Oh dear. Australian Short Term Rental Accommodation (ASTRA), an anonymous entity, has advertised again in The Echo, this time claiming that a 90-day cap on short-term rentals, ‘… WILL KILL BYRON BAY’.
Really? Does ASTRA not have enough money to hire a decent ad writer? The ad also screams, ‘BYRON LOCALS ARE HAVING THEIR SAY,’ and three illogical, dramatic, exaggerated and disconnected statements follow.
I walked around the markets and found four locals willing to give an opinion about ASTRA’s full-page ad. Three of them had the same names as in the ad and on this day vehemently disagreed with what was printed.
‘I’m really annoyed that I was misquoted. Short-term accommodation kills off communities. People who live here have to tolerate (or not) troublesome holiday-makers who don’t contribute to the Byron culture and think Byron is about the lighthouse walk, the restaurants, and the pretty wine glasses,’ said Alison H.
‘Byron Bay has always had legitimate accommodation and as all apartments are holiday let – meaning no apartments for workers – there are barely enough full-time rentals for a town of this size,’ said Ashley O.
‘There is no way that ALL businesses will fail, as I was quoted this week. Banning unlimited short-term visitors will not mean no events and therefore no jobs. That’s rubbish. What about Bluesfest, Falls, the Writers Festival, Splendour, surfing tournaments, movie festivals, and even The Naked Bike Ride?’ said Sonya B.
‘When someone lies, they repeat the same information over and over. They don’t add new info because they don’t have any. I should know, having been here since 1968. I support the 90-day cap,’ said Warren S. ‘Here, have an organic banana.’
It’s the old story: greediness, profit, me-me-me; with no concerns for community wellbeing.