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Breaking down Bunbury’s revamped waterfront

By Kevin Kelly

Bunbury is one of the most rapidly developing areas of Western Australia. While the tourism industry has, and will continue to be an integral part of the city's importance and commercial output, new developments on a range of different fronts are targeted at broadening the economic importance of WA's 'south-west capital'. These range from residential projects right through to revamped infrastructure, and the keen-eyed investors out there will be looking to buy property in Bunbury as an investment for the long-term. 

Of all these different developments, it's undoubtedly the expansion of Bunbury's waterfront that holds the greatest potential for massively changing the city on a number of fronts. Bunbury is already an important port for importing and exporting goods, with coal a significant factor in the city's GDP. The project is about far more than commerce though, impacting everything from new homes to commercial centres.

Bunbury's waterfront plays a key role in the city's unique personality.

The Bunbury waterfront: Stage 1

Funding for the first stage of Bunbury's waterfront expansion was approved back in August 2011, with work expected to begin later this year. With the state government contributing more than $20million to the venture, it's clear that Bunbury holds an important place in the future of Western Australia, despite being smaller than Perth and Mandurah. Stage 1 involves two distinct areas –  Koombana North and Marlston North. 

Each of these focal points will receive a complete renovation, with the foreshore in particular a key target. Thanks to the likes of new boardwalks, dedicated barbecue areas and viewing platforms, the waterfront will look completely different by the end of the development, providing a new place for Bunbury's residents to spend their lazy Sunday afternoons. To compliment this, there will be new residential and commercial areas too, with plenty of cafes dotted along the stunning coast. 

The waterfront will look completely different by the end of the development.

The effects and future of the waterfront

The first effect that this development will have on the property market of Bunbury – aside from an exciting new addition to the city – will be an increase in the value in the suburbs closest to the revamped waterfront. Real estate in East Bunbury, for example, is particularly close to Koombana, and many parts of the suburb will be within easy walking distance to the new areas. 

Of course, the plans for developing the port and waterfront don't end with Stage 1. The second part of the project received funding in June 2016, and will approach Casuarina Drive, BP Beach/Foreshore and the Jetty Road causeway. Speaking after the announcement, Bunbury mayor Gary Brennan reiterated that "we are a complete community with services second to none and all aspects of living catering for residents from cradle to their final resting place".

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