Observatory bid for jetty

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
An artists impression of the Busselton Jetty Villiage development
Camera IconAn artists impression of the Busselton Jetty Villiage development Credit: Supplied/Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Supplied

A bid by Busselton Jetty Inc to build the world’s largest underwater observatory has been given in-principle support by the Busselton City Council.

Busselton Jetty Inc has revealed plans to develop the Australian Underwater Discovery Centre, a “world-class tourist landmark”.

On Wednesday, the matter was put in front of councillors as a late agenda item.

Busselton Jetty Inc has been invited to apply for a $13 million grant from the Federal Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The organisation requested that the City indicate whether it was prepared to contribute $4 million, either by grant funding or a self-supporting loan, towards stage one of the project.

Councillors voted in favour of a self-supporting loan.

The development of the discovery centre will occur in two stages, with a village glasshouse completed first, then an underwater observatory on the western side of the jetty.

It is expected to create more than 1000 jobs for the region.

The village will be similar to the glasshouse on the Burke Street Pier in Hobart, which is illuminated at night.

An artists impression of the interior of the new Busselton Jetty villiage glasshouse
Camera IconAn artists impression of the interior of the new Busselton Jetty villiage glasshouse Credit: Supplied

SMC Marine has been awarded the contract to build the village, which is expected to open in October, 2020. The village will be built from polycarbonate, featuring bi-fold see-through doors that open up to the ocean and light up the jetty at night.

Featuring a sunset bar and cafe, the village will incorporate a marine interpretation zone and environmental education space.

Busselton Jetty chief executive Lisa Shreeve said the project would cater for visitors wanting information on marine life, conservation and the environment.

“Busselton Jetty Inc has been saving for many years to develop new infrastructure at the end of the jetty, and this project is a tribute to the community who fought so hard to save the jetty,” she said.

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