Wedge Island shacks to be removed

Submitted: Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 12:54
ThreadID: 85628 Views:2961 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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The Wedge Island Protection Association says it is disappointed a Parliamentary Committee has recommended the removal of hundreds of squatters' shacks along the Mid West coast.

The beach shacks are built on unvested public land in the small coastal communities of Wedge and Grey.

A Legislative Council Committee found the shacks should be removed because the environment would not be able to sustain continued unplanned growth.

The Association's Peter Marr says shack owners hope they can address the committee's concerns.

"We're disappointed, we're not angry. We understand the issues around that, I think they're fair, we had a very fair hearing at the EPAC committee," he said.

"We would have loved a different result but we accept that there are some issues around that point of equity and people and the public accessing it so we've got to hopefully find a way that addressing that issue out of the report."

To be honest I've never seen them. I spose I had better take a run up and have a look-see before they are all gone :-(
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 13:08

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 13:08
hi road warrior
they are holiday/fishermansshacks that were built illegally on govt land without permission right on the beach front by who ever could afford them out of what ever material they chose
so they could go live at the beach free of any charges any day of the year
so imho they should be demolished
otherwise give every other australian the same equal rights to go build whatever and where ever we desire
end of story
cheers barry
AnswerID: 451300

Reply By: Member - Maws (WA) - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 13:43

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 13:43
I’ve seen them.

This is my opinion, it’s tainted by the fact that I prepare drawings to gain local council approval for new homes and additions to homes and I know the building codes and understand why we need regulations…. mostly for people’s health and safety.

Over the last 25 years I have been to/past Wedge and Grey many times and the shacks have never got any better, they are shacks, some are no more than old second hand tin sheds that few people would accept in their back yard as a chook shed or a fire wood shed. Some look cute/fun from outside and are shockingly dangerous when you examine them a little closer. I am surprised more people are not hurt, or at least we do not hear about them being hurt.

Apart from the ramshackle way the place has grown and the total lack of scrutiny regards things like 240 volt wiring, water, sanitary plumbing and white ant treatment to mention a few, some of the old timers who seem to live there are downright rude if you dare trespass on their piece of squatted land. I ventured down a sand track recently showing a visitor from Tasmania (as there is many coastal shack communities in Tas) and when the track petered out, I needed to do a three point turn in a tight spot, in the process I must have trespassed on “his” land and he came flying out of his humpy with a stick (or jimmy bar) raised and waving above his head. The old fella I mentioned this to as we got back out to a bigger track, said “you should’t have gone down there disturbing his peace, what do you expect?, get out of here and leave us alone”. Half an hour later I was told off by another “resident” for using the wrong sand draw to get back off the beach. He said I was chewing it up and its “his” to launch his boat.

The new coastal highway has a brand new bitumen road right to the centre of Wedge and I think that has made a few of the locals very unhappy (too many visitors).

Over the years I have been asked to design and draw up many holiday homes on both lease hold and green title land. People pay a premium price for the land because of its location and I can assure you they have not been able to shirk on the building code just because it’s a holiday “shack”.

The coast between Lancelin and Cervantes is stunning and is free for all to use and enjoy, why should some people that have taken a trailer load of old iron and second hand timber up to put up a squatters shack be allowed to stay, visually pollute and physically pollute, as well as abuse anyone that ventures into their space? (our space).

I will also add that twenty five years ago (1985) I stayed in one for a week that later that year blew up and burnt to the ground. It was said it was the fault of a faulty gas fitting, but those of us that were guests of the owner have many other explanations, but honestly it could have been any of a number of things, it was so badly built, gust glad no one was in it when it blew.

it’s my opinion, attack away, but only if you have seen Wedge and Grey.
Steve M.
AnswerID: 451305

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 14:01

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 14:01
We visited both areas earlier this year and really found it hard to understand how they were allowed to get away with having the shacks and I use the term fairly loosely, in such a lovely place.

