Esperance Summer 2017/2018

It was yet another wonderful, warm and eventful summer here in Esperance. Check out the events that shaped the season.

Timeline:

December, 2017.

  • Esperance woman Annette Havlin had a pleasant surprise after being returned a 101 year old World War I medal belonging to her great uncle.
  • SAFE Esperance called on the community for assistance as kitten season approached. 
  • Esperance-Goldfields Surf Life Saving Club were commended by the community for their response to the sighting of a three metre Great White shark during their first patrol of the season on Sunday, December 2.
  • A petition against the proposed Nickel Sulphate Plant at Myrup Road was presented before parliament, after 850 signatures were collected.
  • A 34-year-old Kalgoorlie man was charged by Esperance Detectives, following an armed robbery at a liquor store on Pink Lake Road.
  • Esperance local Luke Marquis was named as one of eight leading Australasian growers and advisers to receive recognition at the 2017 Syngenta Growth Awards.
  • More than 28 attendees and members of the Rotary Club turned out to see the Esperance Rotary Club reopen the lookout on Dempster Head on December 3 following its refurbishment.
  • More than 200 people poured through the doors of The Cannery Art Centre on December 8 for ‘The Evolution Of The Surfboard’ exhibition with surfboard manufacturer and collector Wayne Winchester.
  • Drone footage of a four metre Great White shark at Fourth Beach sparked calls from filmmaker Dave Riggs for better surveillance measures at beaches. The video shows the shark circling a boat 100 metres from shore on December 9.
  • Banksia Medical Centre receptionist Rhiannon Tracey became the latest recipient of the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s customer service of the month award.
  • The Esperance community said goodbye to Esperance Police senior sergeant Richard Moore, after three and a half years in Esperance.
  • The annual Community Christmas Pageant took place on Sunday, December 10, drawing members of the community to the town centre to celebrate the festivities.
  • Around 3.30pm on December 11 authorities issued a watch and act alert for an out of control fire burning in the Shire of Esperance and Pink Lake. Firefighters were on the scene and actively fighting the fire, which was started by a lightning strike near the intersection of Helms Drive and Kings Mill Retreat in Pink Lake.
  • Esperance Taekwondo Academy held their annual Skills Day on December 10, braving the 34 degree heat at Esperance Indoor Sports Stadium to demonstrate their skills.
  • Esperance Farm Training Centre student 16-year-old Jemma Anthony became the first recipient of the new Doug Murray Scholarship, encouraging students in agriculture.
  • Esperance Senior High School Girls Academy unveiled a mural entitled ‘Going Somewhere’, a project designed to promote a ‘Drug Aware’ message through a YCulture grant supported by Esperance Community Arts. 
  • Esperance Hospital staff were commended after covering the facility in Christmas decorations for the patients. You can view our gallery here.
  • Esperance Senior High School’s year 12 students excelled in their final exams, with nine achieving Australian Tertiary Admission Rank scores above 90.
  • The year ended in tragedy, after a fatal crash on Kennedy’s Beach killed a 47-year-old South Australian man in Howick on December 31.

January, 2018.

