Council have declined a motion moved by the Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty to ‘desist’ from advocating demolition as the only course forward.
Speaking to the motion at the Annual Electors Meeting on January 30, Group president Tony Bright said the shire had not presented a replacement design maintaining the rich, historic, cultural fabric of the Jetty and demolition was not acceptable.
At a Special Council Meeting, on February 19, Councillor Basil Parker instead moved that council continue along the current path by working towards a replacement designed by a team led by a Heritage Architect and within the financial restraints adopted by council.
“Councillors, we have no option but to continue down this path,” he said.
“We have a tender out for this purpose and time is of the essence, we need to have this business case up and running by the state budget in June 2018.
“With that, I ask you to seriously consider and vote in favour of this motion.”
Councillor Shelley Payne spoke against the new motion, saying she was concerned about some of the decisions made by council.
“I’m concerned that we’re not paying enough attention to what is going on in Australia with regards to the restoration of wooden jetty structures,” she said.
Speaking for the motion, Councillor Steve McMullen said he stood in favour of Parker’s motion because time was of the essence.
Councillor Dale Piercey spoke against the motion and said the community had shown they wanted everything done to save it.
“As council members it is part of our role to take the communities feedback onboard and think of the community,” she said.
Speaking for the motion, deputy president Natalie Bowman urged Council to move forward with a replacement jetty and a design team that could give the community what they want.
Councillor Payne then moved to amend the motion’s wording, instead using the word ‘renewal’ instead of demolish and replace.
“People have a strong connection to this jetty,” she said.
“As local government, we’re here to implement what the community wants.
“If we want the community on side with us, we need to change the way we talk about this cultural asset.”
Though four Councillors voted in favour of the amendment, it was lost. Councillor Parker’s motion was carried 7-2, with Councillors Payne and Piercey against.