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The Western Australian Government is investing over $30 million to upgrade Rottnest Island’s infrastructure, including an overhaul to aging water supply pipework, pump stations and desalination plants.

The major water improvements will overhaul the island’s drinking water network which is under increased pressure from sustained visitor growth and increased business activity.

This includes replacing the aging pipework, upgrading pump stations and overhauling the desalination plant to shore up both drinking water supply and firefighting capacity. 

The project is set to begin in late-2020, and will be completed by 2024.

Western Australian Tourism Minister, Paul Papalia, said, “These projects represent the biggest infrastructure investment Rottnest Island has ever seen.

“We have worked hard over the last three years to elevate Rottnest to the status of a true tourism icon for Western Australia, with the quokka selfie among our efforts to market the island paradise to the world.

“Attracting record visitor numbers is great for the state’s tourism industry, but it has put pressure on the island’s water supply.

“This investment will allow us to plan for future tourism growth and business activity. We are firmly focused on increasing accommodation, hospitality, experience and tour options on the island, while preserving its natural wonders.

“With this latest initiative, the McGowan Government has now invested almost $50 million towards Rottnest Island in major infrastructure projects alone.” 

The investment will also include road upgrades, which will begin in late August 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 cyclists and pedestrians, and increase the life-span of the road network.

Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “This investment in the island’s roads will ensure safer, easier access for residents as well as improving the visitor experience for the 700,000-plus tourists visiting the island each year.

 “There may be some disruption for visitors while works are ongoing – however long term they will help improve the amenity of the island. 

“The installation of the aerodrome’s new weather broadcast system is so important for aircraft using the airstrip, improving aircraft safety, particularly between dusk and dawn. 

“Currently pilots have to call up on their mobiles to get the latest weather but this new system means pilots can automatically be updated on weather conditions via radio, while they are in the air.”

The 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.

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