Member for the South West Colin Holt says the government’s failure to include the planned Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory in the recent WA Recovery Plan is a missed opportunity.
“It appears the City of Busselton will see very little out of the recent $252.3m stimulus package for the South West but this project – the Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory is a shovel ready project with confirmed Federal Government funding of $13.5M.” Mr Holt said.
“The Busselton Jetty is an iconic WA tourist attraction which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and this project would generate significant income for the local and regional economy.
“The Busselton Jetty is unique. It is the largest wooden jetty in the world and it has Australia’s most publicly accessible fish and marine habitat. It is the Busselton regions’ main tourist attraction and it is the lifeblood of Busselton’s tourism economy.
“I believe this new Underwater Observatory which will feature underwater dining and a massive viewing area for the unique marine species that live under the Busselton Jetty, will be the unique iconic attraction WA needs to generate more interstate and international tourism.
“The proposed observatory will ensure the preservation of 300 different oceanic wildlife species as well as provide an extraordinary dive and snorkeling experience. It will be operationally sustainable and provide a social profit income to preserve and maintain the Busselton Jetty and its structural timber piles for generations into the future.
“As we all know tourism has suffered greatly during this COVID-19 pandemic. This project will help promote travel from within the state, while we are all encouraged to ‘wonder out yonder’ plus generating the ultimate interstate and international tourism.
“This project will have a huge economic impact on Busselton and surrounds through employment during construction to the approx. value of $38M. The increased visitation and resulting tourism expenditure in the first year of over $18M at local and surrounding businesses including food, accommodation, hospitality and other tourist attractions.
As the government continues to focus on metropolitan projects I implore them to consider funding the Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory. The project is in danger of losing Federal funding of $13.5M.