17 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Holiday letting ‘not council role’

Latest News

Fast Buck$ ejected from Byron Council meeting

During this morning's Byron Shire Council meeting a dispute between the Mayor Simon Richardson and local activist and agitator Fast Buck$ over the pronunciation of Cr Sarah Ndiaye's name led to the meeting being suspended.

Other News

Cartoon of the week – 21 April, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Jack McCoy bringing surf show to Lennox

Legendary film maker Jack McCoy is bringing his acclaimed surf talk, film and live music event to the Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Saturday 8 May.

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Remembering Peter Warner

Ballina's legendary man of the sea Peter Warner died doing what he loved best, sailing, during an attempted crossing of the Ballina Bar in rough conditions last week. He was ninety years old.

Electricity ‘fun facts’

Anonymous, Ballina I’m surprised that a part of David Lowe’s online article of March 15 slipped under the fact-check radar (‘Tamara Smith...

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Staff reporters

Byron Shire’s holiday-letting lobby says the controversial issue of holiday rentals is not a council responsibility and has slammed Byron Council for failing to address ‘behavioural issues’ of occupants.

The comments by Holiday Letting Organisation (HLO) spokesman John Gudgeon follow last week’s Land and Environment Court case win by the neighbours of a central coast holiday rental.

The win by the Terrigal couple to stop their neighbour’s house being used as a holiday let has thrown the spotlight on the controversial issue in Byron Shire. The court found Gosford Council failed its constituents by not resolving the issue.

Mr Gudgeon said holiday letting was not a council responsibility under its current planning powers and Council has been ‘very ineffective to date’ in addressing behavioural issues that involve both short- and long-term occupants.

‘HLO’s position is that owners have a right to let their properties whenever

they want to, short term or long term. On the other hand, they should ensure

that their properties are managed responsibly.’

Mr Gudgeon pointed to a letter by former Byron shire president Oliver Dunne saying the underlying problem is the confusion over the definition of holiday letting which had arisen as Council had ‘struggled to deal with difficult noise and amenity compliance issues within the parameters of the LEP produced in 1988 and the shortcomings of the Local Government Act of 1993’.

‘What was once widely accepted as a beneficial activity that should be encouraged and promoted is now seen as a negative activity that should be banned or regulated out of existence,’ Mr Dunne had said about the issue.

Mr Dunne wrote that the correct way to change the definition would be for council to amend the LEP or produce a new LEP which reflects the ‘changes in community attitudes of the present day’.

‘That Council has not more vigorously pursued the appropriate statutory course for planning for changed community attitudes points not just to the weakness of their case in relation to these definitions but to the lack of majority support for such change on the elected council,’ Mr Dunne said.

Too early

Mayor Simon Richardson says it’s too early to tell what the ramifications could be for the shire as a result of the recent court case as the issue in the shire was yet to be tested.

Cr Richardson said that for many years Council has challenged unapproved

development in the courts with major recent successes.

‘However the issue of holiday letting in our shire has focused on whether a tourist facility, as per the Byron LEP 1988, can be operated in a residential zone, and this is yet to be tested,’ he said.

Council will hold a meeting with key stakeholders on the issue of holiday letting next month.

Greens MP and former mayor Jan Barham said that in an area already under housing stress such as Byron Bay, it had diminished the available rental stock for locals ‘and has meant that essential workers such as teachers, nurses and tradespeople have not been able to find affordable housing’.

Ms Barham said that ‘in terms of tourism use, holiday letting has not served the community well’.

‘Holiday letting has operated as an unapproved use that hasn’t contributed financially to Council to offset the pressures of tourism,’ she said.

Land and Environment Court Justice Rachael Ann Pepper said the short-term holiday letting of a six-bedroom house was unlawful because the property is located in a 2A residential zone.

Justice Pepper also said that the fault did not entirely lie with the holiday let owner, as she had never been told by Gosford Council that it was illegal to rent out her property.

Doug Luke from the newly formed ‘Victims of Holiday Letting’ group told Echonetdaily that it’s up to councils to regulate and explain the laws.

‘They are letting us down,’ Mr Luke said.

‘We need to tread a bit carefully here, but we are really pleased for those people [who won], and we are working on getting the same result. People want it

stopped here, not regulated.

‘We need to get back to being a community.

‘Regulation by HLO (Holiday Letting Organisation) is insulting and

makes no difference, even with security guards. It only addresses a problem

after it occurs. They may address one lot of punters, but next week there’s another.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Absolutely agree with Doug Luke. HLO is an insult. There is only ‘help’ once the problem has occurred. (Over and over again)
    Hopefully our Council will now study their own LEP and follow it. We really do need some core, happy Byron Families that live here to keep this community alive and it’s hard to do when yobbos are left and right of your home 24 hours a day!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Shenhua gone and Breeza breathes again

In a much-hoped-for move, the NSW Government and the China Shenhua Energy Company Limited have reached a $100 million agreement in which Shenhua will withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the Shenhua Watermark Coal project at Breeza on the Liverpool Plains.

Pandemic plate lickers release lockdown dessert

The 2020 pandemic lockdown meant the entire entertainment industry was cancelled, but making music cannot be cancelled.

5MW solar farm funding under question

A 5MW solar farm proposed for Myocum, located near the Byron Resource Recovery Centre, poses a ‘high degree of risk’, and could jeopardise funding for other large Council infrastructure projects, according to a staff report, to be tabled at this Thursday’s meeting.

Tony Barry, Ben Chifley and FD’s Four Freedoms

Local actor-vist, Tony Barry, has taken on a lot since he moved to the Northern Rivers, and though cancer took one of his legs, Tony still manages to put in the hard yards for social, environmental and human rights causes.