Smoky Bay Jetty Restoration History

Smoky Bay Jetty Decking

The early settlers to the Smoky Bay area were farmers in the 1890’s and the town was not officially surveyed until 1913. Grain was carted from the farms to the shore in bags and waded out by horse and cart to awaiting boats at low tide. This was also the procedure for general supplies coming into Smoky Bay on a boat which arrived once a month.

On 6 July 1908 a petition was forwarded to the Flinders House of Assembly for the erection of a jetty. It was stated that “the district of Smoky Bay was a growing and thriving agricultural one and as such should have the greater facilities for the marketing of it’s produce” It was estimated that the product from the land would so

on reach 20,000 bags of wheat. The petition dated 4 July 1908 contained 22 names.

The first monies became available on 18 January 1910 to the value of 2000 pounds to cover estimates and survey work. After collecting tenders the contract to build the jetty and Goods Shed was granted to Messer’s Lewis & Reid on 15 November 1910 for 7297 pounds 15 shillings 1 pence and was documented that the works will take 60 weeks to complete from the date of the contract.

The same builders were also contracted to paint the outside of the new Goods Shed at an estimated cost of 20 pounds The Jetty was completed on 13 April 1912 and was officially opened on 1 May 1912. The original length was 381 metres with a head of 64 metres providing a depth of 3.3 metres at low tide.The jetty remained in commercial use for the export of grain by sea until the 1950’s when bulk handling and improved transport made it more economical to convey by road to the Thevenard Silos.

In 1969, 88 metres of decking were removed from the outer end and it is now impossible to traverse the entire length. The Smoky Bay Progress Association along with great support from the town managed to stop the dismantlement of the jetty in 1969.

References: The Jetties of South Australia by Neville Collins 2005
South Australian Archives

In 2006 the District Council of Ceduna with help from the Smoky Bay Progress Association restored 3 bays of the jetty. The ‘Friends of the Jetty’ committee as part of the Smoky Bay Progress Association is working hard to complete the rest of the repairs to the jetty to restore it to its former glory.

The objective of the project is to provide the community, made up of visitors and local residents, a greatly improved venue for leisure times in the uniquely tranquil ambience.

Our aim is to complete the decking by end 2010 and have Shade gazebos (see concept designs) made and in place ready for the 100 year celebrations on 2012

Our team have all volunteered their help without coercion, are enthusiastic, and have extensive contact within the community. We have an inspirational concept design that is providing motivation for the renovation. The concept design is motivating to the prospective sponsors we seek.

The Jetty and it’s uses:

Estimates suggest it would cost more than $5 mil to build the jetty today. This asset will be repaired in quality material and re-launched. The jetty will proudly serve for many years with lighting, seating and shelter designed for the community and it’s visitors. Picnics, fishing, private celebrations can all be conducted in the deeper water day or night on this uniquely positioned structure.

Usage of the jetty for fishing with both tourists and residents could well more than double due to the benefits of comfortable shaded facilities and accessibility to the deeper water where the renovations are located. Newly inspired use for picnics, social gatherings and parties will swell the utilisation of the jetty to many times of that today.

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