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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Housing debate in Byron Shire

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Stuart Riley, Brunswick Head

I read with interest the recent comment in The Echo on the housing debate in Byron Shire (17 March).

I know l’ll get shot down in flames but I’d like to just mention a few things regarding development in the Byron Shire from my perspective.

I recently built a two-bedroom ‘granny flat’ in the backyard of my property in the Shire, all done to Council specifications, right down to signing off that it wouldn’t be holiday let.

It has been let out to a local for $450 per week (not the $500 p/w one bed that Mr Richardson says people are paying).

To build it I employed a local builder who subsequently employs local tradies. So this ‘greedy development’ so far has helped one local looking for accommodation and a local builder and tradies. All the materials were sourced locally and that’s put money in the pockets of those businesses helping them survive difficult recent times.

I didn’t notice being called a greedy developer when the council were receiving their many fees in application or when my rates have now gone up substantially. No, Mr Richardson will keep quiet on how much the council are reaping in application fees and rates from all the greedy entrepreneurs. Where is all that money going?

Why should it be up to developers to build affordable housing and what incentives have Mr Richardson and his ‘Green’ councillors got in place to do so?

And with all the new revenue from all the greedy developers and speculators why couldn’t Council buy some land of their own and do their equivalent West Byron development full of affordable housing and a big van park that’s cheap for transients to come and visit the Shire?

There are two sides to every story. Time the Byron Shire was put under the spotlight and stop demonising greedy developers who are actually lining the civic coffers.

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