TWENTY representatives from South Gippsland Shire Council, Gippsland Ports, SMC Marine and the Project Control Group were present at the Long Jetty in Port Welshpool on Thursday October 26 to hear an update given by Ian Cameron, Project Manager, Port Welshpool Jetty, Gippsland Ports.
The rehabilitation of the Port Welshpool Long Jetty has been a key priority project for Council and is expected to enhance regional economic growth once complete.
It is the largest tourism infrastructure project to ever be undertaken in South Gippsland.
The project has been made possible through funding from all levels of government including a $1 million Council contribution, $5 million Victorian Government contribution and $4.85 million Federal Government contribution.
SMC Marine, a nationwide company with extensive experience in the rehabilitation of timber wharfs and piers has been contracted to construct the Long Jetty.
“We take particular pride restoring large heritage jetties,” said SMC Director and Owner Peter Philipp. “Providing an economic solution is a real challenge and always requires an approach as unique as the structures themselves. The positive community feedback has been extremely satisfying. “
Ian Cameron said a lot of local entities are involved in the work including the steel fabrication and concrete.
Roger Wilson, a Design Engineer from AW Maritime who is contracted to SMC Marine came up with the design.
“The Jetty has a perfect circular radius,” he said with obvious delight. “It’s so accurate.”
SMC Marine’s Project Manager for the Rehabilitation of the Port Welshpool Long Jetty, Wes Cahill, said they are demolishing 100 metres at a time then coming back and putting the piles in.
“Our precast concrete with steel cast into it will be craned on from the barge and placed,” he said. “The end section will be demolished and not replaced.”
Mayor Ray Argento said sections of the jetty would be donated to the Port Welshpool Museum.
Ian Cameron explained how the Jetty had been built during the depression in the late 1930’s and had taken 2 years to construct.
“It was originally built to take a train hence the curve,” he said. “A jetty would normally be a T shape but you can’t get a train around a T shape.
“When complete it will make a perfect promenade and fishing spot.”
The Long Jetty is on target to be completed in November next year.