The first timbers were removed from the Bunbury Timber Jetty last week as the demolition crew pushed on with the deconstruction following recent storms and visits from marine life.
The wet and windy weather created a minor delay and forced big pieces of the jetty loose — with one timber breaking free of the containment boom and floating to Hastie Beach.
‘‘Marine fauna observers’’ have been on watch for dolphins and, since this week’s unusual visit, seals around the jetty to ensure work is put on hold if the animals swim too close to the work site.
Brief visits from dolphins, suspected to be the same mother and calf and juvenile males which regularly use the area, have forced the workers to down tools for 15 minutes and wait for the water to be clear of the mammals.
Dolphin Discovery Centre marine biologist Phil Coulthard said the marine observers had been on alert since hearing of the seal’s visit in the Leschenault Inlet this week.
‘‘It’s very strange to have a seal in the inlet as there isn’t a population in Bunbury and a seal has been spotted around the jetty which we suspect would be the same one,’’ he said.
City of Bunbury engineer Jason Gick said the jetty was a work site and was closed to the public for safety reasons.
‘‘It’s a huge project and it’s exciting it’s under way,’’ he said.
‘‘We haven’t found anything surprising yet — it’s everything we’d thought we’d see but we’re yet to get to the part in the deeper water.’’
Mr Gick said there had been public interest in the timber from the jetty nd that ‘‘everyone has an ambition for it’’ but it would be some time before the timber would be sold or given away.
The jetty’s demise has also meant the end of an era for the Bunbury Timber Jetty Environment and Conservation Society and at last month’s council meeting it was decided any agreements and management arrangements between the City of Bunbury and the society be terminated as of June 30.
The council said it would continue to work with the society to ensure the history of the jetty was respectfully honoured.The works are expected to last until April next year.
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