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Rottnest

Island
Management Plan 2003-2008
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008
Table of Contents

Foreword 2 CHARTS

PART A. BACKGROUND Chart 1 Rottnest Island Reserve 5


Chart 2 Unvested Lands on Rottnest Island 9
1. Introduction 4
Chart 3 Terrestrial Zoning Scheme 21
2. Development of the Plan 7
Chart 4 Settlement Planning Scheme 24
3. Format of the Plan 8
4. Definition of the Area 9 FIGURES
5. Policy Context 10
Figure 1 4
6. Roles and responsibilities of Western Australian 12
Rottnest Island Authority Organisation Structure
Government Bodies
Figure 2 62
PART B. MANAGEMENT PLANNING Total Number of Visitors to Rottnest Island Arriving by
Commercial Ferry or Aircraft (1997/98 - 2001/2)
1. Introduction 16
Figure 3 62
2. Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement Planning Scheme 18
Occupancy of Rottnest Island Accommodation per Month
3. Terrestrial Environment 32
1996/97 - 2001/2)
4. Marine Environment 42
5. Cultural Heritage 50 TABLES
6. Holiday and Recreation Services and Facilities 61
Table 1 Activities and Developments Permitted in 20
7. Marine Recreation and Facilities 78
the Rottnest Island Terrestrial Zones
8. Community Involvement and Relations 88
Table 2 Rottnest Island Landscaping Materials 30
9. Visitor Support Services 90
Table 3 Rottnest Island Vegetation Types 38
10. Infrastructure and Utilities 93
Table 4 Marine Habitats of Rottnest Island 42
PART C. IMPLEMENTATION Table 5 Accommodation Charges 68
Table 6 Summary of Recreational Mooring Trial System 83
1. Introduction 101
2. Legislation 102 APPENDICES
3. Research 103
Appendix 1 110
4. Resources and Funding 104
Principles Guiding the Development of the
5. Implementation 105
Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement Planning Scheme
6. Review and Public Reporting 106
Appendix 2 111
Implementation Timelines and Responsibilities
References 108

Acknowledgements 129

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Foreword

organisations and the public sector.


Foreward

Overwhelmingly, we have heard that


you, the community of Western
Australia, want your Island to retain its
unique style, to be managed effectively
and sustainably, so it can be enjoyed by
future generations of visitors - just as
you have enjoyed it.

Recommendations contained within


the Management Plan demonstrate the
Rottnest Island Authority’s
commitment to maintaining the Island’s
environmental, social and economic
values for the coming five years.
Rottnest Island is fondly regarded as a
special place by the many Western I would like to acknowledge the Board
Australians, and visitors from interstate Members and staff of the Rottnest
and overseas, who go there for the day, Island Authority, for their vision and
or an extended stay. commitment in guiding the
development of the Plan through
There are a lot of different reasons why
various stages, to its completion.
people visit Rottnest Island. These
include relaxing in a coastal setting; I would also like to thank each person
enjoying its scenic natural beauty; and organisation that responded to the
taking part in a special event; carrying Draft Management Plan. Your active
out a research project or participating in participation has enabled a Plan to be
a conservation initiative. These produced that will serve the broader
different areas of interest reflect the community well over the next five years.
wide range of people who enjoy
Rottnest Island’s facilities and services,
and who want to ensure it is effectively
The Hon. Clive Brown MLA
managed into the future.
Minister for Tourism
These different interests and viewpoints
were an important consideration for the
process involved in compiling the
Rottnest Island Management Plan
2003-2008. Following the release of a
Draft Management Plan in June 2002,
the Rottnest Island Authority received
more than 700 submissions from
individuals, community groups, private

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Part A. Background
1. Introduction 4
2. Development of the Plan 7
3. Format of the Plan 8
4. Definition of the Area 9
5. Policy Context 10
6. Roles and Responsibilities of Western Australian
Government Bodies 12

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

1. Introduction

1.1 BRIEF DESCRIPTION body to control and manage the Island, • a person experienced in preserving
Part A. Background

reporting to the Minister for Tourism. buildings of historic value;


Rottnest Island is one of the most popular
The Act gives the Authority the power • a person with sound commercial
recreation and holiday destinations for
to control and manage the Island for the experience; and
Western Australian families, and is also
following purposes: • a person who is a regular user of the
a popular destination for interstate and
• to provide and operate recreational Island for recreational purposes.
international visitors. Approximately
and holiday facilities on the Island;
500,000 people visit Rottnest Island The Chief Executive Officer of the
• to protect the flora and fauna of the
every year. Authority is appointed under the
Island; and
Public Sector Management Act 1994
Rottnest Island is located on the southwest • to maintain and protect the natural
and is responsible for the
coast of Western Australia at latitude environment and the man-made
administration, subject to the control
32º00 S and longitude 115º30 E, 18 resources of the Island and, to the
of the Authority, of the day-to-day
kilometres west of Fremantle. It lies in an extent that the Authority’s resources
operations and management of the
approximately east-west orientation, is allow, repair its natural environment.
Island. The Chief Executive Officer is
11 kilometres long and less than 5
The Authority consists of a Chairman supported in these operations by a
kilometres wide at its widest point. It is
appointed by the Governor on the staff of 117 people, which may vary in
an A-Class Reserve declared under the
nomination of the Minister for Tourism response to seasonal requirements.
Land Administration Act 1997.
and five other members appointed by Rottnest Island Authority staff are
The boundary of the Rottnest Island the Governor, also on the nomination of managed under three directorates:
Reserve (the Reserve) contains the the Minister. The Minister for Tourism Conservation and Planning;
terrestrial component of the Island itself also appoints a Deputy Chairman. Tourist Services; and Business
and the surrounding sea (refer Chart 1- Services, as illustrated in
Members are appointed so that not less
Rottnest Island Reserve). The Figure 1 - Rottnest Island
than one member is:
terrestrial area is approximately 1859 Authority Organisation Structure.
• a person experienced in conserving
hectares in area, containing 200
the environment;
hectares of classified ‘Settlement’ area
and 200 hectares of salt lakes and Figure 1: Rottnest Island Authority Organisation Structure
swamps. The marine portion of the
Chief Executive Officer
Reserve constitutes approximately 3810
hectares of sea surrounding the Island Marketing and Communications

and includes several smaller Islands and


Director Director Director
exposed rocks adjacent to its coast. Conservation and Planning Tourist Services Business Services

1.2 ROTTNEST ISLAND AUTHORITY Environment Visitor Services Contract Management

Planning and Projects Accommodation Services Lease Management


1.2.1 Organisation Structure
and Powers Heritage Mooring Services Finance

Risk Management Human Resources


The Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987
(the Act) creates the Rottnest Island Ranger Services Information Services

Authority (the Authority) as a statutory Education and


Interpretation Services

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Chart 1: Rottnest Island Reserve

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

1.3 ROTTNEST ISLAND Fifteen strategies have been adopted to 1.4 FINANCIAL POSITION
Part A. Background

STRATEGIC PLAN meet these goals in line with the mission


The financial provisions of the Rottnest
and vision. These strategies are:
The Authority operates under the Island Authority Act 1987 (the Act) are
• Conserve and protect the unique framed in the expectation that the
guidance of its Strategic Plan which
Rottnest Island ethos; Authority is self-sufficient. In other
incorporates the organisation’s vision, words, sufficient revenue is to be
• Base decision-making processes on
mission, goal and strategies. This generated from operations to meet
customer needs;
Rottnest Island Management Plan expenses. The organisation’s financial
• Provide equitable access to the
(RIMP) gives detail and specific results are reported in Annual Reports.
Rottnest Island holiday experience;
initiatives to the directions and priorities Financial pressures experienced by the
• Provide enjoyable holiday and
articulated in the Strategic Plan. The Authority over many years have caused
recreational experiences;
Rottnest Island Strategic Plan may be loans to be raised that are now in the
• Preserve and enhance the amenity of
viewed on the Authority’s website process of being repaid. These loan
Rottnest Island;
www.rottnest.wa.gov.au repayments have added to the financial
• Manage the impact of natural pressures and losses in recent years.
1.3.1 Vision processes and human activity to
protect and conserve the Island’s 1.5 STATUTORY BASIS AND TERM
The vision Rottnest: Forever Magic, natural and built environments; OF THE ROTTNEST ISLAND
reflects the community’s wish that the • Work with the Western Australian MANAGEMENT PLAN
unique Rottnest Island experience be community to ensure that Rottnest
The Act directs that the Rottnest Island
preserved for future generations of Island’s heritage is understood
Authority control and manage the
Western Australians. and protected; Island in accordance with a Management
• Provide affordable options for Plan. The Management Plan is a gazetted
1.3.2 Mission
Western Australian families to stay statutory document that directs the
on Rottnest Island; Authority in its management over a
The mission is:
period of five years.
‘Rottnest Island provides holidays for • Promote the active participation of all
Western Australians and other visitors visitors in the protection of the The Act directs the Authority to review
while sustaining the Island’s natural Island’s natural and cultural heritage; each Management Plan in terms of its
• Provide information and education ability to meet the statutory purposes of
environment and unique heritage.’
the Reserve, no later than five years
services that promote knowledge of the
1.3.3 Goals & Strategies after its approval. Based on the review
unique Rottnest Island environment;
of the Plan, the Authority may determine
• Secure a resource base for Rottnest to reinstate the existing Plan without
The Authority has three goals:
Island operations; amendment, amend the existing Plan, or
• Rottnest Island provides a unique
• Align services provided by the Business develop a new Management Plan.
holiday experience that is accessible to
Community with the strategic goals
Western Australians and other visitors; A review of the Rottnest Island
of the Authority and the Rottnest ethos; Management Plan 1997-2002 indicated
• Rottnest Island’s environment and
• Develop, operate and maintain Island that the development of a new
heritage are conserved and enhanced
services on a sustainable basis; Management Plan was required.
as a model of sustainability;
• Build on the contribution of volunteers
• The Authority conducts its business In accordance with the Act, the Rottnest
to the Rottnest Island experience; and Island Management Plan 2003-2008
responsibly and in a way that is
• Develop Rottnest Island in consultation contains a statement of policies and a
sustainable and beneficial to the Island.
with the community and stakeholders. summary of the operations
recommended to be undertaken.

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2. Development of the Plan

The methodology adopted to develop PHASE 1 - Review of Previous Administration Office. The availability of
the Rottnest Island Management Plan Management Plan the Draft Management Plan was
2003-2008 is based on the advertised with posters around the
The development of the Plan
requirements of the Rottnest Island Island and public comment forms
commenced with the review of the
Authority Act 1987 (the Act). placed in all accommodation units.
Rottnest Island Management Plan
The development of this Management
1997-2002. This included both an Over the three month consultation
Plan can be described in four phases.
internal review of that Plan and a period, the Authority held five public
community comment process. meetings to further clarify issues with
the community and generate further
PHASE 2 - Draft Rottnest Island
awareness of the Draft Management
Management Plan and Community
Plan. In addition, representatives of the
Consultation Phase
Authority conducted and attended
Based on key inputs from community numerous other meetings with special
consultation, a review of the previous interest groups.
Management Plan, and a review of all
Comments that were faxed, posted
operations and functions, a Draft
or delivered to the Authority prior to
Rottnest Island Management Plan was
the closing date were accepted as
prepared for community consultation.
formal submissions on the Draft
The Authority released the Draft Management Plan.
Management Plan for community
PHASE 3 - Analysis of Community
consultation for a period of three
Consultation and Finalisation of
months commencing 27 June 2002.
Management Plan
As specified by the Act, the release of
the Draft Management Plan was At the close of the consultation period,
published in the Government Gazette the Authority summarised, collated and
and advertised in two issues of analysed public submissions and revised
The West Australian newspaper. A the Draft Management Plan in the
further two public advertisements were context of this analysis. A Community
placed in The West Australian newspaper Consultation Report was compiled by
approximately one month prior to the the Authority, and a final Draft
close of the consultation period. The Management Plan was forwarded to
Draft Management Plan was forwarded the Minister for Tourism for approval.
to identified interest groups and
PHASE 4 - Ministerial Approval
relevant government departments.
Members of the public were able to This Plan has been approved by the
request a copy of the Draft Minister for Tourism, and is now in
Management Plan and also view it on operation. It will direct the
the Authority’s website. Copies were management activities of the Authority
available for viewing at the Salt Store on for the next five years, from 2003-2008.
the Island and in the Fremantle

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

3. Format of the Plan

The Rottnest Island Management Plan Part B is the core of the Management Part C provides the framework for
Part A. Background

2003-2008 comprises three sections. Plan. In Part B, the Island’s management implementation of the Plan including
has been divided into Chapters of: funding, resourcing, priorities,
Part A (this section) is the introductory
Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement responsibilities, timeframes, reporting
section which provides background on
Planning Scheme, Terrestrial and monitoring of progress.
the process and scope of the Plan, an
Environment, Marine Environment,
overview of the Authority, its powers and
Cultural Heritage, Holiday and
responsibilities and an overview of the
Recreation Services and Facilities, Marine
role of other government bodies,
Recreation and Facilities, Community
policies and legislation.
Involvement and Relations, Visitor
Support Services and Infrastructure and
Utilities. The introductory chapter of Part B
provides an overview of the Authority’s
commitment to sustainability.

It should be noted that due to the high


level of complexity and inter-related
management issues, sections of Part B
are linked. Numerous cross-references
are made in the document to guide the
reader to understand the connected
nature of these issues. Greatest value
will be gained if this Plan is read
comprehensively.

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4. Definition of the Area

This section describes the spatial Within the boundary of the Reserve, Department for Planning and
boundary of Rottnest Island for the there are several small land blocks not Infrastructure. The Main Passenger jetty
purposes of the Rottnest Island currently vested in the Authority. These was licensed to the Authority in mid
Management Plan 2003-2008 include Swan locations 12523, 12524, 2002 and processes have commenced
(refer Chart 2 - Unvested Lands on 12525, 12526 and 12667, that are to improve the operation of this facility.
Rottnest Island). vested in the Minister for Planning and
The scope of the Management Plan also
Infrastructure; and Swan locations
The Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987 includes the airspace above the Reserve.
10613, 10750 and 10614 that are
states that the Reserve is: It is acknowledged that this area is not
unallocated crown lands. These land
(a) ‘The land containing 1,859 hectares vested in the Authority; however, there
portions will be considered part of the
comprising Swan Location 10976 is an interest in influencing those using
Reserve for the purposes of the
on Department of Land the airspace to ensure that their
Management Plan, as action is in place
Administration Plan No. 16860; and behaviour is consistent with the
to have them vested in the Authority.
(b) The waters comprising Swan management of the land and water on
Location 11022 as shown, at the All jetties on the Island, apart from the which it impacts.
commencement of this Act, on Green Island Jetty at Nancy Cove, are
Department of Land Administration licensed to the Authority from the
Plan No. 16932, including the
sea-bed and subsoil beneath
such waters,
being Reserve No. 16713 in the records of
the Department of Land Administration.’

Chart 2: Unvested Lands on Rottnest Island


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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

5. Policy Context

There are numerous State, National and • Convention of Biological Diversity • National Ecotourism Strategy.
Part A. Background

International policies which influence (Rio Convention). Australia ratified The National Ecotourism Strategy
the management of Rottnest Island. Where this Convention and has defines ecotourism as nature based
appropriate, further detail on these policies subsequently implemented it by tourism that involves education and
is provided in sections relating to specific developing the National Strategy on interpretation of the natural
management issues in Part B of this Plan. the Conservation of Australia’s environment and is managed to be
Biological Diversity. ecologically sustainable. The Strategy
5.1 INTERNATIONAL POLICY
• International Charter on the addresses issues associated with the
International policies relevant to Protection and Management of management of and planning for
operations on Rottnest Island include: Underwater Cultural Heritage ecotourism in Australia and identifies
• ICOMOS International Cultural (ICOMOS). Australia’s commitment the major elements of ecotourism as
Tourism Charter. The ICOMOS to this Charter is reflected in the the natural environment, ecological
International Cultural Tourism Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, as well and cultural sustainability, education
Charter provides a standard guide for as State legislation, the Maritime and interpretation and local and
the protection and interpretation of Archaeology Act 1973, both of which regional benefits.
the heritage assets of Rottnest Island. apply to wrecks in the waters of • The Burra Charter. The Australian
• Agreements between the Rottnest Island. ICOMOS Charter for the
Government of Australia and the Conservation of Places of Cultural
5.2 AUSTRALIAN POLICY
Governments of Japan and China Significance was developed in 1981
for the protection of Migratory Key national policies that influence and is otherwise known as the Burra
Birds and Birds in Danger of Rottnest Island operations include: Charter. It includes a comprehensive
Extinction and their Environment • National Strategy for the list of definitions of items such as
(JAMBA & CAMBA), and Conservation of Australia’s place, fabric, conservation,
Convention on the Conservation Biological Diversity. This strategy maintenance, preservation,
of Migratory Species of Wild represents Australia’s commitment to restoration, reconstruction,
Animals (CMS or Bonn the outcomes of the Rio Earth Summit adaptation and compatible use. It
Convention). These conventions following its ratification in 1993. also introduces the concept of
provide protection for migratory bird The strategy is in part implemented cultural significance, the ‘aesthetic,
species. There are migratory bird through the Commonwealth historic, scientific or social value for
species listed in these conventions Environment Protection and past, present and future generations,’
which use Rottnest Island as either a Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. and requires this to be defined for
breeding or roosting location. This Management Plan is consistent each place, and conservation plans to
• Convention of Wetlands of with the goal of the National Strategy, be established and justified prior to
International Importance (Ramsar which is to protect biological diversity any intervention. The Charter also
Convention). As there are no Ramsar and maintain ecological processes contains conservation principles and
Wetlands on Rottnest Island, this and systems. processes that are intended as a
Convention is not relevant to the definition of good practice. The Burra
management of the Island. It has Charter principles are relevant to
been suggested, however, that Rottnest Island’s heritage assets and
wetlands worthy of Ramsar listing will be applied within this
exist on the Island. Management Plan.

