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Figure of Eight Is

Admiralty Reference # 1808
1969- present

1969 - 1984 1984 - present


Built in 1965, this station was originally an acetylene powered light with a lantern house and traditional prismatic lens.

In 1984, the apparatus was removed when the light was converted to solar power and now comprises a lantern and GRP hut 4m high on a concrete base. The original concrete base is still visible.

The larger square to the left is the helipad as helicopter is the only way this light can be serviced.

mage from Landgate aerial photography


I found this wonderful digitised news report online via TROVE - fortunately, the money must have been found eventually - some 30 years later when no doubt there was increasing amounts of shipping traffic with the development of the Esperance region.

The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954)

Thursday 18 July 1935 Page 17



Request for Island light Refused

KALGOORLIE, July 17. At a conference of local governing bodies held at Esperance in April, it was decided to support the Esperance Road Board in a further application to the Federal Government for the erection of a light on Figure of Eight Island, off the entrance to the Esperance harbour. Speakers stated that the board had previously asked the Government to supply a light, but it had replied that the responsibility rested with the State Government. In a letter to Mr. A. E. Green, MHR., the Department of Commerce states that 'the responsibility of the Commonwealth in regard to the future provision and maintenance of lights and other aids to navigation ends with the erection and maintenance of those aids, such as lights, buoys and beacons, necessary for ocean navigation. The provision of port, river and inner aids to navigation is entirely a matter for the State Governments or local authorities concerned.'


After mentioning that where a proposed light, not essential for Commonwealth purposes would, in the opinion of the Lighthouse Advisory Committee, serve the dual purpose of contributing to the safety of ships at sea and at the same time assist the navigation of a port, in which case the capital cost of the light would be borne by the Federal Government and the State Government or local authority concerned, the letter proceeds: 'A light on Figure Eight Island would be of no use whatever to any ships other than the very few which can at Esperance, those using the ocean highway on voyages between Adelaide and Albany for Fremantle passing some 70 to 80 miles to the south and far beyond the range of any light that could be erected on that spot.


Therefore even if the proposed light on Figure of Eight Island were properly a Commonwealth responsibility which cannot for a moment be admitted, it would be impossible to justify the expenditure of a considerable sum on the erection and maintenance of a light there to save a wait of a few hours for daylight for a few ships each year, while the same amount would provide a light, hitherto beyond our resources, at other places, some of them In Western Australia, where the danger to passing ships is more imminent and the volume of traffic very much greater.'



Cumming et al: Lighthouses on the Western Australian coast and off-shore islands, 1995

TROVE - an online search engine of the National Library of Australia- digitised newspapers, Photos and other resources.