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Byron Bay News

NSW Government tightens the cap on Airbnb and short-term rental accommodation in Byron Bay

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The state government has capped short-term rental accommodation in Byron Bay to try and free up more homes
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NSW Government tightens the cap on Airbnb and short-term rental accommodation in Byron Bay

 

By Sarah Waters

It’s only one part of the puzzle in solving Byron Bay’s complex housing crisis, but Airbnbs and other short-term holiday accommodation in most parts of the Shire can only be rented 60 days a year.

The NSW Government made the major announcement last week.

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It came in response to the Independent Planning Commission’s (IPC) recommendation to cap un-hosted short-term rental accommodation from 180 days to 60 days a year, in a bid to return more long-term rentals to the market.

Byron Shire Council supported the 60-day cap and has been waiting, since April, for NSW Planning Minister Paul Scully to accept or reject the IPC recommendation.

The sweeping change will not affect hosted short-term rentals (where the host lives on the property during the stay) which can still be rented out 365 days a year.

Precincts in Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads, identified by council as having ‘high tourism appeal’ will be able to operate without a cap – allowing homes to be used as short-term rentals all year.

There will be a 12-month transition period for the community and industry to prepare before the new rules take effect on September 26 next year.

Planning minister Paul Scully said the undersupply of affordable housing in the Byron Shire largely affected key workers and permanent residents.

NSW Planning Minister Paul Scully will continue to monitor Byron Shire Council’s housing supply plans

NSW Planning Minister Paul Scully will continue to monitor Byron Shire Council’s housing supply plans

“These changes to short term rental accommodation only addresses part of Byron’s housing supply and affordability issues,” Mr Scully said.

“It was important for me to clearly understand council’s plans to deliver more housing through other mechanisms, before making a decision on the proposal.

“After reviewing council’s housing response … I have decided to endorse the new cap across parts of the Byron Shire, as recommended by the IPC,” he said.

The Department of Planning and Environment will continue to work with Byron Shire Council to monitor its commitment to increase housing supply.

Council needs to supply more than 4500 houses by 2041 to meet its housing targets, set by the NSW Government.

In council’s recently released Housing Options Paper it outlines plans to deliver homes, by releasing more land for development and creating new dwellings on vacant or under-utilised land.

Mr Scully said he recognised short term rental accommodation was a complex matter in the Shire, given the region’s unique and exceptional circumstances as one of Australia’s most visited tourism destinations.

But it was crucial more homes were returned for permanent residency, particularly to have workers in the visitor economy.

“In the current housing crisis, it’s important every available means to boost housing stock for the community is utilised, including a shift from non-hosted short term rental accommodation (STRA) to long term rentals,” he said.

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon said he welcomed the NSW Government’s decision, which ‘broadly aligned’ with a couple of the key recommendations put forward by the IPC earlier this year.

“The planning minister has acknowledged the shortage of permanent housing supply in the Byron Shire and the impact STRA is having on people’s ability to find stable, long-term accommodation,” Mr Lyon said.

“We have always said that regulating STRA will not solve the housing crisis in our Shire, but it will increase the pool of long-term rental accommodation which is so vital for people, especially key workers and those on lower incomes,” Mayor Lyon said.

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon says council is committed to delivering more housing for its residents

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon says council is committed to delivering more housing for its residents

The state government became involved in council’s housing plans late last year, just before it was about to introduce a 90-day cap on short-term holiday accommodation in parts the Shire.

In December 2022, the former NSW planning minister, asked the IPC to provide advice about housing supply issues in the Byron Shire as well as council’s planning proposal.

The IPC held a public hearing and accepted community submissions.

In April this year, the IPC finalised its review and provided its advice.

The IPC’s report suggested a 60-day cap would send a stronger market signal to encourage a shift from non-hosted STRA uses to long term rental.

The cap was one of 12 key recommendations it made in its report.

At this stage, the government will not adopt all of the recommendations, but will take them into account as part of its broader state-wide STRA review later this year.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said to solve the housing crisis there simply needs to be more supply of housing and it can’t just be put on Airbnb and other short-term rental accommodation providers.

 

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Byron Bay News

Byron Bay RDE – Regional Disability and Seniors Expo 2024: Call for Exhibitors

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Byron Bay RDE
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Byron Bay RDE – Regional Disability and Seniors Expo 2024: Call for Exhibitors

 

In regional New South Wales, individuals with disabilities and seniors, along with their caregivers, often encounter difficulties in accessing the essential resources and support that are more readily available in larger urban centres. This disparity is frequently due to a lack of awareness about the local services and support systems, compelling many to undertake unnecessary travel to metropolitan areas or, worse, to forego critical assistance altogether.

Sharon Fulwood, an event manager, and parent to two children with disabilities, understands these challenges from personal experience, particularly in navigating the complexities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) within her community. To bridge this gap, Sharon is spearheading the inaugural Byron Bay Regional Disability Expo (RDE), which will also feature a Seniors Expo, providing a much-needed platform for accessing a plethora of services locally.

Set for July 5, 2024, at the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay, the expo aims to empower, educate, and connect individuals with disabilities, seniors, and caregivers with the latest resources, technologies, and services available to them. This event promises to be a pivotal resource, eliminating the need for long-distance travel by consolidating a wide range of services under one roof.

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Exhibitor Invitation: To ensure the success of this vital initiative, Sharon invites providers of products and services related to developmental delays, health conditions, congenital disabilities, aging, and more to participate in this enriching expo. Exhibiting at the Byron Bay RDE offers a unique opportunity to network with other organisations, collaborate on solutions, and engage directly with end-users—thereby playing an active role in enhancing the lives of the local disability and senior communities.