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• Native Title. Native Title describes 5.3 WESTERN AUSTRALIAN between the government and the
the rights and interests of Aboriginal STATE POLICY volunteering community. The
and Torres Strait Islander people on compact is currently being developed
Key state policies that influence
land and water according to their in consultation with the community.
Rottnest Island operations include:
traditional laws and customs. There The compact will support the value of
• Western Australian Sustainability
have been a number of Native Title volunteers and encourage volunteering
Strategy. In response to the
claims over Rottnest Island, and there in Western Australia. Many volunteer
international and national direction to
is currently one claim that includes groups are active contributors to the
consider sustainability as a driving
the Island. The claim, by the management of Rottnest Island. The
issue for all operations, the
Combined Metropolitan Working compact will guide the Authority in its
Department of Premier and Cabinet’s
Group (CMWG), covers the entire continued effort to embrace and
State Sustainability Unit (SSU) is in the
metropolitan area. This claim was enhance the contribution of
process of developing a State
registered under the Native Title Act volunteers to the Island.
Sustainability Strategy for Western
1993 in May 1993 and is yet to be • State Commitment to a New and
Australia. The Draft Sustainability
determined. Just Relationship between the
Strategy was released for public
• The Commonwealth Disabilities Government of Western Australia
comment in September 2002. The
Discrimination Act 1992. The and Aboriginal Western Australians.
Authority will operate in accordance
Commonwealth Disabilities In October 2001 the Chair of the
with the policies and principles and
Discrimination Act 1992 aims to ATSIC State Council and the Western
other guidelines determined in the
provide uniform protection against Australian Premier signed a
resultant State Sustainability Strategy.
discrimination for all people with Statement of Commitment to a new
• Nature Based Tourism Strategy 1997.
disabilities in Australia. The Act and just relationship between the
The Nature Based Tourism Strategy
requires that people with disabilities Government of Western Australia
1997 is the result of a joint effort by
be able to access any building or and Aboriginal Western Australians.
the tourism industry, the Western
facilities that the public is entitled to The Statement of Commitment sets
Australian Tourism Commission and
enter and use, and have access to any out an agreed set of principles and a
the Department of Conservation and
services and facilities provided in process for improving the relationship
Land Management. The Strategy
those facilities. The Act applies to all between and the delivery of
provides the framework for the
levels of Government and the private government services to Aboriginal
development of an industry that will
sector, including all Rottnest Island people in Western Australia.
deliver long term and wide ranging
services and infrastructure. • State Disability Services Act 1993.
benefits to Western Australians and
The State Disability Services Act 1993
visitors through nature based tourism
requires State Government public
opportunities. As a destination for
authorities to have a Disability Services
nature based activities, the Authority
Plan and to report on the implementation
is guided by this Strategy.
of the Plan’s access initiatives each
• Western Australian Volunteering
year in their Annual Reports.
Compact. A key commitment of the
Western Australian Government’s
Valuing Volunteers policy was to
develop a compact that will provide a
framework for effective cooperation

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

6. Roles and Responsibilities of Western Australian


Government Bodies

The Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987 to coordinate the management of 6.3 WESTERN AUSTRALIAN
Part A. Background

states that the Authority ‘has the power marine pollution incidents. POLICE SERVICE
to do all things that are necessary or
The Department for Planning and The Western Australian Police Service is
convenient to be done in connection
Infrastructure is also responsible for the responsible for the application of a
with the management and control of
maintenance of all gazetted roads on number of Acts, including the Police Act
the Island under this Act.’
Rottnest Island, under the Road Traffic 1892, on Rottnest Island. The Western
The Authority also has the power to
Act 1974. Australian Police Service is the lead
make regulations in this regard.
agency in the enforcement of law and
6.2 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH emergency management procedures on
The Act also states that the application
of other written law to, and in relation Rottnest Island and its waters. The
Under the Rottnest Island Authority Act
Police Service operates a station on the
to, the Island is not affected by the 1987, the Department of Health is
Island staffed by resident Police Officers.
vesting of the control and management responsible for monitoring environmental
of the Island in the Authority or the health standards on Rottnest Island. 6.4 DEPARTMENT OF
conferral of any power on the Authority The Department’s objective in relation ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND
by this Act. The roles and responsibilities CATCHMENT PROTECTION
to Rottnest Island is ‘to provide an
of other Government bodies are efficient and effective environmental The State Government is creating a new
applicable on Rottnest Island. There are health service to the Rottnest Island integrated environmental protection
several Government bodies that have a Authority, business community, visitors and natural resource management
particularly relevant role to Rottnest and residents of Rottnest Island so that agency for Western Australia. The
Island. These are described below. the provision of environmental health is Department of Environment, Water and
maintained at the highest possible Catchment Protection will be formed by
6.1 DEPARTMENT FOR PLANNING
the amalgamation of the Department of
AND INFRASTRUCTURE standard at all times.’
Environmental Protection, the Water
The Department for Planning and As part of its mandate, the and Rivers Commission and the Keep
Infrastructure plays a significant role in Department of Health has a role in Australia Beautiful Council.
both the terrestrial and marine portions environmental monitoring, pollution
This new Department will control
of the Rottnest Island Reserve. control, food safety, disease control, marine and terrestrial pollution and
health education, waste disposal, pest provide advice to the Minister for the
The Department for Planning and control, chemical control and building Environment on issues relating to
Infrastructure is responsible for all management. The Department also protection of the environment.
boating regulations including licensing, has a role in addressing environmental
safety standards, marker buoys and Several Rottnest Island operations such as
health considerations in relation to
jetties. Through the administration of the water supply, wastewater treatment
festivals, special events and
the Marine Act 1982 the Department for and the landfill site operate under licence
emergency incidents. Environmental
Planning and Infrastructure has agreement with the Department of
health officers visit the Island regularly Environmental Protection and the Water
responsibility for ensuring the safety of to undertake various inspections and Rivers Commission, which will now
all vessels in State Territorial waters. The relating to these areas of the be with the Department of Environment,
Department chairs and supports the Island’s operations. Water and Catchment Protection. This
Western Australian (National Plan) State Department will also be responsible for
Committee for Combating Marine Oil ensuring the protection and conservation
Pollution which provides the mechanism of the Island’s groundwater resources.

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6.5 DEPARTMENT OF 6.7 WESTERN AUSTRALIAN 6.8 DEPARTMENT OF INDIGENOUS
CONSERVATION AND LAND MUSEUM AFFAIRS
MANAGEMENT
The major functions of the Western The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 is
The Department of Conservation and Australian Museum are to preserve administered by the Department of
Land Management (CALM) was significant and representative examples Indigenous Affairs. The Department is
established under the Conservation and of Western Australia’s heritage for the responsible for the administration of
Land Management Act 1984. The enrichment of present and future Aboriginal sites of significance and of
Department of Conservation and Land generations; investigate the natural and indigenous material culture.
Management administers the Wildlife cultural world; and share ideas and
Rottnest Island is the location of 17
Conservation Act and Regulations 1950 information on natural and cultural
Aboriginal sites and the Authority has a
that aim to conserve Western Australia’s heritage through a variety of public
responsibility to notify the Department
native flora and fauna. The Act can also programs. The WA Museum consists of
of Indigenous Affairs of any developments
allocate special status to species, several branches, a number of which
that may have an impact on these sites.
providing a higher level of protection. have a role on Rottnest Island.
Additional sites may be located as a
Native terrestrial flora and fauna that
The Western Australian Museum’s result of further study or ground
exist in the Reserve are protected
maritime division is responsible for the disturbing work on the Island, or new
under this Act, meaning that they
protection of pre-1900 shipwrecks and information may come to light requiring
may not be injured, killed or removed
artefacts under the Marine Archaeology the extent of some sites to be revised.
from the Island.
Act 1973. Shipwrecks over 75 years old
6.9 HERITAGE COUNCIL OF
6.6 DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES are declared and protected under the
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks
The Department of Fisheries is
Act 1976. These Acts combine to The Heritage Council of Western
responsible for the management of
protect valuable State and Australia is the State’s advisory body on
Western Australia’s fish, marine and
Commonwealth maritime heritage heritage and was established through
aquatic resources and pearling industry,
sites, both above and below the water. the Heritage of Western Australia Act
while protecting and conserving the
The two Acts aim to preserve the 1990. The Heritage Council encourages
various related ecosystems. The
integrity of Australian shipwrecks for and provides for the conservation of
responsibilities and the management
the benefit of the community’s present places that are significant to the cultural
tools are provided to the Department
and future generations. heritage of Western Australia.
through its primary legislation, the Fish
The Authority is responsible for the
Resources Management Act 1994. The Western Australian Museum
conservation of a large number of
through the Museum Act 1969 also has
In particular, the Department of significant cultural heritage places
the task of documenting the fauna of
Fisheries manages and regulates representing the layers of historical
Western Australia. The Western
commercial and recreational fishing use of the Island. Many of these sites
Australian Museum’s Natural Science
activities within the marine portion of are listed on the Western Australian
division has undertaken considerable
the Reserve and has the lead role in Heritage Register. Any development
work in documenting the marine fauna
enforcement of fisheries legislation. of or interference to these listed
of Rottnest Island.
places requires approval from the
Heritage Council.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

6.10 WESTERN AUSTRALIAN 6.11 DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY 6.13 DEPARTMENT OF FIRE AND
Part A. Background

TOURISM COMMISSION AND RESOURCES EMERGENCY SERVICES

The Western Australian Tourism The Department of Industry and The Fire and Emergency Services
Commission (WATC) is a statutory Resources is the administrator of the Authority of Western Australia (FESA)
authority of the Western Australian Mining Act 1978 and Petroleum Act is a statutory authority declared under
Government and is the pre-eminent 1967. Although it is considered unlikely the Fire and Emergency Services Act
body responsible for the promotion, that significant mining would ever be 1988 and also administers that Act,
development and marketing of tourism approved on the Island itself, such the Bush Fires Act 1954 and the
in Western Australia. proposals may be presented. It is the Fire Brigades Act 1942.
Department’s role to assist the Minister
Rottnest Island is an attractive FESA provides training for the
for State Development to allocate
destination and considered an icon of emergency services on Rottnest Island
mining titles and to monitor and assess
the State’s tourism infrastructure. The and fire and public safety advice on
activities on the titles when granted.
Island is often featured in high profile by Island facilities for the protection of
the WATC in its State promotional 6.12 DISABILITY SERVICES residents and visitors. Since 1999, the
campaigns. The Authority works with COMMISSION Fire Service on Rottnest Island has been
the WATC in liaising with transport a registered Private Brigade with FESA
The Disability Services Commission
providers to and from Rottnest Island, in accordance with the Fire Brigades
provides information and advice to the
facilitating visiting journalist and agent Regulations. The private brigade is
Rottnest Island Authority to assist the
familiarisations, and by providing referred to as the Rottnest Island Fire
development of Rottnest Island as a
opportunity for positive State tourism and Rescue Service.
universally accessible Island.
development and growth.

14
Part B. Management Planning
1. Introduction 16
2. Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement Planning Scheme 18
3. Terrestrial Environment 32
4. Marine Environment 42
5. Cultural Heritage 50
6. Holiday and Recreation Services and Facilities 61
7. Marine Recreation and Facilities 78
8. Community Involvement and Relations 88
9. Visitor Support Services 90
10. Infrastructure and Utilities 93

15
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

1. Introduction

1.1 GENERAL 1.2 ROTTNEST ISLAND AS A MODEL is an important aspect of achieving


Part B. Management Planning

OF SUSTAINABILITY sustainability, and the objective to


Part B is the core section of the
maintain this social experience has led
Management Plan. In this section the The elements of sustainability have
to recommendations in this Plan.
operations of the Island are explored always been a dominant factor in the
These recommendations are based
and the direction of management for management of Rottnest Island. The
on specified limits to further
the Island over the next five years is development of this Plan has allowed
development, maintaining the current
documented. The major management the Authority to formalise its
style and range of services and facilities,
areas of the Authority are addressed commitment to sustainability and
and improvements that retain the
separately in the following sections: demonstrate the relevance of this
essential elements of the Rottnest ethos
Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement concept to Rottnest Island.
and provide a quality holiday and
Planning Scheme, Terrestrial
Sustainability is the concept that seeks recreation experience.
Environment, Marine Environment,
Cultural Heritage, Holiday and to integrate short- and long-term
economic, social and environmental Protection of the Natural
Recreation Services and Facilities,
Environment and Heritage Asset
Marine Recreation and Facilities, effects in all decision making. For
Rottnest Island is an A-class Reserve
Community Involvement and Relations, Rottnest Island sustainability means that
with many significant and valuable
Visitor Support Services and the Authority will control and manage
terrestrial and marine resources. It also
Infrastructure and Utilities. Within each the Island in a way that ensures that its
has highly significant cultural heritage
chapter, necessary background is resources and experiences are available
values that reflect the many facets of
provided, key management issues are for future generations. This
Western Australia’s development. The
documented and recommendations interpretation has generated the
continued management, repair and
relevant to the management of the following drivers of the
enhancement of these resources is a
Reserve are specified. To gain the recommendations contained within this
fundamental goal of sustainability and
greatest level of understanding of the Management Plan.
management strategies recommended a key focus of this Plan.
in this Management Plan, it is important Maintenance of the Rottnest Island
Precautionary Management of
that the reader considers the social experience
Capacity
background information and issues that The social value of Rottnest Island is well
The Island’s resources are more
are documented, in conjunction with understood by the Authority. This social
the resultant recommendations. constrained than on the mainland and
value is often called the "Rottnest Island
there are complexities, expenses and
ethos" and can be described in terms of
Although there have been many potential impacts associated with the
the self-directed, simple, nature-based
factors that have influenced the use of these resources. Furthermore, the
and family-oriented experience, very
recommendations of this Management sustainable level of use of Island
Plan, the underlying principle of this Plan much dependent on a high degree of
resources is not well defined. These
is the requirement and commitment to natural amenity and space. It is also
factors combine to justify the
ensure the sustainability of Rottnest heavily based on the management
implementation of a precautionary
Island and the services and facilities it practices of the Authority that have approach to the management and use
provides to the Western Australian promoted a high level of access to the of resources such as power, water and
community. Therefore, it is important Island for Western Australians. space, and to the exploration of
that the concept of sustainability on The maintenance and protection methods to manage the impact of
Rottnest Island is clearly articulated. of the Rottnest Island experience Island visitors.

16
Generation of Viable Economic 1.2.1 Recommendations
Environment
• Develop Rottnest Island as a model
The Rottnest Island Authority faces
of sustainability.
financial pressures that constrain and
limit its operations. During the life of the • Develop and commence
Plan the Authority will seek to improve implementation of an
its operations, increase its revenue and interpretation strategy that allows
continue to meet its obligations to visitors to fully appreciate and
provide affordable family holiday understand the values of the Island,
services and conserve the natural and and which communicates its
built environment. sustainable management practices.
• Promote, demonstrate and
Management of Seasonality integrate environmental
of Visitors technologies where they meet the
The highly seasonal nature of activity social and cultural requirements of
and business on Rottnest Island has the Island and are economically
environmental, social and economic viable and relevant.
implications. The high numbers of
visitors during peak times can have an
impact on the social amenity of the
Island, and can also potentially lead to
environmental impacts through
excessive demand on resources. This
seasonality also leads to economic
issues such as the need to manage staff
levels and deal with heavy resource
demands in peak times and low
turnover in off-peak times.

Demonstration of Sustainability
through Interpretation
The demonstration of sustainable
management on Rottnest Island
through a range of interpretative
vehicles is a key element of the
Authority’s vision of sustainability.
This will be achieved through an
interpretation strategy that allows
visitors to fully appreciate and
understand the values of the Island and
how their actions and activities impact
on those values.

17
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

2. Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement Planning Scheme

2.1 INTRODUCTION The development of the Reserve Zoning which include the protection of flora
Part B. Management Planning

Plan was based on a number of and fauna and the maintenance and
2.1.1 Purpose of the Zoning Plan and
overriding principles that are contained protection and, where possible, repair
Planning Scheme
in Appendix 1. of the natural and man-made resources.
This section describes the Zoning Plan
2.2 ROTTNEST ISLAND RESERVE The Rottnest Island Management Plan
for the Reserve and Planning Scheme
BOUNDARY 1997-2002 recommended an
for the Settlement. The concept of
amendment to the Reserve purpose to
developing spatial plans for the 2.2.1 Definition of the Rottnest
fully reflect this situation. Further
management of Rottnest Island is Island Reserve Boundary
consideration has been given to this
important for a number of reasons:
The boundary of the Reserve was matter and the Authority is pursuing an
• understanding how different parts
discussed in Part A, Chapter 4 - amendment to the purpose of the
of the Reserve are being used allows
Definition of the Area. There have Reserve to: for the purposes of the
the creation of Zones that ensure
been no pressures to deviate from the Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987.
activities are compatible with the
environment and with each other; current Rottnest Island Reserve
2.2.3 Areas Not Vested in the
• planning in this manner ensures that boundary. The Authority has no
Authority
long-term strategic decisions are intention of proposing amendments to
made, reducing the threat of costly, the boundary of the Reserve during the There are areas within the boundary of
ad hoc decisions; life of this Management Plan. the Reserve that are not vested in or
• at the scale of the Settlement, planning controlled by the Authority. These
It is noteworthy that although the
is also important to ensure that optimal include three blocks of unallocated
boundary is well illustrated on maps and
and functional use is made of the built crown lands and five blocks vested in
charts, currently it is not described in
and natural environment and to the Minister for Planning and
terms of geo-positioning reference
ensure that appropriate services and Infrastructure (refer Chart 2 -
points. Considering that this boundary
facilities are provided. Unvested Lands on Rottnest Island).
is irregular, marine based and
The transfer of responsibility for these
Although these spatial plans have been unmarked, it is difficult for users of the
lands has commenced.
developed in the context of the five-year Marine Reserve to determine whether a
Management Plan, the Reserve Zoning given point is inside or outside the 2.2.4 Recommendations
Plan and Settlement Planning Scheme boundary of the Reserve. Describing its
• Define the boundary of the Rottnest
have been developed to give long-term boundary by way of geo-positioning
Island Reserve in terms of a series of
direction to the development and reference points would improve the
management of Rottnest Island. geo-positioning data points.
understanding of the location of the
• Amend the Rottnest Island Reserve
boundary of the Reserve.
Several plans that have been prepared purpose to ‘for the purposes of the
previously for Rottnest Island have been 2.2.2 Purpose of the Reserve Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987.’
used as inputs into the Reserve Zoning • Incorporate Swan Locations 12523,
Plan and the Settlement Planning The current gazetted purpose of the
12524, 12525, 12526, 12667,
Scheme. Relevant outcomes and Rottnest Island A-Class Reserve is
10613, 10750 and 10614 into the
recommendations of those plans have ‘public recreation’. This purpose does
Rottnest Island Reserve.
been reconsidered and incorporated not reflect the complete objectives of
into the Reserve Zoning Plan and the Reserve as established by the
Settlement Planning Scheme. Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987,

18
2.3 ROTTNEST ISLAND RESERVE 2.3.2 Terrestrial Zoning Plan Activity Nodes: Areas outside the
ZONING PLAN Settlement Zone that are managed for
2.3.2.1 Description of low to medium level activity compatible
2.3.1 Current Zones Terrestrial Zones with the environmental and social values
The Island is currently separated into The zoning system for the terrestrial of those areas. Within these Nodes, public
three Zones that were established in the environment is a formalisation and facilities will be provided for medium scale
Rottnest Island Management Plan documentation of existing management functions, events and activities. These
1997-2002. These are the Settlement measures and uses of the Island and areas will relieve the Natural Zone of
Area, Natural Area and Marine Area. does not propose new uses or activities pressure from such activities and from
for any areas. This system will ensure the effects of the construction of public
These Zones recognise the division that necessary facilities are provided facilities and services.
between the Settlement area that throughout the Island without impacting
includes Thomson Bay, Geordie- on the amenity and experiences that are Activity Nodes include Oliver Hill,
Longreach-Fays Bays and Kingstown, valued by Rottnest Island visitors. Wadjemup Hill Lighthouse area, Parker
and the natural area where the Point, Salmon Point, Parakeet and Little
provision of accommodation is not This will be achieved by implementing Parakeet Bay, City of York Bay, Green
permitted. They also recognise the the following zones as illustrated in Island, Strickland Bay, Narrow Neck,
division between the land and sea that is Chart 3 - Terrestrial Zoning Plan . Stark Bay and West End Boardwalk area.
self-evident. These areas generally contain existing
Settlement Zone: The limit of the
built facilities capable of providing for
As specified in the Rottnest Island Settlement area that includes
low to medium level activity.
Authority Act 1987, accommodation Geordie/Longreach and Fays Bay,
development is limited to the Settlement Thomson Bay and Kingstown. This Zone Wadjemup Hill and Oliver Hill contain
Zone (displayed in Chart 2 - Unvested represents an area of high intensity of heritage items and buildings of
Lands on Rottnest Island). Development use where the development of significance that may lend them to
in any other area of the Island can only accommodation facilities is permitted. becoming areas of increased activity
occur if approved by the Minister or if The boundary of the Settlement Zone is outside the Settlement Zone. The
provided for in this five-year Management still relevant to the management of Authority is considering the
Plan. The limit of the Settlement Zone is Rottnest Island and will be maintained development of these areas to enhance
well illustrated on charts but has not for the life of this Plan, although there is the visitor experience.
been defined geographically. a need to define this geographically.

