- Bunbury’s new-look Dolphin Discovery Centre set to begin staged reopening on Saturday, December 22 after undergoing a multimillion-dollar upgrade and expansion
- The project delivers fresh tourism experience and landmark new building
- More than 200 local jobs created in construction
Visitors can discover Western Australia’s freshest tourist experience when the Dolphin Discovery Centre begins its staged reopening next week after undergoing a major redevelopment funded by the State Government.
The multimillion-dollar upgrade and expansion, funded with a $12.3 million State Government contribution and a $600,431 Lotterywest grant, has reached practical completion, with Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Bunbury MLA Don Punch today getting a sneak preview of the greatly enhanced Bunbury tourist attraction.
Modern exhibits including 13 aquariums, as well as a café, are among the new features housed in a landmark building that the public will be able to start enjoying from next week.
Engaging local skills was at the heart of the project, with Bunbury contractor Perkins Builders delivering the redevelopment from designs by Bunbury practice MCG Architects.
A total of 46 local contractors and suppliers worked on the project, with 204 workers involved in construction including eight apprentices.
Construction involved 2,200m2 of concrete across the ground floor and first floor, 15 kilometres of electrical cabling, 410m2 of precast concrete tilt panels, and 1,465m2 of roofing. The largest aquarium is four metres in diameter and 250 metres high.
The makeover forms part of stage one of a three-stage revitalisation of the city’s waterfront, carried out under the banner of Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront, that also included the recent revitalisation of the Koombana foreshore.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said, “The Dolphin Discovery Centre redevelopment is a stellar example of the McGowan Government’s commitment to local content, creating jobs and work opportunities for local businesses.
“Having seen the benefits of State Government investment flow to local businesses during the construction period, the project is now set to boost the local tourism industry, creating a ripple effect to local businesses.
“We want visitors to come into the South-West, explore the new Dolphin Discovery Centre and make the most of having the country’s premier wild dolphin experience here in the South-West, and then check out what else the city and region have to offer.”
Bunbury MLA Don Punch said, “I am thrilled with the progress of the redevelopment of the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre and know the community is going to be amazed by this new facility when it opens to the public.
“This is a fantastic new asset for our community. It is an iconic building that will redefine architecture in public places in Bunbury. I think the Bunbury Tower now has some serious competition for the title of the most recognisable built landmark in our city.
“The Dolphin Discovery Centre will now be a world-class tourism attraction but just as importantly it will continue to provide an outstanding service to our local community.”