Proposal could switch off lighthouse at Bathurst Point on Rottnest Island

Proposal could switch off lighthouse at Bathurst Point on Rottnest Island

THE light at the Bathurst Point lighthouse on Rottnest Island could be switched off in a reduction of some of the ageing aids to boating navigation in WA.

“Informal discussions with local marine and fishing groups in each location indicates the aids are no longer required for safe navigation and could be decommissioned,” Department of Transport navigational safety manager Mark Briant said.

The 19m, 1900-built limestone lighthouse was erected after several shipwrecks, including the City of York in 1899, and it overlooks Pinkies Beach near the island’s former pilot board station.

The light operates automatically after being converted to electricity in 1986, but its original lamp and light were originally intended for use at Cape Leeuwin.

It is not open to the public, but does house staff of the Rottnest Island Board.

Mr Briant said it was proposed only to decommission the structure’s light and the historic building would be kept for heritage.

Modern navigation devices have been installed around the island.

“In recent times the department has enhanced navigation around Rottnest Island with upgrades and new installations especially around the north eastern and eastern ends of the island where the bulk of boating and on-water activities take place,” Mr Briant said.

The proposed decommissioning is part of other changes to the 1300 navigation aids in WA, including turning off the 1926 rear lead light at Onslow and the Babbage Island light at Carnarvon.

Skippers can comment on all the potential changes at www.transport.wa.gov.au/navigationaids until November 21.