Cheers to brewery plan

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
A microbrewery could open at Busselton’s foreshore next year.
Camera IconA microbrewery could open at Busselton’s foreshore next year. Credit: Getty Images

An 11th-hour partnership between two local families has breathed life back into Busselton foreshore’s long-awaited microbrewery and could see the facility up and running as soon as next year.

The microbrewery is a flagship project of the overarching multimillion dollar Busselton foreshore master plan, but has been in limbo for more than four years, prompting an ultimatum from the City of Busselton in November.

The Geographe Bay Brewing Company — owned by the Credaro family, of Credaro Family Wines — was given until Thursday to secure a financial backer before their preferred proponent status would lapse and the hunt for a new developer would begin.

At Wednesday night’s council meeting, Zebedee Packard-Hair, whose family has owned the Old Broadwater Farm for a century, told councillors an in-principle partnership had been struck that would see the two parties co-fund the development.

“Our involvement represents the solution to the issue of funding and will facilitate an expedient commencement to the building of the facility,” Mr Packard-Hair told councillors.

“We consider 60 days to be very tight, but achievable as a time frame, considering the size of the project.”

In a report to councillors, City legal services co-ordinator Cobus Botha said future developers were likely to hit similar financial hurdles and recommended a 30-day extension.

An alternative motion by Cr Paul Carter was debated and the requested 60 day extension was granted.

The Packhard-Hair and Credaro families now have two months to hammer out the partnership structure details.

If the deal falls through, the City will relaunch an expressions of interest process.

Busselton City Mayor Grant Henley told the Times while the extension meant further delays, restarting the process could add a year to the final outcome.

It is hoped the microbrewery’s doors will open by September 2020 or sooner.

The Busselton foreshore has undergone big transformations in the last decade, including a skate park, nautical-theme playground, youth and activity centre, and outdoor amphitheatre.

In December, at the ten year mark of redevelopments, Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said it had been a remarkable transformation that would continue drawing tourists and investment to the region.

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