Termite problem causes removal of jetties

A jetty at Point Reserve in Bassendean.
A jetty at Point Reserve in Bassendean.

TWO jetties will be removed at Point Reserve in Bassendean this week due to termites destroying most of the timber structures.

The Town of Bassendean took over the management of the jetties from the Swan River Trust about eight years ago.

The Trust previously managed the jetties for about 60 years.

Last week, the Town started repair works on one jetty and found the entire length of the jetty had been impacted by termites.

A detailed inspection of the second jetty revealed 75 per cent of the jetty had active termites.

Part of the jetty was removed as part of a termite inspection.

Chief executive Peta Mabbs said the design of the jetties allowed timber “stringers” to go into the riverbank which encouraged termite activity.

“The timbers cannot be treated with chemicals that preserve the wood as the chemicals would leach into the river,” she said.

“Although the Town undertakes regular inspections of jetties and boardwalks these issues could not have been identified without physically removing parts of, or deconstructing, the jetties.

“In May 2019, the presence of termites was noted from an inspection by the Town.

“When the jetty planks were removed, about 10% of the jetty structure had been impacted.

“The Town engaged a company specialising in jetties and bridges to undertake a detailed inspection.

“A pest control program was instigated, using bait stations in the ground with the intent to remove the termites and prevent further infestation.”

Ms Mabbs said both jetties were recommended for removal due to the danger they presented.

“These wooden jetties are a challenge for all local governments along the Swan River, given their deteriorating state and weathering caused by erosion from speeding boats, termites and the original construction methods,” she said.

“It’s clearly part of the history of our area.

“This is an opportunity for us to take stock and plan for the future amenity of the community and its connection to the river.”

The council will consider an upcoming report featuring opportunities to apply to the State Government for jetty works.

Bassendean resident Gerry Coleman said he was surprised that he did not see any statements or consultation with ratepayers about the removals.

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