Opinion: To those blaming the jetty Friends

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

Letters published in The Esperance Express do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or the publisher. The Express reserves the right to edit letters before publishing them. Should any person or organisation wish to challenge the contents of any letter or opinion published herein, they should put their argument in writing and forward it to The Express to be considered for publication.

A letter to the editor by Kevin O'Dwyer

In his letter in last week's edition of the Esperance Express, Rod Smoker rightly points out to all those concerned with the lack of progress on the Tanker Jetty where the roadblock has occurred.

However, for those who lay blame on the "Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty" for the lack of activity, he might have also included that when the Shire of Esperance issued the contract for the jetty's demolition, it had nothing to show in regards to what it was going to be replaced with - no drawings and no designs.

Why? Because the council had no intention of replacing it. It has only been due to the Friends' intervention that the council's diabolical plans have been thwarted.

Mr Smoker may have also explained how the shire, months later, claimed that the cost to prepare a detailed design for reconstruction was too expensive at $94,000; and yet it awarded a contract for $373,000 for a replacement design.

All the community ever saw for the expense were concept design drawings marked 'not for construction'.

Then, when the shire claimed it had nothing to show that reconstruction was feasible, and a design was too expensive, the Friends provided a fully-funded detailed design for reconstruction to the 1934 original at their own cost.

The three quotes for the design were a prudent $6 million for the deconstruction and reconstruction of a new timber jetty.

Council refused to consider this design or provide it to the Heritage Council as an alternative to the proposed steel and concrete replacement.

Mr Smoker was right to point out that responsibility for the delays in providing the community with a jetty lay clearly with council.

If in October 2016, the shire had taken up one of Australia's foremost marine structural engineers Terry Memory's offer to meet councillors and outline the most feasible way forward for the jetty, the community would have had a new jetty two years ago!

The Friends paid to bring Mr Memory to Esperance to give his professional opinion on the best way forward, yet they refused his offer and, as a consequence, we still wait for the issue to be resolved.

Hopefully, with a new council in a few weeks' time, this matter can be put to rest - once and for all.