Byron Bay Locals Are Tired Of Tourists And Want Fewer Airbnbs
It may be the home of Chris Hemsworth, but it might be time to rethink your next holiday destination.
Upset Byron Bay locals have launched a petition asking the local government to limit the number of days in the year that homes can be rented out as Airbnbs for holiday accommodation.
The action comes after the Byron Shire Council proposed some of the town's busiest areas could be available for 365 day rentals. It will be sent to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment if passed through early stages.
The proposal has been attacked by members of the local community, who said they are 'fed up' of making noise complaints to the police and are tired of 'subsidising' a stranger's holiday when investors can negatively gear their houses and aren't seen as a business, despite running like one, among other complaints.
"Sick of the Airbnb noise next door? Don’t feel safe in your own neighbourhood? Can’t afford to live in the area you were born and raised?" a local questioned in the Byron Bay Community Board Facebook group.
"Fed up of complaining to Police (who are busy enough already), the Council, the Holiday Letting Agency, the Noise Hotlines etc with no results?
"Angry that city investors get to negatively gear their holiday houses, and effectively run a business but don’t pay business rates or levies?
In short, are you sick to death of subsidising someone else’s holiday at Wategos, whilst you blow your tyres on your potholed road and can’t find a park in town even with your $50 residents sticker???
"Well now is your LAST CHANCE to have your say on Holiday Letting in the Byron Shire before new proposals go to the State Government," the message read, with submissions having closed on Thursday.
"We had the best of it. Now it’s just a tourist s**t hole where locals don’t matter," another local wrote on Facebook in response to the petition.
"We did have the best of it. There is a push to reduce the amount of short term rentals so put in a submission and maintain the rage," another suggested in response, urging them to join in the push back.
The council's website states approximately 40 per cent of dwellings in Byron Bay and 18 per cent of homes within Byron Shire are listed on Airbnb.
It comes as holiday rental website Stayz has asked holiday homeowners to push back against proposed restrictions of short term rental accommodation, with their Corporate Affairs Director suggesting they need to address key questions about this growing sector first.
“Use restrictions only serve to drive up the cost of holiday accommodation, resulting in holiday homes sitting unused for longer and, ultimately, send valuable tourism dollars to other parts of the country," Eacham Curry said.
“Rather than jumping straight to restrictions, Byron Shire Council should wait until the NSW Government introduces its register for short-term rentals and let the data that is collected point to sensible and effective solutions for the industry."
Featured image: Getty/Facebook