Regarding Jan Barham’s letter on holiday letting (Echonetdaily June 2), I would have to say that it is as neat a piece of obsfucation as I have read in many a year.
The holiday let situation in Byron has little to do with ‘affordable housing’ (what, actually, is this anyway?) the main culprit being that Byron Bay is at least 30 years behind in its obligations under the North Coast Regional Plan guidelines.
The various Byron councils (in particular the council headed by Barham) have never even attempted to meet their obligations under those guidelines. Thus there is a monumental housing shortage. Cheap rents will never happen in Byron Bay again and I wouldn’t like to see it happen. I like it that the council is completely incompetent in solving the traffic issues. I like it that the council is completely incompetent in solving the land availability issues.
In short, the Green councils are the Councils of Zen and I will vote for the Greens in every local government election (as distinct from state or federal) because I like the town small and I believe that it is currently choking off its growth and I think that is a good thing. Who wants urban sprawl or high rise?
But acknowledge that in preventing those solutions you are also preventing cheap rents. So what? There are plenty of other areas of the shire for the less well endowed to live but I doubt that council will act to enable development in those areas either. The Brunswick Squash Court saga a few years back (again, under Barham’s watch ) is evidence of that. This is an incompetent council in all of the right ways. You beauty.
Lester Brien, Byron Bay