It’s not easy being Green
Last month’s article dealing with some thorny issues around local politics got a good response and some positive feedback. Basically, I was bemoaning the acrimonious division within the local Greens. The way I see it is that the four elected Greens are being white anted by an unelected group of Deep Greens. You can read it here if you missed it.
Councillor Basil Cameron contacted me and took umbrage that I lumped him in with the Deep Greens, saying he is a committed Independent. He is not a member of the Greens Party and wants that clarified. Nor, as he contends, is the part of the Deep Green faction. Since I know Basil to be experienced, diligent, and one who actually reads and absorbs Council’s never-ending barrage of reports, I will take his word for it. I also thank him for his long term service as he is one of our longer sitting councillors.
ATO onto AirBnB
The Australian Tax Office is set to seize the financial data of more than 200,000 Airbnb homeowners in an attempt to crackdown on tax avoidance. The move comes after the ATO suggested they believe there are a number of people (gasp!) who are not honestly reporting their income. The information gathered will start from FY2016-17 and run into the current financial year.
Regions going dry
State and federal governments are doing their best to encourage overseas migrants and city folk to move to the regions. However, the climate and the weather are not co-operating. Economist, Terry Rawnsley, has been the author of the Economic Performance of Cities and Regions Report. The drought has weakened the economy of many regional areas, especially around towns such as Tamworth and Armidale. This stymying both the planned growth of regional areas and the hoped-for population shift from the cities.
Too Dry and Too Wet
The coast has a different problem to the bush. The Monthly magazine ran an article in its October edition outlining recent events around sea-level rise and its effect on property values. It mainly focuses on the story of Shoalhaven Council, south of Sydney, where the council introduced restrictions on development around river estuaries. Byron Shire was briefly mentioned as well with its ‘Planned Retreat’ policy. What was also of interest was the mention of the ‘Belongil Group’. This seems to be a group of well-heeled Belongil residents with experience lobbying against planned retreat. Seems they were happy to share their knowledge and lobbying smarts with Shoalhaven residents opposing future legislation. If this is a topic of interest, pls also read my accompanying article on climate change resilience.
Hemsworths Go Solar
Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky have been no slouches with piling the solar panels on their many roofs. The 6 bedroom mansion on Seven Mile Beach will not win any architecture awards. But its owners will at least be doing what they can to limit their carbon emissions. It looks to be about a 20Kw system, which would power this house – and then some.
Pacifico Property Play on Paterson
Ex Byron Property Sales agent, Christian Sergiacomi has opened a new agency – Pacifico Property. Christian’s wife Shelley Croft is co-presenter of the popular Nine TV show The Block. Being modern boffins with a following, they are renovating an old home in Byron Bay and everyone who is interested can watch the progression on #pacificocottage or Facebook. It’s at 115 Paterson St, Byron. Brad Cranfield – also ex-Byron Property Sales – is part of the team.
Raine and Horne expands to M’bah
Julie-Ann Manahan and partner Charlie Markham are expanding from their Raine and Horne office in Ocean Shores. The pair are opening a branch in Murwillumbah. Julie-Ann and Charlie opened the office in the Ocean Shores plaza in 2015. They have taken over from the previous M’bah franchisees, Chris and Deb Wheeler.
New Belle Agency to Open
Dynamic duo and ex Ballina McGrath agents, Braden Walters and wife Andrea, are starting a new agency under the Belle Property brand. The agency will operate from the old Elders office in Lennox Heads with plans to open a Byron Bay branch in the near future.
A part-time hobby of mine is watching new innovations in tiny homes, prefab studios and container conversions. Have a look at this design by local Mullum outfit Sustainable Housing.com.au. A pretty economical way to add a rental studio to your property. The people at Sustainable Homes have asked me to reach out and see if anyone on my mailing list would like to move this display unit from their yard in Mullum to make room for more. Mention BPS and you will get a discount.
Swarm to the Hive
A new style of commercial retail mix is about to have a “soft open” in Byron Industrial Estate. November 8th is the opening day for Hive, 100 Centennial Cct, Byron Arts and Industry estate (near Stone and Wood). Imagine a food court complex but for things and stuff. You get a free coffee and a look around. Be aware the space is still in construction so no admittance without covered shoes.
HTW says yield good in Ballina
As if you needed any more reason to get a studio. Here is some info from Herron Todd Wright that predicts exceptional rental returns, and demand in the Ballina and Lennox Head hinterland area.
The report says that yields throughout Ballina Shire are lower than those in less sought-after areas of the Northern Rivers. This can be attributed to higher median property prices. The valuation firm took a look at the rental yields across the country to establish the best returns in residential markets. It stated that rental yields for studios, more than houses, in the Ballina/Lennox hinterland were proportionally high.
Music and Ingenuity Invade Mullum
The ever-popular Mullum Music Festival is back November 14-16. All venues and cafes in our funky little town will be overflowing with music and good vibes. Even if you don’t have a ticket, just hanging out in the garden at the Civic Centre is great fun. Look out for the Ingenuity Sculpture Festival in Palm Park as well. This runs from 14– 24 November, along River Terrace in Mullum.
Home Deposit Scheme
The Federal Government’s new First Home Loan Deposit Scheme will kick off on 1 January 2020. The scheme will provide a guarantee to eligible first home buyers to purchase a home with a deposit as low as 5 per cent. It is projected to support 10,000 first home buyers each year. It will be of limited demand in this area as the limit on purchase amount for NSW rural is $450,000. As entry-level buyers in this area already know, there’s not a lot to choose from in that range. Also, the minimum income restriction is a deal-breaker – $120K for singles and $200k for a couple. Don’t know many younger folk earning that kind of coin around here.
Garden for Gardner
Well-loved local and occasional contributor to the Echo, Mary Gardner, is doing the health shuffle with Byron Bay hospital. Mary writes the column explaining many of our unknown but interesting snippets of information about flora and fauna. Mary’s friends are rallying around to support her and hope to landscape the small garden outside her hospital room. Email me if you’d like to contribute.