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Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

Tourists stay home!

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What does Australia Day mean?

Another Australia Day. Another divisive polemic about the date, the day, and its meaning. Those who seek to change the date argue that 26 January signifies the beginning of Britain’s invasion of Australia and the violent expropriation of Aboriginal lands.

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Tweed Shire celebrates Australia Day online

Tweed Shire Council says that in the interests of public health Council has rearranged its Australia Day celebrations on Wednesday, January 26.

Man charged following pursuit – Far North Coast

A man has been charged with driving offences following a police pursuit in the state’s far north.

Disaster prevention pledge welcomed

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed a pre-election commitment from Federal Labor to invest up to $200 million per year in disaster prevention and resilience.

Doug Luke, Coordinator, VOHL

Victims of Holiday Letting (VOHL) welcomes the latest Health Order from the NSW government that will help safeguard the Byron Shire community.

Last Tuesday, Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 (NSW) was legislated and will operate until June 27 or until revoked.

A section of this order states ‘The Minister directs that a person must not, without reasonable excuse, leave the person’s residence. Taking a holiday in a regional area is not a reasonable excuse.’

Basically, any tourist going into a holiday let in Byron Shire or other NSW regional area for a holiday is breaking the law. Each person could be issued with an on the spot fine by police. To safeguard our community police should be contacted by residents.

The NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and NSW Labor Opposition leader Jodi McKay each made a media release just before this order imploring people not to travel to regional areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Both politicians have holiday lets in regional NSW that are in my opinion illegal. It is extremely hypocritical of these politicians that they still have their holiday lets available on Airbnb for short term renting as of last Wednesday.

Australian Short Term Rental Association president Rob Jeffress, who lists 445 properties on Airbnb, wrote to the Treasurer and the Tourism Minister last week, calling for support. The letter, backed by both Stayz and Airbnb, called for several measures to help hosts – including mortgage deferrals, tax relief on rental income, rebates on tourism levies and land taxes, and for hosts to be eligible for the financial support package announced for small to medium businesses.

VOHL has no argument with this so long as it is directed only to approved accommodation providers, such as B&Bs who have obtained development consent. Mr Jeffress is asking for taxpayers’ money for businesses that are still an illegal and prohibited activity in many local government areas including Byron Shire.

There isn’t any need for a taxpayer funded bailout as Airbnb has launched its ‘superhost’ relief fund.

Both MPs Barilaro and McKay will be eligible for a US$5,000 cash hand out from Airbnb.

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  1. Adding to Barilaro and McKay is Don Harwin, NSW Upper House Liberal leader. Harwin has a holiday let at Pearl Beach on the NSW Central Coast. He was staying there, away from his principal place of residence in Sydney, before the Health Order was issued. The Police Commisioner issued a $1,000 fine on April 9 for breaking this order. Our political leaders are hypocrites.

  2. The Airbnb Superhost Relief Fund is BS. The grants are ‘by invitation only’ and, at most, will benefit 2,000 super hosts GLOBALLY. Just another Airbnb PR exercise.


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