South Australians are being encouraged to give feedback about the importance of local jetties through a newly launched survey that will help advocate for much-needed additional state and federal funding.
The Local Government Association of SA is undertaking a study of the value of South Australia’s jetties, including how they contribute to the state’s economic prosperity, historical significance and wellbeing of local communities.
This assessment will focus on the activities that are supported by jetties, such as tourism, walking, recreational fishing and swimming, and will highlight how crucial it is for state and federal governments to support councils in maintaining these vital assets.
As part of this project, the SA Jetties Community Survey gives local community members, visitors and stakeholders the chance to share their views and opinions on the social and heritage value of jetties, which will influence the final valuation.
LGA President, Mayor Dean Johnson implored all South Australians to participate in the survey and lend their voices to protect jetties in their own backyard.
“If you care deeply about the future of our state’s jetties, please jump online, fill out the survey and share it with your friends and family – the more people we get involved, the better,” Mayor Johnson said.
“The profoundly positive impact jetties have on local communities cannot be overstated.
“Jetties are vitally important for social wellbeing; they’re a drawcard for visitation and tourism, boosting local economies and in many cases they’re historically significant.
“Even for people who do not live close to jetties, there is an overwhelming sense and understanding of the enormous worth these structures provide along our coastlines.
“Already, we’ve seen some jetties across South Australia close while awaiting repairs, and when this happens it’s communities and visitors who miss out.
“Local councils are doing the best they can with the funding they have to maintain jetties in their regions, however larger works require external financial support.
“The LGA’s Value of Jetties Analysis and survey aims to put a more exact dollar figure on the value jetties deliver for South Australia, which will hopefully spur greater state and federal spending to repair and retain them.”
South Australia’s 75 jetties are owned by the State Government, with 36 of those leased to councils who manage them.
While $20 million was committed in June’s State Budget for jetties over the next four years, greater funding is needed to support councils – particularly those in regional areas – with repairs and maintenance.
Yorke Peninsula Council Mayor Darren Braund said his council has 12 leases for state-owned jetties within its boundaries and that it can’t maintain them alone long term.
“Yorke Peninsula Council understands the importance jetties serve and the benefits these vital assets have for both the local community and economy,” Mayor Braund said.
“Our scenic jetties are major drawcards attracting thousands of visitors to the region who are keen to catch a fresh feed of fish, safely enter the water for a swim or just take a leisurely stroll.
“The tourism industry served by jetties can contribute significantly to the local economy, helping accommodation providers, restaurants and many other businesses.
“Unfortunately, council simply does not have the money to maintain these jetties long term, and we have campaigned for years for extra help from the State Government.
“Council encourages members of the community to have their say about why jetties are important to them and help in our ongoing efforts to preserve our iconic jetties.”
The LGA has engaged Hudson Howells to deliver the SA Jetties Community Survey, which will close 5pm Friday 15 September.
To take the survey and share why jetties are important to you, visit www.lga.sa.gov.au/jetties