Victims of Holiday Letting (VOHL) have read all the documents provided on the Independent Planning Commission website, for the inquiry into Byron Council’s planning proposal for a 90-day cap in certain residential areas for STRA.
Four documents are of particular interest. On 25 October, 2022, Colin Hussey sent a letter to Anthony Roberts, the planning minister. Mr Hussey signed his letter as ‘Chair of the Australian Short Term Rental Association Byron and CEO of A Perfect Stay’.
There were two attachments to Mr Hussey’s letter. They were letters of support, for Mr Hussey’s lobbying to the minister, from councillors Mark Swivel and Alan Hunter. These two councillors owe an explanation to the community about why they provided these letters to Mr Hussey, rather than sending them directly to the minister. As one VOHL member said, ‘it seems like a favour for a mate’.
Mr Hussey stated to the minister that any caps are ‘unenforceable’. This statement appears to be an invitation for holiday-let owners and managers to break the law. Mr Hussey, is there any STRA in Byron Shire that is breaching the current shire-wide 180-day cap that you wish to retain?
The fourth letter of interest is from an employee of A Perfect Stay to the minister, dated 7 December 2022. Ms Workman states in her letter ‘Tourism Research Australia and ABS data that was commissioned ($267m removed each year from the local economy and 1,448 jobs at stake)’. Tourism Research Australia denied undertaking any such research Echo October 12, 2022). Why is Ms Workman persisting with this fabrication?