Bunbury Mail editor looks back on 2018

It is crazy to think another year is about to end. As soon as Bunbury was introduced to 2018 big things were happening.

Including when a 66-year-old woman was taken to hospital after being injured by a fireworks display.

A similar incident then occurred at the annual Australia Day celebrations.

There was something to celebrate in February as the City of Bunbury’s pride and joy – the Koombana Bay Foreshore redevelopment was opened.

The multi-million dollar foreshore has since won awards and is a popular spot for family gatherings and events.

After years of waiting, planning and construction, the bridge between Australind and Eaton was opened to drivers.

I remember when funding was first announced for this project by the then transport minister Troy Buswell during the 2012 state election. 

In June, The Bunbury Mail uncovered there was more than 40 shops in the CBD empty. 

I think it’s safe to say that there are more shops in the CBD than a few months ago, but I don’t think the problem has fixed itself.

It has been hard not to notice the discontent amongst Shire of Capel residents this year. It started with the objection of the proposed GreenPatch development in Dalyellup with residents concerned about the development being so close to the former Cristal Global mine site.

The shire did reject the proposal and it still sits with the WA Planning Commission.

Then rate time came along and the shire had proposed to change to a single rate in the dollar system which would have seen some ratepayers incur a 28.63 per cent increase.

The shire didn’t vote this change in.

The council then approved money to go towards legal fees on behalf of the shire president and former chief executive officer which would see some residents issued with concern notices which is the first step under the Defamation Act.

After 30 years of planning the Bunbury Outer Ring Road stepped up a notch when the federal government confirmed funding for the project in April.

While the politicians were celebrating, what was to come surely leaves the project in doubt with residents, businesses and environmentalists concerned about the impact and necessity of the road.

It will be very interesting to see how this major piece of infrastructure will play out next year, as the result will transform the region – whether for good or bad.