25/06/2008 - 13:24

Extra $6m for Busselton Jetty from state

25/06/2008 - 13:24

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The state government will contribute a further $6 million towards the restoration of the Busselton Jetty, covering the gap initially allocated to the federal government.

Extra $6m for Busselton Jetty from state

The state government will contribute a further $6 million towards the restoration of the Busselton Jetty, covering the gap initially allocated to the federal government.

The further funding now brings the state government's total expenditure on the project to $12 million.

"The extra funding from the State Government will put the plan to upgrade the important Busselton tourist attraction back on track and will see the refurbishment of the jetty proceed as quickly as possible," South West minister Mark McGowan said.

"In today's dollar terms, the overall maintenance allocation is $50million.

"This means the Busselton Shire will have an independent source of funding to ensure a long-term, financially sustainable plan for the maintenance of the jetty.

"Our plan will ensure the costs of restoration and ongoing maintenance are met for the next 50 years without becoming a burden to the ratepayers of Busselton.

"It will also bring millions of dollars of investment and hundreds of jobs to Busselton."

Mr McGowan said the redevelopment of state land on the Busselton foreshore and at Churchill Park would help pay for the refurbishment works.

The state's new offer would only proceed if a successful project agreement was signed with the Busselton Shire and there were no objections to aspects of the plan in the State's Upper House.

The redevelopment includes:

- a development node reconnecting Queen Street to the foreshore area in front of the jetty;

- redevelopment of Churchill Park as a residential area;

- up to $16.75million in new replacement sporting facilities for the current users of Churchill Park;

- the Kookaburra Caravan Parks will be developed and replaced on the foreshore with modern facilities; and

- extensive new roads, car parking, landscaping and civic improvements in the foreshore area as per the previously released concept plan.

In addition, the Shire of Busselton will receive an income from six ground leases in the foreshore area that will contribute to the future maintenance of the jetty.

"The jetty restoration plan will breathe new life into the Busselton foreshore area and reconnect the town's CBD to the waterfront with limited impact on rate payers," Mr McGowan said.

"The flow-on benefits to the Busselton community will be significant.

"Building, construction and development will provide a valuable boost to the regional economy, as will the increased tourism expected once the jetty - which provides the link to the popular Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory - is restored."

The Minister said some amendments were required to the jetty rescue plan released last year because of increased costs associated with bringing the pier to its former glory.

"To cover costs, the density of the proposed residential blocks at Churchill Park is likely to be increased," he said.

"It was important the rebuilding of the 1.6km jetty commenced this year.

"Though the Busselton Jetty is a significant drawcard, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the South-West town each year, it is an expensive structure to maintain.

"It is beyond the capacity of the Busselton Shire to rebuild or maintain into the future.

"This plan provides not only a refurbished jetty but also a sustainable plan for the jetty's future. It also delivers an exciting redevelopment plan for the Busselton foreshore and replacement sporting facilities."

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