Busselton Jetty Inc.
The operation of the Busselton Jetty is managed by a community run not for profit organisation, Busselton Jetty Inc, formerly the Busselton Jetty Environment and Conservation Association (BJECA).
Formed in October 1987 as the Busselton Jetty Preservation Committee, Busselton Jetty Inc has been successfully raising funds and implementing initiatives for the Jetty for over 35 years. Without the dedication and passion of this voluntary committee and its community members, the Jetty would not be the tourism icon that it is today.
In 1972 shipping ceased and the Jetty quickly deteriorated due to wood borers, rot and the occasional fire. On 4 April, 1978, Cyclone Alby swept down the coast destroying a significant amount of the Jetty. Government of the day then wanted to demolish the Jetty locals didn’t want this to happen and rallied together to raise more than $9 million dollars in 28 years, this was done by markets and charging an entry fee on to the jetty which is still done today.
The lack of government support encouraged the Busselton people to preserve the Jetty for posterity. Many donation attempts were made such as the selling of old Jetty timber, Jetty cookbooks and ‘Jetty maids’. Along with donations the Jetty also received a little financial support from the Busselton Shire unfortunately these funds were not sufficient enough to repair the promenade Jetty. The promenade Jetty was fully removed in 1984 and focus was placed on the restoration of the remaining Jetty.
After a survey by the Busselton people it was showed that 90% of the Busselton people wanted to preserve the remaining Jetty and that 56% wanted the whole Jetty to be retained. It was the demand of the people that established the Busselton Jetty Preservation Committee (now known as the Busselton Jetty Environmental Conservation Society, BJECA) who would be responsible for fundraising and repairing the Jetty.
In the first year the committee received $500,000 from the State Government. The first major work then began on the Jetty in 1990 when a 250 metre section was replaced. It was estimated that a further $1.5 million was required to replace the remaining rotten timbers. The community of Busselton then pulled together and began further fundraising attempts. Fundraising included a daily entry fee onto the Jetty between 9am and 9pm, the donate-a-pile public appeal, concert balls and Jetty Markets.
The most appealing fundraiser to tourists was the Jetty train which began trips along the Jetty in 1995. Manned by volunteers the Jetty train became a very good fundraising tool for BJECA. After fundraising $2 million BJECA experienced a setback as a fire destroyed a 70 metre portion of the Jetty. Receiving only a small portion of the damage bill from insurance, the Jetty once again began to fundraise. A very generous anonymous donation was made to the Jetty of $100,000.
In 2009 $27.1 million was funded to complete a refurbishment on the jetty structure. $24 million was funded by the Western Australian State Government and the remaining $3.1 million was jointly funded by the City of Busselton and BJECA.
After many setbacks and fundraising appeals, BJECA and the community of Busselton have built an Interpretive Centre as well as a rare Underwater Observatory, the Jetty Train is once again operational and the jetty is now fully refurbished. All proceeds from visitation to the Busselton Jetty go directly to the jetty’s ongoing maintenance and enhancement of this iconic structure.
Today The Busselton Jetty is a popular tourist attraction and attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year.
The Busselton Jetty is a monument to the spirit and dedication of the Busselton Community.