Another push to save and restore the Tanker Jetty has been made with a Memorandum of Understanding between Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty and Ralph Bower Foundation.
With an initial target of $1 million, the understanding will allow the groups to raise corporate and public funds to restore the jetty.
Jetty Friends chairman Tony Bright said a number of significant pledges had already been made and hoped the initiative would be supported by locals.
“Goldfields-Esperance locals have had the benefit of using the jetty for many years,” he said.
“A restored jetty returns significant economic and social benefits to Esperance.”
The Ralph Bower Foundation trustee Allan Gove said the 2016 petition, supported by more than 8300 locals, indicated that residents wanted the 83-year-old structure restored and opened again.
“The historic structure was important as a tourist attraction to a coastal town and its restoration a project worthy of support,” he said.
The partnership comes just weeks after Esperance shire president Victoria Brown stated that restoration was “off the table” as a “viable or long-term solution”.
“Council, under the Heritage Council's advice, will now work with a heritage architect to deliver a plan for a replacement jetty that is as long as possible, fishing friendly and reflects the history of the 82-year-old Esperance Tanker Jetty,” she said.
Roe MLA Peter Rundle said he thought it was fantastic to see the Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty take this step.
“I think it gives the community the chance to donate and show how much the jetty means to them,” he said.
“To be honest, when I was doorknocking, as part of the state election campaign, that was the number one subject on people’s minds.
“I understand how important it is to them and I congratulate the Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty for making this move.”
Mr Rundle said it had been two years since the gate was put across the jetty and people from Perth and regional WA continued to ask him about when it would be open again.
“When you look at the Busselton Jetty, it was a hard road but it is now a highly regarded tourist attraction. I would urge everyone to continue working as hard as we can to find a solution.”