Esperance Jetty Stop Work Order request rejected by Heritage Minister

The WA Heritage Minister has decided against issuing a Stop Work Order for the demolition and replacement of the jetty, after a request was made by the Friends of the Esperance Tanker Jetty.

A spokesperson for Minister David Templeman said it would be "inconsistent and inappropriate" to issue the order because a ministerial Protection Order was already in place and the minister had issued a permit to allow certain works, including the deconstruction of the jetty.

Friends acting chair David Eltringham said the group applied for the order on the grounds that the vote had been made close to the October 19 council election, to allow the shire a chance to prove that a timber replacement wasn't feasible and because they believed the shire didn't have the authority to proceed with demolition in 2016.

Mr Eltringham described the decision to reject the order as "grossly disappointing" and said the group's request often didn't get past ministerial staff to Mr Templeman.

"You're up against a brick wall in more than one way," he said.

Mr Eltringham said the state was not upholding its duties to protect heritage structures.

Email correspondence obtained by The Express reveal the Friends also wrote a letter to Maritime Constructions western region general manager Imran Lambay on October 2, the day after council voted 7-1 to award the company the tender to build the new jetty.

In the letter, which was sent before the request was rejected, Mr Eltringham tells Mr Lambay the vote had "created much angst within the local and wider community and government departments" and told Mr Lambay about the order request.

Based on these and other concerns, including the cost of maintenance for the new jetty, Mr Eltringham 'encouraged' Mr Lambay to "apply a `cooling off' period".

In an email response to Mr Eltringham, Mr Lambay said the company would not apply a 'cooling off' period as it would be in breach of contract.

Email correspondence also reveal the Shire of Esperance sought legal advice over the request, with advice indicating it was unlikely the order would be issued.

Shire of Esperance chief executive officer Matthew Scott told council Maritime Constructions had been advised not to enter into any further correspondence with the Friends and to only take instruction and direction from the shire, which was the principal of the tender and contract.

Mr Lambay also asked the Friends to send their concerns to the shire, rather than to the company.