Cactus shacks

Big Bird's picture
Big Bird started the topic in Wednesday, 21 Oct 2015 at 5:27pm

Hey any body heard anything about the government trying to pull down the shacks at Cactus ?
From what I've seen Theses guys have been there for years and have only improved the area by protecting it from travelling Eco vandals and making designated walking tracks to keep the masses of the dunes so everyone can enjoy this beautiful part of our coast !

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 at 7:51am

Maybe a story in the Australian or Adelaide now from a few days ago ? My computer wont load it .

eyrehead's picture
eyrehead's picture
eyrehead Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 at 7:37pm

Some time ago I posted here regards the illegal and (unwanted ) dwellings that were a result of the current owner of the Pt Sinclair camping ground and some surrounding lands.
The majority of regular surfers at this beach don't wont these structures there.

Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 at 7:55pm

I believe the creation and sale of the leases that these dwellings are on enabled Ronnie to pay out his missus when they split which meant he could keep the land which has been a blessing to all of us.

eyrehead's picture
eyrehead's picture
eyrehead Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 at 8:29pm

Well may Mr Gates ' pay out his ex missus ' but the landscape of Cactus has been altered.
This is not legal and unacceptable by locals.

Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 at 9:42pm

Well mate the other option of selling up to the highest bidder would habe been much worse I think

Big Bird's picture
Big Bird's picture
Big Bird Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 7:13am

And the highest bidder could have been some developer that put 20 cabins in the camping ground and charged $150 a night or worse ! just like the hundreds of caravan parks all over the country that are on the beach .

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 8:32am

eyrehead, how bad has the landscape been altered ..in what way ?

Is it leasehold or freehold land ...anyone know ?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 10:17am

To me it's as unaltered as you can get while still offering basic facilities like flushing toilets and unheated showers.

The regeneration of plants in fenced off areas is outstanding, almost too much on the walk to check Cactus (bit dicey running between bushes either side of you when snakes are regularly seen crossing), but that can easily be trimmed back.

As others have said if in another persons hand it could be a totally different story in my opinion.

Big Bird's picture
Big Bird's picture
Big Bird Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 1:41pm

From what I understand the land all along Cactus to Pt Sinclair is privately owned .
So why don't the government coastal protection board members leave it alone as the land is being cared for ?
Maybe one of them is a surfer from Adelaide that goes there once in a blue moon and has to eat fly's and sand and is jealous of these guys that live on the Eye peninsular and have been going to Cactus for weekends and school holidays for years , raising their kids there with a deep understanding of the environment around them while building some protection for them from the elements that are some of the harshest conditions on the planet not to mention regular mouse plagues and multitudes of death adders and brown snakes that cruise through the camps !

middy's picture
middy's picture
middy Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 5:23pm

Forty plus years ago Paul Witzig had the vision and foresight to preserve Cactus. He locked down a Heritage Agreement with the SA Govt - fenced, provided beach access, built toilets, signage and implemented a camping strategy about as low key as it comes. Ronnie Gates has kept it going and improved it in all the years since. Generations of surfers have since enjoyed the place pretty much as it was all those years ago, rare in this day and age where every world class surf spot is done over by development. I think we should all be thankful it was in the hands of a surfer who understood the essence of the place and has maintained it. Any alterations have been positive and as said by another in the forum we can only imagine what could have happened in the hands of some other possible ( multi-national ) surfing entity which was once on the cards. Cheers Ronnie - thanks for keeping Cactus Cactus

sypkan's picture
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sypkan Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 5:37pm

absolutely middy,

ronnie's dedication and integrity cannot be praised enough. he's one of the hardest corest surfers in the world for the live he's lived, not just for surfing but his whole ethos, he's done what he hsd to do, can only hope his family share the same passion and integrity

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 5:56pm

Looking at google earth 2015 the landscape has been altered only slightly by the addition of a few more shacks......

