South-West Minister Norm Marlborough today moved to allay fears surrounding potential land development in Busselton.
“I realise that rumours are spreading as to which parcels of land will be developed in order to fund the restoration of the Busselton Jetty, but nothing will be developed without the full involvement of the Busselton Shire and the community,” Mr Marlborough said.
“The next steps will be to form a working group, for detailed planning to be done to investigate the potential for foreshore land sales, for community consultation to occur and a business plan developed to ensure the jetty’s long-term future.”
The State Government and Busselton Shire Council have formed a partnership to work towards enabling repairs on the historic Busselton timber jetty to begin in the summer months.
“The aim is to have the working group develop a recommendation for a rescue package to put to State Cabinet by November 2006,” the Minister said.
He said the Busselton Jetty Refurbishment Working Group would include members from the Busselton Shire Council, LandCorp, Department for Planning and Infrastructure, South West Development Commission and Tourism WA.
The group would help drive the process which would look at sites on the Busselton foreshore that could be used to finance the jetty rebuild.
Busselton Shire President Kevin Douglas also moved to allay fears about the land sales, saying public consultation was of utmost importance.
“No land sales will occur without the people of Busselton having a say; we cannot go ahead with a project this size without hearing from residents,” Cr Douglas said.
“It attracts 190,000 people annually who come to enjoy everything the jetty and surrounding foreshore area have to offer, including fishing and interacting with the natural environment.
“The jetty is an icon and its loss to Busselton - and this State - would be incomprehensible.
“So we are setting out on this path, in partnership with the WA State Government, to do something about it.”
A report by Tourism WA shows that over 10 years, the refurbishment of the Busselton jetty will inject more than $10million a year into the local economy through increased visitor numbers and spending.
This is estimated to represent an extra 231 jobs a year in the local economy.
Built in stages between 1865 and 1964, the 1.7km-long Busselton jetty is the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere.
Minister's office: 9213 6500