Council seeking state government support for Tumby Bay jetty

SUPPORT NEEDED: Infrastructure Minister Corey Wingard with Tumby Bay mayor Sam Telfer at Tumby Bay jetty. The Tumby Bay District Council is calling on the state government to provide funding for jetty upgrades ahead of cruise ship arrivals in the summer. Photo: Supplied

SUPPORT NEEDED: Infrastructure Minister Corey Wingard with Tumby Bay mayor Sam Telfer at Tumby Bay jetty. The Tumby Bay District Council is calling on the state government to provide funding for jetty upgrades ahead of cruise ship arrivals in the summer. Photo: Supplied

The Tumby Bay District Council is calling on state government support to assist in upgrading the Tumby Bay jetty ahead of welcoming cruise ships in the summer.

The town will play host to a minimum of seven cruise ship visits, with up to 100 passengers on each, in the coming months.

With the opportunity to boost cruise ship tourism - and the tourism industry as a whole - within the region, the council is seeking support to significantly refurbish the jetty.

The council said it had offered to provide up to $1 million of the $3.5m required for upgrade works and is calling on the state government to make a vital co-contribution, which would enable the council and Department for Infrastructure and Transport to make immediate repairs to see the jetty stabilised and operative for the short to medium term.

The council is concerned the jetty is not in a condition that would allow even a smaller tender vessel to tether to it and unload cruise ship passengers, let alone a larger cruise ship.

Mayor Sam Telfer said with tourism opportunities like this centring around the jetty, significant refurbishment was essential to ensure the structure's ongoing use.

"This is an important opportunity which I believe we can't afford to miss and [I] hope the state government also recognise this," he said.

"We look forward to the prospect of working towards what will be an exciting outcome, not just for our community but also for the opportunities which it will deliver for regional and state tourism.

"Given the growth in tourism on the Eyre Peninsula, the obvious duration of COVID-19 and the ongoing expectation of increased intrastate and interstate visitors, coupled with the growth in cruise ship expeditions, the social and commercial value of the jetty is apparent and must be protected, supported and exploited to the benefit of tourism operators, business and the people of Eyre Peninsula."

Infrastructure Minister Corey Wingard said the state government was giving the proposal consideration.

He said the state government was committed to improving jetties and boat ramps across the state, with $20 million included in the most recent State Budget.

"We continue to work closely with councils across the state to ensure jetties are properly maintained to best support regional tourism, businesses and local jobs," Minister Wingard said.

"The state government has received the council's proposal to refurbish the Tumby Bay jetty and is currently considering its response."

Tumby Bay is aiming to capitalise on successful events hosted over the past 12 months, including Colour Tumby Street Art Festival, Adelaide Fringe, @ The Bay Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival and Illuminate Adelaide.

With the cruise ship industry slowly building following the COVID-19 pandemic, repairs would also enable visitors to enjoy the pristine nature experiences Eyre Peninsula has to offer.