The Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury, Western Australia, has been saved from financial troubles with a $1.5 million funding package from the state government. 

This decision comes after the tourist attraction faced significant challenges, including the resignations of several board members and its chief executive. The center also suffered difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic like staff shortages and high supply costs.

Dolphin Discovery Centre Overcomes Financial Woes, Gets $1.5 Million Boost from Government
Dolphin Discovery Centre in Western Australia
(Photo : Screenshot image taken from the official website of Dolphin Discovery Centre)

Dolphin Discovery Centre Receives $1.5 Million From State Government

Regional Development Minister Don Punch announced that the funds would help the centre pay off its debts and continue to operate sustainably. He emphasized that the Dolphin Discovery Centre is not only beloved by the community but also an important draw for tourists visiting Bunbury. 

The centre, known for allowing public interaction and feeding of wild dolphins, is one of only two places in WA licensed to do so.

The funding is split into two parts. According to Australian Broadcasting Corporation, about $500,000 will go towards maintaining the large facility, which has been a challenge to manage. 

The remaining $800,000 is an immediate injection to cover financial liabilities and provide working capital for the upcoming winter season. Additional support is expected as the centre prepares for the busier summer months.

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An advisory group led by the South West Development Commission will oversee the management to ensure the responsible use of taxpayer money. Minister Punch expressed confidence in the future operations of the Dolphin Discovery Centre, noting that Bunbury is an ideal place for dolphin sightings and interactions. 

He praised the efforts of the centre's board and receivers in creating a sensible plan to secure its future. The community and visitors are encouraged to support the centre as it embarks on this new chapter.

RSM Takes Charge at Dolphin Discovery Centre

The Dolphin Discovery Centre (DDC), a well-known tourist spot in Bunbury, Western Australia, is now under the administration of RSM, a professional services firm. This action comes as the centre struggles with financial pressures worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely affected the tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as high supply costs and a lack of staff.

Established from the longstanding relationship between locals and the Bottlenose dolphins since the 1960s, the DDC has been a conservation and research hub where visitors could interact closely with dolphins. Despite the current challenges, the centre will keep running mostly as usual. revealed last month that Greg Dudley, Jerome Mohen, and Travis Kukura of RSM are leading the restructuring efforts. They are conducting a thorough review of the centre's operations but have planned only minor changes, like alterations to the centre's restaurant service.

Mohen highlighted the community's connection to the DDC, appreciating the ongoing support from many volunteers. The team from RSM is coordinating with various stakeholders to restructure the centre's funding and operations to ensure its sustainability.

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