19 C
Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Finding free kicks for holiday lets

Latest News

Seapeace: the late Tony Maxwell’s wetland legacy

Many curious minds have pondered the purpose of the rice paddy-like waterbodies that scallop the contour lines out into the Ewingsdale coastal plain that can be viewed from St Helena Road.

Other News

Forum to address housing emergency, March 8

A grassroots movement is bringing women, community and art together on International Women’s Day (March 8) in an urgent push to solve the local housing emergency. 

Government modelling fails to reflect women’s interrupted careers

New research to be released this week analyses two decades of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to estimate the actual labour force experience of women over their life and accounts for working when super is not paid.

Thanks David Gile – but on Musk

Robin Harrison, Binna Burra I want to thank David Gilet for his appreciation of the thoughts I’ve shared here. It’s very...

Byron’s rail reactivation saga continues

Byron Council will consider funding further investigations into getting trains back on the tracks in the Shire, despite strong criticisms of the reports on the matter that have been prepared to date.

Bangalow blackspot puts school children at risk

Will action ever be taken to protect school kids getting on and off the bus on Lismore Road, Bangalow as trucks fly by at 80km/h?

Suspicion and belief

Fast Buck$, Coorabell My suspicion is that the mayor and the senior staff have been helping Michael Lyon become electable...

It seems to have gone unnoticed that Byron Shire Council in the new LEP has quietly legalised holiday letting in one part of Byron. As you proceed into the Bay along Shirley Street you will see a number of commercial operations with an office and vacancy signs out front. This is pretty cheeky considering they are all zoned 2(a) Residential.

The only outfits that seem to be legal are the motel and the youth hostel, both of which qualify as exemptions under the rules. Not that anyone would likely complain about the main entryway into town being given over to accommodation, that being the norm throughout Australia.

Council’s solution has been to rezone these for ‘serviced apartments’, which has the effect of legalising short-term accommodation in that area. There is no requirement for any onsite management presence, only a specification that it is ‘regularly serviced or cleaned’ by the owner, manager or agent. Mmmm.

Presumably, however, the owners will be required to lodge formal DAs and then would be subject to the same regulation that other accommodation providers ‘enjoy’. They would even be able to obtain insurance. I wonder how they feel about this.

Assuming that the state bureaucracy ratifies this change, the result is that maybe up to 100 of the Shire’s problems have been dealt with, leaving as many as 800 holiday lets – according to planning director Ray Darney’s recent quiet memo to councillors – as ongoing.

Readers may remember that Christmas before last Council made a big PR play of making sure that the new flats on the corner of Shirley and Dryden streets (Byron Luxury Beach Houses – which may well be accurate after the next tsunami) didn’t become holiday lets and threats were apparently sent to the owners; these flats now fall within the new ‘serviced apartments’ zone, which leads one to question Council’s commitment to housing as opposed to tourist accommodation. I don’t object to the rezoning, only the hypocrisy.

You can be sure that planners and bureaucrats all over the state are racking their brains for further ways of legalising holiday letting. State bureaucrats recently assured councillor workshops that changes would be made to the rules – to benefit holiday letters, of course. The recently announced local government changes, however, deferred the matter for at least 12 months.

This leaves your elected councillors in limbo for another year – which will not, of course, prevent them from appearing to be doing something and thereby wasting further ratepayer resources in a continuing headless-chook routine. Neither is there any evidence from the records to suggest that Ray Darney will put them straight.

Why is the problem so difficult?

Perhaps because it involves conflict between two conservative fundamentals: the right to quiet enjoyment of one’s castle versus the holy duty to make a profit. I can’t see any solution.

Certainly Brad Hazzard’s letter to local councils telling them that it was their job to ‘manage’ the situation was simply a copout, the real meaning of which was ‘It’s your problem not mine, so stop annoying me’.

Fast Buck$, Coorabell


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. Byron residents need to be aware of the large swathes of possible areas proposed for holiday letting for the future. There will be a lot of angry ratepayers when they realise that they could be living next to a holiday let hell!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Caravan park to pay $2.3mil plus to consumers

The NSW Court of Appeal has upheld the Supreme Court’s decision arising from the sale of the movable dwellings located on waterfront sites along the Tweed River.

Government modelling fails to reflect women’s interrupted careers

New research to be released this week analyses two decades of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to estimate the actual labour force experience of women over their life and accounts for working when super is not paid.

Ballina cleans up!

Clean Up Australia Day was a great success in Ballina, with the beach clean up event organised by Ballina Coastcare yesterday attracting twenty volunteers.

Lismore future councillor information sessions

With the delayed Local Government elections being held in September, several councils, including Lismore City Council, are holding information sessions for community members who are thinking about running for Council.