Restoration work on the Port of Thevenard will be undertaken by Flinders Ports to help maintain the long-term viability of the facility, should a development application be approved.
An application has been submitted for the $15-million project, the next phase in the restoration of the jetty following remedial works carried out in 2017.
In its development application, Flinders Ports outlined the work included was considered to be “essential maintenance” which is “required to ensure the safe, ongoing operation of the facility”.
The application called the work a “like for like” restoration of the original 235-metre section of deteriorating concrete jetty between the shoreline and wharf, which has been condemned.
The 235 metre section will be demolished to avoid further deterioration.
In addition to essential maintenance, improvements have been included in the scope of works to secure the long-term future of the port, including the introduction of craneage points for scheduled maintenance – which would avoid marine-based works in the future; minor widening of the jetty deck structure to improve access along the jetty and enhance safety and operational management.
“Flinders Ports has submitted a development application to the State Commission Assessment Panel for the restoration of the Thevenard Jetty,” a company spokesperson said.
“The submission outlines the proposed restoration works which have been designed to maintain the health of the jetty well into the future.”
Ceduna mayor Perry Will said this work would give added security to the region’s farmers and those who worked at the port.
“We saw what happened in July 2017, where 200 families were affected, so this will give people security,” Mr Will said.
“If they can fix it then there will be work, and the farmers will have their wharf.
“The events of 2017 showed that the wharf has been there so long we don’t realise how important it is until it breaks down and it was a wake-up call as to how important it is.”
Mr Will hoped Flinders Ports’ willingness to upgrade the port was an indication there could also be future interest to deepen the port, which would allow ships to come in and fully load, also helping farmers with costs.
The port was shut down in June 2017 following the discovery of a fault in the older concrete jetty part of the structure which supported a section of Viterra’s ship loading conveyor belt.
The port is subject to a major inspection every four years and a visual check every two years, with a visual check prompting a closer inspection and the subsequent closure of the port.
It was only reopened in September that year.
Thevenard is South Australia’s busiest regional port and is used to export grain, gypsum, mineral sands and salt.
With the proposed works relating to the jetty support structure, Flinders Ports said this ensured there would be no change to material loading capacity and capability.
The company expects the work to take six to nine months.
While the upgrade would result in “some minor disturbance” to animals during construction, the project is not expected to have a “significant impact” on the area’s habitat or fauna.