A structural assessment of Carnarvon’s One Mile Jetty has recommended a large part of it be demolished, with falling timbers and debris from the cyclone-damaged structure presenting a significant safety risk to vessels navigating the area.
The 1,545 metre jetty suffered massive damage during recent Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
Engineers have now recommended urgently demolishing all but the first 400 metres of the structure to mitigate the high risk it is presenting to vessels navigating the area.
This engineering assessment was commissioned following a meeting held between the Shire of Carnarvon, Carnarvon Heritage Group (CHG) and the Department of Transport (DoT), where it was agreed that addressing safety risks was the key priority.
The work must be undertaken as a matter of priority, with safety concerns set to escalate as the winter storm season approaches, increasing the likelihood large portions of the remaining timbers will be washed away.
DoT has issued a Temporary Notice to Mariners to make skippers aware of the hazard, with temporary speed restrictions in place for waters around Carnarvon to limit the risk of collisions between vessels and debris.
To further mitigate risk, work is underway to establish a boating exclusion zone around the jetty.
The Shire of Carnarvon has been advised and consultation will continue with the Council, CHG and the Carnarvon community. The DoT will work with the Heritage Council regarding the deconstruction of the jetty and recovery of heritage material.
Once the immediate safety issues are resolved, the State Government will work with the local community on an appropriate plan to revitalise the preserved portion of the jetty.
The State Government previously committed $4.5 million towards the restoration of One Mile Jetty. This funding will now be utilised to restore the preserved section of the structure.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Due to the high risk to safety and threat to lives posed by the timber debris that continues to fall from the damaged jetty, engineers have recommended the partial demolition of the remaining structure.
“Unfortunately, demolishing this section of the jetty is the only practical course of action, given the extent of the cyclone damage.
“I remind all skippers to take extra care when navigating vessels around Carnarvon, and listen to the safety updates from the Department of Transport.”
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“We remain committed to our $4.5 million election pledge to get works underway to restore the first section of the jetty and give new life to this community asset.
“Great effort is being made to preserve as much of the historic structure as possible with ongoing monitoring to locate timbers that have separated from the structure.
“Any suitable timbers, including those recovered from the demolished section, will be used to refurbish and revitalise the preserved section of the jetty adjacent to the heritage precinct.
“We will hold a workshop with the Carnarvon Heritage Group, the Shire of Carnarvon and relevant agencies in coming weeks to progress this work.”