Jetty Island Demolition Updates

Final Update

Work to demolish the Jetty Island concluded on 16 June 2015 and took 23 days to complete. The last visible signs of the Jetty Island were removed on Sunday 14 June 2015.

Demolition contractors left most of the old pile group standing three metres under the surface of the water to retain part of the existing artificial dive trail that extends from the end of the main Tanker Jetty. Those piles have been braced underwater to ensure they remain standing for many years to come. Some of the pile group was too deteriorated to leave standing and was lowered to the sea bed and secured with anchors.

The Port worked closely with officers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) to capture and remove the Black-Faced Cormorant nestlings that were found to be still on the Jetty Island. The birds were placed with licenced carers within the community to be hand-reared until the birds were mature enough to be released back into the wild. However, despite the very best efforts of dedicated, professional carers and close support from the DPaW only two of the fledglings were able to be saved and released.

An artificial nesting platform has been installed at the end of the Port’s breakwater and sixteen nests from the Jetty Island were relocated to the new structure. The colony of Black-Faced Cormorants has relocated from the Jetty Island to the same location on the Port’s breakwater but have not have yet taken up residence in the nesting platform. The Port will facilitate access to the new nesting site for local volunteers to conduct quarterly surveys and ongoing research into the Black-Faced Cormorants.

The Jetty Island timbers will be tested by the Environmental Department prior to distribution to the various not-for-profit and community groups who will soon be invited to register their interest. To properly recognise the heritage value of the timber, and distribute it fairly, community groups will be asked how much timber they would like, what will be created and how it will benefit the community.

The photos below were taken immediately after the demolition and show that even with the loss of the shade from the old Jetty Island, big schools of fish remained in the area.



June 2015

Work to demolish the Jetty Island commenced on 25 May 2015. Demolition contractors have completed underwater bracing of the existing piles to ensure they do not collapse. The remaining pile group will then remain part of the existing artificial dive trail that extends from the end of the main Tanker Jetty.

The next phase of the demolition is the removal of deck timbers and the remaining supporting pylons, which will be cut three metres below the low water mark. The work is on schedule to be completed before the end of June.

The Jetty Island is also home to approximately 30 black-faced cormorants. In planning for this project, the Port of Esperance consulted with wildlife experts including Esperance Bird Observers' Group, BirdLife Australia, Department of Parks and Wildlife and researchers from Deakin University and Griffith University.

The demolition was planned for this time of the year as last season's nestlings were expected to have fledged and it preceded the new breeding season. To encourage the birds to nest close to Esperance, an artificial nesting platform was installed at the end of the Port breakwater, which can accommodate up to 30 breeding pairs, and sixteen nests from the Jetty Island have been relocated to the new site.

During the bracing process, however, the contractors identified that some Black-Faced Cormorants did in fact still have nestlings under and inside the jetty structure.

The Port worked closely with officers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife to capture and remove the nestlings. Ten unfledged birds have been placed with licenced carers within the community until the birds are mature enough to be released to the new nesting site. The release may occur in stages as the birds will not all be ready for release at the same time.

This new information about the breeding cycle of the Black-Faced Cormorants highlights the need for further research into the birds. The Port will facilitate access to the new nesting site for local volunteers to conduct quarterly surveys and ongoing research into the Black-Faced Cormorants.

Photo: Removal of nests from Jetty Island 03 June 2015



MAY 2015

Timing - Work to demolish the Jetty Island is expected to start at the end of May 2015. The work was planned for this time of the year as last season's nestlings have fledged and it precedes the new breeding season. Subject to weather conditions, the demolition will take 3 to 4 weeks.

Public Safety - Local mariners must maintain distance of not less than 100m from the structure while this project is being carried out.

