airbnb operators to return to the rental market. Nationals WA shadow tourism spokesperson Louise Kingston labelled the bid a “bandaid” this week and criticised the Labor scheme as “reckless” and that it risked weakening the tourism industry. “They’re essentially paying off owners of short-stay accommodation to take their properties off the tourism market,” the MP said. “A shrink in the supply of short-stay accommodation will adversely impact prices and send more people to Bali when we need to encourage them to holiday here.” In the same statement, Liberal Party MLC Steve Martin, the shadow housing minister, said the State Government needed to deliver more rental homes instead of policies that “did nothing to address the fundamental issue driving the housing crisis”. “Paying landlords to move their homes from the short-term rental market to a 12-month lease is nothing more than a short-term shuffle that does not produce more houses,” Mr Martin said. “The only solution is to produce more dwellings and it seems the Cook Labor Government will do anything else other than provide more dwellings. “For a Government that has sat on its hands for seven years, this is nothing short of an insult to families struggling to find a home.” Mr Martin’s critique was laughed off in Parliament by WA Planning, Housing and Homelessness Minister John Carey who noted the Opposition was yet to release any policy or initiatives of their own. Paying off short-stay owners was exactly what the Government was doing, Mr Carey said. “Yes, we are going exactly what regional local governments like Busselton and Augusta-Margaret River want,” he said. “Again, we see this clear line between the Liberals and Nationals who are completely out of touch when it comes to housing supply issues, and this side of government, which is working with local governments to help boost local housing supply in WA.” Mr Carey noted the Australian Hotels Association WA and Real Estate Institute of WA as well as the two Capes local governments had welcomed the new measures. “There has been overwhelming recognition that this is another step as part of a range of measures to help boost housing supply,” he said. The minister said Mr Martin had so far produced only one “thought bubble” about maintenance work, whereas 90 operators had already expressed interest in the $10,000 incentive.