Imagine if Ron sold out to Kommune..........?

chin's picture
chin's picture
chin Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 10:37pm

The current angst about "shacks" has come about because of the structure of the buildings.
When Ron leased out several blocks in sleepy hollow, the terms of the leases were that the structures erected were not to be permanent. Some of the shacks can hardly be described as semi permanent or non permanent. I used to have an old shitbox caravan in that spot back in the old days when Witzig was still there. It was there for years, and when it was no longer liveable I towed it up to the dump in Penong as it was my responsibility to get rid of it.
I didn't like what I saw last time I was back there, with the shacks, but otherwise the place hasn't changed a bit. It's a difficult situation that the guys have put Ron in now, they should have kept things low key in the spirit of the arrangement. It's attracted unwanted attention.
BTW I stand to be corrected, but that's my understanding of what's happening.

chin's picture
chin's picture
chin Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 10:42pm

Long live the 70's

Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 11:15pm

Leasehold. 30 years originally. Some boys payed a bit more a few years ago to have it extended. Correct the structures are not meant to be permanent in the original agreement. Whether that changed upon lease extension I'm not sure. Some of them have definate permanent structures with septic tanks which are definately not allowed that close to the beach anywhere else on the coast.
One guy puts up a roof to catch water so next door does the same and adds a solid wall and on it goes.
Certain crew have pushed it certainly and set themselves up causing the current problem.
But these guys dug their hands in their pockets and allowed Ronnie to retain ownership.

chin's picture
chin's picture
chin Friday, 23 Oct 2015 at 11:47pm

Fair enough DD. When I say I didn't like what I saw with the shacks, I mean in a nostalgic sense. Not judging anybody and this probably isn't the place to be going into people's personal arrangements so I'll leave it at that.
I stayed in Jonno's little patch last time, but Ron was very nervous at the time as there were people from several different govt. bodies there taking photos and poking around the shacks.
I don't know what the restrictions are, or who polices them, but some are definitely out of Ron's control.

sandy's picture
sandy's picture
sandy Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 at 8:10am

Was lucky enough to visit Cactus few years ago for the first time.
Stayed in one of the shacks which a mate knew the owner of. Real basic setup - composting loo, structure itself just roof + verandah with old caravan chucked underneath.
All of it could be easily deconstructed and taken away if need be with little to no impact on the surrounds which I think is as far as any 'development' should go ie no concrete footings, tanks etc.
Hope the place can stay as raw and empty as it is for many years to come.
Chatted to a local fella who was cooking up some chops on a fire down the beach. Made a good point - not many spots left where you can do that without someone coming and telling you off, or a million signs saying this that and the other.
Hope the level of human impact stays as low as it is in the future - its isolation hopefully takes care of that.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 at 10:18am

Big Bird mentioned Death Adders. I got a picture of one on a dirt road down my way not long ago. Scary looking snakes!

barley's picture
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barley Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 at 11:10am

Yikes! Have to watch out for that shit.

trippergreenfeet's picture
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trippergreenfeet Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 at 10:07pm

Dingdoctor wrote: . Some of them have definate permanent structures with septic tanks which are definately not allowed that close to the beach anywhere else on the coast.
.

DD, curious about this comment about septics...who's jurisdiction does this fall under? It can't be a Shire bylaw as Sinclair does not fall under Shire jurisdiction. Does it fall under the Heritage Agreement with the SA Govt that Paul arranged.

My families shack is further west of Penong...it's on crown land with a 99 yr perpetual lease...way closer than any of the Cactus shacks to the water and has a septic...oh shit!

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 at 11:23pm

I recall Ronnie telling me once that Cactus was designated as a Coastal Reserve which is the same as the coastal land my shack sits on. As such there are restrictions on the discharge of effluent but it only came in fairly recently, as in the last 10 years or so.

My septic tank's soakage pit blocked up about eight years ago and I couldn't flush my toilet which was a real pain in the arse as you could imagine! So I organised the local plumber to dig it out and replace it.

