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Byron Shire
June 18, 2021

Labor call for social housing, declines to commit on climate

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Labor were out in force in Byron last Friday: Federal Richmond MP, Justine Elliot, the Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Regional Services, Local Government and Territories, Jason Clare, and Labor’s Byron Shire mayoral hopeful, Asren Pugh, gathered to talk about the disastrous state of housing in Byron Shire.

By coincidence, the trio watched over 1,000 young people march past them, who were demanding action on the climate crisis.

Yet despite making no commitment on taking strong action on that emergency, they were prepared to recognise that action is needed to tackle the ongoing housing crisis.

Mrs Elliot said, ‘The north coast faces a huge housing affordability crisis, a rental crisis and a homelessness crisis. In our region, we’ve seen the largest increases in house prices across the nation and our rental vacancies at just 0.3 per cent’.

Mr Clare highlighted that currently the respective state and federal ministers for housing don’t even meet, and said that if he were minister for housing and homelessness, he would bring together all levels of government.

‘You have to get the federal and state governments talking [to each other] if you want to come up with effective solutions’, he said.

It was pointed out that the definition of affordable housing, currently defined as 20 per cent below the market rate, was failing Byron and other communities around the country. However, Mr Clare was unwilling to commit to an examination of the definition, even though it was highlighted that this definition failed to provide real affordable housing in the region. 

Instead, he focussed on Labor’s commitment to building 20,000 social housing dwellings and 10,000 affordable housing dwellings. He told the gathered media that, ‘we need to get the balance right between short-term holiday letting (STHL), affordable housing and social housing’ to address the homelessness and housing issues’.

Addressing the issue of the short-term holiday letting crisis that is contributing to the lack of housing in the region, Mr Pugh said that ‘under 90 days as a limit in areas for STHL are needed in the Shire to beat the business model’.

Mr Pugh pointed out that regulations need to ‘apply equally and be properly enforced. They need make the rules and regulations easy to follow. There needs to be a levy on accommodation in Byron Shire. It is the only way to get a return to the community that then supports the infrastructure and the provision of everything from playgrounds to roads’.

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  1. Nice bit loaded headlining here:

    “By coincidence, the trio watched over 1,000 young people march past them, who were demanding action on the climate crisis.

    Yet despite making no commitment on taking strong action on that emergency, they were prepared to recognise that action is needed to tackle the ongoing housing crisis.”

    How was their attitude to climate change detected? The expressions on their faces as the marchers passed? Did they hiss and boo? Did the Echo actually interrogate the issue?

  2. The ALP are a lost cause . A Party in terminal decline .
    Clueless at every level of Government , including local government . They pluck figures and policies out of the air, and say anything , in a vain attempt to appeal to each Electorate .

  3. Really Jimmie plucking figures out of the air you better talk to Scottie and Angus Taylor- imaginary figures there with carbon emissions. What happened to being back in the black. What about Gladys and her secret boyfriend and icac, ferries that don’t fit under bridges, trains that couldnt fit stations and tunnels, Icare and its multiple issues, brumbies over koalas- the list goes on and on. So jimmy who is hopeless?

  4. Yes Liz, it’s quite amazing that if the ALP. is in terminal decline, just how do they manage to govern NT. Qld. Vic. and WA. with such thumping majorities, when the Coalition Govt’s in NSW., SA., Tas. and Federally are either in minority Govt. or govern by the slimmest of majorities. Sometimes it’s better to just ignore ridiculous claims like that, they are not worthy of a dignified response. An ALP. dominated Council in Byron Bay would have to be an improvement to the status quo.

  5. The Libs have successfully wedged the ALP between action on climate and jobs and preservation of private wealth. The ALP doesn’t know which way to go on climate policy so they play the weatherman well — ‘which way is the wind blowing today?’. They are afraid to lead and think the best way to play the game is to say nothing. ALP leader, good olde Albo is playing the role very well. Better to say nothing than make a mistake! The ALP has not committed itself to a jobs transition from coal even though new mining jobs and mines are opening every day. No mention that corporate coal has a proud history of shedding thousands of jobs due to automation through huge open cut mining which by the way, we know will never be filled and reacclimated so the land is lost forever. Obviously the AWU has a stranglehold on remaining jobs and is more pro Lib than loyal to Labour. Where are the Greens in on all this …? Seeking a coalition which is the only hope to offset the other coal teams…..? I don’t see it. Strangely enough, a good swag of the public and private sector are voting with their dollars and consumer habits to isolate both major political parties on the climate crisis. Seems you cant stop a movement whose time has come and likewise you can save an industry or political party whose time is done ! Thank God…

    • The Greens do their fair share of helping with the wedging! Politics is the are of the possible – the best way of getting action on climate change is through stronger support of the only party with both a viable chance of gaining government and a will to tackle the problem.

  6. What most people find most exacerbating about the Greens is not necessarily their purist ideology, it’s their uncompromising attitude and their seeming acceptance of 100% of nothing rather than 80% of something, and then blame the Labor Party for selling out the environment. WA. Premier Mark McGowan made a poignant statement to the recent ALP. Federal conference that the Greens would be well advised to listen to; that to wrest control from the Coalition, they have to move to the center, leftist policies will not do it. The last election proved that the majority of voters are worried more about their financial futures than environmental problems like climate change, and will vote accordingly. The Greens at times manage to embarrass the ALP. enough to pinch a few seats, but that doesn’t help one bit in removing the Coalition who are the real enemy. Bob Brown actually helped the Coalition win the last election with that stupid Adani protest to North Qld. during the election campaign, instead of winning seats in Qld. we lost them. It also put the Qld. Premier in such a precarious position that she had to approve the coal mine to save her own job, or would the Greens be happier with the LNP. back governing Qld. And Matt Canavan, Clive Palmer, Gina Reinhardt and Cambell Newman formulating coal mining and environmental policy. How about the Greens actually concentrate on removing this appalling Coalition Govt. instead of constantly slagging off at the Labor Party, because this shit is not going to stop until that happens, and at present it’s looking like they are going to buy their way back in for another three years, now isn’t that a very scary thought.

  7. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Voters are a strange breed.
    Lateral thinking. They will not take a gutsy responsibility for the country they say
    they love… more’s the pity. We need to go back in time when people stopped
    expecting ‘others’ to prop them up. Today football rules its I.Q.s


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