Ballast Head Jetty


Request from Kangaroo Island.

1927 A request for a jetty to be erected at Ballast Head, near American River, Kangaroo Island, was made to the Chief Secretary (Hon. H. Tassie) by a deputation representing residents of Kangaroo Island, the Coast Steamship Company, and people who frequently visit the locality. The Hon. G. R. Laffer introduced the speakers — Messrs. J. Jensen, R. Lloyd, F. Cornell, McKay, and H. S. Hudd and P. T. Heggaton, M.P.'s. A petition, bearing between 300 and 400 signatures, was presented. The speakers stated that more than 500 visitors stayed at American River and adjoining places on the island every year. The present jetty at American River was useless for shipping. It was too short for a steamer to lay alongside the water was not deep enough, and a strong current made the navigation of the channel difficult. The present practice was for visitors to be landed at Penneshaw, and motor to American River, but frequently it was too rough for steamers to put in at this port. This meant that tourists returning to the city were put to the inconvenience of waiting at Penneshaw until the next trip, after motoring 24 miles from the river. Local fishermen also suffered loss in not being able to get their fish away from Penneshaw. A fisherman in one consignment had lost £70 through not being able to get his fish to market. Ballast Head was almost in a direct line between Penneshaw and Kingscote, and about midway between the two places. It was said to be protected from all weathers and all winds, and easily approachable by steamers. Estimates had previously been obtained for the work. It was then said that a road-way to the site would cost £20,000, and the jetty another £20,000. Residents considered these estimates high, and said a road following the natural track along the shore would cost much less. They were also willing to give voluntary labour in forming it. The beauty of American River as a pleasure resort was also urged. lt enjoyed a wonderfully equable climate, was landlocked, and almost bisected the island, so that by walking a little more than half a mile visitors could enjoy the wonderful scenery along the south coast. People from the other States had said the American River vied with the Sydney Harbour for beauty. If a jetty were constructed city men would be able to leave their homes on Saturday morning, spend the week-end at American River, land on the return journey at Second Valley, and motor to the city in time to get to their business places that day. One speaker estimated that four times the number of people would visit American River if the jetty were provided. It was stated that jetties were one of the few facilities provided by the Government on Kangaroo Island. There was not a single line of railway on the island, not a water scheme nor a hospital. The Government should not allow the return of revenue to wholly weigh with the question, because many jetties had been provided from which the Government received little or no revenue...

JETTY AT BALLAST HEAD. (1927, June 18). Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931), p. 18.

Kingscote Still Favored As Port

PORT LINCOLN.— Although from a constructional point of view Ballast Head would make the best deep sea port on Kangaroo Island, there were reasons for continuing a survey of Kingscote with a view to making the port there, said the Premier on Tuesday. With the Chief Secretary (Mr. McEwin) and Harbors Board officers. Mr. Playford arrived here in the tug Tancred on Monday. He said that Kingscote was already a centre of population, with the road system gravitating to that centre, and with hospital, school and other amenities. To establish a deep-sea port there would require an extension and remodelling of the jetty and the establishment in shore of proper cargo facilities. The cliffs behind Ballast Head would make the establishment of a town to serve a port most expensive. Emu Bay was carefully examined and considered impracticable as a port, he said.

Kingscote Still Favored As Port (1951, May 3). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 11.

1959 The site was again considered for a gypsum loading facility, for C.S.R.

1960 Gantry (136 metres) and series of dolphins completed. Deepest port on K.I.

1986 Gypsum exhausted.

1992 Final shipment to Sydney

1996-8 Structures removed. Tall pole left for an osprey's nest.

Collins, N. 2000. The Jetties of South Australia - Past and Present. p.215, with text and photos contributed by Wren Lashmar.