Temp worker accommodation permits to ease short-term housing shortage

Published on 26 November 2021


Council last night agreed to flexibility in administering a temporary worker accommodation initiative for local businesses, which will see workers able to camp with a valid permit on land outside those normally designated as campgrounds.

The permit will be issued under Colac Otway Shire General Local Law No. 2 and will allow a business trading in Colac Otway Shire to accommodate workers to camp at a site, such as private land, where they have access to amenities, for a continuous period of employment up to 30 April 2022. Consent from the landowner will be required and there should be no adverse amenity impact.

“We’re coming into the busiest season for our businesses, particularly on the coast, and with an Essential Worker Housing Crisis already declared for our shire, we see this as a necessary short-term measure to aid already pressured businesses to house workers,” said Colac Otway Shire Council Mayor, Cr Kate Hanson. “This approach has been supported by the Apollo Bay Affordable Worker Housing Taskforce.”

The permits will allow workers to access continuous accommodation to the end of April 2022, where conditions such as local employment and access to bathroom amenities can be demonstrated.

Reviews of the effectiveness of the permit system in supporting business through key worker housing accommodation will be undertaken at the end of the peak period.

Sponsor businesses are encouraged to apply when the online application portal goes live on Council’s website on 1 December 2021, so they can enter into negotiations with landowners to secure a peak season workforce for the upcoming summer tourist season.

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