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April 18, 2021

Councillors wimp out on holiday lets

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As a former councillor I am very aware of the history and complexities of tackling the holiday let scourge through the agency of council.

The major problem is getting a majority of councillors to actually vote that way – not possible at the moment with one ‘green’ councillor voting with the pro-let faction.

If there is not a strong and concerted push from councillors then staff will not have the backing to pursue the matter with the very limited compliance resources available.

The current compliance manager was making strong strides towards getting a definitive court decision when the new (current) council were once more seduced by the concept of trying to please all parties (although one party was acting illegally).

The once discarded as impractical ‘zoning’ idea was resurrected and thus set the scene for more years of inaction with the holiday let crew conducting business as usual.

Green councillors were complicit in this weak-kneed response and I wonder if they will ever learn.

Tom Tabart, Bangalow


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  1. The current councillors are not complying with their own planning laws and directing compliance to take legal action against the illegal holiday lets. Any solutions to this, Tom?
    Permanent residents who find themselves in a future precinct won’t accept this change to the zoning in a residential area. Although the NSW Planning Dept. has said that they are more amenable to precincts, I doubt that they would accept the final product. So, we will be back to what started 20 years ago. Nothing!
    After always paying my rates promptly, and I estimate that I have paid at least $50,000, I feel like asking for a rates refund because my interests aren’t being protected. The interests of the illegal holiday lets owners certainly are.
    Tom, the only solution is for individual residential owners to take legal action in the Land and Environment Court.

  2. Tom, you have given an inside view to the problem. The pro holiday let councillors appear to be complicit in not applying the planning laws against illegal holiday lets. This attitude that they have taken permeates to the rest of the community which sees the situation as a joke when council won’t ensure compliance. No wonder so many have joined in the illegal holiday lets commercial enterprise.
    Some questions need to be asked. Who are the business backers for the pro holiday let councillors? Were there any donations from the pro holiday let lobby and owners before the last council elections? Although I am not accusing any councillor of corruption, the whole situation has left the perceived impression of being very tainted.
    I am starting to agree with the call for individuals who are affected by illegal holiday lets to take legal action in the NSW Land and Environment Court to protect their rights.


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