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Outer Harbour opens up for the public inspection, fun

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury Deputy Mayor Brendan Kelly and Bunbury Port Authority general manager Darren Lambourn get ready to open the gates to the Outer Harbour.
Camera IconBunbury Deputy Mayor Brendan Kelly and Bunbury Port Authority general manager Darren Lambourn get ready to open the gates to the Outer Harbour. Credit: Bunbury Deputy Mayor Brendan Kelly and Bunbury Port Authority general manager Darren Lambourn get ready to open the gates to th, Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

A highly desirable piece of Bunbury waterfront will be open to the public this month during a one-off open day.

The Outer Harbour is usually closed to the public under legislation, but future plans which could include redevelopment of the area have prompted an open day for the community to have its say.

Southern Ports Authority will cease operations in the area during the January 22 event.

The gates will be open from 6am, allowing access to beaches and a sausage sizzle, activities, information booth and survey will run throughout the day.

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Bunbury Port Authority general manager Darren Lambourn said the “special event” was part of the authority’s work with stakeholders and community groups to potentially open the area regularly under a management plan.

“Development of a management plan is a detailed process which will aim to balance public access to the Outer Harbour with the safety of people, the environment and compliance with the State and Federal legislation,” Mr Lambourn said.

“Safety is of course our top priority.

“It’s important to remember the Outer Harbour is an operational site, so this is a special event to allow access for the public to the beach and Outer Harbour facilities.”

Sub-leases held in the Outer Harbour will expire in December 2018 and it is expected the area will be developed as part of stage three of the Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront project.

Bunbury Deputy Mayor Brendan Kelly has previously been vocal about his support to permanently open the harbour to the community under a management plan and says the open day is a good opportunity to “dip our toes in the water” about future plans.

“It’s about education too and the community seeing what the harbour is now and what it can be in 2018,” Cr Kelly said.

“I’ve had enough people come to me about what’s going on here, so this is an exciting opportunity.”

Gates will be open until 6pm and no glass or alcohol will be permitted during the day.

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