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Residents pack council meeting to hear decision to demolish Esplanade jetty

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Esperance's historic Tanker Jetty will be demolished after a council meeting to decide its fate required a last minute venue change to cater for hundreds of residents who showed up to hear the decision.  

The 842 metre jetty has been closed for public safety reasons since 2015, but had become a popular tourist, swimming and fishing attraction since the 1970s when tankers stopped using it for commercial purposes.

Around 200 residents attended Tuesday night's Shire of Esperance council meeting, many speaking during an emotional public question time before witnessing councillors vote unanimously to demolish and replace the deteriorating structure.

Shire president Victoria Brown told ABC News the decision, which is still pending approval from the Heritage Council, was one of the hardest she's had to make.

"We're gutted, we're sad. After the meeting I wanted to cry," she said.


The shire estimated it would cost $11 million to completely restore the 81-year-old jetty, which was originally built to last 50 years.

The amount was deemed too much of a burden to place on rate payers. 

Residents and tourists in recent years had tried unsuccessfully to raise funds to help restore the icon, but the $43,000 raised was only a fraction of what was needed. 

Instead, it's likely the shire will apply for State and Federal funding to help build another jetty once the current one, which is in such bad condition it is said to be "moving", has been demolished.  

The clean-up bill for the deteriorating jetty is estimated to cost $1.8 million, which once spent would leave the shire with around $1 million in seed funding to work towards its replacement.

ABC News reported plans, costs and a timeframe for the new jetty were still a long way off, and would depend on the outcome of further community consultation and additional funding.