Shire of Harvey council ask DWER for asset management plan for Australind Jetty

Potholes: Some of the damage to the Australind Jetty includes potholes throughout the 1.1km structure: Picture: Mick Crosby.
Potholes: Some of the damage to the Australind Jetty includes potholes throughout the 1.1km structure: Picture: Mick Crosby.

The Shire of Harvey president Paul Gillett has vowed to ratepayers that they will see the Australind Jetty open again.

At the ordinary council meeting on April 26 it was agreed that the shire would not take ownership of the jetty until upgrade works were complete as well as an asset management report is done.

The jetty has been closed for more than a year and the community banded together to provide a petition with more than 2,000 signatures to the State Government.

As a result in December 2021 the WA water minister Dave Kelly announced the state would provide $3 million to upgrade the jetty.

However since the announcement the Department of Water Environment and Regulation requested the Shire of Harvey to take ownership of the jetty and its ongoing maintenance costs before the upgrade is done.

At the shire's agenda briefing session on April 12, councillors raised concerns over the shire's ability to fund the continual maintenance of the structure.

Councillor Campbell put forward an amendment to officer's recommendation at the ordinary council meeting on April 26.

The amendment said the shire would determine a decision on the ownership of the jetty once upgrade work was done as well as the asset management plan

Cr Campbell said at the meeting the jetty was a major asset for the shire and therefore ratepayers to take on.

"So I want to make sure we have the right due diligence," she said.

Councillor Lovett said she was aware of the amount of community "angst" over the jetty but believed the community would not council to make a decision on the life of the jetty straight away.

Shire president Gillett said the jetty had a "bright future" with the upgrades still set to take place in the 2022-23 financial year.

"It is an iconic landmark in Australind and has been a well-loved and utilised piece of infrastructure," he said.

"We look forward to being able to reopen the jetty after works have been completed to ensure it is safe for the community to use again."

Cr Gillett said the shire had many discussions with the department including modifications such as removing part of the jetty to improve water flow.

Australind resident Mick Crosby has been a vocal advocate to re-opening the jetty and said he was concerned about the discussions to remove part of the jetty.

"I know the council have to do their due diligence to its rate payers but to remove parts of the jetty other than the boardwalk and fishing platform at the end of the jetty would come at a huge cost as the bulk of the jetty is made of heavy stone an gravel," he said.

Removal of parts of the jetty would be up to the Department of Water Environment and Regulation as part of the upgrade project.