The bid for a jetty for Geraldton faces an uphill battle to even take the first step after council scrutinised the proposal to fund a feasibility study, despite 1000 people signing a petition calling for a jetty. The leader of the Jetty for Geraldton petition Mark O’Brien faced intense questioning from Greater Geraldton councillors at the agenda forum last Tuesday night, after presenting the petition and requesting a $200,000 commitment from the City to put towards a feasibility study. The site proposed by the group is Midalia Beach, making a curved jetty between the groyne, which would create an ocean pool and help with erosion at the location. It comes after council last year voted against allocating $200,000 towards a preliminary study for a jetty. Mr O’Brien said he had been in contact with an employee at H&W Associates, a Perth-based surveying company involved in the construction of jetties in Esperance, Broome, Monkey Mia and Point Samson. “The pricing he gave me for those jetties were very favourable with Geraldton, and Geraldton would actually be on the lower end of the scale compared to what has had to be paid for those jetties,” he said. “For instance, Esperance was $17 million and Geraldton would be about $18 or $19m.” Councillor Kim Parker asked Mr O’Brien how much consultation he had with Federal MP for Durack Melissa Price as the funding required to build the jetty would likely exceed the capacity of local government and it would need State and Federal funding. “It would be a lot to spend $200,000 on a feasibility study that we have no say in, because we won’t be able to fund it or afford it,” he said. Mr O’Brien said he had attended many meetings with Ms Price, and she still backed the project. “What we’re asking for is $200,000 for the preliminary study but no one will put their hand in their pocket until that study is done,” he said. Cr Peter Fiorenza asked why the location had been set and whether or not other areas had been considered. “If we went near the port it would mess with that, if it went outside Dome it would mess with the yacht club,” Mr O’Brien said, adding Midalia Beach site was a viable option as it was central to attract users, in a location that people would “spend dollars in the shops”. “To be honest, we haven’t got an option B,” he said. But Mr O’Brien said the group would be willing to find a new location if there was legitimate interest in building the Jetty. Cr Michael Librizzi drew on the case study of the Esperance jetty, which was built by H&W Associates. “(The) Esperance budget included $147,000 to their jetty reserve every year, on top of their maintenance. Has that been included in your costing? Because effectively it would double or triple the cost,” he said. Mr O’Brien said the figures he had quoted had been given to him by H&W Associates. Cr Librizzi and City CEO Ross McKim said once these projects were in the water they became the jurisdiction of the Port or State Government. “If you wanted to build a jetty you’d have to get permissions from whoever the appropriate authority is,” Mr McKim said. Deputy Mayor Natasha Colliver wanted to know where the $200,000 figure came from for the feasibility study. Mr O’Brien said the figure had come from a conversation with former mayor Shane Van Styn, but $200,000 was not the definitive final figure. “Will it cost $200,000 or $300,000 — I don’t know who to ask that question other than maybe someone who is involved in building one of the other jetties. It’s a good question,” Mr O’Brien said . Cr Simon Keemink said he loved the idea, but wanted to know if Mr O’Brien had been in contact with any other Members of Parliament. Mr O’Brien said Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton had attended a meeting with himself and Ms Price, but “she didn’t seem to be too interested in that”. Council will formally accept the petition at its meeting on Tuesday night and will then discuss behind closed doors whether or not they are able to take the petition any further.