Collective is never letting up
BYRON based accredited accommodation providers are continuing their campaign against the State Government's proposed new Holiday Letting Laws passed in parliament last night.
Labor candidate for Ballina Asren Pugh has already slammed the vote accusing the Liberal and Nationals of using their numbers to reject reforms aimed at creating certainty around short term holiday letting and preserving local decision making within local government.
"I will fight the new planning regulations that will allow open slather in communities like Byron with respect to short term holiday letting,” Mr Pugh said.
"Labor believes that Councils are in the best position to make decisions on these matters.”
Peter and Julie Ryan are part of The Byron Hinterland Collective - a group of compliant accommodation providers campaigning to get tighter regulations around short-term holiday letting and the online platforms that provide it.
The Collective members along with Ballina MP Tamara Smith and Byron Councillors Cate Coorey and Michael Lyon fear the new legislation, allowing year round holiday letting in regional areas, will unleash an accommodation free-for-all destroying local accommodation businesses and the community itself.
The Ryans spent around $30,000 getting approvals to establish their business in Mullumbimby.
They now face the prospect of having it made worthless as a flood of accommodation, not subject to the same stringent requirements, hits the market through online platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway.
Some in the Hinterland group are foreshadowing a class action law suit against the State Government.
"With one fell swoop the state government have rendered the licenses we paid a lot of money for, worthless not only here but statewide,” Mr Ryan said.
The Ryans recently received a reply to their letter of concern they wrote to State Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair which they found dismissive and disrespectful.
"We are not against these digital platforms, despite Minister Blair inferring we are a bunch of dinosaurs, we use these platforms ourselves,” Mr Ryan said.
"The way to do it is to have regulations in place to collect fees from all accommodation providers.
"These new regulations could also be scalable so we can make the playing field level for everyone.”
"There also needs to be a way of protecting our neighbourhoods,” Mrs Ryan said.
"Unregulated providers are hollowing out our community, there are places around Byron where people don't have neighbours any more just short stay guests.”