It was gonna be a $1500 dollar job.

Then the local council down here became involved and contacted the NRM (National Resource Management) who control Crown Land and it turned out I had to get a 5000 litre holding tank installed so no effluent could soak into the coastal water table.

It turned into a $5000 job!

Now I have to get the holding tank pumped every year which is a further expense. Even though it cost me I didn't really mind as I wouldn't want to pollute the marine environment down here.

Not sure about whether the Cactus shacks are under the same rules but it demonstrates the complexity of different laws and rules of building so close to these restricted coastal environments?

barley's picture
barley's picture
barley Saturday, 24 Oct 2015 at 11:22pm

It must have a broader range than caccies...The gov. Been trying to d ok it..successfully at mazzas and unsuccessfully at fisho's.
The reason they give is lack of financial resources to supply these shacks with services.
One of my mates has a beachfront abode and are being charged $200 a week just for the right to be there.
They are not paying (since they were there fron the 70's)and are just saving to payout the council instead of paying the demolition fees..
Be careful, what the gov. Wants the gov gets

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt Sunday, 25 Oct 2015 at 7:02am

Got told by a building inspector once, that if you are fighting the council or government , they are using your money to fight you.:D

Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor Sunday, 25 Oct 2015 at 11:46am

Existing septics are ok. But as yorky found if you are trying to replace one or install a new one these days all the near coastal councils that I know of will only allow an enviro cycle type unit which require power to run or some other enviro approved style. But as you guys are in outer districts don't think your nearest council being Ceduna can have a say. Surely there is another gov body out there to stop people having adverse environmental impact via building practices in areas of this type.

Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor's picture
Dingdoctor Sunday, 25 Oct 2015 at 11:48am

But as I said tripper existing ones are ok.
If you should run into dramas best fix that shit up yourself and keep it quiet I'd say

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 16 Sep 2016 at 12:00pm

Any more news on this ?

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter Friday, 19 May 2017 at 7:27pm

Last time i was there it was the rabbits. But cactus should be safe , unless the little buggers (mice) like salt lick . But I hope the grain industry survives cos I don't mind a Coopers, or two

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 3 Jul 2017 at 10:03am

Ronnie moving on ......Craig ?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 3 Jul 2017 at 11:43am

Yeah, he finished up Friday. Still has the lease but handed over to another couple to run the show. I think his plans are to sail north from Sydney, good on him!

As I said on Insta, the end of an era, and a little sad.

Andybox's picture
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Andybox Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 at 6:41pm

New here. I first surfed Cactus in about 1993, remember Ronnie and his missus making banana smoothies. Hung with a dreadlocked guy from Lorne, and a dreadlocked feral named Dave. One of the locals would do the rounds in the afternoon, selling bags of mull, pretty sure his nickname was Sharkbait, pretty sure he was planning a mussel farm, pretty sure he survived an attack at outside castles, and pretty sure he died in a car crash about 20 years ago. Anyone?
Another local named Moose used to control the line-up at Caves, big set guy who would charge the sets. There were mice, hundreds of the bloody things. There was a crazy American chick who rocked up with a 2 man tent, Kenny was her name, from NYC. Also another guy from San Diego who ate nothing but raw vegetables and fruit. Another guy I met was also from Lorne, and ran a tea room, drove an orange Kombi. Stayed there for about 2 months, used to head into Ceduna every few weeks for supplies. Some of the guys living there would go to the shop at Penong and post their dole forms. Paul Gravelle was (from memory) shaping out of an old church in Penong. Had the occasional piss-up at the Penong pub, crazy drive back to camp along the dirt track. Went back about 15 years ago, still the same but the crowd surprised me.
Happy memories.

Andybox's picture
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Andybox Tuesday, 26 Sep 2017 at 6:53pm

Bump. Would love to know if any of those characters are known in here.