The Authority has identified a need for a Natural Zone: The area that is
more comprehensive planning scheme managed for conservation and low level
that provides greater definition of the activity compatible with the
terrestrial and marine environments, to preservation of environmental values.
appropriately manage natural resources The majority of the area outside the
and activities throughout the areas. Settlement Zone is classed as the
Natural Zone, and contains several
smaller areas of Activity Nodes,
Permanent Environmental Exclusion
Zones and Temporary Environmental
Exclusion Zones.

19
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Environmental Exclusion Zone, Environmental Exclusion Zone, Temporary Environmental Exclusion


Part B. Management Planning

Permanent: Areas of the terrestrial Temporary: Areas of the terrestrial Zones will include woodland restoration
environment closed permanently for the environment closed periodically or areas, areas being used by migratory
purposes of protecting terrestrial and temporarily for the purpose of seabirds and areas that are subject to
freshwater environmental values such protecting terrestrial and freshwater harsh erosion processes. The exact
as fragile and ecologically significant environmental values such as for dune location of Temporary Environmental
wetlands. Such Zones may be located rehabilitation, protection of plantation Exclusion Zones will be determined and
anywhere on the Island, including areas and seasonal breeding areas. Such implemented as required.
within the Settlement Zone, where this Zones may be located anywhere on the
Management of activities and
level of protection is warranted. The Island, including within the Settlement
development in these Zones are
exact location of Permanent Zone, where this level of protection is
described in Table 1 - Activities and
Environmental Exclusion Zones will be warranted.
Development Permitted in the
determined and implemented over the
Rottnest Island Terrestrial Zones.
life of the Plan.

Table 1: Activities and Development Permitted in the Rottnest Island Terrestrial Zones

Activity Settlement Zone Natural Zone Activity Nodes Environmental Environmental


Exclusion Zone, Exclusion Zone,
Permanent Temporary

Public Access1 Yes Yes Yes No No

Escorted Access 2
Yes Yes Yes Special 4
Special4

Accommodation Yes No No No No

Built Facilities (other than accommodation) Yes No Yes Special4 Special4

Vehicle Access (on designated roads and tracks only) Yes Yes Yes Special4 Special4

Approved Events and Functions 3


Yes No Yes No No

Notes:
1. Public Access - Available to the public.
2. Escorted Access - Access only permitted while in the company of a Rottnest Island Authority Officer
e.g. organised tour or escorted party of a smaller nature.
3. Approved function or events Including weddings, parties, conferences, festivals and sporting events.
4. Limited for the purpose of conservation and risk management.

20
Chart 3: Terrestrial Zoning Plan

21
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

2.3.2.2 Signage that environmental values are protected. environmental values. This objective will
Part B. Management Planning

Effective signage is a key form of be pursued through the development of


information for visitors but can also Current forms of management of the a marine management strategy, which
negatively impact on the Island’s Marine Reserve include (refer Chart 1- may involve the development of
amenity. There are numerous signs on Rottnest Island Reserve): regulations under the Fish Management
Rottnest Island both within the • Fishing regulations gazetted under Act 1994. The marine management
Settlement Zone and the Natural Zone. the Fishing Resources Management strategy will be pursued in coordination
There is a need to rationalise signage Act 1994 (refer Part A, Chapter 6 - with the Department of Fisheries and in
and investigate other mechanisms of Roles and Responsibilities of consultation with relevant stakeholders.
disseminating information to visitors. Western Australian Government
Bodies), including: Commercial fishing within the Reserve is
2.3.2.3 Recommendations - Two no-fishing zones within the inconsistent with its explicit legislated
• Define the Rottnest Island Settlement marine portion of the Reserve: purpose, of ‘public recreation.’
Zone boundary in terms of a series of Kingston Reef and Parker Point Reef;
geo-positioning data points. - Speargun prohibition within a 2.3.3.1 Recommendations
• Implement the Terrestrial Zones as portion of the Reserve; • Develop and implement a marine
described in Chart 3 - Terrestrial - Commercial Western Rock Lobster management strategy that promotes
Zoning Plan that comprise the fishing prohibition within a portion equity of access and opportunity for a
Settlement Zone, Natural Zone, of the Reserve; quality experience among
Activity Nodes and Permanent and - Other recreational fishing recreational users of the Marine
Temporary Environmental Exclusion regulations that are developed, Reserve, protecting its environmental
Zones, and manage in accordance implemented and enforced by the values, in coordination with the
with Table 1 - Activities and Department of Fisheries. Department of Fisheries and in
Development Permitted in the • Portions of Thomson Bay, Geordie consultation with relevant stakeholders.
Rottnest Island Terrestrial Zones. Bay, Longreach Bay, Marjorie Bay and • Pursue restrictions on commercial
• Investigate the feasibility of the all of Little Parakeet Bay and the Basin fishing in coordination with the
development of Wadjemup Hill Activity zoned for no anchoring, no boating Department of Fisheries.
Node for the interpretation of military, and no daylight fishing.
2.4 SETTLEMENT PLANNING SCHEME
maritime and environmental heritage. These management measures are
• Investigate the feasibility of the designed to protect natural values of The Settlement Planning Scheme is
development of Oliver Hill Activity the marine environment, but are less limited to the boundary of the
Node for the interpretation of military, effective at protecting social values of Settlement Zone and is based on a series
maritime and environmental heritage. the Reserve. Furthermore, the Authority of precincts that are separated according
• Develop and implement a signage is concerned about the health of the to core function. The precincts are
plan for Rottnest Island. marine environment given the level of illustrated in Chart 4 - Settlement
activity that occurs in the Reserve. The Planning Scheme. These are:
2.3.3 Marine Management Strategy
Authority wishes to review the current • Arrival and Departure Precinct (1)
The marine portion of the Reserve marine management regime and • Commercial Precinct (2)
contains many features of conservation investigate the need to implement • Visitor Accommodation Precincts
and social value. This results in it being a further measures to protect the Reserve. (3a, 3b, 3c, 3d)
highly popular recreation area, used for • Staff Accommodation Precinct (4)
a wide variety of recreational pursuits. The Authority is committed to maximising • Kingstown Precinct (5)
There is a need to manage the Reserve equity of access and opportunity for a • Services and Operations Precincts
to ensure that conflicts between quality experience among recreational (6a, 6b, 6c)
recreational pursuits are addressed and users of the Reserve, while protecting its • Recreation Precincts (7a, 7b, 7c)

22
For each precinct, this Plan provides a 2.4.1.2 Issues • For first-time visitors to Rottnest Island,
description of the area, documents Issues associated with the management orientation to Island services and
issues associated with the management of the Arrival and Departure Precinct include: facilities can be difficult. This is a whole
of the area and makes recommendations • The vistas of the Island as viewed from of Island issue but is most prevalent in
for management. the Arrival and Departure Precinct the Arrival and Departure Precinct.
2.4.1 Arrival and Departure Precinct have high historical and social value. • The absence of elements which aid in
• The Arrival and Departure Precinct is the direction of flow of visitors from
2.4.1.1 Description in need of appropriate shelter for the jetty can lead to congestion at
The Arrival and Departure Precinct is passengers waiting to board ferries. service points during peak times.
that part of the Settlement Zone that • Access from the jetty through the • There is an absence of a central facility
includes the first contacts both visually Arrival and Departure Precinct has for orientation and interpretation.
and physically, for visitors to the Island. improved in recent years; however, • Signal Hill is a fragile area that
The ‘arrival’ sequence and how it has areas of conflict involving is susceptible to erosion caused
evolved is very much a part of the
pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles still by trampling.
Rottnest Island experience. The
remain. Conflict areas include the 2.4.1.3 Recommendations
departure sequence is also significant.
jetty, the barge area, Colebatch • Develop the Arrival and Departure
Key elements of this precinct are the Avenue and the road from the base of Precinct to provide for a visitor-
Main Passenger Jetty, Visitor and the jetty to the Visitor and friendly experience.
Information Centre, Accommodation Information Centre, particularly the • Investigate and implement methods
Office and the seawall. This precinct also crossover on this road between the to improve the orientation of visitors
includes the vacant land on the western Visitor and Information Centre and arriving on the Island to their required
side of Colebatch Avenue, between the Dôme Café. These conflicts will
Henderson Avenue and Forrest Avenue. first point of contact and other points
continue to be managed by the around the Island.
Two of the Settlement’s most prominent Authority over the life of the Plan by • Establish appropriate shelter for ferry
landscape features also fall within the developing and enforcing vehicle no- passengers in the Arrival and
bounds of the Precinct: Signal Hill and go and no parking areas. Departure Precinct.
the hill south of the Tearooms. These • The temporary solution of two lanes • Develop a conceptual model for a
two features provide natural landscape on the jetty to relieve congestion and purpose-built interpretation facility
breathing spaces. conflict between visitors and the on Rottnest Island.
luggage and barge functions appears • Seek external funding for the
Buildings and lands in this precinct will
be reserved for facilities and services to be effective, and the Authority will establishment and operation of an
that support the arrival function. As the consider mechanisms to formalise interpretation facility on Rottnest
precinct contains the primary point of and improve this remedy. Island in consultation with relevant
arrival to and departure from the Island, • Vehicle movement and parking on groups with a historical interest in
the landscape and materials used here Henderson Avenue adds to the Island.
‘set the scene’ and should thereafter be congestion in this precinct and • Develop and implement a strategy for
employed consistently throughout the unnecessary movements will be Signal Hill to reduce erosion from
area of the Settlement Zone. prohibited by the Authority to reduce trampling and to manage risk issues.
this problem.

23
Part B. Management Planning Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

24
2.4.2 Commercial Precinct • The library service is a valuable but 2.4.3 Bathurst Visitor
under-utilised asset of the Island Accommodation Precinct
2.4.2.1 Description experience.
This precinct surrounds the Arrival and • The Commercial Precinct contains 2.4.3.1 Description
Departure Precinct and forms the staff accommodation that is The Bathurst Visitor Accommodation
commercial core of the Settlement inappropriate for this area. Precinct is the northernmost
Zone. The precinct includes three main • Some shops have limited accessibility accommodation area within Thomson
areas that are the retail shopping area; to people with disabilities. Bay. The Bathurst Visitor
the dining area including the Dôme Accommodation Precinct is very popular
2.4.2.3 Recommendations
Café and the Tearooms; and the with Island holiday-makers.
• Maintain the Commercial Precinct
Rottnest Island Hotel and Lodge area.
to provide commercial services At the north of Bathurst Precinct are the
It should be noted that the Rottnest to enhance visitor experience Bathurst Lighthouse and Lighthouse
Island Hotel is not only an important and improve access for people Keeper’s Cottage. These buildings are
area of the Commercial Precinct, but with disabilities. highly significant from a heritage
also forms a significant visual element of • Investigate the feasibility of the perspective and are also an important
the arrival vista as it has always been one construction of a vehicular route and highly recognisable symbol of
of the most visible elements of the connecting the Service Precinct 6a to Rottnest Island.
Settlement from the sea. the Golf Club and the south side of
the Settlement to link the north and 2.4.3.2 Issues
This precinct also includes Heritage south of the Settlement, eliminating Several issues are associated with the
Common, adjacent to the retail the need for vehicles to move through management of the Bathurst Visitor
shopping area, that is used for events the core pedestrian area. Accommodation Precinct:
and is a visual extension of the shopping • Investigate the feasibility of • The coastline of this precinct is a
area. The museum and library are also establishing an additional food outlet particularly hazardous area,
included in this precinct. in the Commercial Precinct, which experiencing potentially dangerous
provides value-for-money food rockfalls; and as a result it has been
2.4.2.2 Issues options utilising and promoting fenced along its full length.
Issues associated with the management • The continued preservation and
Western Australian produce.
of the Commercial Precinct include: conservation of the Lighthouse and
• Develop and implement strategies to
• Bicycle riding through the mall Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage is a
enhance the library service.
continues despite signs at all entry high priority.
• Develop and implement strategies to
points that indicate that riding in this enhance the museum service. 2.4.3.3 Recommendations
area is prohibited. • Manage the Bathurst Visitor
• Vehicular traffic through the Accommodation Precinct to provide
Commercial Precinct is higher than visitor accommodation.
preferred because there is no • Provide appropriately designed beach
alternative route to service the shops access paths and approaches in the
and accommodation north of the jetty. Bathurst Visitor Accommodation Precinct.
• The museum service is a valuable • Maintain and preserve the Bathurst
but under-utilised asset of the Lighthouse and Lighthouse
Island experience. Keeper’s Cottage without additional
development.

25
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

2.4.4 North Thomson 2.4.4.2 Issues 2.4.5 South Thomson


Part B. Management Planning

The management of the North


2.4.4.1 Description Thomson Visitor Accommodation 2.4.5.1 Description
The North Thomson Visitor Precinct includes the following issues: The South Thomson Visitor
Accommodation Precinct contains a • There are notably degraded Accommodation Precinct is principally
particularly high number of heritage sites. accommodation units in this precinct, an accommodation area favoured by
Perhaps the most significant of these is particularly units on Kelly and Abbott young families. The waterfront units in
the area of Vincent Way, including both Streets and the Allison Camping Cabins. this precinct occupy a highly desirable
the cottages and the road above the location. The area is quiet and suits the
The management of these areas is
seawall that have been recognised as the
addressed in Part B, Chapter 6 - nature of its occupancy well.
oldest intact streetscape in Australia.
Holiday and Recreation Services
The front row of villas at North Thomson and Facilities. 2.4.5.2 Issues
is one of the first visible elements of the • The Hire Services Shed and offices are The management of the South
Island’s landscape. The 1920s bungalows inappropriately located in this precinct. Thomson Visitor Accommodation
exist in a refurbished state side by side • The full extent of the Aboriginal Precinct includes the following issues:
with 50s-era buildings and an array of burial grounds has been questioned • The South Thomson Visitor
brick cottages. Most of the brick and there may be further locations in Accommodation Precinct has
cottages have been recently upgraded. this vicinity that require protection. reached its capacity in terms of
This precinct contains the earliest family This issue is addressed in Part B, accommodation units.
accommodation in the Settlement. The Chapter 5 - Cultural Heritage. • This precinct is adjacent to a fragile
early beachfront villas represent the best • This area currently contains staff dune system that is subject to beach
interpretation of the modern holiday accommodation that is erosion pressures and requires
experience in terms of facility and form. protection from further development.
inappropriately located for this area
(refer Section 2.4.7 of this Chapter) • Beach access must be appropriately
Curved, meandering roads lead holiday-
makers through the precinct, and the • There are opportunities for the controlled in this area.
retention of this random approach and location of Youth Hostel Facilities in 2.4.5.3 Recommendations
permeability is desirable. The visual the North Thomson Visitor • Manage the existing accommodation
prominence of this precinct requires Accommodation Precinct. stock in the South Thomson Visitor
that it be considered within the context 2.4.4.3 Recommendations Accommodation Precinct to provide
of the surrounding environment with visitor accommodation.
• Manage the North Thomson Visitor
careful integration of the landscape and • Continue to provide access to
Accommodation Precinct to provide
its cultural and historical values. the beach via purpose-built
visitor accommodation.
This precinct also contains the highly • Relocate the Hire Services Shed and designated accessways and stairs
significant Aboriginal burial grounds the Office from the North Thomson in the South Thomson Visitor
established during the period in which Visitor Accommodation Precinct to Accommodation Precinct.
the Island was an Aboriginal Prison (refer the Services Precinct or the • Monitor beach erosion in the
Part B, Chapter 5 - Cultural Heritage). Commercial Precinct. South Thomson Visitor
• Investigate the feasibility of relocating Accommodation Precinct.
The camping ground and two areas of
the Youth Hostel facility from Kingstown
camping cabins are also located within
Barracks to the North Thomson
the North Thomson Visitor
Visitor Accommodation Precinct.
Accommodation Precinct.

