Shack owners still in limbo over fee increases

25 Jan 2013 archivemedia

As South Australians head to their shacks this long weekend, many shack lessees have been left in limbo after the Weatherill Labor Government announced it would increase their annual lease fees by 300 per cent.

Shack lessees were notified of these fee increases on Christmas Eve last year, but were only given one month to formally object to the increase during a time when most of the Department is uncontactable. The one month period expired this week.

While the Government has said it will reduce the rate of return to 2.75 per cent, it would not apply until this year and it would not be retrospective.

“The Government has yet to answer a number of questions about these fee increases, including the method of valuations and why lessees were only given a short period of time to respond to the proposed increases,” Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Michelle Lensink said.

“Shacks in our nation are a great tradition and it would be very disappointing to see some of the original ones disappear from our shores.

“As families head off to their shacks over the Australia Day long weekend, they do so in the knowledge that their lifestyle is under attack from their own government.

“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).”