Jetty Group engineering report complete and presented to council

The Jetty Group have presented their independently commissioned engineering report of the Esperance Tanker Jetty to the Esperance Shire Council on Tuesday.

The report by Sydney based engineering firm, Bonacci Group, outlines two options to restore the Tanker Jetty.

Jetty Group chair, David Eltringham, said the group were not ready to release the report to the public.

Shire of Esperance shire president Victoria Brown said the meeting had limitations.

“The Jetty Group came yesterday and presented the Bonacci report to us and council had the opportunity to see that presentation and ask a few questions that were rather limited because we did not have a marine engineer in the room,” Cr Brown said. 

“Therefore specific questions about construction couldn’t really be asked because nobody was there to answer them.”

Shire of Esperance director external services, Terry Sargent, said the group only costed one of the two options to restore the jetty.

“-Which was a steel structure which supports the current jetty, removal of all the timber piers and replacement of the concrete top and installation of new metal hand rails,” Mr Sargent said.

“So basically they’ll retain the deck planks and some of the timber underneath.”

Cr Brown said she had also expected to receive the Jetty Group’s petition to save the jetty which Mr Eltringham said had over 6000 signatures.

“After the meeting I met a member of the group in the foyer of the shire and she gave me the cover letter of the petition and asked me if I had seen the petition and I said ‘no,” Cr Brown said.

“She said ‘well I’ve got the cover letter and member of the group had a box with the petition in it.”

“And I did say ‘well I think it was in the chambers at one stage but there seemed to be a little huffing and puffing going on and a gentleman stood up and huffed out with the box’.

“So we know the box exists, we know the petition was in chambers.”

Cr Brown said council were expecting to see the petition at the council meeting later that day but did not receive it then either.

“We’re not quite sure what the intention was but there was definitely a little bit of confusion as to where it was, who had it, and why we hadn’t got it, anyway, that’s for them to sort out.”

Mr Eltringham said Jetty Group secretary, Kaj Nieukerke, left the chambers with the petition because he was disappointed there were shire staff present at the meeting.

“We wanted to have a good wholesome discussion with the council only, and to date we’ve requested it several times and we always get council plus staff,” Mr Eltringham said.

“We haven’t been able to sit down with council and just talk, it’s been very frustrating.”

Mr Eltringham said he was unable to release the cost of the restoration or the ongoing maintenance figures.

“The council is very concerned about the ongoing maintenance figure that’s been outlined by the Bonacci report,” he said.

Mr Eltringham said the cost of maintenance should not be imposed on ratepayers and they hoped to commericalise the jetty precinct.

“We’ve been recommended by the heritage council and government minister that that would be the ideal solution,” he said.

“Currently we haven’t had much positive feedback from the Esperance Shire Council on that point.”

Mr Sargent said council will have the Bonacci report peer reviewed.

“Council at that point need to decide whether the Bonacci report represents what the heritage act calls a feasible and prudent alternative to demolition,” he said.

A special council meeting would be held on November 8, and council would vote on the fate of the Tanker Jetty.

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