Hinterland under threat

Rhonda Ansiewicz. Federal. 

The recent community consultations with regard to proposed LEP amendments to legalise weddings and other commercial events in the Byron hinterland were a farce.

There are nine zones in Byron shire where commercial events are permissible. There are three zones including RU1 and RU2 where such events are illegal. Mayor Richardson states that precluding events in rural zones does not work.

It doesn’t work because Council does not have the resources to comply with its legal obligation to enforce compliance. Amending the LEP will not solve the problem. It will exacerbate it.

We have endured outrageous events next door. Events have kept us awake until 4.30am. Police could not attend due to overwhelming needs in Byron Bay. When you ring Council no one is there. After the event, if Council deems the matter of sufficiently high priority, the perpetrators, who are often absentee owners, get a slap on the wrist and off they go to do it again.

Our property rights are being abused and Council seems hell bent on adding to our woes.

Property owners may feel that this issue does not affect them. According to the draft LEP amendment this matter will affect everyone.

You may find your neighbour deciding when you need to vacate your property as it will be intolerable to stay there during an event. Your neighbours may decide for you when your property will be peaceful enough for you to invite your own guests to share in the quiet enjoyment.

It is time for residents of the hinterland to speak out before they are rendered powerless to take control.

2 responses to “Hinterland under threat”

  1. Kim Goodrick says:

    So true Rhonda – this is an issue for us all to take note of. In Eureka alone we have closed down three illegal wedding Venues in the last three years. This amendment to the LEP has not been thought through properly from a risk management perspective. Council does not have nearly enough resources to police its current compliance burden, let alone monitor and enforce the requirements of newly approved function centres as well as the rogue operators that will undoubtedly result. In the meantime, rural residents pay the price of parties in the hills every weekend. Wedding Venues were excluded from RU1 and RU2 Zones in the Byron LEP 2014 for a reason – the peaceful nature of our Primary Agricultural Land and Rural Landscape and noisy Function Centres (with associated traffic and environmental effects) are mutually exclusive!

  2. TrishB says:

    There’s got to be a way!

    1) Under the NSW Residential Tenanceies Act, take your neighbours to the NCAT and apply for Orders under section 7 and 8(h) of the Act. STR activities are NOT a Residential Tenancy Agreement – precedent exists (ask [email protected])
    2) Give the Orders to Byron Council and tell them they have four weeks to take action against the “Illegal Use of Residential Premises”.
    3) Should Council fail to take action, take the matter to the NSW Ombudsman plus the NSW Office of Local Government, plus your State MP, who has been remarkably silent so far.

    See NeighboursNotStrangers facebook page today – instructions were provided today by the NSW Department of Fair Trading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsors Vast Furniture & Homewares Ballina and Falls Festival Byron Bay.