In a great win for recfishers in the Goldfields-Esperance region, the Shire of Esperance has announced a tender to replace the old Tanker Jetty with a state-of-the-art structure with recreational fishing accessibility and features at the heart of its design.
Recfishwest were consulted by Albany-based H+H Architects at key stages throughout the design process and we are pleased to see our input and recommendations appear to have been very much taken on board.
Once built, the 400m long $7.5m jetty will incorporate a number of fishing experience-enhancing features including:
- A widened modern fishing jetty component which will allow enough space for fishers to fish either side of the gangway;
- Lower platforms to accommodate fishing and diving access;
- Fishability ‘set-downs’ to allow people in wheelchairs and scooters to fish easily from the jetty;
- Jetty-based fish-cleaning station positioned over water;
- Fish-friendly lighting to fishing areas; and
- Fisher-friendly railings and built-in fishing seats.
There was a local community outcry when the 84-year-old jetty was closed in December 2015 due to being in a state of disrepair that left it posing an “extreme risk”.
The jetty had long been an iconic fishing spot and its closure left a big hole in available accessible fishing spots for local fishers and visiting tourists keen on wetting a line.
South East Coast Recreational Fishing Council President Graham Cooper told Recfishwest the Esperance community was pleased the new jetty had taken a step closer to becoming a reality.
“A good, safe fishing platform in Esperance is a must for the local community and tourism – particularly for young fishers as there are limited land-based options in the area,” he said.
Recfishwest support the investment in facilities that make fishing accessible to everyone in the community and we gave our official backing to the Shire to secure funding for the project.
We believe once constructed the new jetty will revive and revitalise a key community fishing hub and help bring valuable dollars to the local economy through bait and tackle sales and tourism.
One potential downside to the design for the new jetty is that at least initially it won’t be as long as the old jetty which gave access to fishers to deeper water and species like Samson fish and tuna.
But the widening of the jetty will allow more fishers access onto the jetty and our understanding is that the design could allow for future extension of the structure.
While there is a way to go yet before the dream of a new Esperance jetty is realised – the announcement of a five-week tender for its construction and the Shire’s commitment to a 10-step plan for the deconstruction of the old jetty and its replacement with a new ýoubeaut’ one is great news for the recfishing community.
For many decades the old Tanker Jetty provided immense value to generations of recreational fishers from all walks of life, some chasing a feed of herring to enjoy with their family and friends and others endlessly casting stickbaits off the end for that elusive bonito.
It was also enjoyed by divers, snorkelers, walkers and nature enthusiasts, many of the latter which were charmed by the resident sea lion.
With a design that incorporates heritage values and, once built, will incorporate some of the recycled materials from the original jetty, it is hoped the new structure will continue to add to the old Tanker Jetty’s legacy.
Recfishwest will continue to monitor the progress of the project ensuring it moves along to a successful outcome for the fishing community and for the local economy with the dollars that recfishers bring to the town and the region.
Photo credit top banner image: Michele Campbell