I attended and gave evidence to the Legislative Assembly inquiry into holiday letting (HL) last Monday.
Byron shire mayor Simon Richardson (Echonetdaily) is correct in assuming that not much is to be expected from their recommendations, at least not much for councils or those oppressed by this illegal trade.
The holiday-let lobby turned up with seven delegates to community members three.
The HL boys entertained us for some hours. In the final break before community representatives we were called a member of the inquiry panel ran an impromptu 25 minute ‘advice seminar’ for the HL lobby representatives urging them to push hard for self regulation.
When community representatives were finally called the same panel member asked one very aggressive question then played with his phone for the rest of the session.
Apart from showing obvious bias this member of parliament was pushing very detrimental line for the community and for council. Self regulation is a time-honored method of avoiding responsibility and scrutiny, it has never worked for the community as clearly demonstrated by the Byron experience.
If adopted it will be used as an excuse to not fund councils as the compliance authority and the community will be back in ‘Dodge City’. It will of course be much cheaper and less troublesome for absentee landlords and multinational letting giants.
HL is now the biggest game in town it must be controlled by strong legislation and pay its way. But don’t hold your breath.
Tom Tabart, Bangalow