Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby
For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the ever-increasing housing shortage crisis in Byron Shire, recently made much worse by the influx of city folk escaping the rat race.
For those of you who aren’t aware, five million dollars of our hard-earned tax dollars is being spent on a campaign to encourage even more people to move to regional areas, and Byron Shire is included as a preferred destination. The genius behind this is the Regional Australia Institute.
The reasons for moving to this area, they state, is because it’s so much more affordable (really – so the growing population of people living in cars and tents or couch surfing are doing so by choice, are they?), the jobs are plentiful (um … hmmm), and you’ll be able to spend much more time with your family owing to the reduced commuting time. Ah, well, sure, if you have a ten-minute drive to your high-paying job from your very ordinary $million-plus house, then good for you. For the rest of us, however, we often find ourselves in the situation of having to travel an hour or so to work (if you’re lucky enough to have a job), just to be able to afford the rent or mortgage. I urge those of you that can see the flaw in this otherwise brilliant plan, to contact the seemingly ill-informed group (regionalaustralia.org.au/home/contact), tell them how it really is, and encourage them to spend our money on something that will actually benefit someone somewhere (How about some affordable accommodation, or shelter for the homeless for example?)