Bunbury overlooked in Federal funding spree

Kate Fielding and Pierra WillixSouth Western Times

Bunbury MLA Don Punch says the city needs more Federal attention after appearing to again miss out on money in a funding spree across the South West this week.

Federal Regional Development Minister John McVeigh and Forrest MHR Nola Marino announced a suite of funding for Busselton, Harvey and Waroona on Tuesday.

In the first major funding boost from the Federal Government for the Busselton Jetty as it pushes to become WA’s biggest tourism drawcard, more than $300,000 was announced.

In the first major funding boost from the Federal Government for the Busselton Jetty was more than $300,000 as it pushes to become WA’s biggest tourism drawcard.

The money will be used to establish “a marine discovery centre, multi-functional area and safe swimming area”.

Mrs Marino said the development would be a “world-class” offering and would help secure the jetty into the future.

“Tourists don’t just want to see something anymore, they want to do things and engage all of their senses,” she said.

“We can offer them that at the Jetty, and the development will add layers upon the whole experience; that way more individuals, businesses and groups will be able to get a bite out of this.”

But Mr Punch said it was disappointing Bunbury’s “unique drawcards” in its waterfront and Dolphin Discovery Centre were not recognised.

“This story is nothing new in that Bunbury regularly misses out on Federal funding and the answer is we need better representation for the needs of our community at a Federal level,” Mr Punch said.

“The State Government is making multi-million dollar investments in Bunbury as evidenced by the Koombana Bay Foreshore Redevelopment and the redevelopment of the Dolphin Discovery Centre that is currently under way.

“These projects will create a unique drawcard for Bunbury and it is disappointing the Federal Government is failing to recognise that, leaving all the heavy lifting to the State while investing elsewhere in our region.

“The people of Bunbury have every right to be really disappointed at the lack of Federal commitment to the development of our community.

“We must have stronger advocacy for Bunbury within the Federal Government or we will continue to be overlooked.”

But Mrs Marino said this week’s announcements were a “great result” for the whole South West and Bunbury had recently received $620,000 for closed-circuit TV and fibre link connections, $660,000 in road funding and $560 million for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

“The announcement regarding funding to the Busselton/Margaret River airport is and will be of major benefit to the whole South West community – It has been described as the most transformative project for the South West.

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