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What we’re doing to ensure the island’s critical infrastructure meets future demands.

Strengthening the island’s infrastructure is essential to a sustainable future

Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) manages the infrastructure and related services that support Wadjemup / Rottnest Island, from generating and distributing the island’s power, to producing and distributing the drinking water. RIA also manage the wastewater treatment and reuse, gas supply, and gathering and disposing of all general and recyclable waste. 

In addition, RIA manage how visitors get around the island—the roads and shared pathways, the heritage railway, marine infrastructure, and the upkeep of buildings, heritage sites, and the aerodrome, as well as a large portion of the island’s accommodation options. 

This is all supported by a lead contractor, who manages the island's Facilities, Utilities and Support Services (FUSS) contract, and many other contractors who deliver operational responsibilities. 

Desalination Plant on Rottnest Island
Desalination Plant on Rottnest Island

Eight key initiatives to strengthen the infrastructure on Wadjemup

RIA recognises that the island’s important infrastructure is ageing. As part of the Rottnest Island Management Plan (RIMP) 2023-28, here are the key initiatives  to maintain and improve the infrastructure and services on the island, all designed to help meet increasing demands from visitors and businesses, and ensure Wadjemup has sustainable utilities for the next 20 years. 


Key initiatives

RIA has received funding from the State Government to upgrade renewable and electrical infrastructure. This financial support will help work toward delivering the Power Distribution Network Upgrade, with the aim to: 

  • Replace the existing wind turbine with newer, more efficient turbines; 
  • Install new battery storage capabilities; and
  • Phase out gas appliances where applicable.

This helps with the goals of: 

  • Powering Rottnest Island through 75 per cent renewable energy;
  • Boosting sustainability by reducing diesel emissions from the power station;
  • Reducing the island’s diesel fuel consumption by an estimated 40 per cent; and
  • Abating an estimated 4,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Increasing Rottnest Island’s renewable energy production supports the State Government’s Climate Policy, and helps work towards its reduced greenhouse emissions target. 

Key outcomes

  • Significantly increase renewable energy production capacity
  • Install a utility-scale battery storage solution
  • Create a more efficient and reliable power distribution network

Rottnest Island’s drinking water production and supply network is ageing, so one of the key initiatives is to upgrade this important infrastructure. By doing so, adequate drinking water and other services will be available for increasing volumes of local, interstate, and international visitors.  

RIA currently manages the Rottnest Island desalination plant, which supports a large portion of the island’s potable water sources. Future planning includes installing new water mains at settlement areas, and trial water refill stations at key island locations.  

Key outcomes

  • Upgrade the island’s drinking water distribution network and reduce leaks
  • Upgrade the ageing water production plant
  • Increase water production capacity to meet visitor and resident water demands for the next 20 years
  • Improve the island’s firefighting capability

There are currently 21 ablution facilities throughout the settlement and reserve. Looking forward, RIA are planning to replace, refurbish, or rationalise these facilities: to renew and refresh them where required, and improve access to each one. 

Upgrades have already been completed at a range of important areas across the island, and the next RIMP period focuses on facilities at Longreach Bay, Narrow Neck, and Digby Drive. 

Key outcomes

  • Upgrade ablution facilities at a variety of key island destinations
  • Upgrade island wastewater systems

The island’s main transport infrastructure includes approximately 40 km of sealed roads, stormwater drains and soak wells, unsealed tracks and fire trails, and concrete, sealed and unsealed footpaths and shared pathways. RIA partners with Main Roads Western Australia to maintain this network.

A key ongoing focus initiative is to create functional transport hubs that help to better distribute island visitors, and reduce bicycle, service car, and bus traffic at key island destination nodes. A service route road around the main settlement is planned to reduce vehicle traffic around the island’s main retail / shopping precinct, and relocating the light industrial zone to a proposed development area next to the aerodrome. 

Key outcomes

  • Improve road condition and safety for island visitors
  • Create a functional transport network to support island visitation and operations

Wadjemup is a favourite hotspot for Western Australia’s boating and sailing community. As such, high-quality marine infrastructure is vital. RIA is currently responsible for the construction, management, and operation of the island’s maritime structures, including a main operating commercial jetty, five recreational jetties, a commercial barge landing ramp, a rock groyne and associated boat ramp, and the newly constructed limestone seawall at South Thomson Bay. This will be an ongoing focus for the RIMP 2023-28. 

Key outcomes

  • Maintain the island’s maritime infrastructure to a high standard

Private boat owners make up a large proportion of visitors to the island. There are currently 842 private licensed moorings and over 1600 authorised users on the Shared Mooring System. Demand for the island’s private moorings far exceeds supply, with over 500 people currently on the waitlist. RIA also provide a further 47 offshore swing moorings, 23 beach pens, and 28 jetty pens for daily hire.

A key focus during this RIMP period will be to review the island’s Mooring Management System and policies. Solutions will be explored to address key mooring issues, examine the scope for new moorings, discuss mooring compliance, while ensuring the island’s marine environment isn’t adversely impacted. 

Key outcomes

  • Update mooring policies
  • Improve mooring management
  • Increase boat owner services and satisfaction
  • Improve public access to Shared Mooring System and rental moorings
  • Effectively manage any impacts to the marine ecosystem

We’re undertaking a new Facilities, Utilities and Support Services (FUSS) contract in October 2024. This new contract will approach a new commercial model, and with the creation of an improved visitor experience being the priority. To achieve this, we’re looking to procure new providers for our barge service and island staff ferry service for 2025, focusing on the quality, reliability, flexibility, and value of the services provided.

Key outcomes

  • New FUSS contract that delivers improved visitor experience and value for money
  • New barge and commuter ferry contracts

An Enterprise Asset Management System is in development, based on the Assetic platform, which will be customised to RIA’s specifications. The new system includes all assets, whether they’re managed and maintained under the FUSS contract or otherwise. Work on the system is well advanced, with the majority of asset data loaded and initiatives for key utilities and maritime assets already developed. 

Key outcomes

  • Improve management of the island’s assets