Proclaimed a City on 21 January 2012, the Busselton district is one of the fastest growing regions in Western Australia. The municipality has a current (January 2018) resident population of approximately 38,000 people (Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2016 recorded a population of 37,673) with an average annual growth rate of around three percent. The population is expected to increase to over 55,000 residents by the year 2026.
The wider South West region has a population of around 176,000 and is expected to grow to around 230,000 residents by 2026. (Source: WA Planning Commission report, “Western Australia Tomorrow” 2012).
In 2015 the State Government, in order to accommodate the population growth of Busselton, completed a new state of the art hospital. Education options include two public and three private high schools and several options for primary school and early education..
Housing estates are being expanded within Busselton, Vasse, Port Geographe and at Dunsborough.
As at February 2018, the City of Busselton has almost completed the last stage of the Busselton Foreshore redevelopment and enhanced the foreshores of Dunsborough and Yallingup. The “Central Core area” consists of an amphitheatre and stage and an aquatic themed playground. The amphitheatre and stage will be completed by the end of February and the aquatic themed playground is scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2018.
In November 2014, Busselton welcomed its first visiting cruise ship to include the City in its itinerary, when the Diamond Princess transferred over 2,000 passengers and crew ashore for an eight hour visit. Visiting cruise liners are now a regular part of the scene in Geographe Bay where they moor and ferry passengers to a dedicated cruise landing facility incorporated on the famous Busselton Jetty.
Construction is well underway to expand the Busselton-Margaret River Airport to establish regular interstate flights and is set to significantly increase tourism numbers to the region. Works to lengthen, strengthen and widen the runway will be completed by the end of February 2018 and infrastructure works including construction of internal roads and carparks etc are well underway. It is planned to construct a new passenger terminal when eastern flights have been confirmed. The expansion of the airport is expected to increase tourism which is one of the region’s major industries and contributes significantly to income and employment in the City of Busselton, with visitor numbers exceeding 600,000 per annum.