Consultation - In planning for this project, the Port of Esperance has consulted with individual members of the community, Esperance Dive Club, Esperance Bird Observers' Group, Local Environmental Action Forum, BirdLife Australia, Department of Parks and Wildlife and researchers from Deakin University and Griffith University. The demolition has the support of the Port of Esperance Consultative Committee whose membership represents Esperance environmental, tourism and other business groups. Southern Ports Authority CEO, Nicolas Fertin, said the project fitted perfectly into SPA's commitment to provide a safe Port for our community, while at the same time respecting the natural, social and marine environment.

Scope of Work - The deck timbers would be removed and the remaining supporting pylons, cut three metres below the low water mark, would then be braced to ensure they did not collapse at a later date and would remain part of the existing artificial dive trail that extends from the end of the main jetty. Timber recovered would be donated to local community groups.

Black-Faced Cormorants - Southern Ports Authority has also taken into account community wishes to accommodate the colony of Black-faced Cormorants that nest on the structure. An artificial nesting platform will be installed at the end of the port breakwater before the demolition work begins, and existing nests on the structure will be relocated to the breakwater. The new structure should accommodate up to 30 breeding pairs. While there were no guarantees about the birds using the new nesting structure, it was known that a number of breeding pairs of Black-faced Cormorants are already nesting in the breakwater nooks. The Port of Albany, also part of Southern Ports Authority, has shared their experience in bird relocation with the Port of Esperance.



JANUARY 2015

Environmental Approvals - The Port or Esperance would like to clarify that this project has been referred to relevant state and federal regulators (including the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority) who have agreed the project does not require a formal assessment and approval process before it proceeds.

Black-Faced Cormorants - The Jetty Island is home to approximately 30 black-faced cormorants.  The Port is currently working with a number of community members, Birdlife Australia, Esperance Bird Observer's Group, LEAF and Department of Parks and Wildlife, and has requested assistance from researchers at Murdoch University and Deakin University, to better understand the nesting and breeding habits of these birds.  At this stage, the Port has not made any commitment to construct any new habitats. We continue to work closely with the community groups to gather information, plans and ideas to put together a number of alternative proposals for consideration.

Tender process -Tenders for the demolition work closed on the 16th of January, 2015. Four tenders were received and will be assessed by the Port of Esperance. Tenders will be assessed according to a number of criteria including the proposed work method, demonstrated performance in relation to managing the health and safety of workers and the public during the demolition, the respondents approach to managing the environment, ability to complete the work in a timely manner, and the competitiveness of the charges proposed. It is the intention of the Port to select one or more preferred proposals from the submissions received and to then negotiate with the preferred Respondent or Respondents in relation to the terms of a written contract that is acceptable to the Port.

 

DECEMBER 2014

Pylons to be Marine Habitat - The Deep Water Wharf, or Tanker Jetty as it is now known, was 820 metres long when it was built in 1935. Over the years, the seaward sections have fallen into a state of disrepair, and the section of the jetty that is still open to the public is now about 700 metres long. The loss of the seaward end is not quite complete with the last 20 metres remaining as an isolated, but dilapidated structure whose underwater structures are used as a recreational dive site. The last piece of the old tanker jetty, its head, is colloquially known as the Jetty Island.


Storm events and heavy swell has caused the structure to start to break up, leading to timber decking falling into the water. This creates a navigational hazard to small water craft and people.

To eliminate this hazard, the Port is planning to remove the above water timber structures, and part of the remaining pylons. This will support the site’s recreational value as an extension to the artificial reef created between the end of the jetty and the Jetty Island when that section was demolished in the 1980s.

A Request for Proposal from entities with maritime demolition experience to register their interest in this project was advertised in December and a contract will be awarded early in 2015.

After the work is complete, an Expression of Interest will also be advertised for not-for-profit organisations, schools and community groups who may be interested in utilising some of the timber decking that will be removed.

The Port has the support of the State Heritage Office to demolish the structure on the grounds that it is breaking up and a danger and constitutes a marine hazard.

For further information contact Jenny Walsh on 9072 3383./p>