A portion of the iconic One Mile Jetty, which once provided a gateway to China, Singapore and Indonesia, is set to be restored following consultation with residents.
Once used as a port to export wool, sandalwood and pearls, the all-timber structure stretches over mangroves.
Swimming beneath are everything from turtles to sharks; lucky travellers could even spot a whale in the distance.
In 2017 the Jetty closed due to marine safety concerns after attracting 100,000 visitors to the heritage-listed site in 2016.
“You walk out on it, and it just takes you to a very different sort of world,” said John McCloy, a volunteer at the Jetty’s museum who spoke to the ABC in 2020.
The Pilbara icon has been idle for seven years and, according to Mr McCloy, has left a hole in the local community.
“I see people coming down here everyday, and they see it closed.”
Tragically seas and swells during Cyclone Seroja in 2021 and a storm surge destroyed 360 metres of the Jetty.
Further sections suffered considerable damage and risk of collapsing during another significant storm event.
WA Government commits to restoring a portion of the Original Jetty.
Now, the WA Government will restore up to 150 metres of Carnarvon’s historic One Mile Jetty for pedestrian access in a way that reflects the fabric of the original structure.
The decision follows a five-year campaign by residents to restore Jetty.
In 2019 it was estimated restoration of the 123-year-old Jetty would cost $42 million.
Speaking to the ABC in 2020, Carnarvon Heritage Committee Chairman Vince Catania hoped to revitalise the jetty precinct.
“I think that we can all appreciate that to rebuild the One Mile Jetty in its current form, back to its original form, is probably not realistic,” Mr Catania said at the time.
“We want to be able to put forward a serious, strong application to both the State and Federal governments for fixing and repairing something that will make the One Mile Jetty work and be sustainable into the future.”
That hard work has now come to fruition.
900 tonnes of timber was salvaged and will be upcycled.
The Department of Transport (DoT) will lead the $4.5 million project, which follows $4.2 million deconstruction works on the intertidal and waterside portions of the Jetty damaged by the cyclone.
A structural assessment of the remaining 680-metre portion of the Jetty found it in poor condition, with 100 metres earmarked for deconstruction.
Project partners include the Gascoyne Development Commission, the Shire of Carnarvon and the Carnarvon Heritage Group.
Approximately 900 tonnes of timber salvaged from the jetty deconstruction has been made available for reuse in the community, with timber gifted to projects with a demonstrated community benefit.
The timber will be graded – with grades 1, 2 and 3 timber to be made available for the local community through an EOI process.
The timber will be used in street furniture projects, interpretation (for example, signage), and arts and cultural projects.
Last month Wood Central reported that the global market for reclaimed timber is surging with the push to greater circularity in supply chains.
According to David Michael, the Assistant Minister assisting the Transport Minister, “It’s exciting that there is now a clear plan for the restoration of the jetty that will provide future access for the community and preserve the memory of this coastal infrastructure icon.”
The restoration is an opportunity to honour One Mile Jetty and provide a lasting legacy for future generations.
“The restored jetty will be the centrepiece of the planned heritage precinct upgrades that will provide locals and those visiting Carnarvon with an interpretive experience, giving an insight into the region’s unique history.”