State Heritage Council visit Esperance to discuss the Tanker Jetty with Esperance Shire Council

The State Heritage Council have outlined their requirements for a new jetty after meeting with the Esperance Shire Council and getting a close look at the town’s iconic structure.

The Heritage Council said they would support two options moving forward, the first being a reconstruction of the existing structure based on the 1935 design, potentially using old and new material.

If this is not feasible then option two is replacement using a more contemporary design driven by heritage values constructed with new and recycled materials. For example, built to today’s current engineering standards, the piles could be nine metres apart instead of the current 4.2 metres.

Heritage Council chairperson Anne Arnold recommended the replacement design be led by a heritage architect and engineer to ensure it reflects the values outlined in the statement of significance. 

“The Heritage Council could support a reconstruction, but if the Shire concluded this was not feasible, then a replacement could be supported for which the recent concept plans were a positive starting point,” she said.

“Any design must have some interpretation of the length, width and elevation of the original jetty using lighting or another unique way to give visitors and locals the authentic experience of the original Tanker Jetty.”

The Heritage Council offered to help the shire in identifying suitable heritage expertise to assist with the project.

The visit followed the recent uncontrolled collapse of a section of the Tanker jetty, prompting concerns from both the shire and the community.

Shire president Victoria Brown thanked the Heritage Council for visiting and explaining what needs to be done to progress the project.

“It was helpful for both councils to have the opportunity to exchange views and ideas and for the Heritage Council to get a better understanding of our current financial resources and community expectations,” she said.

Representatives from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage also came down for the meeting.

All representatives were taken out to inspect the heritage listed Tanker Jetty before moving on to the shire depot to see the recovered timbers from the uncontrolled collapse.

During the jetty tour, Esperance residents flocked to the Jetty headland in a show of support for the local icon, even chanting “save our jetty.” Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty secretary Richard Grant said the purpose of the gathering was to ensure the Heritage Council understood the wants of the community.