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Port Macquarie NSW: Len Girdler has farmed oysters on the Hastings River for 25 years. The rustic shed on his lease in Limeburners Creek dates back over 100 years and is the oldest in the district. In 2009 a violent storm tore some sheets of corrugated iron off the roof, hence the bare rafters in this photograph.

Unfortunately, the shed is likely to be dismantled long before the elements claim it. The NSW Lands Department has decreed that oyster sheds built on stilts in the estuary are to be demolished and replaced with structures on the shore.

While Len regrets the imminent loss of the old shed, other aspects of modern times have been a boon for him and his fellow oyster growers. Modern plastics such as trays, drums, mesh and flotation foam have reduced the labour involved in creating an environment in which to grow the succulent Sydney Rock Oyster.

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