THE WEST Australian Department of Transport has awarded a $69.2 million contract to rejuvenate Bunbury’s Casuarina Boat Harbour as a regional marine hub.

The biggest infrastructure contract ever awarded by DoT is for the construction of a new northern breakwater that will support new commercial and recreational boat pens and service wharf.

According to a State Government media release the works will create a harbour capable of sustaining a future marine servicing precinct incorporating boat lifting, boat servicing and boat storage, plus opportunities for serviced lease sites for other marine commercial activities.

Dredging will begin in August, to prepare the foundation footprint and clear the entrance channel to the reconfigured harbour.

Construction will follow of a 460-metre-long northern breakwater requiring about 89,000 tonnes of armour rock and 435,000 tonnes of core rock to be transported to site.

Skippers navigating the harbour need to be aware of the special arrangements when dredging begins.

The release said the breakwater will create sheltered harbour waters, underpinning the rejuvenation of the harbour as a regional hub for the marine industry.

A joint venture between Western Australian-based and owned companies WA Limestone Contracting and Italia Stone Group has been contracted to construct the new breakwater.  .

The works form part of the wider 3.1 Stage of Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront, which is supported with $78.1 million from the state government.

Regional Development Minister and Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the development of the waterfront was part of a plan to develop the coastal city as a regionally significant marine industry hub.

“The breakwater is the key piece of critical infrastructure needed to create sheltered waters and facilitate a marine industry hub, attracting new investment in marine commercial activities and support jobs creation. It is game-changing for Bunbury,” Minister Punch said.

The initial concept for the development came in 2015 and since then has been overseen by the South West Development Commission, working in partnership with Department of Transport, DevelopmentWA, City of Bunbury and Southern Ports.