Shacks to survive

Naval Base shack owner Tony Ravlich. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d416727a
Naval Base shack owner Tony Ravlich. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d416727a

And following Cockburn Council’s endorsement of a management plan for the 4.5 hectare reserve last Thursday, he’s optimistic his wish will be fulfilled.

The 176 shacks housed on the A-Class reserve have come under increasing pressure in recent years with growth of the nearby Kwinana Industrial Area, Australian Marine Complex and Latitude 32 threatening to impinge on the site.

But as the only shacks site located within metropolitan Perth, lessees are keen to see it retained. Working with council, Mr Ravlich said the Naval Base Community Reference Group had managed to churn out guidelines which will bring the park up to scratch.

‘The City worked with the lessees and the reference group very well,’ he said.

‘We had our say and they had there say. Naturally, you’ll never achieve what everybody in the shacks want, but from our point of view we’ve done our best. I think council did their best to help us through.’

The specific management plan is a first for the park, which up until now had operated on an uncomprehensive set of guidelines.

The new plan looks at the use of generators, lease fees, dispute resolution and noise complaints, among other administrative issues, but also highlights potential upgrades to roads, drainage and street lighting.

While there is still uncertainty over whether council will trigger a clause in the lease term allowing the park to remain beyond 2017, the passing of the management plan is seen as a positive step to keeping the site a popular tourist spot.

‘A few years back it could have been the end of us but now we’ve got until 2017 and hopefully a five year option to extend,’ Mr Ravlich said.

‘You don’t know what’s going to happen if a new council comes in and with local government reform, but I think the park has a good future.’