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Curtin questions future of shack owners

Media release

The new Tourism Research Cluster at Curtin Business School is calling on the State Government to make a decision on the future of squatter’s shacks in WA.

Leading the discussion, Professor Roy Jones, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Humanities, said West Australians have enjoyed unsupervised coastal holiday experiences for many decades.

“Their right to camp, fish and even build shacks largely went unquestioned for much of the twentieth century,” Professor Jones said.

“For many West Australians, these freedoms have therefore been seen as a component of their heritage.

“Squatters will need to accept that the old times will gradually go, but it is hoped that the memories of several generations of West Australian’s very special type of coastal holiday experience can be preserved.

“I would hope that, as in several other states, negotiated compromise settlements can be reached between the shack owners and authorities.

“The agreement will hopefully preserve some of the positive aspects of the shack settlements while achieving conformity with environmental requirements.”

Professor Tony Travaglione, Head of School of Management, said the Cluster will build on the excellent result that Curtin University recently gained in the Commonwealth Government Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) Process.

“Curtin University’s research on tourism for the period of 2003-2008 was assessed as world class,” Professor Travaglione said.

“The cluster will enhance existing collaborative partnerships and build new links with other academic institutions, industry, government and the community sector.”

The new Tourism Research Cluster administered and funded by Curtin Business School will address the interests of local, national and international tourism stakeholders by delivering timely and topical research.