Heritage Minister Albert Jacob has issued an ongoing conservation order over the Esperance Tanker Jetty to prevent immediate demolition of the historic structure.
The Esperance Tanker Jetty is one of only three remaining long timber jetties in Western Australia and is recognised for its importance to the State's cultural heritage through its entry in the State Register of Heritage Places.
"The conservation order will remain in place until the Shire of Esperance develops a fully funded and detailed design for a jetty that is supported by the Heritage Council and that meets the needs of the local and wider Western Australian community," Mr Jacob said.
The ongoing conservation order replaces the Minister's 42-day stop work order issued in November 2016 that prevents the Shire of Esperance from demolishing the jetty.
"While the conservation order prohibits demolition, I recognise that restoration or reconstruction of the jetty to its original form and scale is unlikely and I appreciate there is an urgent need to address the future of the jetty due to its condition," he said.
"However, without a detailed design for a jetty that retains and integrates part of the original fabric, demolition is premature.
"This runs the risk of the community being left without any certainty of a jetty in any form and the total loss of a heritage structure of State importance.
"Once I am satisfied that there is certainty and a clear pathway forward, I will consider lifting the conservation order to allow works to start."
Mr Jacob said he was encouraged that the Shire of Esperance had established the Jetty Replacement Working Group, which included members from the community, the Shire council, Tourism Esperance, Southern Ports Authority and the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission.
"The group's representatives are well placed to explore funding programs in more detail and assist the Shire in developing appropriate designs for the jetty, and a funding proposal," he said.