Event Details:

  • Date: Friday, 5 July 2024
  • Venue: Cavanbah Centre, 249 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay

Exhibitors at the Byron Bay RDE will gain invaluable exposure and direct feedback from the community, enhancing their ability to serve and support. This event is not just an expo but a community effort to bring local and regional resources to the forefront, ensuring that those who need them most are well-informed and supported.

For more information on how to participate or register as an exhibitor, please visit the official Byron Bay RDE website or contact the event management team directly. Join us in making a significant impact in the Byron Bay community—your expertise and services can make a real difference.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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2022 Floods

$300,000 funding agreement to help deliver flood resilient land in the Byron Shire

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Janelle Saffin, Paul Scully, Michael Lyon Resilient Lands Program Saddle Road Precinct
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$300,000 funding agreement to help deliver flood resilient land in the Byron Shire

 

The NSW Government is providing Byron Shire Council $300,000 through the Resilient Lands Program to provide safe, flood resilient land for new housing at the Saddle Road Precinct in Brunswick Heads.

The funding from the NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA) will allow Council to complete a Structure Plan, Infrastructure Priority Plan, technical studies, and community engagement to investigate suitability for new housing and public infrastructure in the precinct.

Located on the western side of the Pacific Motorway, the site is just five minutes by car to Brunswick Heads and eight to Mullumbimby. It is well above projected flood heights which will provide opportunities for new homes off the flood plain.

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Saddle Road is the third site to be identified under the RA’s Resilient Lands Program (RLP). The site is also the first to be identified outside of the Lismore LGA under the program, and has also been flagged in Byron Shire Council’s Residential Strategy as a key site for future residential development.

It follows the recent announcement of 400 new lots in East Lismore and up to 50 new households in the Mount Pleasant Estate at Goonellabah.

While the final number of homes at Saddle Road will be determined following detailed planning and community engagement, based on site-specifications, it is estimated between 500-800 homes could be delivered.

The RLP is accelerating the delivery of new land and housing options, linking with the $700 million Resilient Homes Program (RHP), giving flood impacted homeowners a pathway to move to a safer location.

The RA will work with RHP buyback participants to secure suitable and affordable land and will provide further support to those eligible who wish to relocate their existing homes.

For more information, visit NSW Reconstruction Authority.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“This funding is a win-win for the community and Byron Shire Council.

“Not only will it help to unlock flood-resilient lots for people to build on, it also helps Council and the NSW Government deliver on its promise of more homes for our growing population.

“The land is positioned near existing services and an established community and will provide a beautiful, safe place to live for those affected by the nearby flood plain.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin said:

“The announcement of this third site under the Resilient Lands Program is the first one outside of Lismore.

“Locals communities and Councils can be assured that the wheels of the RLP are starting to turn right across the Northern Rivers.

“This announcement will be followed by others in our local government areas and will see more land become available, giving people accepting buybacks in the Resilient Homes Program a variety of places to choose from.”

Byron Shire Council Mayor Michael Lyon said:

“We are thrilled to receive this initial funding support which will not only benefit members of our community displaced by the natural disasters in 2022, but also address the housing crisis that has existed since before the floods.

“Council can now get on with the important job of structure planning for this site on The Saddle Road and get the land ready for building flood-resilient houses more quickly which is a huge win.

“The work ahead includes an Aboriginal Heritage and Environmental Sensitivity Assessment, a Structure Plan that includes a vision and concept plan for the site, a Planning Proposal to amend Council’s LEP and an Infrastructure Priority Plan that addresses the infrastructure required to support a new community such as roads, sewer and water.

“As these works are progressed, we look forward to working with our community to achieve the best outcomes.”

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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Have Your Say on Byron Shire’s New Active Transport Plan

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Byron Shire Active Transport Plan
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Have Your Say on Byron Shire’s New Active Transport Plan

 

Byron Shire Council is inviting feedback from all residents who walk, roll, and ride within the community. The council has undertaken a significant review of its existing Bike Plan and Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan, both of which were initially developed in 2018 after extensive community input. Six years on, it’s time to evaluate the plans’ effectiveness, set new priorities, and celebrate the achievements thus far.

Shelley Currie, the Council’s Road Safety Officer, highlighted a major update in the review process: the merging of the two previous plans into a singular, comprehensive document dubbed the Active Transport Plan. “The goals, objectives, and outcomes of the previous plans closely align, so consolidating them into one unified plan is a strategic move to streamline our efforts and resources,” explained Ms. Currie.

Objectives of the Active Transport Plan include:

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  • Enhancing opportunities for active travel.
  • Boosting the connectivity of paths and cycleways throughout the Shire.
  • Designing and implementing high-quality infrastructure to ensure maximum safety and accessibility.
  • Providing amenities that enhance the attractiveness of walking, rolling, and riding.
  • Encouraging the use of bicycles for shorter trips.

A draft of the Active Transport Plan is currently on public exhibition, and Byron Shire Council is seeking input from the community to refine and enhance the proposal. Residents are encouraged to review the draft plan and contribute their perspectives and suggestions.

Details for Public Feedback:

  • Read the Draft: The draft Active Transport Plan is available for public viewing.
  • Provide Feedback: Residents can submit their comments and suggestions to help shape the final plan.
  • Deadline for Submissions: Feedback must be submitted by 31 May 2024.

For more information and detailed instructions on how to make a submission, please visit Byron Shire Council’s official website at Have your say on our Active Transport Plan – Byron Shire Council.

 

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