Let’s not pretend illegal holiday letting is anything else, and the reported fact that our council is secretly meeting with the illegal operators makes it clear as crystal. Now, let us be honest.
1. Illegal letting damages lives.
2. Neighbours lose neighbours and ‘gain’ tourists, often drunk.
3. This corrupt business costs everyone. Lack of housing, higher rents, higher rates, and less sleep.
4. It costs the business community as well. Legitimate businesses, who paid honest money for land and enterprises, are undercut by the cheats. Hotels, hostels, and properly zoned houses are under-booked, because the customers are stolen by these damned, dirty crooks.
5. The alleged benefits of this type of tourist trade are a joke compared to the damage caused. Spending on alcohol and fast food substitutes for spending on homewares, hardware, fabrics, real clothes as opposed to resort clothes, etc. We lose real community spending in businesses that real people use, so we lose those businesses. We have lost the main street.
6. Every illegal let costs us residents. Costs us community. Costs us our friends. Costs us our strength.
7. Every illegal let forces people into commuting. Costs time, costs petrol, congests roads, pollutes the earth.
We have zonings for very good reasons. Good government and good business require clear rules. Good communities require clear boundaries.
The times are changing. Community tolerance for corrupt conduct is not an option. Every illegal operator must be hunted down and punished. The age demands justice. Byron Shire Council, beware.
Matt Hartley, Byron Bay