Bay residents brace for the weekends

By MEGAN KINNINMENT

BYRON Bay resident Sonia Wright dreads the weekends.

That is when the pool parties start up next door to her Pacific Vista home and carry on until the wee hours of the morning.

"Weekend after weekend after weekend," she said.

"I've felt abused and threatened by going over and complaining, so I won't do that again," she said.

Ms Wright and other residents affected by noisy holidaymakers are not convinced that moves by Byron Shire Council Mayor Jan Barham, or a holiday hotline set up by real estate agents, are going to help them this summer.

Instead the residents are forming a group called BRACE (Bay Residents Against Community Erosion) and will put together a 10-point plan to submit to the council and State Government.

"I rang the agent managing this property over the weekend and he gave me the number of the holiday hotline," Ms Wright said. "But all I got was an answering machine.

"The owners of these properties must take responsibility. If they own the property that means they own the problem," she said.

The residents' group say they will push for the council to introduce a differential rate system for property owners running a business out of holiday letting.

Chair of Tourism Byron, Grant Hawkins, said that even with schoolies week, the holiday hotline number had received only four calls last weekend from residents needing security guards to issue warnings to noisy tenants.

Mr Grant said the claim by Ms Wright that an answering machine was encountered would be a very rare occurrence.

Cr Barham said the council will write to the State Government asking if the Local Government Act could be amended to allow regulation of holiday lettings, but there was little else they could do at this point.



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