Bunbury recfishers are celebrating a long-awaited victory after the newly refurbished Bunbury Service Jetty was officially opened for public fishing today.
This morning, Recfishwest and Fishability joined WA Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Bunbury MLA Don Punch to open up public fishing access to Bunbury’s Outer Harbour.
Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell hailed the jetty’s opening as a wonderful result for Bunbury’s land-based anglers. Leyland said many Bunbury recfishers had been desperate for better fishing access since Koombana Bay’s iconic Bunbury Jetty was demolished in 2013.
“Fishers now have improved access to deep water to target herring, skippy, crabs and whiting from a great spot close to the city centre,” Leyland said.
“In the seven years, since the former jetty was removed, the South West recfishing community and Recfishwest have been vocal about creating new fishing access to replace what had been lost.
“Creating better fishing experiences and improved access to catch fish on man-made structures such as jetties like this remains one of Recfishwest’s key objectives.
“In this regard, the opening of the Bunbury Service Jetty is a win for the Bunbury recfishing community – but it is also a win for all WA recfishers, as it sets a good precedent for pursuing similar initiatives in other towns throughout the State.
“Credit also goes to the City of Bunbury and Southern Ports for their part in making this platform accessible to fishers.”
The unveiling comes after the State Government revealed in January it would honour an election commitment to refurbish the platform and allow fishing access.
An exciting new fishing program for people with disabilities
The jetty features wheelchair-accessible fishing spots, which has been welcomed by Fishability Chairperson Michael Donnelly.
Given the jetty caters for wheelchair accessibility, Mr Donnelly said the organisation would be able to establish a fishing program for people with disabilities living in Bunbury.
“We are very excited about the prospect of establishing a new program in Bunbury, which to date, has not been possible due to the lack of a suitable all-access site,” he said.
“The new Bunbury Harbour Fishing platform will be ideal for our activities, with ease of access for people using wheelchairs, and has fantastic fishing potential.”
Campaigning for better land-based fishing access for all
Over the years, recreational fishers have lost access to so many great fishing locations across the State. However, today’s announcement proves it is possible to regain access to our favourite fishing spots.
“So, while we celebrate this great development today – we will continue to work hard to ensure we will be celebrating many more like it in the not-too-distant future,” Leyland said.