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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

‘Slumlord’ pleads not guilty

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‘Slumlord’ pleads not guilty

Hans Lovejoy

Shai Major has pleaded not guilty of ‘Development Without Consent’ at the Byron Courthouse on Friday.

Echonetdaily previously reported that a Byron Shire Council compliance raid on his leased property allegedly found 19 people in the house, including eight schoolies. Council staff told the media at the time the accommodation was unsafe and unsanitary; however, Mr Major has strenuously denied that, and many of the other claims made against him.

In its case against Mr Major, Byron Shire Council allege that a backpackers accommodation was being run from his place of residence on Jonson St, Byron Bay. Mr Major claims however that his residence is a share house with long-term residents.

Appalled by reporting

Mr Major told Echonetdaily he was appalled by The Northern Star reports regarding his case, and says the newspaper should issue him a public apology.

‘I do not wish to co-operate in any way with any publication that presented such a low level of pseudo-journalism,’ he told Echonetdaily. ‘I have no arguments with anyone’s opinions, only with the falsification of the facts and the derogatory remarks made by The Northern Star.’

Parting shot

Mr Major also sent a parting shot to Council management.

‘We are living in the best part of the world, yet are being treated like little kids by small-minded bureaucrats who waste our money on needless actions, and care nothing for our actual quality of life.

‘I would love to see a day in Byron Bay when buskers could play their music without fear, people could drum on the beach all night long, locals could live on their own land in their own handmade wooden homes without spending $200,000 plus to get them approved, and where backpackers with motorhomes could pay $10 per vehicle at organised campgrounds.’

Mr Major has requested he be given the evidence Council has against him and is representing himself. A new hearing date is yet to be announced.

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