26
2.4.6 Geordie, Longreach 2.4.7 Staff Accommodation Precinct 2.4.7.3 Recommendations
and Fays Bay Visitor • Develop a Plan for a dedicated Staff
Accommodation Precinct 2.4.7.1 Description Accommodation Precinct including
Some Island staff are accommodated in the relocation of staff from other
2.4.6.1 Description the area defined in this Plan as the Staff precincts to this area.
Geordie, Longreach and Fays Bay Visitor Accommodation Precinct. However, • Investigate the feasibility of the
Accommodation Precinct provides a there is also a large number of staff who development of an additional road
unique style of accommodation, and all are inappropriately accommodated along the Railway Track to limit the
units have an exceptional outlook. The throughout the Settlement area, use of Parker Point Road by vehicles.
accommodation here is constructed
adjacent to visitor accommodation and
very close to the shoreline. A bus service 2.4.8 Kingstown Barracks Precinct
commercial facilities. It is proposed to
caters for visitor movement.
develop this area, which currently has
2.4.8.1 Description
2.4.6.2 Issues the highest concentration of staff housing,
Kingstown Barracks nestles between
Management of the Geordie, as a Staff Accommodation Precinct.
the primary dunes of the Bickley Point
Longreach and Fays Bay Visitor
This area is defined by Parker Point Road headland. The use of Kingstown
Accommodation Precinct includes the
to the north and contains Barracks as budget accommodation for
following issues:
accommodation to the east of Brand groups and as an education centre has
• Geordie, Longreach and Fays Bay
Way in addition to the power house seen its facilities maintained but not
accommodation requires
residences to the west of Brand Way. restored or improved.
refurbishment. This is addressed under
This is the precinct where the majority of
Part B, Chapter 6 - Holiday and This precinct has several significant
the Island’s residents currently live.
Recreation Services and Facilities. values. It is a military heritage site of
• The design of roads in this area Much of the existing accommodation is note. Kingstown Barracks was built in
has led to inconsistent traffic
set back from the road or in landscaped 1938-39, during World War II, and at
movement patterns.
areas and has poor amenity and the time it was the only military building
• Beach access is a critical management
landscape conservation value. Between established offshore in Australia (refer
issue in this fragile coastal area.
dwellings, the landscape has been Part B, Chapter 5 - Cultural Heritage).
• Fays Bay headland is highly degraded.
allowed to deteriorate. More recently, Kingstown Barracks has
2.4.6.3 Recommendations become the location of the Island’s
• Manage the Geordie, Longreach and 2.4.7.2 Issues Environmental Education Centre that
Fays Bay Visitor Accommodation Precinct Issues associated with development of a forms a significant part of many schools’
to provide visitor accommodation. Staff Accommodation Precinct include: education programs. A hostel facility
• Review and realign roads, tracks and • Staff are currently accommodated, and commercial catering centre are also
traffic flows in the Geordie, sometime inappropriately, in located at Kingstown Barracks.
Longreach and Fays Bay Visitor other precincts.
Accommodation Precinct to improve • Parker Point Road is the main
amenity and traffic flow. pedestrian and bicycle track out of the
• Improve beach access in the Geordie, Settlement Zone to this precinct but
Longreach and Fays Bay Visitor is also heavily used by vehicles.
Accommodation Precinct. • Some staff accommodation is in
• Restore and rehabilitate poor condition.
Fays Bay headland.

27
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

2.4.8.2 Issues 2.4.9 Service and Operation Precinct 2.4.10 Recreation Precinct
Part B. Management Planning

Issues associated with the management


of Kingstown Barracks Precinct include: 2.4.9.1 Description 2.4.10.1 Description
• The education services provided at The Service and Operation Precinct on The Recreational Precinct will contain
Kingstown Barracks are highly valued Rottnest Island comprises four areas, facilities for sports, holiday activities and
by the many schools that utilise them. three of which are contained within the events. The Recreational Precinct is
• Kingstown Barracks is poorly utilised Settlement Zone. The main area is the separated into three areas. The major
at certain times of the year. service compound that is located to the area is that containing the two
• Kingstown Barracks is not west of the Staff Accommodation dominant recreational facilities, namely
well interpreted and utilised by Precinct and contains the bus depot, the oval and the Rottnest Island Country
visitors, other than those staying recycling facility and power plant. A Club. This area could be developed as a
at this location. second Service and Operation area significant area for recreation within the
• Kingstown Barracks Precinct contains contains the wastewater treatment Settlement Zone.
a number of high maintenance plant just south of the Basin. A third
The Basin and Pinkys Beach comprise a
significant heritage buildings. area located around Mt Herschel
Recreation Precinct adjacent to the
contains the bituminised catchment
Country Club and oval area, but are
2.4.8.3 Recommendations area, desalination plants and water
used in quite a different manner to the
• Maintain and improve the use of collection tanks, and is the site for a
Country Club recreation area.
Kingstown Barracks as an proposed wind turbine. Finally, the
Environmental Education Centre landfill is located at Forbes Hill, outside The third area of the Recreational
primarily for school groups. the boundary of the Settlement Zone. Precinct is the Army Jetty area. This area
• Develop a business plan for Kingstown has previously been proposed as an
Barracks that capitalises on other 2.4.9.2 Issues alternative barge landing location.
opportunities for the use of this area Issues associated with the Without structural modification to the
and improves its economic viability. management of the Operations jetty area, sea swell would make landing
and Services Precinct include: here dangerous on some days in winter
• Potential noise, odour and visual months. There is a need for this area to
amenity concerns are typically be maintained and utilised as an
associated with such facilities; however, alternative delivery site for large-scale
these appear to be well managed. special goods. However, during the
• Material collection areas are visible from extensive periods when its function as a
the walk to Vlamingh lookout and these barge landing site is not required, the
areas require ongoing management area in the immediate vicinity of the
to minimise potential impacts. Army Jetty can be utilised for recreation,
functions and events.
2.4.9.3 Recommendation
• Control noise, odour and visual
impact around the Service and
Operation Precinct.

28
2.4.10.2 Issues 2.5 ROAD DESIGN AND VEHICLE USE 2.5.2 Vehicles
Issues associated with the management
2.5.1 Roads and Tracks
of the Recreation Precinct include: 2.5.2.1 Background
• There is congestion in the Vehicles are prohibited on the Island
2.5.1.1 Background
Commercial Precinct and Arrival and except for those necessary for the
Roads and tracks are used by visitors as
Departure Precinct because of the operation of facilities and services, and
pathways for exploring the Island.
large number of facilities and services the low number of vehicles is
Roads and tracks formalise and
located within those areas. considered a major attraction for
streamline visitor access to sensitive
The development of an additional visitors. The Authority operates bus and
outer bay and inland areas and are
recreational sub-centre, near the coach tour services, and visitors and
therefore considered environmental
Country Club, containing a significant residents are not permitted to bring
management tools. Roads and tracks
number of services and facilities, vehicles to the Island.
also provide access for Island staff to
may draw people away from carry out environmental management
existing congested precincts and 2.5.2.2 Issues
tasks and access for emergency purposes.
lead to a greater utilisation of the Issues associated with the management
Country Club area. of vehicles include the following:
2.5.1.2 Issues
• Limited promotion and the absence Issues associated with the management • There are visitor complaints about the
of grassed fairways reduce the of roads and tracks include: number of vehicles. The amount of
popularity and utilisation of the • There are many tracks that have been vehicle movement is increased by the
Country Club and Golf Course. created outside the Settlement Zone very high level of movement created
• The Recreational Precinct may be which are not necessary for the by luggage delivery and collection
developed to provide the necessary protection of the Island and are and cleaning of accommodation.
facilities to satisfy the current creating a negative environmental • Some vehicles are over-sized for their
perceived need for youth oriented and aesthetic impact. intended use and the style of many is
activities on Rottnest Island. • There is a demand for further urban and not consistent with the
development of the Island’s coastal Island’s relaxed environment.
2.4.10.3 Recommendations walking trail, although its extension • Insufficient designated parking-bays
• Develop and implement a plan for the beyond Narrow Neck could impact on results in vehicles parked in
development of a Recreation Precinct values in that location. inappropriate, highly visible areas in
based around the Country Club. • As there is no stormwater drainage the Settlement Zone. The creation of
• Promote and enhance golf on system, hardened surfaces such as designated parking places for Island
Rottnest Island and undertake a roads and paving may increase the operations would reduce this impact.
feasibility study into the sustainable potential for water erosion.
2.5.2.3 Recommendations
greening of the golf course, with a The Authority manages this issue
• Restrict vehicle numbers, size and
view to implementation. in the establishment of new
type to the minimum required to carry
hardened surfaces.
out necessary operations and actively
2.5.1.3 Recommendations encourage alternatively powered
• Review, rationalise and where vehicles, as replacements are required.
necessary realign tracks in areas
outside Settlement Zone.
• Extend and enhance the existing
Rottnest Island coastal walk trail.

29
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

2.6 LANDSCAPE MATERIALS 2.7 PUBLIC FURNITURE


Part B. Management Planning

2.6.1 Background 2.7.1 Background

Materials are required for landscaping Public furniture is provided throughout


within the Settlement Zone, including the Settlement Zone. This mainly
roadway, paving and retaining walls includes benches, playground furniture,
among others. Various different styles shade shelters and other seating, tables
of landscaping have been introduced to and bus stop furniture.
the Settlement Zone over several
2.7.2 Issues
periods of development including those
documented in Table 2 - Rottnest Issues associated with the provision of
Island Landscaping Materials. public furniture on the Island include
the following:
2.6.2 Issues
• There is a need to be consistent with
Issues associated with the use of public furniture provided, which
landscape materials on the Island should be sympathetic to the heritage
include the following: element of the Settlement Zone and
• There is a need to be consistent with also be functional to meet visitor needs.
respect to the landscaping materials
2.7.3 Recommendation
employed and these should be
sympathetic with heritage elements. • Define and implement a furniture style
for the public open spaces of the
2.6.3 Recommendation
Settlement Zone and around the Island
• Implement an approved range of that meets customer needs and is
landscape materials for Rottnest Island. consistent with and sympathetic to the
heritage elements of Rottnest Island.

Table 2 - Rottnest Island Landscaping Materials

Function Landscape Material

Roadways Black bitumen

Cycle/pedestrian ways Black bitumen; stabilised crushed limestone/sand

Pathways Soft black bitumen; stabilised crushed limestone/sand

Paved areas Unit format ‘Rottnest Crete’; Limestone paving slabs

Landscaping walls Limestone and/or rendered brick in painted in Rottnest Island ochres

Activity spaces Grass, reticulated, woodchipped, sand

Fences Timber post and rail; Timber post and rail and wire mesh where required for animal exclusion

30
2.8 SETTLEMENT VEGETATION 2.9 COLOUR 2.10 LIGHTING

2.8.1 Background 2.9.1 Background 2.10.1 Background

The Settlement Zone contains The Rottnest ochre colour is a highly Lighting is a definite requirement in the
numerous plant species that, while recognisable element as it dominates Settlement Zone for visual and risk
introduced, are of cultural heritage the colour-scape of the Island. The reasons. Lighting has been added to
value. Plantings, including avenues of colour was introduced to cover the over a period of several years with no
trees, create important ambience in the original whitewashed limestone walls comprehensive plan for location or style.
Settlement Zone. which created an extreme glare. The
2.10.2 Issues
colour was generated by adding rusted
Vegetation at ground level within the
nails to the wash and so originally there Issues associated with the management
Settlement is minimal as a result of a
was a range of different intensities of and provision of public space lighting on
lack of water, quokka damage, overuse
Rottnest ochre on the buildings of the the Island include the following:
and dense shade.
Island, although all were of a similar hue. • The progressive nature of lighting
2.8.2 Issues installations has resulted in a range of
2.9.2 Issues
styles being used that has led to visual
Issues associated with the management of
Issues associated with the colour-scape inconsistency.
the vegetation in the Settlement include:
of the Settlement buildings include the • Inappropriate lighting could lead to
• The maintenance of trees and their
following: risk issues.
associated vistas can only be
• The use of the historical range of
undertaken by inter-planting seeds 2.10.3 Recommendation
colours on the Island adds historical
from the existing stock, adapted to
relevance and appropriate colour to • Develop and implement a lighting
the Island’s harsh environment.
the Settlement vista. plan that addresses location and
• Lawned areas lead to enlarged
style of lighting.
population levels of quokkas as they 2.9.3 Recommendation
utilise grass as a food source.
• Define and implement a colour
• Due to quokka grazing, fencing is an
scheme that maintains the character
essential element of landscaping.
of Rottnest Island.
• Lawn areas require a high level of
irrigation that draws valuable water
supplies away from essential demands.

2.8.3 Recommendations

• Retain existing Settlement


vegetation including trees,
ground cover and shrubs.
• Maintain existing canopy lines within
the Settlement Zone, particularly
along the ocean frontage where they
are a key element of the vista.

31
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

3. Terrestrial Environment

3.1 INTRODUCTION 3.2 GEOLOGY, LANDFORMS are highly calcareous, partially lithified
Part B. Management Planning

AND SOILS in places, and display minimal soil


The natural environment of Rottnest
development (Hesp et al 1983). Soils on
Island is a reflection of its separation 3.2.1 Background
the Island are low in nutrients and the
from the mainland for between 6,500
Rottnest Island is the largest and use of fertilisers in the Natural Zone is
and 10,000 years, and of influences
northernmost of a chain of limestone limited to protect this natural state.
from the many roles that the Island has
Islands and reefs on the continental
had over its 170 years of settlement. The The Island overlies the Perth basin, a large
shelf near Perth. The Island was
terrestrial environment contains many geological structure that extends from
connected to the mainland during the
reminders of the pre-developed the south coast to Geraldton and is a
last Glacial period when the sea level
landscape but the relative abundance known gas and oil source. As such, there
was 130 metres lower than at present.
and distribution of most characteristics may be future proposals for titles to allow
With the rise in sea level from 10,000 to
are altered from pre-settlement state. for exploration near to or even on the
6,500 years ago, the Island became
Island. The Department of Industry and
Over recent years, substantial attention separated from the mainland.
Resources is responsible for the
has been devoted to the protection,
The terrestrial component of Rottnest consideration of such proposals, in
enhancement and restoration of the
Island is composed of marine and dune consultation with the Authority.
environmental values of Rottnest Island.
limestone and sand formed during the
The Authority’s environmental A system of salt lakes and swamps
Pleistocene and Holocene periods up to
management charter is formalised in occurs in the central and northern parts
140,000 years ago.
the Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987 of the Island. The salt lakes probably
that states that the purposes of the The highly calcareous Pleistocene dunes originated as collapsed cave formations
Island’s management include: have been cemented to form the Tamala that were subsequently inundated due
• Protecting the flora and fauna of the limestone formation that is extensive to rising sea levels. They were sheltered
Island; and across the Island (Playford and Leech marine environments about 6,500 to
• Maintaining and protecting the 1977). The dune terrain varies from high 7,000 years ago and with the closure of
natural environment and, to the parabolic dunes to low, gently undulating marine connections, became highly
extent that the Authority’s resources limestone flats. Marine limestone was saline lakes. Shell, sand and mud flats
allow, repairing its natural environment. formed during the last interglacial event and terraces adjoin the lake margins.
120 to 130 thousand years ago and Sites of limestone with geological
The management of the Island’s
comprises fossil coral and shell species. heritage significance have been listed
facilities and services is intrinsically
This occurs at Fairbridge Bluff. on the National Heritage Register.
linked to environmental management.
This section should be read in Holocene coastal dunes have formed One of the most important features of
conjunction with other chapters of this around the margins of the Island and the geology of the Island is the evidence
Management Plan that address the overlie much of the limestone. of higher sea levels in the recent past,
management of facilities and activities. Foredunes occur at the landward especially from 5,900 to 4,800 years
Particularly relevant chapters of margins of most sandy bays and ago when sea level was about 2.4
Part B are Chapter 2 - Reserve Zoning interface with extensive parabolic dunes metres higher than it is today. That sea
Plan and Settlement Planning that occur on the south and southwest level eroded a shoreline platform that is
Scheme, and Chapter 6 - Holiday and coast and minor parabolic dunes on the very well displayed around the salt
Recreation Services and Facilities. north and northwest coasts. The dunes lakes. At that time Rottnest Island
consisted of at least 10 separate Islands.

32
Four sites on Rottnest Island have been 3.2.3 Issues The Wadjemup Aquifer contains a lens
proposed to be included in the Register of freshwater overlying a zone of saline
Issues relevant to the management of
of the National Estate. These are water. The top of the lens is at its highest
Fairbridge Bluff, Herschell Quarry, Salmon the Island’s geological, landform and
elevation about 0.35 metres above sea
Point, and elevated platforms that are soil values include:
level and the maximum thickness is about
probably areas that partially coincide with • The Island contains a number of
10 metres. The zone of mixed water
the Rottnest Island lake formations. Three coastal formations that are a hazard
below the lens is about 15 metres thick.
other areas that may warrant similar to visitors. This issue is addressed in
recognition and protection are Barker Part B, Chapter 9 - Visitor Support The Wadjemup Aquifer has played a
Swamp, Parker Point (including its Services. major role on the Island as a source of
Pocillopora Reef) and Wilson Bay. • Erosion can threaten the geological potable water. Groundwater from the
and landform value of coastal aquifer is abstracted via the Island’s
Sensitive marginal habitats occur on the margins, and major erosion events are borefield system. Until recently the
Island between major geological currently occurring in isolated areas of aquifer provided 70 percent of the Island’s
formations. These are highly vulnerable to the Island. potable water supply. With the installation
human impacts, particularly the coastal • As Rottnest Island is a low nutrient of a second desalination plant in 2002,
areas and wetland margins. The Reserve environment, the addition of the proportion of water provided by the
Zoning Plan recognises this vulnerability fertilisers requires careful aquifer has been reduced to 20 percent.
and contains controls on development in management. There are several issues relevant to the
sensitive marginal environments (refer abstraction of groundwater for potable
Part B, Chapter 2 - Reserve Zoning Plan 3.2.4 Recommendations
water supply and these are addressed in
and Settlement Planning Scheme). Part B, Chapter 10 - Infrastructure
• Develop and implement a strategy for
the protection and rehabilitation of and Utilities.
3.2.2 Values coastal landforms.
Although the Oliver Hill Aquifer includes
Rottnest Island has the following • Review and implement the
a small lens of potable groundwater, it is
geological, landform and soil values: interpretation program featuring the
insufficient to warrant development.
• Sites of geological significance Island’s geology, landforms and soils.
contained on the Register of the Surface Water
National Estate and additional sites 3.3 HYDROLOGY Rottnest Island is the only Western
that have been proposed for inclusion. Australian Island with naturally
• Evidence of higher sea levels in the 3.3.1 Background occurring, permanent deep lakes. The
recent past, especially from 5,900 to six permanent salt lakes are extensive,
4,800 years ago when the sea level Groundwater covering about 200 hectares or about
was about 2.4 metres higher than it is The shallow unconfined aquifers on the 10.5 percent of the Island’s surface
today, especially around the salt lakes. Island contain two significant (Playford and Leech, 1977) and ranging
• Significance as the largest and freshwater lenses. One is located to the from two to seven metres in depth
northernmost of a chain of limestone west of the central lighthouse and salt (Bunn and Edward, 1984).
Islands and reefs on the continental lakes and is known as the Wadjemup
Rottnest Island originally contained
shelf near Perth. Aquifer. The other is located in the
eight seasonally fresh to brackish
• Geological formations of the Island vicinity of Oliver Hill, known as the
ephemeral swamps that carried water in
supporting a diverse range of Oliver Hill Aquifer.
winter and dried out in summer.
terrestrial habitats.