FollowupID: 723952

Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 09:51

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 09:51
Initially I felt that the shacks should stay until the current residents die. There are examples of this at Stockton Beach in NSW.

"I must have trespassed on “his” land and he came flying out of his humpy with a stick (or jimmy bar) raised and waving above his head. The old fella I mentioned this to as we got back out to a bigger track, said “you should’t have gone down there disturbing his peace, what do you expect?, get out of here and leave us alone”. Half an hour later I was told off by another “resident” for using the wrong sand draw to get back off the beach. He said I was chewing it up and its “his” to launch his boat."
- if this is the attitude of the squatters, then they shouldn't be surprised that the Enquiry decided that the huts should be demolished.
FollowupID: 724003

Reply By: ob - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 15:51

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 15:51
I never personally owned a shack at Wedge but a few of us in our MUCH younger days (I'm talking mid to late 1960's) went there regularly for the fishing and snorkelling around the inshore reefs. None of the regulars bothered us and we reciprocated. Back then access was by pretty rough sand and limestone tracks and other than people who had shacks and the occasional blow ins like us not a lot of visitors went there and the number of shacks was half or less what it is now. Unfortunately time and "progress" catch up with us all. I guess the word I am looking for is "anachronism" and now that the coastal drive has been pushed through it was only a matter of time before shacks became a thing of the past.

AnswerID: 451315

Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 22:07

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 22:07
They must be about the last ones left. Some years ago, much of the coastline all the way to Dongara was littered with these clumps of squatter shacks, many of which were much more primitive corrugation iron shacks than those at Grey which were used by seasonal fishermen (I haven't seen the Wedge ones). The opening of the new Indian Ocean Drive has made this stretch of coastline more accessible and put the spotlight on these areas. There was even a bunch of tin shacks at Warnbro, which got cleaned up before the present residential expansion. Keep the coastline for all of us.


Red desert dreaming

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AnswerID: 451363

Reply By: wafarmer - Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 23:48

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 at 23:48
Ah yes they are illegal an eyesore and the owners have no rights.
In a lot of cases the small coastal communities were developed to house people who worked in local industries or those who lived and worked further inland and travelled to the closest coast to have a break from their labours.
They in nearly all cases got no help with infrastructure of any sort from Federal State or local government and made their own roads to get there and provided all other amenities.
This happened a few generations ago, yes these were the can do red necks who made this country what it was, but today the tarmac has arrived and with it the BMW's driven by the suits and behind them the law making bureaucrat's and the signs are going up "525sqm cottage blocks" "1ha lifestyle blocks" "proposed luxury holiday villas" etc.
All completely legal of cause with the environmental impact statements signed off never seen too many of these for industry or housing ever knocked back but try knocking down the same bush for agriculture and see where you end up (there's that illegal word again).
"These squatters should be kicked out this area should be for all Australians" um mm have you ever heard of Smiths Beach in South Western Australia you want to look it up.
Welcome to big money and big government they rarely break the law because they are the ones who make them.
Ya might have better buildings in the cities but ya cant smell it anymore can ya been living there too long.(it's called pollution)

AnswerID: 451370

Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 14:07

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 14:07
We used to have a shack at Gum Tree Bay, north of Green Head. About 20ish years ago shack owners in most of the mid west shires were given reasonable notice (about 5 years) under the then 'removal of squatters' policy to demolish.

That was when most of the shack settlements were removed, with the only shacks remaining being leased to commercial fishers.

Three of these have now been converted to high grade public recreational nodes at Sandy Cape and Green Head. Similar nodes are slated for Wedge and Grey.

Imo the closures could not have come soon enough. Every week new shacks were going up and new tracks cut and old tracks blown out. It was totally out of control. We had enjoyed the shack, dangers included (dugites in the dunny etc) but it was an idea well past its time.

I've no idea how Wedge and Grey survived the putsch but go they must.

AnswerID: 451409

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