Foreshore site confirmed for new Busselton Marine Discovery Centre

Published on Thursday, 16 May 2024 at 10:50:27 AM

At its meeting on 15 May 2024, Council provided in principle support for the City of Busselton to enter into a lease with Busselton Jetty Inc (BJI) for the construction and operation of a new, purpose-built Marine Discovery Centre on the Busselton foreshore. 

The endorsed location is Lot 501 on the corner of Jetty Way and Foreshore Parade, which was originally earmarked for development of small two or three storey retail spaces. Due to lack of interest, this site is now considered suitable for the development of a new attraction. Designs have been developed for a three storey building with different marine-based experiences to explore on each level. 

BJI’s original plans to develop an Australian Underwater Discovery Observatory and Village at the end of the Busselton Jetty were terminated in 2023 due to cost, structural certification, design and timing implications. Concepts for this alternative land-based attraction have been designed to enable elements of this project to proceed. $15.88m remains in State and Federal funding to design, service and construct the building, subject to State and Federal Government approvals and authorisation to commence the project. Should this development proceed, BJI will be responsible for the fit out of the building and ongoing operations. 

A temporary Marine Discovery Centre using contemporary technology sourced for the original project, is currently being developed in the Ballaarat Room of Railway House and is due to open in July 2024. This will operate from this location in the short term, pending construction of the new, purpose-built facility. Once the new Marine Discovery Centre building has been constructed, the Ballaarat exhibition, which is currently on public display at the City’s Civic and Administration Centre, will return to Railway House. 

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2021 - 2031) Key Themes Environment: An environment that is valued, conserved and enjoyed by current and future generations. 

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