33
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Most of the swamps have been affected Island’s groundwater, surface water and 3.3.3 Issues
Part B. Management Planning

by human activities. In the early 1970s rainfall levels and the relations of these
five of the swamps (Bickley, Bulldozer, to abstraction rates is not well defined. Groundwater
Lighthouse, Parakeet and Salmon) were Issues associated with the
Physical disturbance of wetlands from management of the Island’s
mined for marl. The removal of marl
direct human activities can have groundwater resources include:
deepened the swamp creating
subsequent impacts on the water • The lack of definition of the
permanent water bodies and allowing
quality and habitat value for relationship between rainfall, the
saline groundwater to seep in,
communities occupying these areas. aquifer and the Island’s wetlands
increasing the salinity of the swamps.
The Reserve Zoning Plan (refer Part B, limits the Authority’s ability to
Riflerange Swamp has been subject to
Chapter 2 - Reserve Zoning Plan and determine appropriate management
nutrient enrichment, possibly from
Settlement Planning Scheme) actions to protect the hydrological
previous golf course fertilisation
manages this by prohibiting use of and values of the Island.
practices, and Aerodrome Swamp has in • The development of recreation and
public access to the Island’s wetlands,
the past been mown on one side holiday facilities on Rottnest Island,
except as part of a supervised tour.
(Saunders and de Rebeira, 1993). Only requiring the installation of utilities
Barker Swamp remains in an essentially A nitrogen-rich plume emanating from and infrastructure, has brought with
undisturbed state. the Rottnest Island landfill is threatening it isolated incidents of groundwater
the water quality and ecology of Lake contamination. All infrastructure and
The Authority has recently approved a
Herschel and associated freshwater utilities on the Island are managed to
schedule for the rehabilitation of the
seeps. Trees have been planted in the limit groundwater impacts.
five swamps mined for marl, with three
path of the plume in an attempt to
scheduled for rehabilitation during the Surface Water
absorb the nutrients.
life of this Management Plan. Issues associated with the
3.3.2 Values management of the Island’s surface
Finally, four ephemeral freshwater pools water resources include:
(Garden North, Corio, Gull Wash and Rottnest Island has the following • Management of the nutrient plume
Frog Pool) and several freshwater seeps hydrological values: emanating from the landfill is
occur on the Island around the margins • The Wadjemup aquifer is valued as a required to protect the water quality
of the salt lakes. significant source of potable water for of Lake Herschel.
Rottnest Island. • The past treatment of swamps is
There is a possible relationship between linked with the suspected decline in
• Rottnest Island is the only Western
the freshwater seepage around Barker reptilian and amphibian fauna
Australian Island with permanent
Swamp and the Island’s freshwater populations. Rehabilitation of the
deep lakes.
aquifer; however, more research is swamps may have significant positive
• Possible links between the aquifer
required to determine the nature and effects on these fauna.
and wetlands give the aquifer
extent of this relationship (Playford, pers
significant ecological value.
comm.). Similarly, the seepage at 3.3.4 Recommendations
• Because of its relatively undisturbed
Lighthouse Swamp may be connected
state, Barker Swamp is representative • Undertake research into the relationship
to that aquifer. Research to date has not
of pre-disturbance swamp conditions. between rainfall, groundwater and
recorded a relationship between the
• The Island’s wetlands provide habitat the wetlands of Rottnest Island.
aquifer and other wetlands on the
and a water source for a range of flora • Protect, preserve and interpret Barker
Island. The relationship between the
and fauna. Swamp as a primary example of the

34
pre-disturbed condition of Rottnest At a local scale, the Island can be accommodation facilities. This unit
Island swamps. classified into distinct areas of common includes the European plantings such as
• Protect, conserve and interpret Rottnest distinguishing aesthetic characteristics the Norfolk pines which contribute to
Island lakes, swamps, freshwater seeps known as landscape Character Units. Five the vista and character of the
and surrounding vegetation. landscape Character Units can be Settlement Zone.
• Monitor water and salinity levels identified for Rottnest Island, four of which
are contained within the Natural Zone This section deals exclusively with the
within swamps and freshwater seeps
and one within the Settlement Zone. The four natural landscape elements of
on Rottnest Island.
Character Units are briefly described below. Rottnest Island. The management of
• Rehabilitate Lighthouse Swamp.
the Settlement Character Unit is
• Rehabilitate Parakeet Swamp.
Marine Character Unit: addressed in Part B, Chapter 5 -
• Rehabilitate Salmon Swamp.
Comprises marine waters adjoining Cultural Heritage.
• Develop a Plan for the rehabilitation the Island’s coast and the embayment
of Bulldozer and Bickley Swamps. areas that contain these waters.
3.4.2 Values
• Develop and implement a Plan to This Character Unit also includes views
interpret the rehabilitation of of adjacent islands and rocks located Rottnest Island holds several landscape
Rottnest Island swamps. within the Reserve. values including the following:
• Manage the nutrient plume from • There is an unusually high diversity of the
Rottnest Island’s landfill to ensure Coastal Landscape Character Unit:
landscape Character Units, particularly
minimal impact to the water quality Comprises a broad Zone of variable
given the small size of the Island.
and other values of Lake Herschel. width, extending from the onshore
• The inland, coastal and marine vistas
waters to the landward boundaries of
associated with the range of
3.4 LANDSCAPE AND VISTAS active marine erosional weathering. The
character units are a key element of
boundaries coincide with the outer
the visitor experience and contribute
Islands, onshore reef landforms and the
3.4.1 Background to the appreciation of the Island.
inner stable dune and associated
The term ‘landscape’ refers to the vegetation communities. 3.4.3 Issues
appearance or visual quality of an area Hinterland Landscape Character Issues associated with the management
as determined by its geology, soils, Unit: Comprises the remaining of the Island’s landforms include:
landforms, vegetation, water features stabilised coastal dune limestone lands, • Alterations to the existing diversity
and land use history. inland from the Coastal Landscape and nature of Character Units will
Character Unit. have an impact on the visitor
On a broad scale, Rottnest Island is
experience on Rottnest Island.
typical of other semi-arid and Lakes Landscape Character Unit:
• Fire, grazing and various other forms
Mediterranean landscapes of the Comprises the extensive swamp and
of habitat modifications have
Western Australian coastline. In the salt lakes system with associated
significantly disturbed the hinterland
overall State context, Rottnest Island lies shoreline flats, salt marshes, and relic
landscape Character Unit.
within the Swan Coastal Plain sand/shell terraces and flats.
• Any development, particularly
Landscape Character Type - one of 39
Settlement Landscape Character development that screens existing
distinct broad-scale landscape areas
Unit: Comprises the major built-up vistas or modifies the nature of the
located throughout Western Australia
areas of the Island, including the landscape, has the potential to
(Department of Conservation and Land
Thomson, Kingstown, Geordie and negatively affect the vista and
Management, 1994).
Longreach Bay Settlement and landscape values of Rottnest Island.

35
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

• The addition of natural or built production of greenhouse gas 3.5.2 Values


Part B. Management Planning

landscape elements that are not emissions, including the planned


The clean air and relative quietness of
consistent with the landscape construction of a wind turbine which
characteristic may adversely affect the Rottnest Island contributes to its popularity
will reduce the existing reliance on
value of the various Character Units. as a recreation and holiday destination.
diesel generated power. This issue is
addressed in Part B, Chapter 10 -
3.4.4 Recommendations
Infrastructure and Utilities, 3.5.3 Issues
• Revise and commence the Section 10.5 - Energy. Alternative
Issues associated with the
implementation of plans for outer powered vehicles are now available in
management of the Island’s
bays to minimise negative impact on the market and are currently being
atmospheric conditions include:
the diversity and values of the Island’s trialed on Rottnest Island. Wood heaters
• The small number of vehicles on the
landscape and vistas. are being phased out and replaced with
Island contributes to a relatively clean
• Develop and implement a Plan alternative sources of heating.
atmosphere. The low level of air
to effectively manage and
Odour pollution and noise makes the
interpret the values of the
The Rottnest Island Wastewater exhaust and noise from the few
Island’s natural landscapes.
Treatment Plant, landfill and vehicles on the Island noticeable.
composting site have the potential to • The management of the airspace above
3.5 ATMOSPHERE
cause odour, but have not been the Reserve is important as aircraft
observed to be an issue to date. noise affects the Island’s amenity.
3.5.1 Background

Noise 3.5.4 Recommendations


Air Pollution
The Authority is committed to the Vehicles, plant, equipment and aircraft
• Develop and implement strategies to
management of air pollution on are major contributors to the noise
reduce greenhouse gas emissions on
Rottnest Island. The Authority is a levels on Rottnest Island. Some vehicles
Rottnest Island in accordance with the
signatory to the National Greenhouse on the Island are considered noisy,
National Greenhouse Challenge actions.
Challenge and the State Cleaner particularly when used early in the
• Eliminate wood fires in Authority
Production Statement, and is an affiliate morning or late in the evening. Noisy
accommodation and replace them
to the global Green Globe process. plant machinery on the Island is with an alternative environmentally
There are positive benefits that will arise appropriately located to prevent noise sensitive and cost-effective source of
from State, National and global impacts and is not considered an issue. accommodation heating.
commitments to the management and Noise from aircraft impacts on the • Investigate options to reduce the
reduction of greenhouse gases. amenity of the Island at certain times of impact of aircraft noise.

Contributors to greenhouse gases the year. The amount of air traffic is a


3.6 TERRESTRIAL FLORA & FAUNA
include vehicles, boats, plant, result of the Island’s positioning beacon
equipment and wood heaters. The that makes it an attractive destination
3.6.1 Background
power station is the largest contributor for training schools. The commercial
to greenhouse emissions on the Island. aircraft carrying passengers to the Island Rottnest Island experienced significant
are thought to be only a minor changes in vegetation composition
The Authority is taking advantage of contributor to aircraft noise impacts. through the Pleistocene and early-to-
several opportunities to reduce the mid Holocene periods. As the sea level

36
rose and fell the Island alternated several factors likely to have contributed are home to many internationally
between being a non-coastal mainland to the decline in woodland areas protected migratory birds but these
site with sea levels 130 metres lower including sheep grazing, settlement areas are not covered by this
than at present and a coastal Island development, fire, timber cutting for convention. There may be benefits
when sea levels were at least three firewood and construction purposes from listing the Island’s wetlands on
metres higher than at present. The and quokkas grazing on regenerated the Ramsar Convention.
vegetation would have fluctuated from areas. A 20-year Woodland Restoration
Strategy is in its fifth year of Three butterfly species and localised
being dominated by Tuart woodland to
implementation on Rottnest Island. This quokka populations rely on the salt
being dominated by coastal Heath
will shortly be revised to improve the lakes for food and habitat.
(Chappell, 1983; Churchill, 1960;
result of reforestation efforts.
Marchant and Abbott, 1981). Swamps and freshwater
Grass and heathland habitat pool habitat
In addition to the provisions of the
In 1998, grasslands and heathlands The swamps and freshwater pools are
Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987, all
occupied 62 percent of the total Island a significant habitat. The three frog
of Rottnest Island’s indigenous flora and
area. The total area of grass will species found on Rottnest Island rely on
fauna are protected by the Wildlife
decrease as woodland restoration the swamps and pools for food and
Conservation Act 1950.
increases and is likely to fall to 40 breeding grounds. Many other fauna
percent of the Island. rely on the swamps and freshwater
3.6.2 Terrestrial Habitats
pools especially during summer months.
Salt lake habitat
Terrestrial areas of Rottnest Island have
Although Rottnest Island is small Freshwater lens and seep habitat
been classified into six distinct habitat
compared to other Australian coastal Freshwater seeps are important for a
types described below.
Islands, it is unique in that it possesses a number of species of flora such as water
Coastal habitat salt lake complex. The lakes contain thyme (Hydrilla verticillata). This flora
The coastal habitats of Rottnest Island columnar algal stromatolites and supports a range of fauna including two
are characterised by resilient vegetation microbial mats on the lake bottom up to lizard species, one of which is
that acts to stabilise dunes and protect 10cm thick in areas. Stromatolites uncommon (Bassiana trillineata) and is
areas further inland. Coastal areas are represent the earliest record of life on confined to damp places. A species of
the most exposed on the Island and are earth, dating from some 3,500 million native couch, Sperogulus verginicus, is
also popular destinations for visitors. years ago. Brine shrimp exist in the lakes
also commonly found around the seeps.
The combination of visitors and supporting a wide variety of permanent,
weather extremes places pressure on vagrant and migratory birds feeding at Localised quokka populations use the
coastal habitats. Rottnest Island. seeps as a source of fresh drinking
Woodland habitat water. The Rock Parrot (Neophema
The salt lakes are a particularly
Woodland species, including Rottnest petrophila) and White Fronted Chat
important habitat for numerous bird
Island Pine, Tea Tree and Summer (Epthianura albifrons) depend on these
species including internationally
Scented Wattle, once covered two- sources of water as does the Australian
important migratory bird species.
thirds of the Island. Historical evidence Shelduck (Tardorna tadornoides) which
The international Ramsar Convention
of this includes Vlamingh’s observations defends them as part of its brooding
to which Australia is a signatory
and aerial photographs taken since 1941. territory. The Caspian Tern
recognises and provides protection for
(Hydroprogne caspia) also utilises the
The coverage of woodland on the Island habitats of protected migratory bird
seeps as a freshwater source to wash.
is now considerably less. There are species. Wetlands on Rottnest Island

37
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Relationship between Habitats and rehabilitation areas and sensitive bird 3.6.3 Terrestrial Flora
Part B. Management Planning

the Reserve Zoning Plan breeding sites, in order to minimise


The range of vegetation types on the
As described above there are several negative impacts from associated
Island is described in Table 3 - Rottnest
sensitive ecological habitats on the activities (refer Part B, Chapter 2 -
Island Vegetation Types.
Island. The Reserve Zoning Plan Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement
manages the impact to these areas, by Planning Scheme). The Zoning Plan also
restricting access where necessary. minimises activities in the sensitive areas
In particular, the Reserve Zoning Plan of the Natural Zone by the establishment
controls public access to wetlands, of Medium Use Activity Nodes.
woodland restoration areas, dune

Table 3 - Rottnest Island Vegetation Types

Vegetation Type Description


Coastal Dense Heath The coastal dense heath comprises the ‘mobile’ dune community that occurs on beach backshores, foredunes and blowouts,
and the ‘stable’ dune community chiefly comprising parabolic dunes.

Acanthocarpus preissii This community covers approximately one-third of the Island, although the two dominant species (Acanthocarpus preissii and
and Stipa flavescens Stipa flavescens) are present within many of the other communities. The community is extensive because Stipa and
(Low Dense Heath) Acanthocarpus rapidly re-grow from root crowns following fire and are unpalatable to quokkas (O’Connor et al, 1977).

Acacia littorea The Acacia littorea (formerly A. cuneata) community occurs on shallow limestone headlands and Holocene parabolic dunes.
Dense stands of A. littorea may die out from the centre and regenerate as seeds become established.

Acacia rostellifera The Acacia rostellifera community occurs as a low forest in the Island’s sheltered eastern portion, and as a wind-pruned closed
(Low Forest or scrub in the less sheltered western portion. The community was extensive on the Island prior to 1930 but now occurs as small,
Closed Scrub): scattered thickets because of extensive recurrent wildfires and excessive grazing by quokkas (Rippey and Rowland ,1995).

Melaleuca lanceolata/ The Melaleuca lanceolata/Callistris preiseii association formed the Island’s original vast woodland vegetation type. Melaleuca
Callitris preiseii lanceolata grows in many forms including low closed forest and closed scrub. Callistris preiseii has declined markedly to the
(Low Forest) extent that this association is no longer very well represented on the Island. Re-establishment of this association is an objective
of the Woodland Restoration Strategy.

Templetonia retusa The Templetonia retusa (dense heath) vegetation primarily occurs on shallow limestone ridges surrounding the salt lakes
(Dense Heath) at the eastern end of the Island. Where it is dense it is generally the only species present and where less dense may have an
under-storey of perennials.

Pittosporum phy Pittosporum phylliraeoides was formerly mapped as part of the Templetonia dense heath. It dominates certain areas and has
lliraeoides (Low Forest) also invaded some areas (for example Geordie Bay and Little Parakeet) (White and Edmiston, 1974).

Saline and Brackish This community extends around the margins of the salt lakes and brackish swamps. It is particularly extensive on the northwest
Water Marsh Community margin of Lake Baghdad.

Mixed Succulent This mat community principally occurs on exposed limestone headlands and on a few sandy scree slopes around the coast.
Mat Community The community is characterised by low spreading scrubs, often succulent, and some annual species. The introduced annual
Gasoul crystallinum forms an extensive association along the western cliff-edge of Cape Vlamingh.

Nitraria billardieri This dense spreading succulent scrub forms homogeneous stands on limestone cliffs at Cape Vlamingh and on some
Community offshore stacks and Islands.

