19.1 C
Byron Shire
January 22, 2022

Nationals MP calls for emergency response to housing crisis

Latest News

Greens Mandy Nolan to hold community forum in support of nurses and paramedics

Locally and across the state nurses, and paramedics are struggling in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as they are being asked to do double shifts and manage effectively in health system that is struggling to cope. This has led to an increasing number of nurses and paramedics resigning.

Other News

Can you volunteer to help Friends of the Koala in Lismore?

Lismore’s Friends of the Koala have been on the frontline of saving koalas for many long years and are looking for volunteers to help them keep the species alive.

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.

Editorial: Dear Committee Secretariat

The federal Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has commenced a new inquiry into Australia’s regional newspapers (print...

It is The Byron Shire Quiz!

It is The Byron Shire Quiz!  How much do you think you know about the Byron Shire? Ross Kendall challenges you to...

Greens Mandy Nolan to hold community forum in support of nurses and paramedics

Locally and across the state nurses, and paramedics are struggling in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as they are being asked to do double shifts and manage effectively in health system that is struggling to cope. This has led to an increasing number of nurses and paramedics resigning.

Mullumbimby Indian Restaurant

The Mullum Indian Restaurant is situated, conveniently, a short drive from town, at the Mullumbimby Golf Club and...


The so-called housing crisis deserves a government emergency response, one of the government’s MPs says.

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis [Nationals] called for emergency orders in response to the NSW housing crisis on Tuesday as part of an online regional housing taskforce meeting.

Mr Gulaptis said the government had shown it was capable of an emergency response to the pandemic and the housing crisis deserved the same.

Strong regional turnout for housing taskforce

Tuesday afternoon’s meeting for the North Coast region was intended to be an in-person event in Ballina happening over two days.

But the government last week downsized the meeting to 90 mins online due to lockdowns, at that time in Greater Sydney and parts of regional NSW including Ballina.

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith; Nationals Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis; Byron Shire Deputy Mayor Sarah Ndiaye; Byron Shire Council General Manager Mark Arnold; Byron Shire Director Planning Shannon Burt; and Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland were some of the participants in Tuesday’s meeting, alongside representatives of social housing advocacy groups, other local government members and staff, North Coast residents and at least one man who said he was an architect from Byron Bay.

More than one participant vocalised what The Echo has repeatedly heard from housing stakeholders: limited availability wasn’t due to limited housing supply.

Mr Fielding heard participants speak of issues around short-term holiday letting, land-banking and the definition of affordable housing.

Housing for highway workers while DV and disaster survivors struggle

A participant from local government on the central coast described ‘social stratification’ in her area as the result of the housing crisis, including the example of a teacher living in her car because she couldn’t find an affordable place to live.

The meeting heard the Mid North Coast Joint Organisation was looking at the feasibility of a community land trust, an idea already adopted by the Byron Shire Council.

The organisation represented the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Bellingen Shire Council and Kempsey Shire Council.

Meanwhile, Mr Gulaptis questioned priorities and regulatory processes for temporary housing.

The Member for Clarence said he didn’t understand how accommodation could be easily be found for road workers upgrading the Pacific Highway while emergency housing for domestic violence and weather disaster survivors was still an issue.

Big developers unresponsive to regional housing crisis needs

Several participants described unmet demand for one and two bedroom dwellings, particularly for single women over the age of 55.

Mr Fielding questioned an apparent lack of interest from developers in building such dwellings and was surprised when a participant representing the Lismore City Council said efforts to incentivise developers had failed.

Another local government representative further south said hopes for smaller dwellings lay mostly with ‘mum and dad’ investors because conventional housing developers like Lendlease were only interested in making profits from mass house and land packages.

The meeting participant described traditional house and land estates as ‘urban sprawl’ unwanted in regional NSW but acknowledged many regional residents weren’t used to seeing medium-density dwellings in their areas.

The meeting also heard of planning regulation difficulties when it came to approving kitchenettes and shared laundries in smaller dwellings and medium-density living.

Ballina MP calls for long-term rental tax breaks

Member for Ballina Tamara Smith [Greens] said she’d made a submission to a parliamentary housing inquiry last week, including suggestions for long-term rental tax-incentives.

Ms Smith said there were zero incentives for residential property owners in Byron Bay to rent to long-term tenants when they could make significantly more profit via holiday letting, current lockdowns notwithstanding.

The idea of tax concessions attracted support in the meeting’s written chat section, where participants said the housing crisis was about more than planning regulations and supply and tax structures needed to be addressed.

Submissions to the regional housing taskforce could be made via the NSW planning department online until four o’clock PM on 27 August.

The taskforce was due to report back to the planning minister in September, with a final report due in October.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NSW COVID update on COVID deaths – vax stats and comorbidities

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet again opened his COVID update with condolences to families who have lost loved ones, and thanks to the  ‘inspirational work of our health workers'.

January 21 National Cabinet on Omicron, RATs, vax and treatments

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a media release about yesterday's meeting of the National Cabinet.

Reform needed to deliver electric trucks in Australia

With the aim of getting more electric-powered trucks on Australian roads, the Electric Vehicle Council and the Australian Trucking Association have collaborated to develop the policies necessary to drive Australian trucking into an electric future.

Biz step up to feed frontline staff

Local paramedics will be able to get free coffee and snacks at selected local cafes, as part of a major community effort to support frontline health workers during the ongoing and increasing COVID-19 outbreak.