- Created on 22 January 2013
AFTER the initial shock letter on Christmas Eve, Pondalowie Bay shack owners have now received invoices for lease fees at the old rate.
It seems their protests were worthwhile and they have been spared the exorbitant 300 per cent increase.
However, it is unfair the new 2.75 per cent rate of return will not be used retrospectively on those properties which had already been revalued and paid the increased fees.
At the other end of the peninsula some crown land shack owners at Fisherman’s Bay received letters in January 2012 advising their lease fees would be increasing by up to 310 per cent.
Most had no choice but to bite the bullet and adjust their budgets to cover the extra expense. However, two owners decided they couldn’t afford it and knocked their shacks down.
Many others are still considering relinquishing their shacks, but are holding onto hope something will be done.
Whilst Fisherman’s Bay residents don’t pay as much, it is still a massive increase.
They should be on the same level as other crown land shack owners and only have to pay the 2.75 per cent rate of return.
The government continues to argue the shack owners are using public land for private use and the South Australian community needs to be compensated for this.
It is fair enough the government has concerns about the environmental impact of these shacks and the overall goal is for the dwellings to be moved from their “unsuitable locations”.
When these shacks were allowed to be built back in the day, everyone was a bit naive about environmental impact.
Hindsight is wonderful, but they should never have been allowed to be built in these locations in the first place.
But instead of taking money from the pockets of the owners and driving them away from the townships to which they contribute economically, why not help them relocate or work together on a solution?
Amie Brokenshire, Editor