Save Wedge

Wedge is much more than just a physical location with beautiful beaches to enjoy on a good day and pristine productive waters offshore.

The community which has evolved over the last 70 years reflects a lifestyle which has all but disappeared elsewhere and gives the settlement a unique sense of place.

This uniqueness is documented in the GML Heritage Assessment (report April 2012 – link) and is what the shack associations are campaigning to save.

Contrary to beliefs held by bureaucrats, the self supporting settlements are open communities and visitors are welcome. There is no demand for traditional government services. This perhaps is perceived as a threat by the bureaucracy and lifestyle freedom with self regulation is a difficult concept for some to grasp. Conformity, regulation and compliance seems to be more important.

Since 1998, WIPA and the Grey shack association, have been consistently trying to work with the managing government agency (CALM, DEC and now DPaW) to bring about a compromise plan which retains this sense of place as opposed to removal of shacks and destruction of the vibrant community. The plan would also accommodate visitor facilities, enable ‘shack stays’ and be delivered earlier to provide ‘formal’ public access.

Shack leases were issued in 1995 originally for 6 years to terminate in 2001, but due to political lobbying were extended for another 10 years. They were then renewed on a rolling 12 month basis until the current arrangement of a licence till June 2016. These temporary extensions were necessary due to no resolution by the bureaucracy of a compromise plan.

The next State election will be in March 2017.

Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) have had specific direction since March 2010 from the Barnett Liberal government to produce a plan. It has not eventuated and a further licence extension is proposed by DPaW till June 2017, ie post election.

WIPA and GCCA can see no reason why a decision cannot be made regarding long term tenure and plans for the establishment of public facilities before the end of 2016. Solutions to the perceived ‘roadblocks’ (identified by DPaW) have been proposed by the associations and shack owners are waiting for approval to commence shack health and safety upgrades.

DPaW are intent on engaging numerous expensive consultancies to draw out the process and seek ways to justify minimal shack retention.

Politicians need to be accountable to ensure an agreed compromise plan is finalised during 2016.

If it appears the response from government (politically and bureaucratically) is inadequate, then WIPA and GCCA will mount a public campaign during 2016.


What can you do?

  • As a shack owner comply with the current conditions of your licence and the policies of your shack association
  • As a member of the public be aware of the facts listed below
  • Follow the links for further information to become fully informed
  • Challenge misinformed comment when encountered
  • Raise these issues with your local State politician and your own network
  • Keep up to date by regularly checking this site (and the Facebook Save Wedge page?) and consider participating in any recommended action



  • The Wedge and Grey Reserves were created under the Land Administration Act for the purpose of ‘parkland, recreation and the letting of cottages thereon’ and vested with CALM originally for managing leases
  • The land is not ‘CALM’ land as defined under the CALM Act and the Land Administration Act still applies in relation to creating a management plan for the reserves
  • $7million in rent/fees has been levied by ‘DPaW’ since 1995 (to June 2015). Annual fees are currently over $1300 per shack and now raise in excess of $540,000pa.
  • The local Shire (Dandaragan) plays no formal role in the management of the settlements
  • DPaW provides no services to the shacks or facilities to the public other than a skip bin and bulk rubbish facility outside the settlements which is financed by shack owners
  • DPaW has not supported numerous attempts by WIPA and GCCA to provide basic public facilities in the 20 years it has had responsibility for the reserves and actively prohibits camping in the area
  • The communities provide first aid, rescue services and first call fire fighting response at no cost to the public
  • Sealed road access into the settlements off Indian Ocean Drive was opened in September 2010 but no public facilities have been established by DPaW
  • 15000 people use the shacks and most vote
  • There is greater bed-night capacity at Wedge than the self contained facilities at Rottnest
  • There is a cost positive benefit to the State by retaining these communities, but the existing critical mass needs to be maintained
  • Service providers and merchants in Lancelin, Cervantes and Jurien Bay directly benefit from shack custom
  • Protecting the heritage values of the Wedge and Grey shack communities will pay dividends in tourism development and further enhance the local economy

A formal European heritage assessment of the Wedge and Grey settlements was completed and presented to government in 2012 (GML Report April 2012). The findings were unequivocal that State level cultural heritage values exist and should be protected through listing on the State register of Heritage Places. The process has stalled through the State Heritage Office due to delays in establishing a heritage policy for the sites because of DPaWs lack of a management plan.

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