Busselton Jetty secures funding

Recent community consultation has shown 70 per cent support for the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre design to resemble a giant whale in abstract form. Image supplied.
Recent community consultation has shown 70 per cent support for the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre design to resemble a giant whale in abstract form. Image supplied.

Both the WA Labor and Liberal parties have promised millions of dollars in funding for the Busselton Jetty's Australian Underwater Discovery Centre if they form government at the next state election.

Last week, Premier Mark McGowan outlined his plan for the seats of Bunbury, Vasse and Warren-Blackwood if the WA Labor Party was reelected.

Included in the announcement was a promise of $9.5 million towards the AUDC at the jetty.to diversify the local economy and create jobs.

On the same day, the WA Liberal Party also committed $10 million from Royalties for Regions to fund the same project, which has already secured $13 million in funding from the federal government.

Busselton Jetty Inc chairman Barry House said they were delighted with the level of support from a state government level to invest in the centre which, he said, would be the catalyst to bringing back international tourism post COVID-19.

Now the budget has been secured, Busselton Jetty Inc can concentrate on final design and construction of the AUDC which is expected to be completed and open by December 2022.

"We are confident the new AUDC will be a genuine iconic tourist attraction and will generate the funds from ticket sales to fully sustain the maintenance and preservation of the jetty well into the future, a unique business model saving our heritage and generating jobs through tourism," he said.

"The AUDC will support jobs and tourism now in the South West when it is most needed."

The project has been in development since 2016 when a national feasibility study identified how to build on the jetty's comparative advantage and fund its future sustainability.

It will be able to cater for 3.5 times as many people per hour and feature the largest underwater window in the world, as well as underwater dining and a train.

The window will be 600 millimetres thick. Image supplied.

The window will be 600 millimetres thick. Image supplied.

South West MLC Steve Thomas said supporting this project was critical to the growth of tourism across the South West region.