Ben Hearn just can't understand the reasoning behind a move to close an iconic holiday venue established by his late grandfather Don Hearn.
The future of Don Hearn's Cabins in Cunjurong Point is not looking good with a strong push being made to close the venue down - see reasons below.
Lexie Meyer has been managing the cabins for 30-years - the last two decades have been riddled with uncertainty because she never had her lease renewed.
She was given formal notice of termination on January 15 2024 and the eviction date is now June 30, 2024.
Ben Hearn, speaking on his family's behalf, said they were so disappointed that such an unnecessary move was being made.
He said "yes" the cabins needed work but added whatever maintenance was needed would not cost too much.
Ben agreed that droves of cabin supporters would be down to help where they could.
"It would not take much work at all - really," he said.
The Hearn family appreciates what is being done to save the cabins - which now includes an E-Petition.
Go to here sign the e-petition.
Ben, who is also Rural Fire Service volunteer in the Monaro region, also questions the fire risk claim.
"Fire follows fire - in a path and there has never been a fire at the cabins," Ben said.
Lexie, during the Black Summer crisis, was storing people's possessions because she knew the cabins were not at risk from the surrounding fires.
Ben, in the meantime, has wonderful memories of spending time down at "grandpa's cabins".
When he was in Year Seven he had to write a story on his favourite place and yes no surprise about what he wrote about.
"I got top marks for that story," he said about the story he wrote about Don Hearn's Cabins.
He talks about fishing, swimming, sliding down the sand dunes on "dunny lids" and sitting around an open fire as just some of his memories of spending time at the cabins.
Ben said the family loves the way Lexie runs the cabins and added she operated them in a similar way to what his grandpa did.
It's lucky Don Hearn is not around today.
"Grandpa was a bit of a hell raiser and could put up a fight," Ben said.
The cabins were once earmarked for closure but with support of the then independent member of the South Coast, John Hatton, they were saved.
Now in 2024 another fight is on ..........
Reasons for the eviction notice explained
Crown Lands in the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure will not renew the lease to operate the site for holiday cabins following detailed assessments which identified various issues.
The assessments, according to a department spokesperson, identified issues including the poor condition of the buildings, bushfire risk at the site and the presence of endangered ecological communities.
"The lease on the site expired in 2002 but has since remained active in 'holdover' on a month-to-month basis," the spokesperson explained.
"Ms Meyers, as the leaseholder, was advised in May 2021 that Crown Lands would not renew the lease and it is proposed to issue a formal termination notice by the end of March 2024 which will require Ms Meyers to vacate by 30 June 2024," the spokesperson said
"The cabins and associated structures will then be demolished at no cost to Ms Meyers, prior to the site being remediated to restore the land to public open space."
The department spokesperson understands that the decision will upset people.
"We understand the cabins have been a part of the reserve and the coastal community for many years, but they have now reached the end of their economic life, do not meet current building standards, and present a potential public health and safety risk," the spokesperson said.
"Redevelopment of the site for ongoing tourism accommodation has been assessed as not cost-effective due to the existing site constraints.
"Crown Lands will manage the site pending a long-term decision on its future management.
"This decision is considered in the best interests of the community and the site."
Crown Lands is negotiating with Shoalhaven Council on the potential integration of the remediated site into an adjoining reserve and appointment as Crown land manager, but this is yet to be agreed upon.
Crown Lands will cover all costs of the demolition and removal of the caretaker cottage, cabins and associated structures and the clean-up and remediation of the site after the leaseholder has vacated.
About the cabins
"Through the Vietnam War, Don's Cabins became a refuge for conscientious objectors and decades after Saigon fell they remained a haven for escapees of a different kind.*
"As the world sped up, got complex, it was a place to kick back and unwind; hop off the hamster wheel for a while.
"In 1991, Don passed away and handed stewardship to Lexie Meyer, who remained faithful to Don's vision of simplicity among nature.
"As the character of the South Coast slowly changed: fibro shacks razed and replaced by large footprint weekenders, the encroachment of AirBNBs, and even caravan parks going upmarket, Don's maintained a sense of modesty and sensible pricing - prices still start at $50 a night - that allowed equitable access to an increasingly expensive slice of coast."
*Background information from Stu Nettle from Swell Net