Shacks

If elected in 2018 a Liberal Government will create new opportunities for families with shacks on Crown leases to retain their shacks.

The Problem

Shacks have been a South Australian favourite for more than 100 years.

They line our long coastline and our lakes and rivers, providing relaxation for families and friends at holiday time. They’re much loved by their owners, who not only look after them but work to improve the local environment.

From the Glenelg River to Smoky Bay, shacks form vibrant holiday communities with their owners developing life-long friendships as they enjoy the peace and escapism that comes with being immersed in South Australia’s beautiful environment.

Most shack precincts started out as places where farming families migrated for summer holidays to do some fishing and take a break from toiling the land. Most have histories going back generations.

To keep these traditions alive, in the 1990s the state Liberal government provided freehold tenure to shack sites across South Australia, encouraging their owners to invest in improvements and redevelopment. Most shacks now have proper sewerage, roads, lighting and other amenities, adding to the attraction of South Australia’s coastal areas by providing modern accommodation.

Labor neither understands nor respects the importance of shacks to their owners, their users and coastal and river communities.

In the Dunstan era, Labor tried to cleanse the landscape of shacks and now the Weatherill Government is pursuing the same cruel agenda, targeting shacks on Crown Land and within national parks which remain on leases with the Environment Department. The government insists that shacks must be entirely removed when the last person named on the lease dies, which results in families losing treasured holiday homes where a lifetime of memories have been created. This approach also means that there is no incentive for shack owners to invest in them, resulting in some falling into wrack and ruin.

To further their vendetta against shacks and their owners, Labor has embarked upon a campaign of stealth, savagely increasing lease rentals to try and force families out. Many shacks have had their rents increased by 300% in a single year.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in 2018 a Liberal Government will create new opportunities for families with shacks on Crown leases to retain their shacks.

We will:

  • Put an immediate stop to the practice of automatically terminating departmental leases upon the death of the last person named on the lease
  • Provide certainty of tenure to families by expanding the eligibility to maintain a lease in return for upgrading the shack to meet contemporary safety, amenity and environmental standards
  • Investigate more freeholding of shacks located on Crown Land
  • Provide a renewable tenure option to shacks located within national parks
  • Seek fair valuation advice for the sale of shack sites
  • Strengthen links between local rangers and Friends of Parks groups and shack owners/lessees.

We will encourage the active participation of local councils in putting our policy to work. Where councils strongly support shack owners in their area and have shown leadership in investing in local tourist facilities, a Marshall Government will enter partnership arrangements for care, control and management of life-lease shacks.

By allowing more shacks to remain in the hands of families who care for them, our policy will give greater encouragement to shack lessees to contribute to the environmental well-being of our beach and river areas.

The Liberal Party supports shacks because the people who own and use them are both good environmental stewards and form groups that provide a healthy lifestyle and greater choice in visitor accommodation, helping our tourist industry to grow and provide more jobs.

Part of our plan for SA