A section of the Esperance Tanker Jetty has collapsed at around 1.30pm, littering the surrounding water with debris.
The Esperance Express caught up with shire president Victoria Brown down at the jetty headland this afternoon.
“Although this is exactly what we have all been waiting to happen, still when you see it, it is devastating, it’s devastating for everybody,” Ms Brown said.
“At the moment, for the shire perspective, the most important thing is that the public safety is taken care of.”
Ms Brown said the shire was now ensuring that any floating debris was collected from the bay.
“The message to the community is very much, tempting though it may be to get in your boat or your kayak, please keep away from the structure because our concern is that this may have a zipper effect,” she said.
“Whilst we are having a beautiful calm afternoon here at the moment, if conditions change we don’t know what may eventuate, so please keep clear.”
The affected area included pile groups 38 to 42.
Acting CEO Mathew Walker echoed Ms Brown’s comments about public safety.
“Please stay out of the water for the immediate future, don’t be tempted to get in for a closer look on personal water craft… until we are sure that all debris has been removed and the remaining structure can fully assessed,” he said.
“We are currently waiting for a decision from the Heritage Council on how to move forward.”
Shire and Port Authority Staff are working together on locating and removing all loose debris and a comprehensive safety inspection of the jetty is currently underway.
The Port Authority has jurisdiction for marine safety and the immediate area surrounding the jetty is classified as a no boating zone.