Rotto’s financial woes focus of five-year plan

Plenty of public feedback is expected regarding the Rottnest Island Management Plan.
Plenty of public feedback is expected regarding the Rottnest Island Management Plan.

Mr Driscoll said that after the June 6 comment period deadline, independent research firm TNS Global would provide a summary of the comments for consideration by the RIA executive and board that would then submit a final RIMP to the minister for approval.

Tourism Minister Liza Harvey said finances had been a challenge for Rottnest for some time.

‘For many years the Rottnest Island Authority has struggled to maintain the buildings, infrastructure and essential services needed. We need to explore new ways to provide financial viability so we can preserve our generation’s favourite holiday destination,’ Ms Harvey said.

Mr Driscoll said the 20-year Master Plan was the most significant aspect of the 2014-19 RIMP as it provided a blueprint for the development of the Island.

‘It provides the RIA with clear directions on where future utilities will be located, what new pathways will be built and what materials will be used,’ he said.

‘It will enable potential investors to submit proposals for development that have prior endorsement by the community and Government.

‘However, all developments will be subject to the RIA’s Development Planning Guidelines to ensure their appropriateness for the island.’

Rottnest Volunteer Guides Association President Ted Zappara said the group would make a submission after a briefing from the RIA at the end of the month.

Mr Zappara said personally, he believed the RIMP was positive progress for the island.

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk said some elements of the draft plan made sense.

‘Currently accommodation on Rottnest is considered too expensive for many families,’ Ms McGurk said.

‘I question whether privatisation of accommodation will result in more affordable options.’

See Opinion page 9