Shacks hin­der har­bour bid

Southern Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Pierra Wil­lix

Beach shacks lin­ing the shores of Cock­burn Sound in Hen­der­son are be­ing cited as a hin­drance to the po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ment of a new outer Har­bour in Kwinana, but the City of Cock­burn says it has no plans to ter­mi­nate leases ahead of their 2022 ex­piry date.

The Naval Base Shacks con­sists of 178 shacks along Cock­burn Road in Hen­der­son which were first in­stalled in 1933.

They are along a stretch of coast­line that is be­ing con­sid­ered for a new WA port, but dis­cus­sions are still in their pre­lim­i­nary stages, and ex­pand­ing the Fre­man­tle and Bun­bury ports are op­tions still on the ta­ble.

Kwinana In­dus­tries Coun­cil di­rec­tor Chris Oughton said given dis­cus­sions of a new port in Kwinana, the shacks were prob­a­bly “way too close” to con­fig­u­ra­tions be­ing de­vel­oped for a pos­si­ble port ex­pan­sion in the area.

“The prob­lem with the shacks is that they are in the in­dus­trial

This should re­main an A Class re­serve so the pub­lic can . . . en­joy the area. Al­lan Nel­son

area,” he said. “The Wat­tleup and Hope Val­ley town sites and res­i­dents were moved out be­cause of prox­im­ity to in­dus­try, but we have an anom­aly here with the shacks.”

Lands Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti said it was “too early” to un­der­stand whether the pres­ence of the shacks was in con­flict with the lo­ca­tion and op­er­a­tion of po­ten­tial port fa­cil­i­ties in Cock­burn Sound.

The shacks are man­aged by the City of Cock­burn, which in 2017 adopted a fur­ther five- year lease term for their own­ers, who pay a $ 2500 an­nual lease.

City of Cock­burn plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment ser­vices di­rec­tor Daniel Arndt said a de­ci­sion on whether to ex­tend the leases be­yond 2022 would be made closer to their ex­piry and that the City was not con­sid­er­ing early ter­mi­na­tion of the leases.

“The City notes that the Naval Base Hol­i­day Park pre- dates the in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment of Kwinana by some 20 years,” he said.

“Also, as in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment has oc­curred, it has been able to ef­fec­tively man­age its op­er­a­tions such that pub­lic ar­eas near the in­dus­trial strip re­main safe for the com­mu­nity to en­joy.”

The shacks are so­lar and wind­pow­ered and own­ers are only al­lowed to stay there for 120 days in a cal­en­dar year.

Naval Base Hol­i­day As­so­ci­a­tion vice- pres­i­dent Al­lan Nel­son has owned one of the shacks for more than 30 years and said the de­vel­op­ment of a larger port in Cock­burn Sound would be detri­men­tal to ma­rine life in the area.

He said Chal­lenger Beach was reg­u­larly used by shack own­ers and mem­bers of the pub­lic and should con­tinue to be used for this pur­pose.

“This should re­main an A Class re­serve so the pub­lic can con­tinue to en­joy the area. Why would we let such a beau­ti­ful area be de­stroyed,” he said.

Mr Arndt said the Naval Base Hol­i­day Park ex­isted on crown land which had been vested with the City for the pur­poses of car­a­van park and camp­ing.

“The City’s man­age­ment of the crown land needs to be for this pur­pose,” he said.

“There has been no di­rec­tions from the Gov­ern­ment to the City to sug­gest Naval Base Hol­i­day Park can­not ex­ist into the fu­ture.”

Pic­tures: Pierra Wil­lix

Naval Base Hol­i­day As­so­ci­a­tion vice- pres­i­dent Al­lan Nel­son has owned one of the shacks for more than 30 years. IN­SET: Some of the Hen­der­son beach shacks.

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