Port Augusta's Westside Jetty "beyond saving"

CLOSED: The Westside Jetty was closed indefinitely in February.
CLOSED: The Westside Jetty was closed indefinitely in February.

On the back of announcing the Wharf repair's hefty price tag, Magryn Consulting delivered some more bad news regarding Port Augusta's marine infrastructure.

At the Port Augusta City Council meeting on Tuesday night, engineer Terry Magryn revealed the Westside Jetty was "beyond saving".

"If you thought the Wharf was bad, the Westside Jetty is worse," Mr Magryn said.

"We can't see any way that we could economically return that structure back to something that would be useful as a historical item. Basically, it needs a complete rebuild."

The 148-year-old jetty was closed indefinitely last month after preliminary reports revealed "severe rotting, splitting and section loss".

As was the case with the Eastside Mill Jetty, which was demolished last month, the Westside Jetty cannot be refurbished after reaching "end of life".

Mr Magryn highlighted the options available if Council was to look into replacing the structure.

"We can rebuild it as a new jetty in the same format, but you would end up with a new jetty that wouldn't look the same as the old one and there wouldn't be a great connection between the two," he explained. 

"It might be better if the community told us what they want. It needs to be a structure that serves the community."

While Mr Magryn was unable to give an estimated cost of a rebuild, he used the $3.8 million Whyalla Jetty project as an example.

Councillor Fran Paynter reminded Mr Magryn and her fellow councillors about the historic significance of the jetty.

"Originally, there were nine jetties in Port Augusta. We had two up until a couple of months ago, now we’ve got one left out of nine," a passionate Cr Paynter said.

"I'm sorry if this is not historical for some people, but for some of us it very much is. We’re going to end up as Augusta … there wont be a Port."

Mr Magryn said he understood and appreciated the jetty's importance to Port Augusta, but reiterated that the structure could not be fixed.

Council executed a 99-year lease agreement over the structure in June 2000 following the completion of an upgrade.

It has been a wretched two years for marine infrastructure in Port Augusta, with access restricted on the Wharf, the Eastside Mill Jetty demolished, and the Westside Jetty and Great Western Bridge both closed indefinitely.

Mr Magryn said Port Augusta was "not alone" in its issues with marine infrastructure, with his company completing reports on timber structures in several towns across the state, including Port Lincoln, Ceduna and Port Noarlunga.