Council votes down $200k on jetty but will consider it in the budget

Jake DietschGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton's push for a jetty has taken a small step forward.
Camera IconGeraldton's push for a jetty has taken a small step forward. Credit: Heath Korvola/Getty Images

The Greater Geraldton mayor’s proposal to allocate $200k for a preliminary study into a jetty in Geraldton was voted down by council, but the city will consider the project in its budget deliberations.

Mayor Shane Van Styn had put forward a motion to council at its February 22 meeting to allocate the money to ensure the project was on the “list of things to consider” and to catch the attention of state and federal governments.

Mr Van Styn told the Guardian prior to the council vote the study would go towards scoping the cost, establishing the best location, examining coastal movements and exploring safety concerns.

Cr Natasha Colliver said she supported exploring the project but couldn’t vote to allocate the money ahead of budget considerations.

She instead foreshadowed a motion to consider the study as part of the 2022/23 budget deliberation process.

Cr Steve Cooper also spoke against the motion to allocate $200k and said he didn’t oppose the jetty but “objected” to the way the matter had come to council and “played out in the press.”

Mr Van Styn said the full cost of the design process would be around $1.2M.

The community group, Jetty for Geraldton, estimates the entire project will cost about $12M.

“State and federal government need to know we are serious. This motion is trying to get it on the table and in the arena,” Mr Van Styn said.

After the mayor’s motion was voted down 2-10, Cr Colliver’s alternative was passed 12-1.

Cr Colliver said her motion supported the process and still sent the message to the state and federal government that the City was committed to the idea of a jetty in Geraldton.

“I encourage (community members) to go out and seek that support now. Because this motion sends a very strong signal that we’re taking this seriously,” she said.

Cr Robert Hall spoke in favour of the alternative and said considering the feasibility study in the budget deliberations could mean the City allocates less or more than $200k.

The mayor said he was glad the $200k figure “got the conversation going” and said he “more than supported” the alternative to his motion.

Jetty for Geraldton founder Mark O’Brien said he was initially “deflated” council didn’t allocate the money but said the end result was a “small step” towards getting a jetty.

“I feel absolutely happy that we’re going towards securing a jetty,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The positivity is still there. I understand the council was hesitant about backing this with $200k.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we’ll get there.”

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