THE state government will cap future rent increases for South Australians who hold leases for shacks on Crown land or in National Parks, including those at Smoky Bay.

Rent increases are to be capped at $2000 for shack leases revalued on a three yearly basis, and $3500 for those revalued on a five yearly basis.

There are about 300 life tenure shacks on Crown land and another 100 in national park reserves, with the payable rent reviewed by an independent valuer.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said shack rents had always been based on the state receiving a fair return for the private and exclusive use of state land assets.

“Land valuers have advised the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources that while the overall market is down, absolute beachfront shacks continue to attract a premium compared to shacks that are further inland,” he said.

“Consequently, this has resulted in some waterfront sites attracting particularly high land values, and potential rent increases of up to $7175 after July 1.”

The new policy will apply immediately on rents from July 1, with shack owners and members of the Shack Owners Association to soon receive letters on how the policy will work.

Mr Hunter said if a shack owner was subject to the cap, their next rent bill would detail the amount that would have been payable, and the amount as adjusted under the cap.

The next round of rent notifications is scheduled for next month and Mr Hunter said he expected about 14 local shack owners would be affected by the new cap.

The announcement came on October 16, which coincided with the demonstration by shack owners at Parliament House in Adelaide.

Opposition Sustainability and Government spokesperson Michelle Lensink said the government’s decision came because there was a rally on the day.

“Because of the action of the shack owners, the government thought to ‘throw them a bone’,” she said.

“There’s still no tenure or anything else they want.”

The opposition has declared its support for shack owners across the state and Ms Lensink introduced bills to amend current laws on the same day as the protest.

One bill deals with ongoing leases and tenure on Crown land, while another focuses on national parks.

SHACK CAP: Minister Ian Hunter has announced rent increases will be capped at $2000 for those evaluated on a three yearly basis, and $3500 for those on a five yearly basis.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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