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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

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Latest News

Swivel by name, drivel by nature

The lack of authenticity of Byron Councillor, Mark Swivel, does not come as a surprise from this side of...

Other News

60 farmers blockaded Santos trucks and oppose CSG

More than 60 farmers blockaded Santos trucks on Saturday and police were called to a state forest near Gunnedah amid disputes over potential water extraction and fracking.

Appeal for flag stolen from Bruns

The two Aboriginal flags that fly high over the Brunswick River Bridge on Invasion Day have become a potent symbol of survival and solidarity for many in the Shire. 

V-Day returns to Byron Bay, February 14

A mass global action, One Billion Rising, which aims to end violence against women and children, is planned for V-Day on February 14, Main Beach, Byron Bay from 7am.

Tributes for songstress Sara Tindley

Hundreds gathered at a small rural property at Lindendale last week to say their final farewells to Sara Tindley, a very much loved personality from the Northern Rivers. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Have your Perfect Say

We live in a community where there is nowhere to live and the whole world is watching what we do next, wondering if we will do what their superstar tourist destinations did and regulate the housing market

Land values rise

Your cover story on 25 January claims that land valuation rises could herald increases in Council rates. This is...

Victims of Holiday Letting (VOHL) applauded the unanimous vote by Council for the creation of a 90-day cap for STRA in residential zones and the proposed boundaries for the 365-day precincts. VOHL was appalled that the decision making for this process has been taken away from Council, by the state government, at the last moment.

There is ample academic research that provides evidence that STRA has disrupted residential amenity, [severely decreased] the availability of long-term rentals, has increased rents and impacted housing affordability.

The following examples illustrate that STRA regulation in tourist hot spots has helped communities: Los Angeles, which had the second highest number of STRA listings in the US, and eighteen cities in Los Angeles County all enacted a total 90-day cap.

Within twelve months there had been a more than 50 per cent decrease in STRA listings with the majority converting to permanent rentals.

Accompanying was a four per cent average decrease in rental price.

The island of Oahu in Hawaii has created four tourist precincts.

Residential dwellings in these precincts are allowed to short term rent for 365 days a year. They are required to be licensed, not just registered (as in NSW), and this requires a rigorous scrutiny. All other residential zones allow STRA but the maximum period for one letting is 90 days. There are now minimal STRA listings in residential zones with a consequent improvement in residential amenity and rental availability.

Berlin has a 90-day cap, but if an owner wants to short term rent their dwelling, they must reside in it for a minimum of 50 per cent of the year.

When this cap was introduced the majority of former STRA converted to permanent rental, which benefitted residential amenity and those needing long-term rentals.

There are many other examples of STRA regulation. Based on overseas examples, Byron Council’s ‘soft touch’ regulation proposal will lead to an increase in permanent rental availability.

Doug Luke, Coordinator VOHL


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Land values rise

Your cover story on 25 January claims that land valuation rises could herald increases in Council rates. This is potentially misleading. A council’s total...

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy. 

Pothole protest gets immediate results

Psst: want to get Council staff to do something about the appalling state of roads in your neighbourhood? Organise a protest outside Mullum’s Council Chambers! By...

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Art imitates life in What’s Love Got to Do with It? a 2022 British romantic comedy-drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, from a screenplay by Jemima Khan.  The precis reads: ‘Set between London and Lahore, a filmmaker documents her childhood friend and neighbour’s arranged marriage to a bride from Pakistan.’