$150m upgrades for Rottnest Island, focus on staff accommodation and barge operations

Rottnest Island Town Centre
Home >Explore >$150m upgrades for Rottnest Island, focus on staff accommodation and barge operations

After almost 800,000 people visited Wadjemup/Rottnet Island by ferry alone in 2023, it’s safe to say Perth’s little island getaway is only going to get more popular in years and generations to come.

With that increase in popularity comes increased concerns about just how much it actually costs to visit, something the WA Government says they have front of mind when announcing their latest rounds of investments into the iconic tourism destination.

Over the weekend Labor announced a $150.5 million investment into the island as part of the 2024-25 State Budget, “to ensure the island paradise continues to meet visitor expectations and future operational needs.”

That investment will primarily go towards infrastructure upgrades to boost staff accommodation, upgrade wastewater infrastructure, airport improvements and a new barge operations area.

“A vital part of the success of any tourism destination are the businesses that operate around it,” said Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti over the weekend.

“We know that increasing staff accommodation for local businesses on Rottnest Island will only further support them to grow and provide better services to visitors, while also strengthening the island’s economy.”

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$98.5 million of the investment will go towards planning and development of new staff accomm for island businesses, in the process helping them attract staff, operate outside of ferry times, and open up more accommodation around the island to the public.

“Of course, we’re also focused on improving operations to provide that seamless experience for visitors, which is why we’re allocating nearly $32m to relocate barge and freight operations from the Main Jetty to South Thomson Bay,” added Ms Saffioti.

The final $4 million will go towards resurfacing Rottnest Airport runway, and installing perimeter fencing.

“Rottnest Island is a globally recognised tourism destination for WA. To continue meeting the increasing popularity of the island, it’s essential we invest in infrastructure to support island operations and safety.”

Image Credit: Perth is OK!