Shack lessees at Pondalowie Bay received a nasty surprise on Christmas Eve from the Weatherill Labor Government, which announced that it would increase their annual lease fees by up to 300 per cent.
On top of this, lessees only have 30 days to formally object to the increase during a time in which there are a number of public holidays and reduced access to the Department.
This makes a formal and independent valuation very difficult as well.
"These increased rates are just a blatant cash grab from a cash-strapped Labor Government," Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Michelle Lensink said.
"There are a number of key areas still requiring clarification, such as the method of calculation for the new rent rates and why lessees were only given a short amount of time to respond to the increased rates.
"Premier Weatherill and Minister Caica must explain the reasoning behind these increased rates.
"Shacks in our nation are a great tradition and it would be very disappointing to see them disappear in this state. As families were heading off for beach holidays over the Christmas break, they did so in the knowledge that their lifestyle is under attack from their own government.
"This Government has ramped up all shack fees since it came to office, in a secretive attempt to drive people out of them. It has no plans to allow people to upgrade shacks so that future generations can continue to enjoy them.
"It is long-standing Liberal policy to support South Australia’s shack owners, and I have two Private Member’s Bills in the Legislative Council to provide for transferable tenure for shacks located on crown land (such as at Milang and the Glenelg River) and those in national parks (such as Innes and the Coorong)."