19.9 C
Byron Shire
June 7, 2023

Real estate agents clamouring for Byron’s vote

Latest News

Jumping Red Ant

Victoria Cosford Whenever I approach Jumping Red Ant, I immediately want to make ratatouille, or caponata – any of those...

Other News

Let’s explore Byron Council’s secret meetings!

Has Byron Shire Council improved with its transparency with regards to confidential motions?

Playground at Clarkes?

Wondering what happened to the money raised to build a playground near Clarkes Beach in the early 2000s? Did Byron...

Mad Hatter’s tea party saves koalas for one more day

This morning at the entrance to the Yarratt State Forest, near Taree, a Mad Hatter’s tea party celebrating World Environment Day on a logging road, stopped a truck heading into the forest.

Inter-club cycling gets underway in Glenugie

Byron Bay Cycling Club is in second place in a three-way tussle after race one of the inter-club cycling...

Mullumbimby Giants rope in the Mustangs

The Mullumbimby Giants have played their way back into the top four of local, first-grade rugby league with a...

Sustainable fashion course in Byron this season

Born in Byron, bred in a sweatshop, made from earth-destroying parts and brought back to you with copious carbon miles… it’s fast fashion, but it’s not a good look.

Byron Bay realtor and chamber of commerce president Gail Fuller
Gail Fuller is one of four Byron Bay real estate agents standing as council candidates.

Chris Dobney

Rose Wanchap is not the only real estate agent seeking election to Byron Shire Council next month. Four agents, or agency employees, are standing on three different tickets.

Gail Fuller, director of Byron Coastal Real estate, is heading up one ticket. Kirsty Harland, who works in her office, is in fourth position on the same ticket.

Brian Grant, a long-time agent with GNF Bangalow, is running in fourth position on National Party-aligned councillor Alan Hunter’s ticket.

GNF’s Brian Grant is standing for election to Byron Shire Council on Alan Hunter’s ticket.

All four have stated on their candidate information sheets that they are ‘not a property developer’ or ‘a close associate of a property developer’.

In the optional section under the heading ‘employment’, three of the four candidates failed to nominate an occupation.

Ms Wanchap alone completed that section, describing herself as ‘business owner/manager’.

Call for ban

The rush of real estate agents to the fore has prompted Labor candidate and Wilsons Creek Public School principal Wil Constable to call for a ban on all real estate agents and developers from being able to run for council.

Mr Constable said it had been ‘long standing Labor policy to place a ban on real estate agents and developers from running for local government and we are calling for this ban to be introduced into Byron Shire.’

Labor's Wil Constable is calling for a ban on real estate agents on Byron Shire Council.
Labor’s Wil Constable is calling for a ban on real estate agents on Byron Shire Council.

‘It is unrealistic to think that real estate agents and developers can totally remove their conflict of interest on the planning decisions of council,’ he said.

‘We saw the result of The Greens electing a real estate agent, Rose Wanchap, to council in 2012. This decision by The Greens meant that while the community voted for a progressive council, we got a conservative one. It has meant that council has made key decisions in favour of developers and the property industry, and against the best interests of our community.

‘There are a record number of real estate agents running for council this election, with at least four running across each of the conservative tickets. If they are elected, whose interest will they serve? It’s time to get these vested interests out of our council.’

‘We are asking all voters in Byron Shire to think about who they want representing them after this election. We are asking them to put the community first and to put the vested interests of the property industry last.’

The Labor team have started a change.org petition calling for real estate agents and property developers to be banned from running for Byron Shire council.


But Ms Fuller has described the ‘concern regarding real estate agents [sitting] on council for self gain’ as ‘a very naïve position to take.’

‘Each candidate and person running must be judged on their track record and community service regardless of their chosen industry,’ she told Echonetdaily.

‘Long-term real estate agents have development experience with planning and housing and can contribute positively in this sector,’ she added.

‘Many developers ask the advice of agents in their housing design and layout.

‘The other bonus is that we are on the ground and at the cold [sic] face of the community seeing the issues first hand, with housing shortage and community facilities required.

‘Experienced industry people are more likely to understand and negotiate possible conflicts between land uses and or neighbours.

‘The state government have planning rules and codes of conduct for councillors to cover this matter and, any conflict of interest must be declared,’ Ms Fuller said.


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. Mmm…. I definitely wont be voting for any of these real estate agents.
    I think they are naïve to think that the residents of Byron will vote for them especially if they cant be honest and nominate their employment as a real estate agent. Where is your integrity?
    I also agree that developers and real estate agents should be banned from Council.

  2. ‘Long-term real estate agents have development experience with planning and housing and can contribute positively in this sector,’

    Yes… they know how to game the system to get their shoeboxes approved

  3. I listened to Gail Fuller’s response to the question on illegal holiday letting at last night’s Meet the Candidates forum at Byron Community Centre with much interest. She and fellow real estate agent Rose Wanchap were opposed to prosecution of illegal holiday lets in R2 residential zones and all in favour of regulation . The other 3 candidates who spoke on this question said that prosecution should be applied to illegal holiday lets.

    Gail Fuller failed to say that if elected she would not be able to participate in any debate or vote on holiday letting due to a major conflict of interest. She would also be required to leave the Council Chamber. She also failed to state that her business would greatly benefit with the introduction of Council regulation as part of her business is managing illegal holiday lets. With a management fee of 18% of takings her business will only get better.

    Paul Spooner in his spiel last night said that the Labor candidates have signed a Code of Conduct not to be developers or to be associated with developers. He failed to mention that they should also not be real estate agents.

    My own experience with real estate agents has been negative. Some have been dodgy and shonks.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The secret nature of the Iron Gates case

Despite a comprehensive refusal of the development application for residential development at the Iron Gates at Evans Head last year the DA is still ‘live’ in the NSW Land & Environment Court as the developer pushes back.

Vaping and young people – what can be done to reduce the impact?

Two community forums are being held to look at the issue of youth vaping. The first is taking place today in Coffs Harbour and a second forum will be held in Ballina on 20 June.

Man charged following shooting in Ballina 

A man has been charged following a public place shooting in Ballina.

Army depot construction starts in Chinderah 

Federal Labor have announced local Indigenous companies in Tweed Heads are starting construction of new facilities, which will benefit the Australian Army’s A Company, 41st Battalion, Royal NSW Regiment and 225 Army Cadet Unit.