38
3.6.4 Terrestrial Fauna Birds Reptiles and Frogs
Rottnest Island has a rich bird fauna Reptiles and frogs are an integral part of
Mammals
with 112 species having been recorded Rottnest Island’s terrestrial ecosystem.
Only two native mammal species remain
on, over or around the Island (Saunders Seventeen species of reptiles
on Rottnest Island: the quokka (Setonix
and de Rebeira,1985 and 1993). (two geckoes, two legless lizards, 12
brachyurus), and the White Striped skink lizards and two snakes) and three
Of these, around 49 species occur
Mastiff Bat (Tadarida australis). species of frogs occur on Rottnest Island
regularly on the Island, including a
The quokka is one of the most number of transequitorial migrant (Brooker et al, 1995, and Smith, 1997).
recognisable symbols of Rottnest Island species (Saunders and de Rebeira, 1993) Due to its isolation for 6,500 years and
and is an attraction for visitors. In which breed in the Arctic Circle and the rigorous conditions on the Island,
spend the northern winter feeding local genetic adaptations have taken
addition to being protected by the
around the Island’s salt lakes. place and some Island populations have
Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, the
diverged from their mainland ancestors.
quokka is also a declared threatened
Important habitats for birds on the As a result of this, there are two
species. Rottnest Island carries the
Island include coastal breeding grounds endemic subspecies on the Island which
largest existing population of quokkas,
for the breeding migrant Fairy Tern are the Rottnest Island Bobtail (Tiliqua
estimated at between 8,000 and
(Sterna nereis) and Wedge-tailed rugosa knowi) and the Rottnest Island
12,000 individuals.
Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus) and the Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis exilis).
Hunting by Aboriginal prisoners on salt lakes and swamps that are
important for the large number of water The Salmon-bellied Skink (Egernia
Rottnest Island up until the 1920s kept
birds, especially migratory species napoleonis) and another skink, Lerista
quokka numbers low. The combined
(Saunders and de Rebeira, 1993). lineata, may represent extinctions that
impact of subsequent protection and
have occurred since European
ample supply of food led to a quokka
There have been three recorded bird settlement, with no sightings since
population increase. The increased
extinctions and ten immigrations of 1959 and 1930 respectively (Storr 1989;
grazing by quokkas has now
birds to the Island. All of the extinctions Brooker et al, 1995). A number of other
contributed to a decline in the Island’s
and seven migrations have been directly skink species and one of the legless
overall woodland area to the extent that
related to human influence (Saunders lizards were described as rare or
trees and shrubs are unable to
and de Rebeira, 1985). uncommon in 1985 (Storr, 1989);
regenerate without protective fencing.
however, little recent data is available.
Isolated populations of Red Capped
The presence of the white striped Of particular note is the skink
Robins and Golden Whistlers occur in
mastiff bat on Rottnest Island was Acritoscincus trilineatum, which is
the Island’s Melaleuca woodlands.
recorded from a deceased specimen limited to areas of damp soil and may be
These species are no longer present on
found in 1997. Since then, live specimens affected by a reduction in the extent of
the Swan Coastal Plain or on Garden
have been handed in by visitors and seen freshwater seeps.
Island. The Honeyeater on the Island is
and heard in the Kingstown area (Wright
significantly larger than mainland The three frog species on Rottnest Island
pers comm, 2001).
individuals of the same species. are the Southern Moaning Frog
(Heleioporus eyrei), the Squelching Froglet
(Crinia insignifera) and the Western
Green Tree Frog (Litoria moorei). These
frog species rely on the swamps and
pools for food and breeding grounds.

39
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Butterflies At various times over the Island’s history 3.6.5 Values


Part B. Management Planning

horses, sheep, cattle, cats, dogs, poultry


At least 16 species of butterflies have Various aspects of habitats, flora and
and caged birds have been allowed on
been recorded on the Island (Williams, fauna have value on Rottnest Island:
Rottnest Island. Under current
1997 and Powell, 1998). While some of • Quokkas and White Striped Mastiff
management arrangements the Bats are highly valued as the two
these species are considered uncommon,
transport of exotic species to the Island remaining terrestrial mammals of
none is considered rare or endangered.
is prohibited. Rottnest Island.
All butterfly species on Rottnest Island
• Rottnest Island contains many
are found on the mainland. Weeds examples of diverged fauna subspecies
Several weed species are prevalent on as a result of the Island’s isolation.
Spiders, insects and other
the Island both within and outside the • Remnant woodland habitats represent
arthropods
Settlement Zone. These may have the the original dominant vegetation type
Little research has been undertaken on
potential to out-compete native species at the period of settlement.
the terrestrial arthropods of Rottnest
within all habitat types. • Rottnest Island provides habitat for
Island. These groups are an important several uncommon, rare or significant
part of the ecosystem, particularly as a Plant Diseases fauna species
food source. At least 15 species of Plant diseases have not been well - Swamps and freshwater seeps
spiders and 42 species of ants have been researched on Rottnest Island, although provide the only remaining habitats
identified on the Island. the canker fungus that kills the aerial on the Island for three frog species
parts of plants is evident on some of the and some lizard species.
Pests and Feral Animals - Melaleuca sp. woodlands of the Island
Island’s tuart trees. Armillaria sp, an
There are a number of pests and introduced are an important habitat for several
indigenous species of mushroom
species found on the Island. These include isolated populations of Red Capped
cats, black rats, house mice, peafowl, producing pathogen that causes infection, Robins and Golden Whistlers, which
galahs, magpies, silver gulls, ravens, is present on Garden Island but has not are now absent from the Swan
pheasants and two species of exotic doves. been detected on Rottnest Island. Coastal Plain and Garden Island.
- Internationally protected breeding
Peafowl and pheasant are introduced sites for migratory bird species occur
but these species are relatively benign in around the Island including the
terms of their impact on the natural coastal and wetland areas that are
environment, and are also valued possibly worthy of international
cultural heritage elements of the Island. Ramsar Wetland status. Migratory
The other species of birds are likely to bird species are protected under
international agreements applicable
have migrated from the mainland but
to Rottnest Island.
their numbers have increased to the
• Stromatolites represent the earliest
extent that they are considered pests
record of life on earth, dating from
and detract from the visitor experience. some 3,500 million years ago.
• Coastal vegetation stabilises dune
Cats and rodents can severely impact on
systems and protects against erosion.
native fauna by preying on them or
• The ability of wildlife to be viewed
competing for food or territory. Feral
and appreciated at distances closer
cats on Rottnest Island have been than on the mainland due to the
greatly reduced, and possibly eliminated history of human contact is an
as a result of the eradication program. important aspect of visitor enjoyment.

40
3.6.6 Issues and sensitive areas is a threat to the 3.6.7 Recommendations
Island’s habitat and property values.
Issues associated with the management • Review and implement the Woodland
• Erosion processes threaten the coastal
of Rottnest Island’s terrestrial habitats, Restoration Strategy, in the context of
habitat value of Rottnest Island as
flora and fauna include: a vegetation management strategy.
many important flora and fauna
• Threatened and endangered species • Assess and manage all developments
occur in this area.
inhabit Rottnest Island. on the Island to minimise possible
• Weed species have the potential to
• Habitat management is critical to the threats to the habitats, flora and
out-compete native species within all
preservation of the Island’s unique fauna of Rottnest Island.
habitat types.
and rare fauna and flora species. • Review and implement a plan for the
• Some pest species, particularly silver
• Any future development that does interpretation of the flora and fauna
gulls and ravens, diminish the visitor
not pay due regard to the terrestrial of Rottnest Island.
experience while others may compete
floral and faunal values of Rottnest • Develop and implement a fire
with native Rottnest Island species.
Island could threaten important management plan for Rottnest Island
• Rottnest Island’s environment
species by either modifying or that recognises key ecological areas of
provides an opportunity to increase
removing their habitats. protection, in coordination with the
the awareness and appreciation of
• Rehabilitation of the Island’s swamps Fire and Emergency Services Authority.
flora, fauna and their habitats.
and the restoration of woodlands are • Implement an effective weed
critical elements in the reversal of management program for Rottnest
human impacts on the Island. Island, based on existing procedures.
• Management of quokkas with • Implement an effective feral animal
respect to the woodland restoration eradication program, based on
program is critical. existing procedures.
• A woodland restoration program • Encourage research on Island flora
intended to restore the relative and fauna, particularly that which
distribution of vegetation on the contributes to the management of
Island prior to human habitation will plant diseases on Rottnest Island.
reduce the present coverage of other • Investigate the benefits of pursuing
vegetation types. Ramsar wetland classification for
• Heavy human use of a particular area Rottnest Island wetlands used by
or habitat type may make those areas migratory bird species.
vulnerable to impact.
• In Rottnest Island’s dry environment,
fire is a threat to all habitats. Fire is
particularly a threat to woodland
communities as these have lengthy
regeneration periods.
• Currently the firebreak system is
based on historic tracks and breaks in
vegetation. The absence of a more
strategic system considering
prevailing winds, potential for erosion

41
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

4. Marine Environment

4.1 INTRODUCTION The environmental management of the 4.2 BACKGROUND


Part B. Management Planning

Marine Reserve is intrinsically linked to


Rottnest Island lies just inside the 50- 4.2.1 Marine Habitats
the management and control of the
metre water depth contour of the
facilities and recreational activities that Eight habitat categories within the
continental shelf. Approximately 30km
occur in the marine environment. This marine waters of the Reserve have been
west of Rottnest Island the sea bottom
section should be read in conjunction described. These are outlined in Table 4
rapidly descends to approximately
with Part B, Chapter 7 - Marine - Marine Habitats of Rottnest Island
4000m. A reef, which reduces the depth
Recreation and Facilities that deals below. In the shallow (<10m), subtidal
of the water to 10m, extends between
with management actions relating to regions algae and seagrasses
the eastern tip of Rottnest Island and
these. The Reserve Zoning Plan proliferate. Inter-tidal zones consist of
Garden Island.
(established in Part B, Chapter 2 - limestone rock platforms and small
Rottnest Island’s marine biota has been Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement sandy beaches. In sheltered bays,
the subject of much study. A collection Planning Scheme) also influences seagrass meadows support thriving
of some 30 research papers relating to the outcomes and recommendations communities and provide nurseries for
marine biota was published in 1993 of this chapter and should be read to juvenile marine species. Rottnest Island
(Wells et al 1993a; 1993b). gain a full appreciation of the set of boasts the most southerly occurring
management tools recommended for tropical coral assemblages in the State.
the marine environment.

Table 4: Marine Habitats of Rottnest Island

Habitat Type Dominant Plant Species % Area

1. Sand Sparse seagrasses (Posidonia spp., Heterozostera, Halophila) 20

2. Seagrass Amphibolis spp. dominant, Posidonia spp. subdominant 7

3. Seagrass (1) Posidonia ostenfeldii, Posidonia coriacea, Amphibolus griffithii 3

4. Seagrass (2) Posidonia australis 1

5. Mixed seagrass and reef Amphibolus spp, Ecklonia, Sargassum, Algal turf 10

6. Reef Ecklonia, Sargassum, Algal turf, Amphibolis antarctica, Thalassondendron 45

7. Intertidal platform Algal turf, Sargassum 4

8. Reef wash Sargassum, Ecklonia, Algal Turf 9

These habitat types are described in more detail on the following pages.

42
Sandy bottom Intertidal platform and reef found that tropical species favour the
These areas consist of bare sand or communities west end of the Island over the east end
sparsely populated patches with smaller This group is further divided into three (Wells, 1985). The distribution of
seagrass species. These areas of sandy marine habitats: the reef, the reef/rocks tropical mollusc species at West End is
patches often contain a large diversity awash and intertidal platforms. The reef unique to Perth. As these species are
of microorganisms. and reef/rocks awash support similar near to their southernmost distribution
habitats, but are separated by the limits they are particularly susceptible to
Seagrass and algae communities degree of exposure to wave action and environmental disturbance (Wells, 1985).
Seagrasses have been classified into turbulence (Rottnest Island Authority,
four communities that may also It has been suggested that the
1985a). Reef communities are rarely
incorporate the macroalgae species. Of zoogeographic importance of tropical
exposed by low tides and are located in
the eight species of seagrasses that species at Rottnest Island is a general
areas of lower turbulence, although
appear in the Reserve, five are large faunal feature and not restricted to
there are areas around the Island that
southern Australian species that form molluscs (Wells, 1985). The southward
are subject to harsh environmental
extensive, secure meadows that occupy flowing Leeuwin Current is thought to
conditions. In contrast, reef/rocks
over 60 percent of the habitat. be the mechanism allowing planktonic
awash are often exposed at low tide and
larvae of tropical species to reach
usually have waves breaking on them.
Seagrass and algae are the major Rottnest Island and survive. This may
primary producers in the marine system Intertidal communities are highly account for the preference of tropical
and sustain many other marine animals exposed to wave and tidal impact and, fauna species for West End.
and decomposers either directly or as a result, can only support plants
indirectly. Seagrass meadows act as a Currents are also thought to be the
capable of withstanding both this
substrate for colonisation by plants and reason for the distinction between habitat
turbulence and conditions of extreme
animals that further contribute to the and fauna types on the northern and
heat in summer.
food chain (Walker, 1985). The larger southern coasts of Rottnest Island. It is
marine plant species do not support 4.2.2 Marine Fauna noteworthy that there is no portion of
much direct grazing but instead break the northern marine environment of the
Rottnest Island’s wide variety of habitats
down after detachment and support Reserve that is currently protected from
provide for a diverse marine fauna.
organisms that feed on decaying and various potential human-induced impacts.
A significant value of Rottnest Island’s
decomposing matter. These, in turn, marine fauna is its unique mixture of Coral Communities
support life higher in the food chain tropical and temperate species Coral reef areas are important habitats
(Walker, 1985). including several species endemic to for many marine species, particularly as
Seagrass is also an integral structure of Western Australia. This species mix is a nursery site for juvenile life forms.
the bay environment. Meadows provide related to a variety of factors that They also provide sites for breeding,
protection by reducing current flow, influence the waters of Rottnest Island reproduction, and protection for a
resulting in sediment trapping and (Wells and Walker, 1993). diversity of marine organisms.
stabilisation that decrease the potential West End is particularly important for The coral representation at Rottnest
for erosion. illustrating this unique species diversity. Island is diverse but typically not dense.
A study of tropical/temperate mollusc Rottnest Island is the southern most
ratios and their spatial variability on location of the coral Pocillopora
Rottnest Island and the mainland coast damicornis, located at Pocillopora Reef

43
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

(southern coast near Salmon Point) algal polygon behaviour and fish Storm-tossed seagrass dominates Island
Part B. Management Planning

(Hutchins, 1985, Wells et al., 1993a, cleaning stations - areas where fish visit beaches in winter. Decaying seagrass is
Wells et al., 1993b). Another 25 species to have their scales cleaned by other fish. recognised as an important contributor
of coral have been recorded (Veron and to the ecosystem as it provides habitat
Marsh, 1988) with most present as 4.2.3 Marine Flora for a variety of insects and food for fish.
isolated colonies.
A total of 355 species of marine plants
4.3 VALUES
The most diverse coral communities at have been identified in the waters
Rottnest Island are located at the surrounding Rottnest Island (Huisman The values of the marine environment
southern end of the Island, in particular and Walker 1990). Included in this are of Rottnest Island are many and include:
Kitson Point, Salmon Point and Parker eight species of seagrass, 54 species of • There is a unique mixture of tropical
Point (Marsh, 1985). In addition to green algae, 71 species of brown algae and temperate fauna and flora
Pocillopora, Rottnest Island is the and 222 of red algae (Rottnest Island species, with a prominent component
southernmost limit of three other Authority, 1995). of endemic Western Australian species.
hermatypic coral species or genera • The Island has the southern-most
Biogeographically, the marine flora of
(Porites, Acropora and Alveopora) and occurring assemblages of tropical corals
Rottnest Island has a different
two ahermatypic Tubastereai species in the State and possibly the nation.
distributional pattern to the fauna.
(Marsh, 1985). The areas from Parker • The Island is the southernmost
Almost two-thirds of the algae are
Point to Salmon Point and from Nancy location of the coral species and
temperate species and 17 percent are
Cove to Kitson Point are also significant genera: Pocillopora damicornis,
endemic to Rottnest Island. In contrast
for the preservation of coral, and an Porites, Alveopora and Acropora; and
to the fauna, only 3 percent of the flora
increase in the diversity of coral species two ahermatypic Tubastereai species.
are Indo-west Pacific and 11 percent are
has been observed over the last ten years. • There is a particularly diverse coral mix
warm temperate species. The distinct
in the areas of Kitson Point to Nancy
Fish change from the western end to the
Cove and Parker Point to Salmon Point.
There are approximately 420 recorded eastern end of Rottnest Island (as
• Reef and seagrass habitats support
fish species in the waters surrounding displayed by the fauna) is not evident in
marine fauna and flora by providing
Rottnest Island (Hutchins, pers data). the algae either. It has been speculated
sites for breeding, spawning, feeding
These range from reef-dwelling gobies that this is due to the much shorter lives
and shelter and in particular is home
to pelagic species such as the mackerels, of the propagules of algae in
to juveniles of marine species.
although reef dwelling species form the comparison with the planktonic larvae
• Coral reef habitats in particular are
majority (Hutchins, 1979). of animals (Hoffman, 1987).
important for the maintenance of
Approximately 20 percent are endemic tropical fauna at high latitude.
The dominant seagrass species belong
to Western Australia, 25 percent are • Reef, seagrass and shipwrecks have
to the genera Posidonia and Amphibolis.
tropical, and the remainder are warm social value in that they provide
These are large southern Australian
temperate southern Australian species popular sites for recreational activities.
seagrasses capable of forming extensive
(Hutchins, 1979). Parker Point has the • Marine habitats support recreational
stable meadows. The remaining smaller
largest amount of tropical fish activity, and commercial fisheries through the
species colonise more readily, but they
centered on the 100m long reef of provision of breeding and nursery
are less stable in a stressed high-energy
Pocillopora coral (Hutchins, 1985). sites and habitats for species targeted
environment (Wells et al., 1993a; Wells
et al., 1993b). Rottnest Island has a by these groups.
The Island contains numerous examples
of fish activity including Buffalo Bream notably high level of seagrass diversity.

44
• Seagrass meadows reduce water flow 4.4 WATER QUALITY The introduction of bacteria and viruses
and stabilise subtidal sediments, into popular swimming areas can result
4.4.1 Issues
preventing erosion. in a serious public health risk. The
• Seagrass and algae are important Water quality around Rottnest Island Authority undertakes regular water
primary producers in the marine can be affected by various marine-based quality monitoring in accordance to
system sustaining other marine or land-based activities. These include ANZECC guidelines for primary contact
animals either directly or indirectly. the discharge of boat-based sullage, (eg. swimming). Monitoring data
• The Marine Reserve contains a notably fuel and oil spills and land-based has revealed that there have been
high species diversity of seagrass. discharges, as discussed below. incidents where ANZECC guidelines for
• The clarity and high water quality of primary contact have been exceeded.
Rottnest Island Reserve waters Liquid waste from vessels These incidents usually occur in areas
contribute to this area being a popular A major concern for the Authority has of high boat concentration and times
diving and swimming location, and to been the discharge of boat-based liquid of low flushing, for example around
the health of the environment. wastes into the bays of Rottnest Island. Easter holidays.
• Numerous fragile submerged In particular, concerns relate to the
Nutrient enrichment from liquid waste
limestone structures, which represent discharge of ‘black water’ (that includes
can potentially lead to phytoplankton
previous geological periods, are human waste and waste from marine
blooms, and subsequently to light
valued diving and snorkelling sites. sanitation devices), bilge water and
reduction. This can lead to anoxic
‘grey water’ (the term used to describe
dirty water from showers, hand basins conditions resulting in widespread death
and kitchens). of flora and fauna, a localised reduction
in species diversity, and an unpleasant
The discharge of liquid waste has the smell of rotting seaweed (Walker, 1985).
potential to increase concentrations of
nutrients, bacteria, viruses, and Research to date on the impact of
introduce chemicals, fats and oils to liquid waste at Rottnest Island, has
the marine environment. concentrated on bacterial loads with
Rottnest Island has the potential to be respect to public health. As no research
more susceptible to liquid waste has been conducted on nutrient
impacts than most metropolitan marine enrichment, there is no evidence of any
areas as boats occupy its bays for effect from the discharge of liquid
extended periods on overnight stays, waste from boats on seagrass
and often there is a concentration of populations in the Reserve. However,
boats in a bay further increasing the there is some evidence of this
potential for impact. elsewhere. Nutrient rich sludge input is
known to have increased epiphyte
The flushing characteristics of a bay can densities enough to restrict light levels
also influence the potential impact of reaching seagrass meadows at other
liquid waste discharge into a particular locations, leading to a seagrass
area. Some peak boating periods coincide population decline.
with calm sea conditions leading to
increased residence times and minimal
dispersion of discharged substances.

