Over $30 million will be spent upgrading Rottnest Island’s ageing water supply and road network to shore up the holiday hotspot’s infrastructure and plan for future growth.
Tourism to the Island has increased significantly in recent years, with visitation up 21 per cent from 2017 to 2019.
Increased efforts to sell the destination have included leveraging the ‘quokka selfie’ around the world, approving long-delayed accommodation projects and overseeing the opening of 17 new small businesses on the Island.
The Island’s first glamping offering, Discovery Rottnest Island, opened last year and new luxury resort, Samphire Rottnest, opens in October, with the high-end redevelopment of The Lodge set to begin in coming years.
The major water improvements will overhaul the Island’s drinking water network and wastewater system, which are under increased pressure from sustained visitor growth and increased business activity.
This includes replacing the ageing pipework, upgrading pump stations and overhauling the desalination plant to shore up both drinking water supply and firefighting capacity. The project begins later this year and will be completed by 2024.
The road upgrades will begin later this month and will see more than 10km of the Island’s roads resurfaced with over 47,000sqm of dense graded asphalt.
This will improve the road surface for the bus service, as well as improving cyclist and pedestrian amenity and increasing the life-span of the road network.
The State Government, through the Department of Transport’s Regional Airports Development Scheme, has also allocated over $15,000 for the purchase and installation of an Aerodrome Weather Information Broadcast system, which will provide pilots in the area with real-time weather information, helping improve safety at the airstrip.
The $31 million investment is in addition to the State Government’s $16.2 million funding over four years for maritime infrastructure upgrades at Rottnest Island, including reconstruction of the fuel jetty.
This brings the State Government’s infrastructure investment up to $47.2 million in the last three years, on top of recurrent capital funding.