Shack lease changes coming

SHACKS: Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said passage of the bill would see life-tenure shack lease holders be able to apply for a longer-term lease or purchase the land.
SHACKS: Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said passage of the bill would see life-tenure shack lease holders be able to apply for a longer-term lease or purchase the land.

Changes to Crown land legislation, introduced to parliament earlier this month, will help families with life tenure leases retain their shacks on Crown Land and in national parks.

The amendments 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.

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said the introduction of the bill followed a comprehensive review of the regulatory and policy landscape for shacks on crown land and within national parks.

A Preliminary Discussion Paper released in June, which detailed the need for legislative change and the proposed policy associated with the government's 'retaining shacks' commitment, was used to consult with shack lessees, government agencies, councils and other stakeholders.

There are sites at a number of Eyre Peninsula locations that would be impacted by the change, including at Smoky Bay, as well as Kellidie Bay, Coffin Bay and Lucky Bay.

Mr Treloar said the passage of the bill would enable life-tenure shack lease holders to apply for a new longer-term lease, or to purchase the land.

"Shacks have always been an integral part of South Australian life and a favourite destination for generations, providing rest and relaxation for families and friends," Mr Treloar said.

"These reforms will ensure that our shacks can be retained long-term to support country communities and so families can continue to use these special places for generations to come."

Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said the amendment bill was a "vital milestone" in the state government's election commitment to create new opportunities to retain shacks on Crown Land.

"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," Mr Speirs said.

Due to a clause in the current Act, family shacks on Crown Land subject to life tenure leases were unable to be converted to another tenure which resulted in a number of shacks reverting to the Crown upon the death of the last family member named in that lease, but the government put a stop to that in April last year.