45
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Left unmanaged, the impact of liquid of Rottnest Island. Potential sources of 4.5 VESSEL MOVEMENTS
Part B. Management Planning

waste discharge will continue to an oil or fuel spill at Rottnest Island


increase with the predicted increase in include fuel jetty leaks or spills, boat 4.5.1 Issues
boat activity and boat size in the accidents and wrecks, illegal discharge
of contaminated bilge water and oil Environmental management issues
Reserve. The Authority has introduced a
spills from vessels in transit. associated with the movement of
strategy for the management of waste
vessels within the Reserve include:
discharge from vessels. This strategy is
The Authority participates in the local • Movement of vessels has the potential
aligned with approaches being
emergency procedures that deal with to stir up bottom sediments, reducing
undertaken elsewhere in Western
spills of this nature. the amount of light penetrating the
Australian and other States. The
strategy establishes a zoned approach water. This can affect seagrass, coral
Land-based impacts and algal populations that are reliant
to the management of waste discharge
There is potential for the past and present on sunlight for photosynthesis.
from vessels. In Zone 1, there is to be no
land-based activities to impact on the • Light restriction can subsequently
discharge of blackwater, solid waste,
water quality of Rottnest Island bays. In
fuel, oils or lubricants. The discharge of initiate short term or long term
particular, septic toilets around the Island
greywater is allowed in Zone 1 pending population reductions, and has been
have the potential to leach nutrients and
further research into its impact at known to be a major cause of
bacteria into the marine environment.
Rottnest Island. In Zone 2, there is to be seagrass decline in Western Australia.
no discharge of solid waste, fuel, oils or There is no intended land-based • The stirring up and oxidisation of
lubricants. Discharge of waste from discharge into the environment with sediments can release nutrients and
approved Marine Sanitation Devices the exception of the saline water other materials trapped in the
(any toilet and associated pumping or by-product of the desalination system. sediment, again leading to localised
holding tanks onboard a vessel to The Authority continues to minimise the nutrient enrichment and/or
receive, treat, retain or discharge unintended release of contaminates or contamination. Increased
human body wastes) and discharge of nutrients into Rottnest Island bays. sedimentation can also cause harm
greywater is permitted in Zone 2. through increasing the level of
4.4.2 Recommendations siltation on corals and other bottom
Currently Zone 1 includes the waters of dwelling organisms, resulting in a
Rottnest Island bays and Zone 2 includes • Implement the Rottnest Island policy smothering effect.
all the waters of the Rottnest Island on waste discharge from vessels. • As there has been no research into the
Reserve except for the embayment • Develop and implement a water relationship between vessel activity
areas. The Authority intends that from quality monitoring program for and sediment movement at Rottnest
2005/2006 the entire waters of the Rottnest Island bays, to test for Island, it is unknown whether such
Rottnest Island Reserve will be Zone 1. bacteria and nutrients.
effects are occurring. The most
• Manage Island infrastructure to minimise
concentrated area of activity in this
Fuel and oil spills land-based discharge of nutrients and
regard is the main passenger jetty
Fuel and oil spills are known to have debris into the marine environment.
where there is high movement of
potentially significant impacts on • Review the Rottnest Island fuel and oil
commercial ferries.
marine flora and fauna through impacts spill plan.
to the water quality. Minor fuel and oil • Investigate the provision of a waste
spills in the Reserve occur approximately receptor facility for liquid waste
six to eight times per year. No major spill discharge from vessels.
is known to have occurred in the waters

46
4.5.2 Recommendation environment, particularly when However, anchoring does occur in non-
located over sensitive habitats. sand areas as a consequence of lack of
• Undertake research on the impact of
• The level of impact of the current skill, poor visibility or disregard for the
vessel movements on Rottnest Island’s
mooring design on the marine Guide. Accepting that the Marine Act
marine habitats, particularly in
relation to movement of large vessels. habitats of Rottnest Island has not 1982 allows that anchorage may occur
been assessed. anywhere in the event of an emergency,
4.6 MOORING DAMAGE the Authority will pursue increased
4.6.2 Recommendations protection from anchoring by making it
4.6.1 Issues an offence to anchor on areas other
• Maintain the use of moorings in
There are 899 moorings within the than sand.
designated Rottnest Island bays as an
Marine Reserve. The original unregulated environmental management tool. Commercial diving and fishing charter
moorings at Rottnest Island were of a
• Develop and implement a research vessels regularly anchor within the
design that resulted in the creation of a
program to monitor the level of Reserve and there is concern about the
high number of scour circles, from
30 to 300m2 in area around the anchor environmental impact from the impact of repeated anchoring by these
point. It is estimated that this resulted in current mooring apparatus design. vessels at popular sites. This issue is
the loss of 18 percent of seagrass from addressed in Part B, Chapter 7 -
Rocky Bay from 1941-1982, and a 4.7 ANCHOR DAMAGE Marine Recreation and Facilities.
further 13 percent from 1981-1992
(Hastings et al., 1995). 4.7.1 Issues
4.7.2 Recommendation
Moorings are now subject to standard
Both drop anchoring and beach
environmental criteria set by the
anchoring are permitted in the Reserve. • Prohibit the anchoring of boats in
Authority (Rottnest Island Mooring
Beach anchoring is not considered to be the Rottnest Island Reserve on areas
Policy, 1997). This includes ensuring
that the bottom apparatus cannot a major issue in terms of environmental other than sand.
move and that the riser chain does not impact but is a public amenity issue.
scour the seafloor. Mooring licensees Issues associated with beach anchoring
are required to have their mooring are addressed in Part B, Chapter 7 -
assessed annually, against criteria, by a Marine Recreation and Facilities.
mooring contractor.
Drop anchoring on bottom habitats and
Environmental management issues
limestone areas cause physical and
associated with the moorings located
within the Marine Reserve include: biological damage to the fauna, flora
• It is recognised that moorings cause and structures. This can cause further
less environmental impact than the visual impacts that detract from the
alternative of repeated anchoring. quality of diving or snorkelling
The provision of mooring facilities in experiences. Repeat anchoring at popular
the Reserve reduces the amount of
sites can severely disturb both ecological
anchoring and is considered an
and structural habitat elements.
environmental management tool.
However, it must be recognised that
The Authority’s Marine and Boating
despite the improvement in design,
Guide requests that boaters do not
moorings may still have some level of
impact on the sea bottom anchor on areas other than sand.

47
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

4.8 PHYSICAL DAMAGE FROM 4.9 FISHING Commercial fishing


Part B. Management Planning

DIVERS AND SNORKELLERS A commercial fishing exclusion zone


4.9.1 Issues
occurs within the marine portion of the
4.8.1 Issues
Reserve, applying to net fishing and
Recreational fishing
Unskilled or careless divers and Western Rock Lobster fishing.
Recreational fishing is a popular pursuit
snorkellers can cause environmental The extent of the commercial exclusion
in the Marine Reserve. For some,
damage through physical contact zone means that there are areas within
recreational fishing is the primary
between the diver and the marine the Reserve where commercial fishing is
reason for entering the Reserve,
habitat. Divers and snorkellers can also permitted and occurs.
generally on a day trip basis. For others,
increase sedimentation and cause corals recreational fishing is one of the many Allowing commercial fishing to occur
to become covered with silt. pursuits enjoyed while holidaying on within the Reserve is inconsistent with
4.8.2 Recommendation the Island. the explicit legislated purpose of the
Reserve being for ‘public recreation’.
• Develop and implement a Several forms of recreational fishing
Part B, Chapter 2 - Reserve Zoning
campaign to promote occur in the Reserve including line
Plan and Settlement Planning
environmentally benign diving fishing, spearfishing, craypotting and
Scheme recommends prohibition of
techniques to divers and snorkellers abalone fishing. As considered in Part
commercial fishing within the Reserve.
in the Rottnest Island Reserve. B, Chapter 2 - Reserve Zoning Plan
and Settlement Planning Scheme, 4.9.2 Recommendation
recreational fishing in the Reserve is
subject to management controls • Develop and implement a research
administered by the Department program to monitor fish stocks and
of Fisheries. gain an understanding of the level of
recreational fishing in the Rottnest
The level of fishing pressure within the Island Reserve.
Reserve and the impact of this on fish
stocks and marine communities is
unknown. The Authority is committed
to increasing its understanding of the
recreational fishing activity and
potential impacts of this within the
Reserve in order to ensure that
appropriate management measures are
determined. Research that is required to
develop an understanding of these
issues will be closely linked to the
development of a Marine Management
Strategy as described in Part B,
Chapter 2 - Reserve Zoning Plan and
Settlement Planning Scheme.

48
4.10 REEF WALKING 4.11 MARINE LITTER 4.12 CORAL BLEACHING

4.10.1 Issues 4.11.1 Issues 4.12.1 Issues

Reef walking can be a popular activity in Marine litter is a growing problem on Coral bleaching is the phenomenon
coastal areas. Although this allows close many coasts including on Rottnest whereby the usually brightly coloured
observation of reef species, it can be Island. Marine litter has an aesthetic coral polyps lose their colour by
dangerous, and without appropriate impact that detracts from the visitor expelling the symbiotic plant cells which
care and management can also be experience, and some forms can cause would normally reside inside individual
destructive. physical damage to marine fauna. polyps. As a result the coral takes on a
white, bleached look. There are many
The level of reef walking around the While most Western Australians are
theories on the cause of coral bleaching,
Island is not well known. The impact of responsible in regard to the disposal of
some of which attribute it to stress,
this activity on the specific reef species litter, littering does occur throughout
possibly as a result of seawater
that exist on Rottnest Island is similarly the Settlement and outer bays of
temperature increases.
not well understood. Rottnest Island as a result of both land-
based and marine-based activities. Coral bleaching has been observed on
4.10.2 Recommendation
School groups conduct an annual coral reefs worldwide. True coral
• Raise awareness and understanding collection and survey of marine litter on bleaching has been observed to only be
among Island visitors of the adverse Rottnest Island. a minor problem at Rottnest Island.
impacts of reef walking on marine Most of the bleaching has occurred in
4.11.2 Recommendations
habitats and species. deeper waters affecting the temperate
• Develop and implement a strategy to coral species Coscinaraea.
reduce the occurrence of locally
4.12.2 Recommendation
generated marine litter in the
Rottnest Island Reserve. • Encourage research on the
• Implement an annual program to occurrence and extent of coral
collect litter in Rottnest Island bays. bleaching in the Rottnest Island
Marine Reserve.

49
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

5. Cultural Heritage

5.1 INTRODUCTION A brief summary of the colonial history Rottnest Island’s cultural heritage is an
Part B. Management Planning

of Rottnest Island is as follows important element of the visitor


The history of Rottnest Island has
(Considine, Griffiths and Richards, 1994): experience and Rottnest Island product,
provided it with a rich and significant
and is highly valued by the Authority.
cultural heritage. First records of human Pre 6500 years ago
occupation of Rottnest Island are from Aboriginal occupation. The Authority has commissioned studies
more than 6,500 years ago when the 1658 - 1829 into the significance and management
Island was still attached to the European exploration. of cultural and natural heritage and has
mainland, and Aboriginal people produced Conservation Plans for
1829 - 1838
inhabited the area. Since its initial Thomson Bay Settlement, Kingstown
European settlement, pastoral, fishing
European exploration from the 18th Barracks, Governors’ Summer
and salt gathering.
Century and its settlement in 1829, Residence and an Interpretation Plan for
1838 - 1844
Rottnest Island has been through a the Thomson Bay Settlement.
Aboriginal prison, farming, pastoral and
number of stages of development and
salt gathering. In addition to these studies, an audit of
has been used for a variety of purposes.
1844 - 1849 the built heritage items of Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island allows a number of Aboriginal prison and pilot service, both within and outside the Settlement
aspects of Western Australian history to farming, pastoral and salt gathering. Zone was undertaken in 2002.
be appreciated in the one area. A visitor
1849 - 1855
can experience military, European,
Pilot service and lease, farming,
colonial, Aboriginal, maritime,
pastoral and salt gathering.
recreational and social heritage on
1855 - 1903
Rottnest Island, which to a certain
Aboriginal prison, Governors’ Residence
extent is reflective of the development
and Boys’ Reformatory, pilot service and
of the State of Western Australia.
lease, farming, pastoral and salt gathering.
This section addresses the cultural 1903 - 1936
heritage management of Rottnest Recreational use, internment.
Island. There are, in addition, numerous
1917
natural heritage values on the Island
Rottnest Island was declared an A-Class
such as remnant woodlands and these
Reserve under the Permanent Reserve
are discussed within Part B, Chapter 3
Act 1899 and the Rottnest Board of
- Terrestrial Environmental.
Control was formed.
1936 - 1985
Recreational use and military training.
1985 onward
Recreational use.

50
5.2 HISTORY OF ROTTNEST ISLAND There are 17 sites on Rottnest Island The operation of the pilot station is
listed under the Aboriginal Heritage Act another major element of the maritime
In order to understand the heritage
1972-1980. This Act makes it an history of Rottnest Island. The Rottnest
values of Rottnest Island, it is necessary
offence to alter an Aboriginal site in any Island Pilot Station operated between
to have knowledge of the various
way without written permission from 1848 and 1903. Pilots were experienced
phases of the Island’s history.
the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. sailors whose job was to guide ships
While it is not possible to detail the around dangerous reefs and into
5.2.2 Maritime History
history of all activities that have occurred Fremantle harbour mainly to deliver
on Rottnest Island in this document, it is Rottnest Island’s waters contain a supplies to the Swan River Colony. Over
possible to describe major periods of the number of shipwrecks - a legacy of the its 55 years of operation, the Rottnest
Island’s development according to uncharted navigational voyages that Island Pilot Station used a number of
functions and themes. occurred during the early exploration of different boats. Generally, the boat
the southwest coast of Australia. types used were a double-ended
The major layers of human activity can whaleboat, a slightly larger lugger and a
briefly be described as Aboriginal The earliest discovery of Rottnest Island small dinghy.
occupation, maritime history, early by Europeans is credited to Dutch
colonial settlement, Aboriginal penal navigators during the 17th century in Lighthouses played a key role in the pilot
establishment, Boys’ Reformatory, their search for a shorter route from the boat operations by providing a
Governors’ Residence, recreational Cape of Good Hope to Batavia. communication link between the pilot
history and military function. boat station and incoming ships. The
The first Europeans to actually land on Island’s first lighthouse was completed
5.2.1 Aboriginal Occupation the Island are believed to have been in 1851 and was constructed by Aboriginal
Samuel Volkerson and his crew of the prisoners, under the supervision of the
Artefacts have been found at a number
Dutch ship Waeckende Boey while Prison Superintendent. Half a century
of sites on Rottnest Island pre-dating
searching for survivors of another Dutch later it was replaced with a new, taller
6,500 years ago and are possibly tens of
ship the Vergulde Draek in 1658. lighthouse on Wadjemup Hill; and a
thousands of years old, indicating
William de Vlamingh, who in 1696 was third was built in 1899 at Bathurst Point
previous Aboriginal occupation of this
the next recorded European visitor to after the loss of 11 lives when the ship,
area prior to the separation of the Island
Rottnest Island, gave the Island its name the City of York, was wrecked. The
from the mainland. Since the most
after the abundance of quokkas he saw, Bathurst Point and Wadjemup Hill
recent rise in sea levels from 10,000 to
mistaking them for rats. lighthouses remain today (refer Chart 1-
6,500 years ago, the Island has been
Rottnest Island Reserve).
separated from the mainland. The local More than thirteen ships have been
Aboriginal people were not sea-faring wrecked within the waters of Rottnest A secure boathouse, established in
and did not have vessels capable of Island (refer Chart 1- Rottnest Island 1846, was the first building constructed
making the crossing from the mainland Reserve). These wrecks are protected for the pilot service. This was built at the
and therefore did not traditionally inhabit under Commonwealth legislation, northern end of the seawall. Six years
the Island following the rise in sea level. Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, as well as later, quarters for the pilot crew were
State legislation, Maritime Archeology added to the top of the boathouse. In
Known to local Aboriginal people as Act 1973. Plaques have been located 1859 another boathouse was built and
Wadjemup, the Island is believed to be a next to the wrecks and are still remains today. The last pilot left
place of spirits and is of significance to complemented by onshore plaques Rottnest Island in 1903, ending more
Aboriginal communities. indicating their locations. than 55 years of piloting, and a new

51
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

system was established with a signal William Clarke and Robert Thomson Over the prison period, the Aboriginal
Part B. Management Planning

station set up near Bathurst Lighthouse took up town lots and pastureland and prisoners constructed a large number of
for the Fremantle Harbour Trust. It was Smyth’s survey of 1831 showed the buildings and other structures including
dismantled in 1904 and then erected town lots and sites for various the seawall, lighthouses and other heritage
near Wadjemup lighthouse. Once a designated purposes. Farming buildings, mostly under supervision of
vessel was sighted, the news was comprised successful cereal cropping Henry Vincent who was Superintendent
telephoned to the lighthouse in and other attempts at establishing of the establishment for 20 years.
Fremantle and the new, steam-powered vegetable gardens and vineyards. Most of the development took place in
pilot boat dispatched from there. The Thomson Bay, and of particular significance
signal station remained in operation until Thomson Bay was named after Robert is the Quod that was the prison
1949 when compulsory pilotage was Thomson, who became a major landholder accommodation for the Aboriginal men.
abolished, effectively making the signal on Rottnest Island during the 1830s. The Quod is now part of the Lodge,
station on Rottnest Island redundant. which is operated under a private lease
5.2.4 Penal Establishment for
The signal station was restored in 2002. as holiday accommodation until 2018.
Aboriginal People
In 2000, a special exhibition on the Closure of the Aboriginal prison was
Rottnest Island Pilots was established, Ten Aboriginal prisoners were brought recommended in 1902. It officially
involving the development of a replica to the Island in August 1838. After a closed in 1904 although prisoners were
whaleboat, now housed in the 1859 short period when both settlers and used to build roads and other works on
pilot boathouse. This exhibition is prisoners occupied the Island the the Island until 1931. Closure of the
interpreted by the Rottnest Island Colonial Secretary announced in June prison turned the attention of the public
Voluntary Guides Association. 1839 that the Island would become a and the Government to Rottnest Island’s
penal establishment for Aboriginal possibilities as a recreation destination.
5.2.3 Early Colonial Settlement people. The Crown resumed all land on
the Island, compensating settlers with 5.2.5 Boys’ Reformatory
The first Europeans took up residence
on Rottnest Island shortly after the first land on the mainland. Access to the In 1881 the Western Australian
settlement of the Swan River Colony Island during the prison era was restricted. Government decided that the Island would
was established in 1829. Rottnest Island be a suitable location to reform young boys
For almost a century the Island served as
was considered to be of interest as a who had come into conflict with the law.
a prison for Aboriginal people
place with potential for salt harvesting, The Rottnest Island Boys’ Reformatory was
(except for a short period of closure
farming and fishing. opened in 1881 next to the Aboriginal
between 1849 and 1855) during
Prison, and operated for 20 years.
In December 1830, Benjamin Smyth which some 3,700 Aboriginal men and
surveyed Rottnest Island for the Surveyor boys, from many parts of the State, Carpenter John Watson was asked to
General. A plan for the township to be were imprisoned. construct the Boys’ Reformatory
known as Kingstown was proposed, buildings on Rottnest Island and these
Between 1838 and 1931, it is reported
containing 177 lots of about 1/3 acre included a workshop, kitchen, two large
that 369 Aboriginal prisoners died.
and other lots of 10 acres to be offered dormitories, a school room and four
to the public. These lots were contained While most deaths were caused by
small cells. Upon completion of the
within the area now known as Thomson disease, it is reported that five prisoners building work, Watson decided to stay
Bay and extended around to what were hanged. An Aboriginal cemetery on as the Reformatory Superintendent
became Bickley Bay on the site where is located within the Thomson Bay and to teach the boys carpentry, joinery
Kingstown Barracks stands today. Settlement. and gardening.

