Dear Madam / Sir,
I am writing to you to bring to your attention a breach of the Fair Description in Advertising Act (1987, amended 2005) in relation to the Jetty at Busselton. Said jetty is advertised as follows: “Busselton – the friendly town is backdrop to the glorious Busselton Jetty. Extending two kilometers from shore, the jetty is the longest timber pier in the Southern Hemisphere. It has been full restored after a battering from Cyclone Alby in 1978. While the jetty is used for commercial operations including light ship loading, the jetty is open to the public.”
The jetty may indeed be constructed of timber, it is indeed located in Busselton. Beyond that it isn’t, it wasn’t, and you can’t. The jetty has more pieces missing than a pub jigsaw puzzle. Our plans to walk to the end and enjoy our packed lunch were thwarted by the solid steel gate erected across the jetty, preventing access to all but the burliest of jetty-repairers. Moored alongside the crippled structure was a gargantuan construction barge, which was hammering new creosote soaked timbers into the sand with hydraulic efficiency.
While the workings of the hydraulic ram was exciting to my young boy (boys do after all love machinery), and the sight of the Bonds singlet clad workers, muscles rippling and skin a deep bronze excited my wife, I was left coldly unimpressed. It was necessary to remove both said members of my family to a safe distance, where they could cool their overheated interest in the workings of the erection.
To make maters worse, the sorry state of the Busselton Jetty is clearly no surprise to locals. You can imagine our confusion as we arrived into the small, coastal town, packed lunch at the ready and walking boots firmly laced for our 4km treck (2 kms out and 2 back in). All we could see however was a gapped and decidedly dodgy looking pier (which I may add doesn’t even look two kilometers long on the best of days). Confused, I asked two young local lasses who where exiting their car to have a quick elicit seaside lunch, fag and gossip break. In answer to my question “Are we in Busselton? We’re looking for the Southern Hemisphere’s longest timber jetty?” they replied “Yeah. That’s it over there. Been stuffed for ages. They don’t advertise that its stuffed though so the tourists don’t know.”
There you have it! Proof positive that the claims of the Busselton Tourism Board are nothing but a pack of Mrs. Mac’s Famous Meat Pies (which, while I have your attention, I question aren’t as famous as Mrs. Mac claims – I for one have NEVER heard of them!).
Busselton Tourism Board is clearly luring unsuspecting and well intentioned tourists on the blatantly false premise that the town is home to the Southern Hemisphere’s longest timber jetty. If I maybe so bold to say (as a newly repatriated Aussie), this is a right load of Dingo’s Giblets.
Sydney may indeed have its Circular Quay.
Gladstone may have its Pier.
Busselton sir, has nothing but the dark stain of civic shame casting a pall over its clear ocean waters.