Group to help save jetties

The Local Government Association held its first Jetties Working Group meeting on Monday to discuss the Department of Transport and Infrastructure's Strategic Plan for jetties.

The state government announced in May this year that a Jetties Strategic Plan would be developed to determine benefits of jetties and to guide future funding decisions.

At the April LGA meeting, members carried a motion raised by the Tumby Bay council that the LGA begin negotiations with government to safeguard jetties' futures.

The LGA then formed the Jetties Working Group as a key stakeholder group for consultations with the state government.

LGA president and Tumby Bay mayor Sam Telfer said there needed to be a partnership between state and local government and communities to deliver the strategy.

"Jetties in regional South Australia are vital pieces of community infrastructure for locals and visitors alike," he said.

"It is vitally important that there is a clear strategy for their long term future...we cannot afford to lose them, or allow them to degrade."

Further meetings and consultation with affected councils will take place before the LGA adopts a stance.

Tumby Bay council chief executive officer Trevor Smith is a representative on the working group, along with representatives from Port Lincoln and Lower Eyre councils.

"LGA is writing to DPTI to ensure the LGA is who they go through, not picking off individual councils," he said.

He said individual councils had already been contacted by the department, asking them to rank their jetties in importance, which he refused to answer and hoped other council areas had too.

"I wasn't going to rank Port Neill and Tumby Bay one over the other...they're all equal."

The Tumby Bay jetty needs an estimated $2.5 million in repairs, and Mr Smith said the ratepayer burden would be "unacceptably high" and unsustainable.

The state government's report is expected to be completed by the end of the year.