The City of Busselton is open to charter boat operations running from the Busselton Jetty, following expressions of interest from operators.
All Sea Charters owner Paul Szczypior, who operates whale-watching tours from Port Geographe Marina, said he would seriously consider a service from the jetty.
Mr Szczypior said he would like to offer sight-seeing, whale-watching and hour-long sunset cruises costing about $35 per person.
“I’d run sight-seeing tours five days a week, fishing charters a couple of days and whale-watching during the season,” he told the Times.
“I think it would bring more people to the foreshore and have a positive knock-on effect for the train and observatory.”
The Geographe Bay Tourism Association said a number of its members were interested in providing tourism services from the landmark.
Chief executive Simon Taylor told the Times the City and GBTA were “very supportive” of such activities.
“It would be good to see things like twilight sails departing from the jetty of an evening over summer,” he said.
“It would certainly help to create a vibrant atmosphere at the foreshore.
“Geographe Bay is one of the region’s greatest tourism assets. The more we can do to help visitors experience this, the better.”
City chief executive Mike Archer said the City and the Busselton Jetty Environment and Conservation Association were open to proposals.
He said none had been formally presented to the City for consideration yet, but given the jetty now had a fully functioning disabled access ramp, such proposals were feasible.
But Legend Charters owner Dean Jensen questioned the jetty’s existing facilities despite expressing some support for the proposed operations.
“We would be interested, but at the moment there aren’t safe enough boarding facilities for passengers, particularly when the weather’s not so good,” he said.Busselton Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ray McMillan said he thought boat services from the jetty were an excellent idea, but the fees for businesses to operate such services would have to not discourage operators.
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