TANKER JETTY IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE FOR SAFETY REASONS
The WA Government Railway built the Esperance Deepwater Wharf, commonly known as the Tanker Jetty, between January 1934 and February 1935. It was the first major project for young engineer John Gillespie and was officially opened by State Mines Minister, Selby Walter Munsie, on 13 April 1935.
With 37 feet 6 inches (11.2 metres) of depth available to bulk ships where it extended 1140 feet (842 metres) into the Esperance Bay, the Jetty provided an excellent facility to unload bulk fuel and load grain for export. The last tanker to unload bulk fuel from the Jetty was the "BP Enterprise" in 1977. Since then fuel has been shipped through the land-backed wharf which has been built during the 1960's for the export of grain and minerals.
With the end of commercial use, the Tanker Jetty rapidly fell into disrepair to the extent that, in 1985, 67 outer piles had worn completely through an another 38 were 50-75% worn. A portion of the Jetty beyond pier 124 was so unsafe that 7 piers were removed - separating the head of the Jetty.
In 1988 the Apex Club of Esperance took over an initiative of Jaycees from the year before when the Save the Tanker Jetty Association was formed. Under the leadership of Barrie Stearne, with assistance from Goldfields and Esperance local governments, community groups, service clubs, and the dedicated citizens of Esperance, an amount of $163,589 was raised. The State Government contributed $150,000 towards the preservation of our Jetty, which is a focal point of enjoyment for visitors and locals alike. It is now a venue for recreational activities such as fishing (the artificial reef attracts a variety of fish species), and a tourist attraction. It is also the home of our resident sea lion Sammy!