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Byron Shire
August 20, 2022

Real estate push

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Addressing the recent real estate push, aided by the NSW Planning Department to up-re-market ‘the cost of housing in Byron Shire to ‘high-end’ crisp beige ‘jooshy’ standards, there is not one aspect of life that has not been negatively affected economically for the community in the Byron Shire.

I write of the stresses surrounding the environment, (eg floods) ongoing structural homelessness (mothers and children living in cars, workers/ unemployed and First Nations folk sleeping in the Dunes), developer-driven demands that flout authority with threats that defy the Local Environment Plan (LEP) and with foot stamping threats to Council that the ratepayers will pay the consequences in the Land and Environment Court if neoliberal ‘market driven’ development demands are not met.

It is not surprising that violin music, which once celebrated Beautiful Byron, has switched from a major to a minor key when a neoliberal developer came to town with a big whinge about the cost of using infrastructure in the Byron Shire. It seems that Byron is ‘more expensive than other places’. Indeed, a quick neoliberal calculation revealed that such monetary evidence has resulted in ‘market inflation’, resulting in the potential for an equivalent cup of coffee costing $160! I feel sorry for the weary councillors who all swallowed this neoliberal spin. Eyeglazed? Flood weary? They gave the developers what they wanted! Then again, someone may have dropped a ‘neolib thick-head’ pill in their coffee.

Jo Faith, Newtown


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