Progress has been made with a detailed design of a revamped Tanker Jetty being presented to the Esperance Shire yesterday.
H&H Architect Julie de Jong provided council members and the Jetty Replacement Working Group a look at the particular structural features and discuss the creative and practical decisions of the design.
She also participated in a workshop with members of the local Aboriginal community that centered around the proposed jetty nodes and how they can be used to tell the indigenous history of 'Kepa Kurl', the native title of Esperance and the surrounds.
Shire President Victoria Brown was delighted with the update and explained the significance of H&H Architects meeting with the local indigenous people.
"They were working out how they can tell their happy and their sad stories about the Jetty".
Furthermore the Esperance Shire President was "very excited" with the other aspects that Ms de Jong presented, including the refined details.
Fishermen and women will be happy to note the design includes an intermittent balustrade to allow fishing access points to the ocean and a fish cleaning station at the base of the jetty.
So when can we expect a finalised detailed design and tender process before construction? Mrs Brown was reluctant to provide any set dates, especially because the design needs to pass through and receive approval from the Heritage Council.
"Basically what happens next is on Friday May 10 the Heritage Council will have their May meeting and Julie (de Jong) will go up and present the detailed design, they will take a look at that and if there are any tweaks, get back to us."
Even if or when Heritage Council approval is achieved, it still will be a lengthy process gathering the appropriate signatures from all the departments involved. President Victoria Brown again.
"there's Southern Ports, we have the Department of Lands, the Department of Transport and we've got the Department of Heritage and the Heritage Minister of course, so not quite as clear cut and simple as that (receiving Heritage Council approval)"
Either way, progress is progress.
While the Esperance Shire work towards a replacement solution the rest of the community wait with bated breath for the Friends of the Tanker Jetty's response.
Previously the group, who are hell bent on restoring the Tanker Jetty to its former glory, had drawn up a plan and costing for a structural rebuild. While they proposed a slight reduction in costing for their project compared to the current replacement design, the contractor who drew up the design are not heritage approved... and therefore would struggle to achieve the appropriate signatures.
Still, we watch this space because until the construction workers arrive on the scene anything can happen.