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Byron Shire
June 24, 2024

Overtourism being pushed by council

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Pamela Collins, Byron Bay

The staff report recommending an amendment to the LEP to permit rural events (weddings) in RU2 zoned areas will be presented to Council this Thursday (20 June).

Last week Echonetdaily reported that Byron Bay has featured in a European Union report on overtourism.

Permitting more venues, visitors, cars, Airbnbs and more noise will not improve this situation.

The claim that these events will create jobs and contribute to the Shire’s economy fails to take into account the real cost of the adverse affects on the environment and community. It sounds like the justification for the Adani coal mine.

It’s time to look beyond hospitality for our community’s future. We need innovative industries. Ones that provide other jobs and careers, in addition to hospitality; that use the rural areas for producing food and products that are sustainable economically, socially, and environmentally.

Byron can and should be a leader in finding positive, creative solutions to social, economic, and environmental challenges, not continue to permit more of the same activities that created the problems in the first place.

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  1. And what type of jobs will such venues likely bring to the shire? Most probably short-term, casual, unlikely to pay the Byron rent jobs. Better to funnel the business to those legitimate commercial venues that pay their contribution to Council coffers, provide more secure work and are easier to regulate. Or to the local halls that are struggling to exist. The Jobson Growth line here seems a real furphy.

    This is about tapping into a lucrative market without paying the normal overheads that give back to the community for the privilege of doing so. Not good for any economy. Much like short-term holiday rental. There is seemingly no shortage of opportunists, in many industries, ready to play roundworm to the golden goose.


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