11 February 2019
Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith MP has welcomed the decision by the NSW Government to reverse its one-size-fits-all holiday letting legislation which allows short term rental accommodation for up to 365 days per year in regional areas.
“This is great news for residents of Byron Shire and for Byron Bay who have been so dramatically affected by the large numbers of whole houses available for short term letting for long periods of the year, forcing long term renters out of Byron,” said Ms Smith.
“I have consistently supported Byron Shire Council in its wish to limit short term holiday letting to 90 days or less per year. Byron residents made their wishes clear to the National-Liberal Government with almost 700 people signing my petition to let local councils determine the maximum number of short term holiday letting days. I also forwarded almost 50 submissions from constituents opposing the National-Liberal government’s short term rental accommodation legislation in November.”
“The Planning Minister Anthony Roberts treated Byron Bay residents’ concerns as a joke when I asked him at Question Time in Parliament if the NSW government would allow Byron Shire Council to limit unregulated short term holiday letting to below 180 days due to the negative impacts that holiday letting is having on the community.
“I am therefore very glad to see the NSW government has reversed its rather arrogant stance and allowed Byron Shire Council to set the maximum number of days for itself.
The Nationals and Liberal members in the upper and lower houses all, without exception, voted for the legislation that would allow all year round holiday letting in Byron Bay and voted against Greens’ amendments seeking to let local councils decide. The NSW government should not now be expecting the people of Byron and Ballina Shires to be grateful for fixing the mess that they made in the first place,” said Ms Smith.
Greens Acting Mayor of Byron Shire Michael Lyon said: “What we’ve been advocating for all along is for our local council to have the power to regulate short-term holiday letting according to our needs.
“A one-size-fits-all state policy on short term holiday letting was never going to work in Byron where commercial activities are taking over residential zones to the detriment of character and amenity.
“I cautiously welcome today’s announcement as a step in the right direction but more needs to be done to make it work, including a locally maintained holiday letting registration system. What today does is allow us to work with our community on where and how much holiday letting is allowed in our Shire to get the balance right,” said Cr Lyon.