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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Hinterland under threat

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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.

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  1. 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. 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.


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