Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Millions for local jetties

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Patrick Goldsmith, Yorke Peninsula Country Times

Six Yorke Peninsula jetties ear-marked for repairs have been allocated a combined $4.18 million — the most of any region in the state — from the South Australian Government’s Jetties Renewal Program.

Yorke Peninsula Council received $197,000 for the repair of Port Vincent Fisherman’s jetty and $3.5 million for a piling program to potentially include Ardrossan, Port Victoria, Edithburgh and Stansbury jetties.

Copper Coast Council received $491,000 for work on Port Hughes jetty, although is yet to formally accept the funding, pending a council meeting tonight (Wednesday, April 3).

YPC leases 12 jetties from the state government under 50-year agreements and has been requesting action on their maintenance and repairs for some time.

The Local Government Association’s Value of Jetties report, released earlier this year, states 80 per cent of the 2400 South Australians surveyed believed more investment is needed in jetties.

“We appreciate Yorke Peninsula Council’s prompt response to our funding offer under the jetties grant program and will now work with council on scoping a works program to address its most urgent priorities for maintenance and repair,” a state government spokesperson said.

“Yorke Peninsula Council has a number of jetties under its care and control, which was reflected in the size of the funding offered.”

The government announced the funding program in last year’s budget, and YPC elected members decided to seek funding through the program in December.

YPC CEO Andrew Cameron said council welcomes the funding commitment from the government but will need continued support as it doesn’t have the money to maintain the jetties in its care.

“While council welcomes the injection of funding, it is less than what was applied for through the Jetty Renewal Program application process,” he said.

“This means council, as part of the stage two application process, will work with the Department for Infrastructure and Transport to scope the original project application.

“This will then be brought back to council for elected members’ consideration.

“Council has campaigned for years for help from the state government and, while this funding will help, we require further state and federal assistance.”

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Tom Koutsantonis said this commitment will help breathe new life into some of the state’s most-loved jetties, helping repair and futureproof them for years to come.

“The Jetties Renewal Program ensures councils get the leg-up they need to repair these assets, benefiting thousands of locals and visitors who use them each year,” he said.

“I am hopeful that, through this program, we can help local government to address those issues and get these jetties back open for the benefit of their communities.”

Within YPC’s pool of jetties, 85 per cent of piles in the Edithburgh jetty and 62 per cent in Ardrossan jetty are rated as having less than 25 per cent life left, while the Port Vincent Fisherman’s jetty collapsed into the water last year.

YPC mayor Darren Braund reiterated how important jetties are to the appeal of the region.

“Council understands the importance jetties serve and the benefits these assets have for the local community and economy,” he said.

“Our scenic jetties are major drawcards attracting thousands of visitors who are keen to catch a fresh feed of fish, safely enter the water for a swim or just take a leisurely stroll.”

Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis said he agreed, but expressed concern the funding announced will not be enough.

“It’s wonderful the government has put some funds toward jetty restoration, and excellent our electorate has received the biggest share of that initial funding,” he said.

“While that is welcomed, the task before us is significant and the funding that will be required is vast.

“I am fearful the initial tranche will not be enough to get the job done, and more will be needed, but this is a start.

“If that is the case, then more must be provided because so many coastal communities need their jetty to thrive.”

Yorke Peninsula Country Times 3 April 2024

This article appeared in the Yorke Peninsula Country Times, 3 April 2024.

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