Save the SA Shacks on the Glenelg River

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This petition is to highlight the current life tenure legislation of shacks on the South Australian border of the Glenelg River.

Our concern lies with the impact the destruction of shacks in general will have on the local and wider economy, the long term users of the dwellings and on the fabric of the township of Donovan’s and surrounding areas as a whole, whose history is intertwined with the emergence of the shacks in the 1940’s.

People come to the area due to the presence of the shacks not only in the South Australian catchment but the wider collection of shacks in the vicinity that enjoy the protection of the Victoria Government. The Victoria Government has in its wisdom chosen to honour the historical legacy of the shacks and the same protections should be afforded to the lessees and their families in South Australia. They should not be disadvantaged due to a boundary line between states that encompasses such a small component of the waterway.

The Glenelg River is one of the most pristine rivers in the country and the shacks have co-existed since the 1940s. The shack owners are environmentally aware and responsible and have always been prepared to actively respect the ecology of the river in such issues as the disposal of grey waste.

The shacks should be given heritage status. The shack owner’s argument has long been that the current lease arrangements make it impossible to spend money on the huts. The shack owners want the opportunity to maintain them and have historically taken pride in their ongoing maintenance even through they feel like the odds have been against them.

The current government need to consult with the lessees and their families to agree on further regulation instead of destroying an historical legacy that is quite unique and sympathetic to the ecosystem of the river.

History, tradition, simple ways, communing with nature, respecting the beauty of the river and passing on generational love for the natural environment – that’s what the shacks represent to the many people who use, respect and love them.

The local economy will be decimated and the wider economies of Nelson and Mt Gambier will also suffer the impact of the loss of trade that the current users and tourists bring to the area.

Other state governments have been progressive to protect the historical value of similar structures and this government needs to listen to the people on this issue.

Current legislation needs to change.



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