The creation of a marina in Bunbury could inject almost 100 jobs and $18 million into the economy if the ambitions of industry clubs and organisations prove fruitful.
After nine months of planning, the Bunbury Marine Facilities Alliance this week launched its $30 million plan to build a 250-pen marina in Koombana Bay.
Alliance chairman David Kerr said feedback gathered from members suggested up to 94 jobs could be created by the marina.
“Analytical data collected shows a dynamic marine industry could directly employ 50 people and contribute between $5.5 million and $9 million to the local economy annually, ” he said.
“There is an economic opportunity waiting to happen if we get some investment by the government in appropriate marine infrastructure.”
At the launch, Mr Kerr called on industry leaders, politicians and business owners to support the marina plan.
He said businesses such as coffee shops and restaurants would indirectly benefit from a thriving marine industry in Bunbury.
“During winter, people take their boats to either Mandurah or Geographe — or out of the water — which means that money is going to Mandurah or Geographe, ” Mr Kerr said.
“If this marina is built, then you have vessels being able to be kept in protected waters here and that work stays here in this community.
"We have one of the largest communities of boat and water users in Western Australia and the worst facilities.”
The alliance was formed in May last year to figure out a way to address the sub-standard marine facilities and work with the government and stakeholders to progress the plan.
“A vibrant marina and commercial hub in close proximity to the CBD would provide the economic stimulus and rejuvenation Bunbury needs, ” Mr Kerr said.
“A marina development would also attract national title events — Bunbury would become a destination for yachts and major water-based events and even hold its own race.”
Stage one of the plan is to secure $1 million funding to do environmental studies and an engineering design for the marina.
Stage two is the construction of the marina and stage three is the development of a commercial hub in Casuarina Harbour.