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Byron Shire
January 29, 2022

Sympathetic noises

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For years Simon Richardson has made all the right noises against holiday letting – without doing anything identifiable to change things on the actual ground.

This is the standard behaviour of the standard politician; the National Party’s Don Page was an expert, and Simon’s right up there.

I gather from last week’s Echo that Simon is now handing it over to Councillor Michael Wannabee Lyon to carry on the good posturing. Given Councillor Wannabee’s supine capacity to be deceived over a number of other issues, I suspect that the holiday letting industry will effortlessly run rings around him should he be elected. He refers to the ‘pushback’ against Council’s policy of limiting holiday letting to 90 days per year.

Doesn’t he realise that this policy is a crock of poo and that the industry is laughing at him by pretending to be worried? Tell us, councillor, how many holiday letters have been prosecuted since Simon came to power? That is, where logically the limit on holiday letting was always zero days? You wouldn’t know.

Perhaps you can tell us then how compliance will be achieved without enforcement? Have you noticed how few bike riders are wearing helmets since the cops stopped enforcing the law? It’s human nature councillor; why desist from something that’s not punished?

Last month, councillor, you voted in favour of the Staff Compliance Priorities Program. This is a document replete with category overlaps, undefined terms, waivers, excuses, and escape clauses.

But one thing was clear, if you were determined to look; there were 113 complaints against holiday letters, (we are told on p.96 of the agenda) of which a similar number of investigation were ‘completed’. Tell us what ‘completed’ means, councillor, because if you go to p.100 you will see clearly the words ‘…there were no prosecutions of holiday let properties’.

Okay, what about noise emanating from holiday let properties? On p.99 we are told that there were 185 complaints about noise, but we have to go to p.101 to learn that ‘many’ of those complaints related to holiday let properties. How many infringement notices were issued against holiday letters? Impossible to work out from the information provided, which tells me that zero were issued.

When I write letters to The Echo I go to a lot of trouble to bring out the salient points to make them understandable to readers. Correspondingly, Council staff obviously go to a lot of trouble to obscure certain information, while purporting to provide it.

Councillors Richardson and Cameron alone on Council are intelligent and educated enough to see what’s really going on. But for their different reasons they elect to remain blind and silent. As a result, the farce rolls on and on… Maybe after the election?

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