11.5 C
Byron Shire
June 15, 2024

Shelter, shelter, shelter!

Latest News

Housing waiting lists jump over 100 per cent for Northern Rivers

Crisis response needed from NSW state government as listings for priority housing increase over 100 per cent in multiple Northern Rivers regions.

Other News

Comedy posters

Who’s stealing them? I recommend you look for a pissed-off comedian not on the bill. Andrew Hunter, Bangalow

Byron Writers Festival locals’ passes on sale June 13

Byron Writers Festival and First National Byron have  partnered again to offer Sunday Locals Passes.

Can I have more?

Whooo hooo! Byron Bay business community donates $1,360 to BayFM… ‘Please Sir, can I have some more?’ should have...

Ballina Council join study to understand water use

Ballina Council has joined Bathurst, Dubbo and the Murray River Council areas to participate in a cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology that aims to identify how people use water across regional NSW. 

Interschool Australian Surfing Championships launched on the Gold Coast last month

Palm Beach Currumbin State High School has taken home the overall School Winners trophy at the inaugural Australian Interschools Surfing Championships held at Miami on the Gold Coast last month.

Local runners impress at national championships

Byron Bay Runners are producing some of the best track runners in the country, with five of our senior squad athletes finishing in the top ten in their events at Athletics Australia’s recent national championships held in Adelaide, back in April.

Clearly, shelter is one of humankind’s basic needs. However, our Byron Shire region has moved so drastically to housing becoming a substantial financial benefit for the few that our community’s basic need is not being met.

This is hurtful for the many excluded from essential housing. However, it also creates social dislocation, division, and economic deprivation in that essential frontline workers are unavailable as the required people are priced out of the housing market. These forces create significant sociological and economic imbalances and require profound change.

Your refreshing publication reports on one improvement: housing use on rural community titles. This will enable an additional house or cabin accommodation to be built on community titles. This approach is to be commended as it meets the needs of the targeted group who are currently restricted.

However, much more is necessary, and the problem ‘Short Term Rental Accommodation Practice’, as reported in your paper, needs significant review. It seems such a waste that in a time of dire shortage there is so much, plenty where large numbers of housing remain empty as Airbnbers await the prime rental times of Easter and Christmas. Surely there must be a moderating mechanism for this ‘greed is good’ approach.

The original concept of Airbnb was to generate income by a landlord letting out a few spare rooms in their home. The point was to use up spare accommodation and reduce unproductive housing wastage. This original intention has moved far away from its beginnings. I believe that Airbnb accommodation within a designated residential area should require a live-in host, who would reside in the home and provide conventional controls. This approach needs the engagement of our local business operators who rely on the availability of visitor accommodation to support commerce.

In addition, coordination between local and state governments, with the support of private enterprise, will be required to accelerate the freeing up of land for affordable housing. These significant issues need cross-government unity, strong local representation, and an open-minded approach without the filter of ideology.

Finally, where do our civic duties and humanitarianism reside when we reject areas in our neighbourhoods for short-term living accommodation needs for the myriad of our community whom the devastating floods have displaced? We must support the welfare of the long-suffering displaced in our community.

I know I’ve covered a wide range of issues around housing in this letter. Who is interested in continuing the conversation with me so that, over time, we can together produce positive change?

Josh Booyens, Candidate NSW Nationals, Ballina


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Everywhere we look we see signs of economic downturn, environmental destruction and social breakdown. It’s easy to wonder how we can ever improve our lives and those of our kids.

Mullet fishers destroy dunes and native plants at Gawandii Beach, Shaws Bay

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Flood-prone land subdivision DA on exhibition

A proposal by developer Callum Sked to subdivide flood-prone land near the Mullumbimby Showground is now on public exhibition on Council’s website until June 25.