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Rottnest Island Barge

South Thomson Barge Landing Consultation

Consultation is now open for the proposed development of a new barge operations area at the Army Groyne.

Rottnest Island Authority own and operate a range of marine infrastructure on Rottnest Island which serve multiple purposes.

The major fixed marine infrastructure includes:​

  • Main Jetty
  • Fuel Jetty
  • Army Groyne

The Rottnest Island Management Plan 2023-28 identifies the need to redevelop the Army Groyne to alleviate increasing demand for commercial marine and barge services at the Main Jetty.

It is proposed to develop the Army Groyne to create a new barge operations area. The project outcomes are:

  • Relocation of critical barging operations from the Main Jetty.
  • New ferry berth.
  • New back up fuelling facilities.
  • Undercover storage facilities.


A dedicated barge operational area, located at the Army Groyne will:​

  • Reduce overlapping activities taking place at the Main Jetty.​
  • Reduce risk associated with a single-entry point to the island.​
  • Reduce interaction between vehicles and visitors at the Main Jetty.
  • Increase amenity at the entry point to the island.​
  • Allow for expansion to meet the growing demands of businesses and visitors.

RIA will be submitting the project to the relevant environmental authorities for formal environmental assessment under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This consultation forms part of the environmental approval process.

The project is being designed and will be constructed with appropriate avoidance, mitigation and management measures to reduce environmental impacts where possible. ​The RIA are developing a number of management plans, which will be in place to support the project:​

  • Construction Environmental Management Plan​​
  • Dredging and Spoil Disposal Management Plan​
  • Marine Environmental Quality Monitoring and Management Plan​

These plans are not yet complete but will be part of the formal submission to relevant authorities.

How to submit your feedback

The consultation period will close at 5 pm on Friday 19 April 2024.

Frequently asked questions

Feedback can be emailed to  [email protected] or posted to Rottnest Island Authority, PO Box 693 Fremantle WA 6959.

The consultation period will close at 5 pm on Friday 19 April 2024.

Relocating the barge operations provides a safer and more appealing entry to Rottnest Island for visitors arriving on the ferry. The barge and its associated operations now require more space to effectively meet the growing demands of visitors and island businesses.

There is no confirmed timeframe for actual works to begin, and any works are dependent on environmental approvals. Should the project progress, an estimated timeline is for works to begin in 2025.

Technical studies have been undertaken to determine the extent of temporary and permanent impacts to the marine environment.

Permanent impacts to the marine environment:

  • Removal of 2.39 hectares of seagrass.
  • Removal of marine fauna habitats due to dredging and construction.​
  • Increased light emissions.​
  • Increased risk of introduced marine species.
  • Increased risk of pollution incidents.​
  • Increased vessel collision risk.
  • Minor changes to coastal processes, i.e. sediment and wrack movement.

Temporary impacts to the marine environment during construction:

  • Increased turbidity.​
  • Increased sedimentation / suspended solids within the water.​
  • Decrease in light availability.​
  • Elevated underwater increase in noise (proposed construction methodology means impacts are unlikely to be significant).

Download a map of the marine environment impact (1.6MB PDF)

Download a map of the marine fauna impact (2MB PDF)

Up to 0.25 hectares of native vegetation will be cleared. The vegetation is categorised as forest and woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain, and is listed as critically endangered at a state level. Studies within the area have indicated that no conservation significant species are within the project footprint.

Permanent impacts to the terrestrial environment:

  • Permanent removal of 0.25 hectares of native vegetation (Melaleuca Woodland) and terrestrial fauna habitat.
  • Relocation of the boat ramp.

Download a map of the Terrestrial Vegetation Impact (1.9MB PDF)

Wadjemup is of deep cultural and spiritual significance to all Aboriginal people. The area within the project footprint has been surveyed and no Aboriginal cultural heritage sites or material has been found within this area. Consultation with Traditional Owners is being undertaken.

There is potential that some moorings will need to be relocated within close proximity. RIA will notify any impacted license holders.

Yes, an area of approximate 1.13 hectares will be dredged around the existing Army Groyne.

Download the Dredge Plume Modelling Assessment (149KB PDF)

The Army Groyne is not listed under statutory heritage listing, but is deemed historically significant and classified as a "heritage building". Parts of the existing groyne will form the foundations of the proposed development.

RIA is looking into options for the safe management of recreational fishers and beachgoers in and around the proposed barge operations area. It is RIA's intention to maintain public access to appropriate areas. The outcome of the public access assessment will be incorporated into the final design.

RIA will be submitting the project to the relevant environmental authorities for formal environmental assessment under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservations Act 1999. The consultation forms part of the environmental approval process.

All feedback will be reviewed, and a summary of feedback will be published on the website. Please note responses will not be provided to individual feedback.
The consultation period will be open for four weeks, closing at 5 pm on Friday 29 March 2024. Following this, all feedback will be reviewed and collated for the purpose of progressing the environmental approval process.