Cetacean front runner in design
The Cetacean design for the new Australian Underwater Discovery Centre at the end of WA’s iconic Busselton Jetty is in the lead following the first day of polling.
The $30 million Busselton asset had three alternative designs presented for choice to the West Australian public yesterday, the cetacean design reflecting the shape of a whale.
The Rocks – which resembled a huge stack of coastal rock – and The Voyage – which mimics the lines of a ship – were the other two designs on offer in the public sessions held in Busselton.
More than100 people attended the community sessions and so far the most support goes to the marine theme design which pays homage to the humpback whales which migrate along the Geographe Bay coast every year.
Second preference was Voyage, which linked to the Vasse region’s maritime history and commercial use of the Jetty, and in third place was The Rocks which echoes Castle Rock and the local Caves.
Construction of the AUDC should start in the middle of next year, with the centre open by December 2022.
Busselton Jetty managers are aiming for more than 200,000 new visitors in 2023, bringing their total to more than 900,000.
Busselton Jetty chairman Barry House said “This is as authentic as it gets, because people are in the tank and the fish are looking in”.
“By adding underwater dining, underwater sculptures, marine art and other features, this project will enhance the Busselton Jetty 155-year-old experience,” he said.
Mr House said at peak times, people were turned away from the current observatory because it can only fit 44 people in each hour.
“In 2017 we started looking at how to meet visitor demand and after two feasibility studies and market research, determined that expanding our current unique marine offering was the best way to grow and meet our environmental goals.”
The designs were drawn up by Henderson Subcon Blue Solutions, and the public is encouraged to vote for their favourite.
Jetty chief executive Lisa Shreeve said the current Underwater Observatory would become a Marine Research Centre promoting clean oceans and feature public interaction with world-class researchers and a laboratory to educate people about oceanic climate change.
Be part of history! Which design do you like best? Now’s your time to get involved. To vote for your favourite theme, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZZ5ZM6C
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