Figure 1: One Mile Jetty, 1 week before Cyclone Seroja
Project name: One Mile Jetty and Heritage Precinct
Project description: The development and preservation of the One Mile Jetty and Heritage Precinct in Carnarvon
Constructed from 1897, the One Mile Jetty (the Jetty) has been integral to the cultural identity of Carnarvon and played a significant role in the economic development of the Gascoyne region. The State Heritage Register’s listing of the One Mile Jetty recognises its significant historical value.
The Jetty is located on the southern side of the entrance to the Gascoyne River in Carnarvon at the site of the 1890’s Port of Carnarvon. Carnarvon was the first port in the world which loaded livestock on board ships for transport to markets. The Jetty was also the departure point for Aboriginal people proceeding to the Lock Hospitals of Dorre and Bernier Islands.
The current Jetty custodians are the Carnarvon Heritage Group (CHG), a not-for-profit organisation.
Following several fires and adverse weather events, the Gascoyne Development Commission, on behalf of CHG, commissioned a structural assessment report in 2017 which deemed the jetty unsafe and it was consequently closed to the public. Since its closure, a broad community campaign has been led by CHG to identify a solution to its usability and sustainability.
Visitors to Carnarvon can explore the fascinating history of the iconic Jetty at the Carnarvon Heritage Precinct’s One Mile Jetty Interpretive Centre which was officially opened by Minister for Regional Development, Alannah MacTiernan on17 April, 2019.
The further development and preservation of the Jetty and the Heritage Precinct will contribute to the resilience and diversity of WA’s tourism industry and actively contribute to a broader regional economic base for the Gascoyne.
The Gascoyne Development Commission established a Community Reference Group with members from CHG, the Shire of Carnarvon, Department of Transport (DoT), Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) and Traditional Owners to investigate options for the future of the Jetty and the surrounding Heritage Precinct.
In 2020, the Commission engaged consultants Acil Allen to develop options for repairs and/or replacement of various lengths of the Jetty. Twenty two high-level conceptual options were identified for the repair of the Jetty. The State Government subsequently committed $4.5 million to kick start the Jetty repairs.
On Sunday 11 April 2021, Tropical Cyclone Seroja severely damaged larges parts of the jetty and destroyed around 360m. It is estimated that 200-300 tonnes of timbers were carried south by prevailing currents causing a marine hazard.
The level of damage has necessitated the development of a staged approach to the preservation of the Jetty:
- Stage One
Following an engineering report recommending removing all but the first 400 metres of the Jetty, the Department of Transport (DoT) is leading urgent work to deconstruct and salvage timbers from the intertidal section onwards (Piers 117-245. The deconstruction tender has been awarded and is expected to commence in the first week of October 2021.
Salvaged timbers from the Jetty will be individually assessed for heritage value, quality, and structural integrity. High to low-grade timbers may have the potential for reuse in the jetty preservation project or other community projects
- Stage Two
Stage two of the Project is underway, with a project manager being appointed and community consultation progressing. The State Solicitor’s Office has been engaged to provide legal advice. The GDC continue to work with key stakeholders through a project steering group which includes the Department of Transport (DoT) and Carnarvon Heritage Group (CHG). A community forum was held on 13 September, where the community was updated on each stage of the Project. For more information, see publications below.
- Stage Three
The Shire of Carnarvon has submitted an application for federal funding under the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) for $9 Million to extend the Jetty to the waterline and develop the Heritage Precinct further. This includes an Aboriginal Healing Centre and development of the Path of Pain to commemorate the Lock Hospital tragedies.