  • Hundreds gathered at the Esperance Foreshore on New Year’s Eve to welcome 2018 with the annual Foreshore Festival and Fireworks. Relive all of the action here.
  • The Department of Sport and Recreation WA announced cuts to Kidsport funding for Scouts, a move set to affect around one third of Esperance scout members. 
  • Another push to save and restore the Tanker Jetty was 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 allowed the groups to raise corporate and public funds to restore the jetty.
  • Esperance teenager Marissa Dattani was announced as one of 25 aspiring young inventors to be selected for the National Questacon Invention Convention in Canberra, the youngest ever to attend.
  • Horizon Power sent Fitzgerald River National Park “off grid”, installing a renewable energy system and removing of all overhead electricity.
  • More than 300 visitors attended the opening of two new sheds for the Esperance Mechanical Restoration Group, holding farming machinery and historical memorabilia.
  • UK couple Helen Clarkson and Mike Langridge stopped in Esperance on their 34,000 kilometres across the globe to raise money for mental health advocacy group ‘Mind’.
  • Tourism Research Australia released figures showing a 25 per cent increase in visitation to Cape Le Grand National Park in the last six years.
  • Local artists Christian Siemer and granddaughter Lucy Vincent opened their ‘Sea Bones’ exhibition at the Cannery Arts Centre. Miss it? Click here to view our gallery.
  • Cleveland-Cliffs announced possible plans to cease mining operations in Australia later this year in an earnings call in the US, sending shockwaves through the community. 
  • Esperance’s music scene held its first ever ‘CanJam’ at the Cannery Arts Centre.
  • Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry met with local Australia Post representatives, after receiving 130 responses to an online feedback request. Several reports emerged of ‘mishandled’ goods and ‘lengthy’ wait times.
  • A new petition was created in support of the Nickel Sulphate Plant proposed by Alpha Fine Chemicals, just months after a petition against the project was presented before parliament.
  • Michaela Maloney from Doggy Wellness Esperance received the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s customer service of the month award for December, a week before celebrating 10 years of operating the centre in Balmoral Square.
  • Local icon Len Marsh was recognised for his contribution to the Esperance community, after being presented with the Ralph Bower Community Service Award.
  • ​The Esperance Swim Thru on January 26 saw Georgia Gregory take out the race and become the first ever female winner of the competition with a record-breaking time of 37.07 minutes. Check out the gallery here.
  • The ninth round of the 360 Power Series at Esperance Speedway saw Bunbury-based Daniel Keen win the 25-lap final over his younger brother Michael, with Kalgoorlie's Ray Leonard taking third.
  • Esperance local Niki Curtis was announced as one of the winners of the CBH Group’s inaugural Growing Leaders Scholarship program.
  • Hundreds gathered at Adventureland Park on January 26 to celebrate Australia Day. The Community Awards ceremony, facilitated by Shire president Victoria Brown, included the presentation of the Citizen of the Year Award to local icon and Esperance community paramedic Paul Gaughan. Missed our gallery of the day’s events? Click here.
  • January 30 saw 200 members of the community fill the Civic Centre for the Annual Electors Meeting. The evening saw residents rally for major change, passing five motions calling on Council to review issues and town development plans.
  • The Esperance Land Based Fishing Club broke three records during their West Run. The record breaking catches were made by Ash Newton, Sheryl Wadeiman and junior Torin Pechar.

February, 2018.

  • Jaimen Hudson and Asher Goddard each received a nomination for a WA Young Achiever Award. The winners will be announced in May.
  • Labor MLC Darren West met with concerned Southern Ports workers as Nationals MP Peter Rundle called for any Cliff’s withdrawal money to stay in Esperance.
  • Shire president Victoria Brown denied false claims she described attendants of the Electors meeting as a “minority”.
  • Education assistants were promised for Esperance schools, with Darren West making the announcement on behalf of the Labor Government on February 2.
  • After 21 years of service, Royal Flying Doctor Service Esperance Auxiliary president and vice president Helen and Ian Scott  stepped down on February 5.
  • Robert Horan was elected unopposed as the new president the same day.
  • An Esperance man found needles in Dixon Park on February 3 after his 8-year-old son was pricked. A cash reward was offered but no one came forward.
  • The Phillips River Bridge was reopened on February 7, less than a year after it was destroyed by floodwaters.
  • The Esperance Abattoir was reopened by Central Agri Group on February 7, the new facility will employ up to 150 locals.
  • The Esperance Goldfields Surf Life Saving Club held a Nipper’s Carnival on February 11 at Twilight Beach.
  • The week-long search for missing Castletown man Colin Johnson was called off after a body was found on February 12.
  • Macarthur Minerals released a report on February 12, expressing interest in Cliffs’ infrastructure. 
  • Ravensthorpe and surrounding shires marked a year since deadly floods swept through the region killing two men.
  • Esperance Residential College revealed their enrollments for Year 7 had doubled from 2017.
  • A woman was saved from a rip current by a Spanish tourist on February 15.
  • The Tanker Jetty motion was declined at a special council meeting on February 19. Councillor Basil Parker raised a motion to continue towards the path of replacement. The motion was passed 7-2.
  • EMTAG conducted an experiment on a property adjacent to the proposed Merivale tip site on February 19. After 24 hours and heavy rainfall, dye was found in a spring 1.84 kilometres from the original test site.
  • The Phoenix Hockey Club launched a World’s Greatest Shave fundraiser after a teammate was diagnosed with leukemia. They aim to raise $10,000.
  • The Maritime Union disagreed with the Post-Amalgation Review of Southern Ports Authority on February 22.
  • The RSL presented a cheque for $1000 for Esperance Senior High School to travel to the Burma Thailand Railway.
  • Russell Palmer and Jaimen Hudson carried the Queen’s baton in Albany on February 22.
  • BD Partington was presented with the WA Best Country Home award on February 24. 
  • The Shire adopted a Waste Reduction Strategy on February 27. 
  • Shire president Victoria Brown moved a motion to see Council commence formal discussions with relevant Aboriginal organisations and the Circle of Elders to achieve an outcome on Aboriginal recognition and a reconciliation plan for the district. The motion was carried 8-1.