Doug Luke, Co-ordinator VOHL
Recently, a Victims Of Holiday Letting (VOHL) member completed the Byron Council survey on the tourism strategy for the next 10 years.
They referred to the handbook provided and agreed with the statement by Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe of Byron Bay Police that, at present ‘I see tourism going in a direction that encourages home owners to rent out their homes or rooms for significant sums of money whilst failing to consider their neighbours and the broader community.
‘I don’t see such a trend as sustainable as there will be increasing antisocial issues within the Byron township and disharmony within the communities these tourists stay in. This leads to a negative view of tourism, which is harmful to a future positive direction for tourism within our Shire.’
VOHL has observed this harmful direction for over seven years. Southern Cross University research on Airbnb in Byron Shire had over 1,000 people respond. Seventy per cent agreed that Airbnb holiday lets adversely affect the lives of neighbourhoods and residents, especially relating to increased noise levels.
VOHL has little faith that a still-to-be-presented Code of Conduct from the NSW coalition government will solve residential amenity problems created by holiday lets.
VOHL supports Byron Council’s policy that owners/managers of holiday lets, who do not live onsite, should be contactable 24/7 and resolve issues within 30 minutes. We can only hope that the coalition government adopts this sensible, proactive regulation.
It is the responsibility of owners/managers to solve problems in their holiday lets, not the police or council enforcement.