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Illegal Hostel Operator to Face Court, Fines

Byron Shire Council issued a man with a court attendance notice last Friday after it raided an industrial unit in Byron Bay in April finding him accommodating about 20 backpackers.

The man faces fines of up to $100,000.

BSC alleges that in the raid officers found several mattresses, exits locked from either side, no smoke alarms and a breach of planning laws by operating the hostel without consent.

Governance manager Ralph James said the legal action was to protect Byron’s lucrative tourism industry. “By ending these kinds of alleged practices, council is seeking to keep visitors safe, maintain resident amenity by ensuring tourism is carried on in a sustainable way, and protect the business of legitimate tourism operators who are doing the right thing.”

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