As I finalise another submission on another state government push for higher density development (gifting to developers) to address their failure to deliver on social and affordable housing, they do a backflip on Byron’s short term rental accommodation (STRA).
Our council and MP Tamara Smith are supporting our community but not the government. This issue has gouged our community for 20 years. STRA of entire homes was previously unlawful because the LEP defined tourism as prohibited in a residential zone. Councils won court cases, then the ALP state government stepped in and advised it was ‘looking into it’ after pressure from commercial interests.
The coalition made it easier for STRA while at the same time imposing increased housing densities. Our community has suffered, locals have left as neighbourhoods are turned into tourism areas. How many tourists is Byron Shire meant to accommodate?
Property prices have escalated as houses become a commercial investment, not a home. Government raises the economic impact defence but it’s clear they don’t understand the value of community. So who’s there for disasters? Not government; it’s community. The state doesn’t value community – who live, work, spend, volunteer, and contribute to our social capital. Instead they cave in to pressure from a commercial sector.
Surprised – NOT, outraged – ABSOLUTELY.