The Shire of Esperance have today removed the metal walkway linking the Tanker Jetty to the headland in an effort to prevent illegal access to the structure.
The shire applied to the State Heritage Office in March for a permit to remove the aluminium walkway and two access ladders after multiple reports of people trespassing.
Shire chief executive officer Matthew Scott said the bridge was not part of the original jetty and would not impact its stability.
“There have been several instances of individuals cutting the wire or scaling the fence to gain access to the jetty,” he said.
“Local police and Southern Ports staff have been called out to assist people who were putting their own safety at risk and trespassing onto the jetty.”
Shire president Victoria Brown said the safety of the community remained a top priority.
“We understand the jetty is important to our community and we are mindful of the impact each decision may have,” she said.
“The Minister for Heritage has accepted the Heritage Council’s advice to remove the aluminium walkway, two access ladders and fencing panels from the Esperance Tanker Jetty.
“Being able to remove the fencing will enhance the look of the jetty headland and will no doubt enable people to take photographs of the jetty again.”
Dale Piercey from Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty Association said the removal of the walkway was unnecessary as she did not believe people were illegally accessing the jetty.
“On Tuesday... our shire council gave us an extraordinary display of wanton vandalism when they ripped down the aluminium walkway to the tanker jetty,” she said.
“Now we are supposed to believe the walkway had to come down because kids are accessing the jetty.
“If that really was the case, why was the barricade not strengthened?
“As it is now, if kids manage to get on the jetty and get hurt, how are emergency services going to obtain access?”
The Minister for Heritage issued the permit on May 22 and the works were carried out carried out on Tuesday, June 20.