SA shack legislation amendments to impact on Hanson Bay shacks

A boundary dispute between shack owners and neighbours at Hanson Bay has been brewing for years.
A boundary dispute between shack owners and neighbours at Hanson Bay has been brewing for years.

The SA Government has introduced amendments to Crown land legislation to help families with life tenure leases to retain their shacks on Crown Land and in national parks.

A delegation of shack owners from Hanson Bay attended the October meeting of the Kangaroo Island Council to outline their case for preserving their rights.

The council heard about a dispute on boundaries between neighbours and also some alleged illegal clearing of vegetation and blocking of access.

The councillors, while speaking out in favour of shack owners' rights, decided not to take any action until after the State legislation changes.

Clr Sam Mumford said his own family lost its own shack at Fisherman Bay, Port Broughton when his parents died and he was willing to fight to retain access and ownership for the any shack owners on KI.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said shacks had been part of South Australian life for more than a century and are also important to regional economies.

"Many shacks have been held by the same family for generations, and these people have a strong connection to the local area, as well as a desire to be good environmental stewards," said Minister Speirs.

"The Marshall Liberal Government has a commitment to give families greater certainty of tenure, by creating opportunities for shack lessees to convert their existing life tenure lease, to another lease or to freehold, in exchange for upgrading shacks to meet contemporary safety, amenity and environmental standards.

"I have now introduced the Crown Land Management (Section 78B Leases) Amendment Bill to Parliament to facilitate the conversion of existing life tenure leases.

"I will also seek amendments to the relevant park management plans to allow the retention of shacks in parks.

"This is a vital milestone in the delivery of our government's promise to shack lessees in South Australia."

The State Government put a stop to the previous practice of terminating shack leases upon the death of the last person named on the lease in April last year.

A Preliminary Discussion Paper was released in June 2019 and detailed the need for legislative change, in addition to the proposed policy associated with the retaining shacks commitment.

This was used to consult with shack lessees, government agencies, local councils and other stakeholders.

The Paper outlined the proposed contemporary safety, amenity and environmental standards that would apply to shack sites.

There are about 250 shack leases on Crown land and 90 in national parks.