Letters: Esperance McHappy Day and the future of the jetty

McDonald's Esperance hosted another successful McHappy Day fundraiser on November 16, raising more than $6,000 for sick children and their families. Photo: Sarah Makse.
McDonald's Esperance hosted another successful McHappy Day fundraiser on November 16, raising more than $6,000 for sick children and their families. Photo: Sarah Makse.

Praise for Esperance McHappy Day and Jetty

We are writing to thank the Esperance community for your support of McHappy Day in 2019 - the largest annual fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Esperance community helped us celebrate 28 years of McHappy Day by raising more than $5.9 million for RMHC nationally.

These donations will go toward supporting families while their seriously ill or injured child undergoes treatment, helping them to stay together in their time of need.

Throughout the country we saw communities, including residents from Esperance, help raise vital funds for RMHC.

We saw local Bucket Brigades, emergency services, community heroes, as well as sporting and TV personalities visiting McDonald's restaurants to help make a difference.

We want to personally say a big thank you to everyone in the Esperance community, who got involved on Saturday 16 November, making generous donations, which helped McHappy Day raise more money than ever before.

Fundraising efforts like McHappy Day are vital and ensure RMHC can be there for families with seriously ill children when they need it most.

With so many Australian children requiring treatment, every donation goes a long way to keep families together in their toughest times.

You can continue to support families in need by donating to rmhc.org.au all year round.

Thank you again to the local community for all your help on McHappy Day 2019.

Barbara Ryan, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia

Katie Holmes, National Ambassador McHappy Day 2019

The future of the jetty

Well, the noisy minority has had its way and our greatest surviving heritage icon is about to come down. Eight councillors have lost their seats on Esperance Shire Council in the past two years because they voted to destroy the historic tanker jetty.

Will the five who voted against the investigation into how decisions were made also be made to pay the price? By voting against the Motion moved by Cr Payne and seconded by Cr Piercey, they not only condemned the jetty rich cultural fabric and the sea dragons it protects, they voted against an investigation into the culture of the shire and its councillors. They don't seem to care whether decisions were sound or not. That is not the type of behaviour we want from our council. Esperance is not a town that forgives easily when Council goes against its wishes.

Our tanker jetty has been neglected for nearly three decades, yet it is still standing. We know concrete structures that do not have proper cathodic protection, and have a short life span, perhaps as short as 20 years.

Will ratepayers now have to bear further rate increases so the shire can put aside money to pay for a new jetty in 20 years? If locals don't pay, who will? The state no longer owns the tanker jetty; they have totally washed their hands of it now. Yet the State Government has money in their coffers and should have been asked to contribute to a timber reconstruction to the original design. That way, the $1.5 million Esperance ratepayers are paying for the tanker jetty's destruction and the $2 million they are contributing towards the replacement could have been saved.

What happens when residents see the reality of the steel and concrete replacement the majority have been opposing? It's too small to accommodate many fishers, too hot to sit on in summer and too cold in winter. The dive platform will be useless as the dive site the WA Museum described as unique, world class will have been destroyed. The new jetty, too short even for an evening stroll.

Those of us who have fought long and hard, first to make sure the jetty did not just disappear from the seascape, then trying to get the very best economic outcome for the community, will now sit back and listen while there is initial joy from the noisy minority, only to be replaced with total dismay when the community realises what has been foisted on them.

Thank you Crs Payne, Piercey, Graham and O'Donnell! You gave it your best shot for us and you will always be respected for what you did. I'm sorry at least one other councillor couldn't see that.

Kevin O'Dwyer