Major boost for Rottnest Island tourism

09 April 2019

Western Australia's iconic Rottnest Island is set for a major boost with the Liberal-National Government today announcing $17.2 million for vital infrastructure upgrades to help enhance the visitor experience and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Island.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Rottnest Island was a tourism jewel of WA and it was important the Island's infrastructure continued to keep pace with its increasing popularity as a tourist destination.

"Rottnest Island has seen a huge surge in visitor numbers in recent years with over 770 000 people visiting the Island last year alone," Minister Birmingham said.

"It's a major drawcard for both domestic and international visitors given the wide variety of experiences on offer, natural beauty and wildlife, world-class beaches and rich Aboriginal cultural and heritage.

"Rottnest well and truly stands as an iconic tourist location that is etched into the memory of millions of people who have visited the Island over the years and we want to ensure future visitors also have an incredible time on the Island for decades down the track.

"Whilst its increasing popularity is great news for Western Australian tourism, the Island needs to be able to cope with large increases in visitor numbers in a way that preserves the natural environment and showcases the Islands rich Indigenous heritage and history.

"That's why vital upgrades to the Island's jetties, wharves, signage and walking tracks, as well as enhancements to the Rottnest Museum will help ensure the quality of the visitor experience remains at the highest level.

"A booming Rottnest Island means more tourists to Western Australia who also splash their cash in Perth's shops and restaurants and who travel north and south to regional parts of the state.

"We know tourism is a major contributor to the WA economy with domestic and international visitors spending a whopping $9.6 billion last year, injecting billions into regional areas and that's why the Liberal-National Government is backing the state through investment in vital tourism infrastructure."

This funding has been endorsed by the Tourism Council WA and will be delivered through the Rottnest Island Authority. The funding allocation includes:

  • $12.2 million for sustainable visitor infrastructure: Upgrades of island visitor facilities including jetties, wharves, piers, roads, sun shelters, walking trails signage and existing lighthouse and railway
  • $5 million for Rottnest Island Museum: The development of an improved Rottnest Island Museum experience including enhanced facilities, curation and interpretation.

This announcement is part of the Liberal-National Government's $50 million National Tourism Icons package announced in the Budget for vital tourism infrastructure and upgrades at iconic destinations across Australia.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555