It truly is dark day for Esperance’s iconic Tanker Jetty. At around 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon an almighty crack broke the usually tranquil sounds along Esperance’s foreshore. A section of the historic Tanker jetty had suddenly collapsed and fell into the sea. This comes less than a fortnight after One Mile Jetty in Carnarvon was closed indefinitely.
No one was hurt in the collapse as Tanker Jetty had been disconnected from the mainland, due to safety fears. Sadly though, this latest incident is going to re confirm the Esperance council’s decision to demolish the old wooden jetty.
Tanker Jetty All But A Memory
In November , 2016 the Esperance council voted for Tanker Jetty to be demolished and replaced with a new one after rejecting a plan by the Jetty Group to preserve the 82 year old structure. The council claimed it would cost in the vicinity of $11 million to restore it. Despite the decision the Jetty Group have continued to fight for its survival.
Think Like Busselton
Tanker Jetty is one of only 4 timber jetties still standing in Western Australia those being One Mile Jetty, Bunbury Jetty and Busselton Jetty . Of the four, three are under threat of permanent closure. It is truly a shame, as the residents of Busselton have proven that with a little forward thinking you can turn these structures into an amazing tourist attraction.
Bussleton Jetty has an underwater observatory, waterpark wrapped around an existing lighthouse, shops and cafes along the jetty and even memorial plaques of prominent locals who have had their ashes scattered from the jetty. All these additional attractions have made the Busselton Jetty the must sees for local and out of state tourists.
Tourist Dollars To Be Made
So what options does Esperance have? An $11 million dollar investment for an icon jetty doesn’t sound outrageous and it just might equate to tourist dollars.
It is estimated that Esperance has currently around 300,000 visitors a year of which half are tourists. Imagine the turn over if there were cafe’s and tourist shops attached and water based activities?
With the increase popularity of cruise ships in Australia how many more would be enticed to berth at Esperance with a refurbished jetty ?
Let’s not forget the number one attraction of the jetty and Esperance’s mascot, Sammy the seal.
Seriously, the State Government, who have just announced a $150 million dollar Ocean Reef Marina, might want to think about looking after our iconic tourist attractions farther afield . I hesitate to even mention Royalties for Region fund.
Sometimes we don’t realise what we got, until its gone.