After an arduous approval process, the steel city finally has the green light for its exciting new jetty.
A two-year process to gain approval for the new structure came to a close on Monday when Council received the final planning approval from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).
The final DPTI approval involved a lease for the marine area that will be occupied by the jetty.
It was the culmination of a complicated process to gain the necessary approvals for an independent design confirmation, structural certification, project management plans, inspection and testing plans, extension to the lease beyond the Council boundary, building rules consent, building approval, native title and environmental impact.
Council CEO Chris Cowley paid tribute to the Council officers, consulting engineers, DPTI officers, community and all stakeholders that helped achieve this approval via a mountain of paperwork and hundreds of hours of planning, negotiations and consultation.
He said the support of elected members, from the previous and present Council, had also been crucial in ensuring project could be delivered for the community.
"It has been a frustrating two years as we have waded through an ocean of paperwork and wave after wave of necessary reports to get to this final approval stage," Mr Cowley said.
"The plans for the jetty were ready nine months ago, tenders were issued, we appointed Maritime Constructions as the builder four months ago and have even taken delivery of materials like the pylons ... we just had a marathon of approval hurdles to clear over two years.
"These approval processes couldn't have been started any earlier or achieved any quicker.
"I'd like to thank all the Council officers that have worked tirelessly to make sure it is truly a Whyalla project that benefits as many people in our community as possible.
"A big thanks also to DPTI and the State Government for not only providing $1m but also helping to push this project through the approval process as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest professional standards and due diligence to ensure this will be a jetty built to last for the next 80 years."
Mr Cowley said the next step was to organise the handover of the site to Maritime Constructions so the process of demolishing the old jetty and starting on the new structure could begin.
"Maritime Constructions has been in the same holding pattern as us while this approval process played out, so they will now be mobilising as quickly as possible to get some shovels in the ground," he said.
"Fences will soon go up to signify the start of this project and I think the whole city will be relieved when this work gets underway.
"We've missed a few of our own ambitious deadlines but these were set in good faith.
"I'm the first to put my hand up and say we, along with many other people, didn't realise the enormity of the approval process required for this sort of generational project.
"I'd like to thank the community for its patience and assure everyone we are now in for an exciting second half of the year as we watch this exciting new structure begin construction and start to take its unique and ground-breaking shape.
"We will be building this as quickly as possible and will keep the community up to date regularly with the progress."