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Byron Shire
February 1, 2023

Hope for hundreds more long-term Byron Shire rentals

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Tamara Smith. Photo Tree Faerie.

At least 1,500* whole homes will come onto the Byron Shire’s rental market after the introduction of a 90-day short-term holiday letting cap, according to modelling from the NSW planning department.

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith quoted the figures as part of a statement welcoming the department’s approval of boutique proposed short-term accommodation regulations for the Byron Shire this week.

Ms Smith said it was disappointing another year would pass before the policy could take effect but that it would make a huge difference.

‘Given the housing crises in the Northern Rivers this cannot come into effect soon enough,’ Ms Smith said.

Planning minister Anthony Roberts first invited the council to make a submission more than three years ago.

NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts (centre, rear) with Tweed Shire Mayor Katie Milne (centre, front) plus councillors, senior council staff and planning staff.

Byron STRA policy to strengthen community, says Greens MP

Nearly four months after a locally declared housing crisis intensified thanks to thousands of homes being damaged or destroyed in floods and landslides, the council announced its proposal approval from the planning department.

Ms Smith described it as a ‘fantastic win’ for the community.

‘We get to shape the way our villages in Byron Shire grow rather than property developers and market forces,’ Ms Smith said.

‘The community has been lobbying for over a decade to reign in unfettered short-term holiday letting in Byron Shire,’ the Greens MP said, ‘we have all been aghast at the statistics of 3000 plus whole homes being entirely let on holiday platforms at any one time’.

Ms Smith thanked Mr Roberts for ‘having the courage to stare down powerful lobbyists in order to support our community’.

She also recognised ‘the leadership of Byron Shire Council Director Shannon Burt for this outstanding outcome’.

NB: This article originally quoted Ms Smith’s statement as stating 15,000 long-term rentals. Ms Smith’s office quickly contacted The Echo to say the figure was a typo and should have read 1,500.


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9 COMMENTS

  1. If you can afford to holiday for months at a time, you can afford to buy and leave the house empty for half the year and negative gear the place.
    Better to let wealthy people share one house between them, northerners in the summer and southerners in the winter, rather than make it worth their while to start buying places up.

  2. What on earth has Tamara ( or the Greens) got to do with this decision by the NSW Government .

    Absolutely nothing comes to mind other than her playing local politics. .

    Full congratulations should go to Mayor Michael Lyon and the Byron Independents .

    The Echo needs to remove its Green coloured glasses at times !

    • Michael Lyon is a former member of The Greens. Former Greens Mayor Simon Richardson and Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith have been calling for a 90-day cap on short-term holiday letting for years. Mr Stokes visisted the Byron Shire where he promised the Greens-led council at the time it could apply for a 90-day cap. Hopefully this context clarifies for you what The Greens have to do with the decision and why it is necessary to acknowledge the continued elected presence of The Greens, who have won signficicant numbers of votes in The Echo’s area of coverage – enough to weild power at timees – with or without glasses.

      • Echo editor please note. I t was former Planning Minister, and also now Planning Minister again, Anthony Roberts along with Ben Franklin by his side, in February 2019 provided the Ministerial Directive allowing Byron Shire to apply for a 90 day cap. Rob Stokes was the Planning Minister after the 2019 State election until Perrotet became Premier and he was re-shuffled into Environment.

        • Correction. Rob Stokes is currently
          Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Cities, and Minister for Active Transport
          All humans make mistakes including the Echo online editor and Tamara Smith

  3. ” NB: This article originally quoted Ms Smith’s statement as stating 15,000 long-term rentals. Ms Smith’s office quickly contacted The Echo to say the figure was a typo and should have read 1,500.”

    No prizes for guess where this Tamara ‘puff piece’ came from then !

  4. Should we allow developers to build more houses? Nah
    Should we allow landowners to build more dwellings? Nah
    How about tiny homes? Nah (you need a caravan park license for that)
    Should we allow landowners to subdivide? Nah
    How do we solve the the housing crisis then?
    More rules and regulations that restrict freedom and harm everyone. Yay.

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