Background and Brief History

The boatsheds have been part of the Werribee South foreshore since the early 1920's, when the first was constructed on Bailey's Beach (then known as Elliot's Beach). From the late 1920's portions of the reserve was used for public bathing, and two Public Dressing enclosures were constructed on the beaches near Crown Allotment 61A at Duncans Road. The foreshore has always been Crown Land and so to control the construction the Board of Land and Works - part of the Lands Department - placed the Werribee Foreshore Reserve under the control of the Shire of Werribee as a Committee of Management on 26 September 1930.

The regulations covering the foreshore were gazetted on 25th March 1931 and all construction of the buildings was to be supervised by the Ports and Harbours.

After WWII construction of the boatsheds increased, moved east from Bailey's Beach to Campbells Cove, which was named after the first boat shed owner. Because of the shortage of building materials second hand material was utilised, it was also noted that the sheds were being more than just used as boatsheds but more as summer holiday houses and milk and paper deliveries were being made to the sheds.

In 1967 a public meeting was held by the council with the Port Phillip Authority and occupiers of the sheds in attendance to attempt to improve the development of the beach. At this meeting The Campbells Cove and Bailey's Beach Development Committee was formed with the help of some of the present day boat shed owners.

In 1977 the boatsheds were listed in 'The Heritage of the City of Wyndham' as of Regional significance, as important parts of the heritage of the metropolitan or the Western Metropolitan region.

For decades many of the boatshed community, both past and present, have tackled specific foreshore problems either individually or collectively. Redress has been sought from a hierarchy of organisations including the foreshore Committee of Management and State Government.The notion of'closeness' between ratepayers and Local Government seemingly diminished after Council amalgamations in 1994. Fewer Councilors now represent people in a geographically consolidated City.The Wyndham City Councils "the delegated Committee of Management for 143 boatsheds along the Werribee South foreshore. In its local government role, Council is also responsible for planning and other matters. However, by authority some State Government Departments can exercise a veto on overlapping administrative matters for example, Planning and Environment Act 1987,Coastal Management Act 1995 and the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978.
In January 2002 the Wyndham City Council issued a Draft Boatshed Management Policy and Boatshed License that consisted of bringing all controls under one policy, and give the boatsheds owners security of tenure. After this occurred the need for an association became prevalent as a single voice was required to negotiate on behalf of the boatshed owners, and the Association began negotiating on behalf of its members with the Wyndham City Council. The Boatshed Management Policy was ratified by council in September 2002 and adopted by council in October2003. The first licenses were issued in March 2004 .