The Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty are set to present a formal proposal for the restoration of the 84-year-old structure, following a unanimous vote at their meeting on Wednesday, September 5.
The group confirmed that they had sourced costings for the material to reconstruct the jetty to the 1934 design, estimated to cost $1.5 million excluding GST based on today’s market prices.
Jetty Friends spokesperson David Eltringham said the costings had been sourced from suppliers in both Western Australian and New South Wales to reconstruct the jetty to its original 512 metre length.
Mr Eltringham said he could not reveal who the suppliers were at this stage.
“The remaining 113 piers of the jetty will be able to be dismantled, the fabric salvaged and reused along with the new material,” he said.
“There is no need for demolition.
“There is no shortage of suitable timber, and the overall project will provide a saving of at least $3 million on the demolition and concept replacement option.
“The original design, penned by the State’s foremost engineer, John Stevenson Young, does not have to be redesigned.”
Mr Eltringham said the shire had not pursued any reconstruction methods or costings on their own behalf and had rejected previous attempts by the Friends to retain the existing structure.
Stakeholders are expected be informed of the costings when the proposal is finalised, with significant savings that Mr Eltringham said could not be ‘brushed under the carpet’.
“I will be asking the Heritage Minster to insist that the shire be made to source construction tenders for both options to demonstrate transparencies to all stakeholders that reconstruction is the most feasible and prudent way forward,” he said.
Shire of Esperance chief executive officer Matthew Scott confirmed the shire had not yet received the report or any costings but said previous claims made with regards to restoration had not been supported by documentation.
“The Shire has not received any costings and no supporting documentation has been supplied to support the claims,” he said.
“Wood of the nature required is not easily accessible.”
Mr Scott said the original design no longer met current Australian safety standards and that Council Minutes confirmed reconstruction had been considered multiple times, and consistently found not to be feasible.
“The shire has not found a suitable cost effective reconstruction methodology, nor has it been presented with a comprehensive one,” he said.