NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Independent advice to steer Byron proposal

  • Date: 14.12.2022
  • Type: Departmental Media Release
  • Author: NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Advice from the experts at the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) will help inform the future of short-term rental accommodation (STRA) in Byron Shire.

NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s Deputy Secretary of Planning, Marcus Ray, said the IPC would provide advice on the Council’s planning proposal to reduce the cap on non-hosted short-term rental accommodation in parts of its area from 180 to 90 days.

“In light of the 1,500 pieces of feedback received by the Council on the proposal through formal submissions, an online survey and a petition, and the potentially significant economic impacts such a change could have on local businesses, the Government has asked the IPC to not only advise on the proposal but also whether the Government should allow the proposed changes to go forward,” Mr Ray said.

The IPC will provide advice on:

  • The status of housing and rental affordability and availability in the LGA, and recommendations to improve them;
  • The economic contribution of the STRA industry and any potential implications of the proposal; and
  • Whether it recommends the proposal should be finalised, with or without any amendments, or whether any further information may be required to make a decision.

To assist the IPC with its consideration, Mr Ray said the Government had requested it hold a public hearing to allow the community and industry to express their views about the proposal as part of the review process.

“This will guarantee independent consideration of such an important proposal,” he said.

“We acknowledge this may disappoint Council, but non-hosted STRA in Byron Shire is a complex and contentious matter. There’s been conflicting advice to date on what impact this proposal would have on tourism in the region and whether it would have a positive impact on the long-term rental market.

“Given the potential impacts on the local economy, it’s critical all opportunities to improve housing and rental affordability and availability have been explored, and the Government receives independent advice to determine whether the proposal should proceed or not.”