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A new independent Council for Byron Shire

December’s local Council elections saw Michael Lyon, an independent, voted mayor of Byron Shire with a clear 54.32% majority. This outcome means that the Greens’ primary vote more than halved, indicating a significant change in leadership for our region.

Our new, majority independent, centre left, progressive Council is focused on a collaborative, innovative approach that reflects the changing sentiment in Byron Shire. As a result, we can expect to see environmentally sensitive yet pragmatic decision-making that reflects our town’s growing appeal as a global property investment and lifestyle destination.

Doing the best for our community

With the independents in the driving seat, we’ll benefit from the passion and dedication of experienced councillors who want to work together to develop policies that will positively affect Byron Shire.

Protecting the planet

Our new Council supports environmentally progressive policies and aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2025. They’ll manage the Bring Back the Bruns project, regenerating riverbanks and removing the causeways that prevent fish swimming upstream. Plus, they’ll fund the solar farm at Myocum and create an Australian-first bioenergy facility to process local green waste into energy and compost.

Strong financial leadership

Michael Lyon has already shown a talent for financial management, which has helped improve Council’s relationship with state and federal government. Good governance will undoubtedly benefit the community today and, in the future, as a strong financial position will inevitably attract more funding.

Improving local infrastructure

Building on the success of the new bypass and moving the bus terminal out of the town centre, we can expect Council to further develop community infrastructure. There will be a continued focus on fixing roads, footpaths, cycleways, and playgrounds. At the same time, we can look forward to additional community facilities that will enrich the lives of local residents.

Addressing the affordable housing crisis.

Affordable housing is a big issue for Council and a pressing problem that needs strong management and a firm commitment to do the right thing for the community. The housing crisis has forced many locals out of the area. And it’s affected many businesses that can’t get staff, putting additional pressure on our local economy.

Proposed 90-day cap for short-term holiday accommodation.

Last year, the government announced a new rental cap of 180-days on short-term holiday accommodation in New South Wales. However, because of the high number of holiday properties in town, Council requested this cap be reduced to 90-days in Byron Shire. A detailed economic impact assessment has been submitted to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, laying out the impact of this cap on hosts and operators with an outcome expected by the end of January.

Sensitive management of growth and development

Managing the growth of Byron Shire is a topic that everyone has an opinion on. Of course, we need more affordable homes. And we need more jobs for our growing population. However, we also need to protect our beautiful region, ensuring Byron doesn’t fall victim to the anything-goes approach that’s affected so many other coastal areas. 

Council will have their work cut out as they navigate the challenges ahead. However, they have the strong support of the local community behind them, and we wish them every success as they steer Byron Shire towards a sustainable future.

Stay safe, stay healthy, everyone.

All the best
Ed

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