Local fears that new St Kilda hostel will turn area into ‘trashy party town’
The 113-bed hostel will be the ninth hostel in St Kilda and according to local newspaper The Leader, this paves the way for a “backpackers’ playground.”
So, is this a bad thing? More hostels means more tourists and more revenue for local businesses. Some suburbs in Australian (and worldwide) cites thrive on being a ‘backpackers playground’!
The main gripes from Port Phillip Council about the development are noise, rowdy and lewd behaviour and property damage.
According to the newspaper, the streets near backpackers hostels are “awash with empty bottles, cans and revelers loitering in alleyways.”
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal overturned the council’s proposed ban saying a hostel was appropriate for the area.
The Byte asked some hostels in the area if noise and rubbish in St Kilda were a real issue …
Michael, the manager of St Kilda Hostel said it was ridiculous that the council thought there was a noise problem. “We’re one of two hostels on the street and I’d consider us a quiet hostel,” he told The Byte. “In peak season we do get backpackers complaining as the rooms that face the street get a fair bit of street noise, but I wouldn’t say it’s rowdy, it’s just part of living in a city.”
Kelly from Habitat HQ in St Kilda said her guests had not been responsible for any rowdy behaviour. “We haven’t had a noise complaint in years,” she said.
However Port Phillip Acting Inspector Stuart Bailey said having so many hostels in such a small area proved a challenge for police. “Noise and public order issues have been an ongoing issue in the area,” he said. “Our challenge is to ensure the safety of all persons in this precinct and … ensure harmony is kept with the residents.”
Backpackers having a good time have always been the enemy of councils, should we be surprised St Kilda feels the same way? Have your say.
Written by Alex Harmon
Source: The Herald Sun