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Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Join the call for real housing over profits in Byron Shire 

Latest News

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Kinship Festival returns Saturday 25 May to Murwillumbah

The Kinship Festival – a free North Coast cultural festival led by First Nations people – will be held in Knox Park, Murwillumbah on Saturday, 25 May.

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Hundreds gathered on Christmas Eve in Apex Park Byron Bay to oppose the rollback of the 90 Day Cap. Photo Tree Faerie.

Local resident Liz Friend raised thousands of dollars for the homeless in 2021 in recognition of the housing crisis that was swamping the region, this was before the unprecedented floods in February/March this year. 

The state government had promised the Byron Shire Council that they would give them the opportunity to reduce some areas for un-hosted holiday rentals down to 90 days per year so that they could have some influence over the ongoing increase in residential homes being rented out as short term rental accommodation (STRA). But at the eleventh hour, after four years of surveys and economic studies by the Byron Council, the state government pulled the pin on their commitment to residents in the Byron Shire and said that the decision would be taken from the hands of the council and placed with the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC). 

Hundreds of locals gathered in Byron Bay on Christmas Eve to protest the decision and send the message to the state government that ‘we want homes, not hotels’. 

‘It is out of control,’ said Ballina MP Tamara Smith. 

‘And we’re not alone in the world, that experiencing this complete loss of the right for residential to for homes to be for people to live in.’

Ms Smith said the goalposts have changed many times. ‘I said to the premier –  if you really care about our housing crisis,  deliver the cap for council – and he said “yes”. And then I met with Minister Roberts and the ball started rolling again. So at the 11th hour, after we saw massive lobbying, by vested interest – we’re dealing with international corporations, we’re dealing with very, very wealthy people that don’t live here, most of them – and lo and behold, Council was vetoed.

Liz Friend and Ron Curran launching their “Byron Deserves Balance” campaign. Image supplied

Sign the petition

As part of the campaign for housing in Byron Shire and more broadly the Northern Rivers Ms Friend started the ‘Byron Deserves Balance‘ petition and it needs as many signatures as it can get to send a clear message to the state government that Byron Deserves Better.

‘The ”Byron Deserves Balance” petition needs many more signatures after the NSW government last week back-flipped on their election promise to approve Byron Council’s proposal for a 90 day cap on un-hosted holiday rentals in parts of Byron Shire,’ explained Ms Friend. 

‘Un-hosted holiday lets are a commercial business. We already have too few available or affordable rentals, which has resulted in so much homelessness. 

‘Please sign this petition so we can send a submission to the upcoming IPC inquiry. The community needs to stand up to counter an invested and greedy minority who are currently determining the quantity and cost of housing in this shire.’


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3 COMMENTS

  1. The potential silver lining of holiday letting going to a State Gov Planning panel is that we can push for more protection than a 90 day cap – ie that non residential investors who want to do holiday letting in Residential living zones are restricted to ONLY authorised B&Bs and Managed Apartments, with both subject to DA’s.

  2. No link listed for the petition … WILL YOU BE ABLE TO ADD IT PLEASE. I suppose I can google it, but to make the article more effective, placing a link would have been helpful. Love the Byron Echo – thanks for keeping that going …

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