Public ‘votes’ for open port beach

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

Bunbury residents took a trip down memory lane on Sunday when more than 1300 visitors flocked to the Outer Harbour for an open day.

Deputy Mayor Brendan Kelly – a vocal advocate to have the area opened permanently in the future – said the response was overwhelming and there was a common theme among the visitors.

Picture Gallery from the open day

“The most common comment was ‘we used to come out here all the time’ and I got that constantly,” Cr Kelly said.

“There’s an overwhelming view to get an open plan for the harbour.

“My view is we need to look at limited access to cater for the port.”

Sub leases at the Outer Harbour expire in December next year and the area has been earmarked for development during stage three of the Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront project.

Southern Ports Authority Port of Bunbury general manager Darren Lambourn said the port was thrilled with the open day.

“To have more than 1300 attend was testament to the commitment and interest community members have in this area,” he said.

“As access to the Outer Harbour falls under legislation that mandates a comprehensive security protocol, we are working with local stakeholders and community groups regarding the potential to open the beach occasionally during the year.

“I would particularly like to thank Southern Ports Authority staff whose enthusiasm and drive ensured this event went without a hitch.”

Cr Kelly said night angling and a surfing competition could be considered for the area this year.

“The next step is to start working towards other opening days and eventually full-time access,” Cr Kelly said.

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