Approval needed for jetty

INNOVATIVE DESIGN: An artist's impression of how the new Whyalla jetty will look.
INNOVATIVE DESIGN: An artist's impression of how the new Whyalla jetty will look.

The Whyalla City Council are waiting on the final tick of approval from the Department of Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) to proceed with the demolition of the steel city's current jetty to make way for the new structure.

This was according to Council CEO Chris Cowley at Monday night's meeting, where a number of questions were raised about the timeline and the cost of the new jetty.

Maritime Constructions were selected to build the jetty in February and at the time council estimated that work would begin in April.

Now council are estimating that the demolition of the existing jetty will be undertaken in August - if final demolition approval is received from DPTI this week.

"This was a key reason why the old jetty has not been removed yet," Mr Cowley said at the meeting.

"Demolition cannot, however, be done before the construction starts on the new jetty to save costs by having the barge come from Adelaide just once for both procedures."

Other approvals required for the project included approval for construction methods, environmental approval, native title considerations and approval to extend the jetty 25 metres into State waters.

The planning for the jetty required three independent engineering consultants to oversee every step of the process.

Each alteration to the design that was deemed necessary by one engineer required approval by the other engineers before plans could be changed, according to council.

"The contract with Maritime Constructions has been signed and they are certainly ready to commence construction as soon as they are given the green light," Mr Cowley said.

"Signing of the contract, however, was delayed because the drawings were in a state of flux."

Mr Cowley said the process had not been immune to hiccups along the way and the importance of local government procedural practices had been illustrated to Council with this project.

"Timelines were set in good faith and optimistically because we want this jetty started as soon as possible too," he said.

"We apologise for not meeting some of these deadlines, but I can say we keep clearing the hurdles and can see the finish line in what will be an iconic asset for our community."

Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said the new elected members were just as anxious as the community to get this project started but understood the monumental task Council officers were given with this project.

"Building a new jetty is an enormous and complicated task for any organisation, local Council or even government department," Mayor McLaughlin said.

"From putting the design out to public consultation to keeping this project in-house, to ensure as much local labour and materials are used, Council officers have done a remarkable job to get to this point."