THE future of the Australind Jetty is in doubt once again as organisations grapple over who will be responsible for its management - which must be decided before reconstruction can begin.
At the request from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulations, the Shire has been asked to agree to take on the care, control and management of the jetty which has been closed to the public since 2021.
In the time it has been closed, the jetty has sustained various damages including sink holes in gravel, missing railing and weather-damaged wooden planks.
In December 2021, Minister of Water Dave Kelly announced a $3million rebuild of the jetty after a petition with over 2000 signatures and the support of Ms Hanns was created.
However in April 2022, the jetty remains closed off to the public with no visible sign of construction.
Councillors raised concerns over where funding would come from to manage the jetty at the Shire of Harvey's agenda briefing session on April 12.
Councilor Paul Beech asked if there was "any indication from the state government" of the shire receiving a lump sum to go into reserve for the future maintenance of the jetty.
Director of infrastructure services Rick Lotznicker said the idea of a reserve would be raised at "upcoming meetings" adding that the Shire had spent "some time" looking into who was responsible for the jetty.
"It was built by the state government in the 1960s and run by the Leschenault Inlet Management Authority which no longer exists," Mr Lotznicker said.
"This jetty is a bit of infrastructure that seems to be popular in our community and is also a tourism attraction, so we're hoping we can turn this thing into a positive - if we can get a lump sum payment for the ongoing management of the jetty then great.
"But if council decides not to take on the management of the jetty, then we can't answer at this stage what will happen to it in the future - whether it's closed down, blocked off and/or falls into disrepair."
The Mail first spoke to Australind-resident Mick Crosby in September 2021 who shared his frustrations over the sudden closure of the jetty in late-January 2021.
After reaching out over a period of six-months to the Shire of Harvey and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Mr Crosby said he had received "no indication" as to who was responsible for the jetty or when it would be opened.
"It's not just me, lots of people are upset and wanting it up and running again," Mr Crosby said.
"Hopefully the Shire can come to a quick decision because the jetty is a bit asset for them and we all want to use it.
"The jetty has survived really bad storms in the condition that it's currently in, so I don't believe it will be massive for the Shire to maintain."
A spokesperson from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation said the Department had been talking to the Shire of Harvey about taking over the jetty once the build had been completed, so it could be "managed appropriately" for community use.
"The Department recognises that the Australind jetty is a much-loved community asset," the spokesperson said.
"And while the department no longer has any use for the jetty, it is committed to building a safe, high-quality jetty that will be an important public recreational amenity for many years to come.
"[The management] is rightly a matter for the Shire to consider and the department will continue to work with the Shire on the design of the jetty to ensure any whole-of-life costs are kept to a minimum."
Mr Crosby told the Mail he received a letter from Minister for Water Dave Kelly on April 12, confirming that the Department of Water would start the "procurement processes with a view to works commencing" in the 2022-23 financial year, but no timeline could be offered at this point in time.
If passed at council, the Shire of Harvey will next request the Department to provide an asset management plan for the jetty to provide an estimate of potential ongoing costs.
The future management of the Australind Jetty will be discussed at the Shire's ordinary council meeting on April 26.