Blowholes Shacks

Published on Thursday, 21 April 2022 at 5:40:16 PM

The Shire of Carnarvon has received a report from their qualified building surveyor, advising that the Blowholes shacks are highly likely to collapse. During a high wind event, they will represent a dangerous structure to users. This investigation followed complaints of loose materials, including tin, blowing around the site creating a high risk to visitors. 

 This review has been many months in the making. Following legal advice, it has been advised that the Shacks represent a significant risk to persons within the Shire’s district and, by extension, to the Shire itself.

The Shire acknowledges that the Shacks have a long and strong social heritage with locals, many of whom have spent holidays at this beautiful location over the years. However, the Shire is also ultimately responsible for the community’s safety. With the upcoming cyclone season approaching for the region, the Shire needs to progress this long-running issue and safeguard future generations of holidaymakers and locals who choose to visit the Blowholes.

 After the highly destructive winds experienced during Cyclone Seroja, the Shire of Carnarvon believes it is now time to proceed with the demolition of the Shacks and officers will be making that recommendation to Council in the near future.

Shire of Carnarvon CEO Andrea Selvey acknowledged that the recommendation to demolish the Shacks may arouse strong feelings among certain community members.

“Shire officers are aware that our recommendation may not be seen as a popular one, particularly among those locals who have strong ties to the Shacks historically,” said Ms Selvey. “However, as has been the case in other unsafe beachside structures, such as Lancelin’s Ledge Point, it remains the Shire’s responsibility for the management of that land – and those who potentially are injured on that land.”

 The Shire’s insurers advised the organisation earlier in the year that the Shire carries a significant risk concerning the shacks. As staff and Councillors are aware that the Shacks are in a state of disrepair, are not in a safe and sound condition and have not taken all reasonable precautions to prevent personal injury, the organisation and those individual staff and Councillors are carrying the liability.

“In light of the above, the Shire has sought legal advice which states the Shacks represent a very significant risk to persons within the Shire’s district, and by extension, to the Shire itself,” said Ms Selvey.

“Our lawyer further advises that for the risk to be addressed, the Shire would need to take active steps to move towards requiring that the existing Shacks are demolished.”

The community is encouraged to write to the Shire with any questions or concerns regarding demolishing the Blowholes Shacks. An investigation into the applicable coastal planning policies/strategies and the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 will all be taken into consideration by the Minister for Land to determine the site for future chalets as per the Masterplan and Management Plan.

A comprehensive FAQ is being prepared, and the Shire of Carnarvon welcomes full and frank discussions with the community regarding this issue. Please complete the form below as a method of formal communication to the Shire of Carnarvon on this matter.