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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Not all holiday lets cause problems

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Sol Ibrahim, Byron Shire councillor

My in-laws visited us at Suffolk Park with my partner’s 90-year-old grandmother. They rented a house to be near their new grandson, as well as having the comfort of separate rooms and bathrooms. Two of my close friends are self-employed and raising the next generation of Byronians. They rent their home out during peak times to cover the lean times in winter. These are just two examples of holiday letting which do no harm, and bring real benefits to our community.

The vast majority of residents in Byron came here initially to holiday, and then stayed, as I did 30 years ago. Like it or not, Byron is a holiday destination. Removing all 600+ holiday lets would harm our economy, put locals out of work, and close the very businesses we locals love to use. Maybe for the retired or pensioned this wouldn’t matter too much, but for the rest of the community, especially young people, tourism and all the associated support services are the only jobs available.

Let’s also not forget that holiday letting in other areas, such as Brunswick Heads, is not the problem it is in some parts of Byron Bay. Making blanket rules would be unfair in some places.

The Gosford decision resulted in that council making holiday letting legal, as other councils had already done. The court decision is not simply a law applying to every NSW council. It also directs councils to deal with the issue, one way or another.

No-one wants to live next to a party night after night. This has to be stopped. But simply closing down all venues is not the answer. I do not want large hotels replacing holiday houses, which ironically are part of what makes Byron Shire different from the Gold Coast.

This is why Rose and other councillors are looking for solutions that reflect the complexity and divergent needs of the community. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems when tough decisions have to be made, for all.


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  1. Sol, good words, thanks for making the plane and simple case for the need to allow holiday letting.
    This can be managed properly if owners and agents work with us on a strong management plan with strict conditions that must be adhered to.
    I live in a holiday resort apartment that is well managed – we don’t have problems with bad behaved casual tenants. In fact it’s a delight to share our space with happy holidaying people from all corners of this planet.

  2. I wonder if Sol would have the same opinion if he lived next to one of those holiday lets that is party house heaven. I agree that there are some responsible owners who rent out their houses for short periods of time and take every care to ensure that their neighbours are not detrimentally effected. If this didn’t happen the neighbours wouldn’t want to speak to them again! Unfortunately, there are too many rogue operators who are after the money only and don’t care about a neighbourhood. Get rid of these crooks, and control the remainder by having stringent regulations, registration and business rates organised by Council, not a voluntary scheme organised by industry that has been proven not to work.

  3. Yes, Cr. Ibrahim all the holiday makers who come into holiday lets are little old ladies. NO WAY!I will issue an open invitation to Cr. Ibrahim for me to ring him to come immediately to my house and listen to the screaming and yelling from the neighbouring holiday let when it happens. He may have better luck than me in requesting them to stop the offensive noise and not receive abuse in reply.
    When they don’t respond he can first ring the owners/managers and just get their voice mail with no response. Then he can ring the local Police and wait several hours for them to arrive. By this time the holiday makers have departed for Byron CBD to have a few ales and return early in the morning to start the same thing again. I’m sure Cr. Ibrahim will get out of bed and try to stop the noise so that the neighbours (victims) can get some sleep.
    Paul Waters in his comment above complimenting Cr Ibrahim fails completely in his argument. He states that he lives in a holiday resort apartment that would have on site management that can immediately deal with disruption from rowdy tenants.Holiday lets do not have on site management and it is left up to the neighbours to attempt the management of rowdy behaviour.In his statement “work with us to develop a strong management plan” I assume he means the whole community including Council,and, not just the business community!

  4. Byron Council’s position on holiday lets can be likened to Nero fiddling whilst Rome burned. Shame on you councillors. Listen to the suffering of the neighbours (victims) and act swiftly to solve this problem.

  5. Cr. Ibrahim should do his research. Gosford Council have not made holiday lets legal in their shire. Their policy is on public exhibition for comment only.A close examination of this proposed policy shows that it has limited protection for the neighbours of these holiday lets that a rogue owner will exploit. Cr. Ibrahim, you and your fellow councillors should imagine that you were a neighbour to one of the worst lets and develop some of the strongest regulations of any council in Australia so that this problem is solved forever.An honest operator who cares about their neighbourhood would have nothing to fear from stringent regulations that protect the rights of the neighbours.

  6. Yes Came to Byron as a tourist .
    Stayed in lots of lovely designated tourist accommodation ,
    Got a job transfer and moved here.
    Brought my home had my solicitors do searches
    My home is in a residential area
    I did not buy next door to a 24/7 garage
    Which is what happened when greedy neighbours wanted more money
    They got rid of a lovely Byron family
    Who worked here had three children at the local school
    Another Byron family forced to move
    Byron council has a duty of care to its residents
    Like protecting them
    Affter consistently being disturbed and getting no help
    Many people enter properties and take action
    Putting them selves in danger
    Illegal holiday lets will take over Byron
    We need to stop it now
    Karma has a way of catching up

  7. I am a self funded retiree and part aged pensioner who has lived and worked in Byron for much longer than Cr. Ibrahim.I strongly reject his ageist statement that the members of my age group would not be concerned about putting locals out of work and closing local businesses.
    I have always wanted genuine employment created and the development of local businesses that don’t encourage the growth of the party town image.Alcohol fueled violence and the growth of illegal holiday letting concern many locals.
    Illegal holiday letting detrimentally affects the lives of the aged,sick and dying, the middle aged and their children.
    Cr. Ibrahim, you are required to represent the interests of all age groups, not just the business community and youth vote.A little humbleness is needed, Cr. Ibrahim.


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