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Rapid Bay Jetty - Living on Borrowed Time

Rapid Bay Jetty used to enjoy the luxury of being a Mecca for jetty fishing in SA. With Brighton Cement (the original owners of the jetty) handing over the jetty to the Department of Transport in the 1980's, the jetty has been deteriorating badly. The Department of Transport agreed in principle to renovate the jetty, (and funding was allocated for this purpose in $12.8m put aside for recreational jetties), provided that Yankalilla District Council agreed to take over the maintenance of the jetty after the renovation. Yankalilla District Council has agreed to take over Second Valley and Normanville jetties, but has not made a decision on Rapid Bay Jetty.

The Department of Transport - Marine Facilities Branch, proposed to demolish the "dolphins" (steel square structures) which make up the bulk of the T-piece at the end of the jetty. They argued that recreational fishermen do not need these areas as fishing platforms, and that on-going maintenance would be reduced by demolishing this part of the jetty. They also claimed that structural stability was an issue as well.

The Fleurieu Peninsula Recreational Fisheries Committee believes that

  • Recreational fishermen rely on the dolphin structures for access to deep water fishing. Surveys indicate that at least half of those people that fish on the jetty usually fish off these structures.
  • In order to cut down on maintenance costs, the conveyor system left behind by Brighton Cement could be removed, to ensure that this unsightly and unsafe structure poses no danger to recreational fishermen.
  • The dolphin structures, built on very strong piers, are the strongest if not newest part of the jetty. Monies spent in removing this structure could be better channeled into erecting new planks and safety fencing on the jetty.
  • Rapid Bay Jetty is an important recreational fishing platform in Sth Australia.

Below is an extract from a newsletter by the MLSSA - Marine Life Society of Sth Australia, highlighting issues concerning Rapid Bay Jetty.

JANUARY 1999 No. 251

................. The SDF has been investigating the possibility of being able to drive vehicles closer to the jetty. The current discussions with Adelaide Brighton Cement have not been successful as they are still using the area immediately adjacent the dirt barricade.

Debate is still on regarding the removal of the dolphin platforms from the jetty. Hopefully we will be able to convince the Government to leave them and create a void between the main jetty and the dolphins. The removal of the dolphins will cost around $200,000.00 .................

I rang the Yankalilla Council several days ago, but unfortunately was unable to speak to its CEO, Malcolm Davis. From what I was able to determine from other staff there, the Rapid Bay Jetty is on its agenda for this year to resolve the leasing arrangements from DOT and address the maintenance issue.

I will be talking to Malcolm Davis within the next few weeks, and hopefully will have an update to the above issues.

Hopefully, in the near future, we may see some positive and effective events occurring with this great SA icon.

I urge you all to write to Yankalilla District Council, to highlight and address the above issues. They can be reached on the following

    District Council of Yankalilla (by the jetty)
    Jetty Road,
    Normanville, SA, 5204
    Phone: (08) 8558-2048
    Fax: (08) 8558-3573

It may pay to drop a line to the Fleurieu Peninsula RFC, for any updates to the above situation.

    Metropolitan RFC
    Fleurieu Peninsula RFC

    The Secretary The Secretary
    Metropolitan RFC Fleurieu Peninsula RFC
    53/11 Charlick Circuit PO Box 401

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