52
The Reformatory closed in 1901. Since drawn up by the Colonial Secretary’s To remove the glare, buildings were
1909 the Reformatory buildings have Department. As part of this scheme the progressively painted with an ochre
been used as holiday accommodation, Bickley area began to be modestly colour that was created by putting rusty
operated as part of the Lodge.
developed for public recreation. Timber nails in the white wash paint.
5.2.6 Governors’ Residence and hessian camps, a store and a
Recreational and holiday pursuits have
recreational hall were built overlooking
In 1848 Governor Fitzgerald expressed continued on Rottnest Island from this
Bickley Bay in the vicinity of where
an interest in residing on Rottnest Island time to the present day except for its
Kingstown Barracks stands today. A
so it became the exclusive summer closure in 1914 and again from 1940 to
retreat for successive Governors and number of houses in the Thomson Bay
1945 for military functions.
their friends. Settlement were also made available for
use, and the opening season was 1911. 5.2.8 Military Functions
Superintendent Vincent’s house was
originally used as the Governors’ House The Prison and Boys’ Reformatory were Rottnest Island has played a military role
but in 1861 Vincent began work on a converted to hostel accommodation in both World War I and World War II
purpose-built summer residence for the
completed in the 1913/1914 summer and has also had post-war training
Governor overlooking Thomson Bay.
season. The Bickley camps were closed functions, which are described below.
The 1912/1913 summer was the last in 1911, and in 1913 it was proposed to
time the Governor used the Governor’s shift the camp reserve to the Bathurst World War I
House on Rottnest Island as a summer side of the Settlement. Thirty With the start of World War I the
residence. It was later converted to flats
weatherboard camps were Department of Defence commandeered
and used by holiday-makers. Today, it is
subsequently rebuilt at the Bathurst end the Island for use as an internment and
part of the Rottnest Island Hotel.
of Thomson Bay. Prisoner of War camp from 1914 to the
5.2.7 Recreation Island end of 1915. In September 1915, the
More improvements were planned in
From 1902 ferries carried excursionists camp held 989 persons, including 841
1917. A large tearoom and store were
to Rottnest Island on Sundays. During Austrian and German internees and 148
erected near the main jetty and wooden
these times visitors and prisoners were Prisoners of War. Recreational and
bungalows were also constructed close
kept well apart. holiday pursuits were re-established in
by and on the north side of the jetty.
The first public jetty was built in 1906 to December 1915.
the south of Thomson Bay Settlement, In 1917 Rottnest Island was declared an
where the Army Jetty stands today. Until A-Class Reserve under the Permanent Preparation for World War II
then passengers and cargo were brought Reserve Act 1899 and the Rottnest In response to increasing global tensions
ashore by a lighter. A tram track was laid Board of Control was formed. in the 1930s, the Australian government
from the Jetty to Thomson Bay Settlement developed a three-year Defence
and horse drawn trams were used to carry The original limestone buildings of Development Program that it
visitors and goods. The trams were later Rottnest Island were whitewashed and commenced in 1933. In the Plan, Rottnest
replaced by motor vehicles in 1925 and
this created an extreme glare. Island was identified as being critical to
most of the tracks were removed and
relocated to the Perth Zoo. Some small the defence of Fremantle as guns there
portions of the track still remain. could engage hostile ships well before
they approached the range that would
In 1907 a scheme for transforming
allow bombardment of Fremantle Port.
Rottnest Island from a penal settlement
to a recreation and holiday Island were

53
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

In 1934 the Western Australian Premier World War II In 1953, the Army decided that it had no
Part B. Management Planning

officially informed the Rottnest Island In June 1940 the Island was declared a further use for Kingstown Barracks, but
Board of Control of the Commonwealth’s prohibited area and all recreational this changed in early 1955 when it was
intentions for a defence program on activity ended. The declaration was determined the Barracks’ would continue
Rottnest Island and in 1936 it purchased intended to last for three months, but to be used for training purposes. Training
land at Bickley for this purpose and continued for five years until June 1945. at Kingstown Barracks re-commenced in
construction began later that year. During the war period, administrative May 1955.
fire command staff and a coastal
The fixtures on Rottnest Island became In 1962 it was determined that the use
artillery gunnery school occupied
known as the Rottnest Island fortress of coastal artillery in the defence of
Rottnest Island. The guns were manned
and were made up of the Oliver Hill fort ports was out-moded and coastal
24 hours a day.
with two 9.2-inch batteries guns and artillery guns and ammunitions around
quarters at Oliver Hill; Bickley Point fort In the mid-1940s, the focus of threat the nation were declared for disposal.
The 9.2-inch battery on Rottnest Island
with two 6-inch batteries and quarters moved to Northern Australia, so the
was saved from disposal because the
at Bickley; permanent Army Barracks at fixed defences at the Rottnest Island
high cost of removing and shipping the
Kingstown (containing living Fortress were reduced. The 9.2-inch
guns to the mainland exceeded their
accommodation for four warrant guns were put on a maintenance basis
value as scrap metal.
officers or sergeants and 72 rank and and only the 6-inch gun at Bickley
file personnel, cottages for remained manned. The period of In 1967, the Army returned most of its
commanders, officers mess, cottages intensive military activity on Rottnest land holdings on Rottnest Island to the
for married non-commissioned officers Island ended with the guns never being Western Australian Government,
(NCOs) and gunners, Army institutional fired at the enemy. retaining Kingstown Barracks, the Bickley
buildings, small hospital, dry canteen, area and easements necessary to connect
workshop, store, railway buildings, and Postwar water to the Barracks. The Army’s use of
supporting communication and After the war, all military units were Kingstown Barracks declined gradually
observation structures); a three storey disbanded and the guns placed in long from the 1960s to the 1970s and then
fortress and battery command post term storage. By April 1945 all Thomson sharply from 1974, to the point in 1979
building at signal ridge; Port war signal Bay buildings had been vacated by the where it was utilised for only 43 days in
station at signal ridge; observation post military with the exception of the the year. In 1984 the Army and the
and engine rooms. bakehouse and garage. Approximately Rottnest Island Board of Control began
200 Italian internees were sent to the negotiations for the Board to purchase
Also constructed by the military at this Island for four months to carry out the remaining Army land and buildings
time were six searchlight repairs and renovations. including Kingstown Barracks. This was
emplacements, magazine shell stores, formalised in an official closing
powerhouse, directing station and a In June 1945, the prohibition order on ceremony in December 1984.
railway from the jetty to the 9.2-inch Rottnest Island was lifted but until
October only people travelling on After successful trials using Kingstown
guns. Improvements to the jetty were
Barracks for environmental education
also undertaken. When the Barracks commercial vessels could visit the Island.
programs over the 1984/1985 summer
were completed in September 1937
Dismantling of the battery was finalised season, the Board recommended to the
Rottnest Island was declared a
in March 1953. An artillery maintenance Government that the Barracks be used
permanent station for troops.
detachment remained on the Island as an environmental education centre.
until 1960. This use continues today.

54
5.3 VALUES Australia as a whole, and to individual 5.3.4 Settlement and Wadjemup Hill
Aboriginal groups from the various Heritage Values
5.3.1 General
regions of the State whose ancestors
Heritage values of Settlement and
The cultural heritage significance of the were prisoners on the Island.
Wadjemup Hill buildings, character
Island is of a high order. The National • The Quod and the Aboriginal
units, landscapes and vistas are
Trust of Australia (WA) formally cemetery are of particular heritage
documented below.
recognised Rottnest Island as a place of significance to Aboriginal people.
National Heritage Significance by • The Authority acknowledges
Buildings
classifying it as a Historic Island in 1993. that Aboriginal incarceration
• The Rottnest Island Settlement
was a significant part of the history
The previous Rottnest Island contains a rare example of a large
of the Island and is an important
Management Plan (1997-2002) group of buildings constructed in the
issue for Aboriginal people with
recommended that the Authority early and middle part of the 19th
links to this area.
pursue the concept of World Heritage century that have not only survived
• The Island holds spiritual significance
Status for Rottnest Island. Investigations but have been adapted to serve
for the Aboriginal community as the
have revealed that World Heritage continuous use.
place to which the departed spirits of
listing is not consistent with the values • Some of Rottnest Island’s Settlement
their ancestors travelled.
or operation of the Island; however, the buildings have significant heritage
Authority will continue to work with the 5.3.3 Maritime Heritage Values value being among the oldest in
Heritage Council of Western Australian Western Australia, including:
There are also maritime heritage values - The large body of building works
in the management of the Island’s
on Rottnest Island: created by Superintendent Vincent
heritage estate.
• Numerous shipwrecks within the and his prison labour force including
There are buildings that are already Reserve have State and National cottages E, F, G, H and J, the
included on the State Register of historic value and are protected under museum, parts of the shops,
Heritage Places, including: Oliver Hill State and Commonwealth legislation. Manager’s House, the seawall,
Battery, Kingstown Barracks, Bathurst • Shipwrecks are popular diving and boathouse, salt store, native prison
Lighthouse and quarters, Thomson Bay snorkelling sites. and chapel.
settlement, and the Rottnest Island • The Bathurst and Wadjemup - Remains of the Boys’ Reformatory
Signal Station. lighthouses, lighthouse keeper’s contained within the Rottnest Island
house, pilot boat shed and other Lodge.
5.3.2 Aboriginal Heritage Values remaining structures from this period, - The Rottnest Island Hotel originally
represent an important part of constructed as the Governors’
Aboriginal heritage values on Rottnest
Rottnest Island’s maritime history as a summer residence.
Island include:
permanent pilot boat station. - Buildings associated with the penal
• The Island has cultural heritage values
• The Rottnest Island lighthouses have establishment including the Quod,
to the Aboriginal community as an
been reported as being in a highly the superintendent’s quarters and
area that was once occupied by their
original state. ancillary buildings.
ancestors prior to its separation from
the mainland. - Structures on Signal Hill that were
• The Island, and the Settlement in significant in terms of
particular, is important to the communication with the mainland.
Aboriginal community in Western

55
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Character unit and Landscape Vistas location of the Quod are of great
Part B. Management Planning

• The unique aesthetic quality and The Settlement and Wadjemup Hill historic significance, especially the
character of the Island has been have numerous significant historical crossed paths across what is now
formed by the combination of various vistas including: known as Heritage Common.
landscape features and elements • The view from the water on • The view from the bottom of Signal
including the Settlement layout, approaching Thomson Bay, with vista Hill past the General Store and on to
topography, buildings and the of the historic seawall and row of Lomas Cottage. This view has
planting stock. changed very little over time, taking in
historic buildings. This vista has
• Several individual sub-components of
changed very little since the seawall the heritage-listed General Store and
the Settlement collectively form a
and the buildings were completed in the historic plantings of Moreton Bay
significant streetscape, townscape or
the 1840s. The fact that the row of Fig trees that have become a
cultural environment including:
buildings along the seawall is still distinctive feature of the Thomson
- The seafront cottages, seawall and
intact and that no infill or demolition Bay Settlement.
salt store group;
has been carried out since its • The view of the peppermint tree-lined
- The lighthouse and keeper’s
quarters group; construction is unique in Australia and path leading towards the Rottnest
- The timber bungalow group; makes this vista highly significant. Island Hotel, formerly the Governors’
- The museum, native prison, chapel • The view of the south end of summer residence. The Residence
and reform school group; Thomson Bay up to Bickley Point. was purposely built away from the rest
- The unifying planting groups and The vista along the south end of of the Settlement, and peppermint
avenues. Thomson Bay up to Bickley Point is trees were planted after the Governor
• Strong historical vistas within the highly significant as this formed the left his Island summer residence.
Settlement Zone have been created original arrival vista. • View of Garden Lake, Herschel Lake
by the combination of treelined • Bathurst Lighthouse and the Basin. and Government House Lake from
avenues, stone construction The Basin is the most highly various vantage points. The vistas
buildings, the sea wall and views of frequented bathing beach on the taking in Garden Lake, Herschel Lake
the water. and Government House Lake from
Island, resulting in a large archive of
• The Settlement contains numerous various vantage points have been well
photographs showing the Basin in
landscape elements of historical value documented over the years.
use since the turn of the last century.
including: • Wadjemup Hill / Signal Ridge.
It was also the approach Willem De
- Some roads and tracks established in
Vlamingh took to explore the Island, The vista from the Signal Station in a
the 19th century which are still in
hence making it a historical site north-easterly direction towards the
use today.
and vista. Oliver Hill Gun Battery is of particular
- Vincent Way, identified as the oldest
• The approach from the seawall significance for the interpretation of
intact streetscape in Australia.
between cottages E, J and H and the military heritage of the Signal
- The largely exotic landscape of the
Manager’s House towards the Ridge buildings. It clearly illustrates
Settlement, resulting from rigorous
planting programs from 1908 entrance gate of the former Quod. the function of the Signal Station
onwards. The natural landscape This was the approach taken by and Battery Observation Post as
now also has highly valued social thousands of Aboriginal prisoners part of the World War II coastal
and aesthetic qualities. facing incarceration at the Rottnest defence system.
• There is a high level of authenticity of Island Prison. The symmetric layout of • The view of Wadjemup Lighthouse.
landscape and streetscape as a result the Settlement buildings and central The view of Wadjemup Lighthouse
of the lack of infill and modifications. approaching from the ‘centre road’,

56
where the road and the lighthouse - The 9.2-inch guns at Oliver Hill 5.3.6 Western Australian Social
framed by vegetation is noteworthy. Battery, which have particular Heritage Values
The lighthouse is the only significant historic significance as an authentic
example of such guns in situ. There is As a result of its long history as a holiday
structure outside the Settlement,
possibly one other example and recreation destination, Rottnest
which together with its central
worldwide of an authentic 9.2-inch Island has an important cultural
location on the Island has made it an
gun battery with guns in situ. heritage value to Western Australian
important beacon both on the Island
• Apart from individual built structures family groups and others with a close
and from the mainland.
at Kingstown Barracks, the collection asssociation with the Island.
5.3.5 Military Heritage Values of buildings and other structures
forms a significant cultural The Island is associated with a deep-
The Military heritage values of Rottnest environment of streetscapes and rooted community sentiment and
Island are as follows: settings, which contributes to the attachment. Of particular note are the
overall aesthetic character and many community groups, associations,
Built heritage
• As a result of military occupation, the understanding of the place. schools, clubs and individuals who have
Island has numerous military • Kingstown Barracks has social had social associations and have
structures of historical significance, heritage value connected with the ex- participated in its development.
service men and women of the place
which are concentrated in Bickley, The affection of the Western Australian,
where they lived and worked during
Oliver Hill and Wadjemup Hill, but and particularly Perth-based
the period of occupation before,
also occur in other areas of the Island.
during and after World War II, and community, for the Island is also
• Particularly significant built
also to those internees held on thought to be related to the isolation of
structures include:
Rottnest Island during war periods. these communities from the rest of
- Kingstown Barracks, which contains
• Kingstown Barracks is valued by the Australia and the visual connection with
nineteen extant buildings of
community for demonstrating a the Island from the mainland.
substance which are of good to high tangible link with World War II.
authenticity and which were the The value of Rottnest Island to the
Vistas
only military buildings established Western Australian community is
• There are numerous historical cultural
offshore in Australia. Kingstown illustrated through the following:
vistas contained within the
Barracks has rarity value as it is the • Many community groups give freely of
Kingstown areas which have been a
only purpose-built permanent their time to assist in the conservation
key part of its landscape since
Barracks built in Western Australia in and enhancement of the Island.
construction, including:
a remote location to support coastal • The Island, and the Settlement in
- The vistas of the commander’s
defence fortifications and built to particular, has been the subject of
residence, the officers mess and the
accommodate ground-based mid- clock tower of the main Barracks much painting, photography,
twentieth century weapons. from Thomson Bay. literature and film.
- Searchlight bunkers, observation - The vista along the road to the main • Rottnest Island continues to be a
towers and the signal station at entry of Kingstown Barracks that popular destination for family holidays.
Wadjemup Hill, which have historic unfolds gradually as the main • To the people of Western Australia,
significance associated with the complex of buildings is approached. the Settlement at Thomson Bay is one
military occupation of the Island. - Vistas along the road from the dry of the State’s most recognisable images.
- Oliver Hill Battery, which is a rare canteen toward to the NCO and • Some sense of standing is evident in
example of military coastal defence gunners’ cottages (Governors’ Circle) the caution with which Rottnest
technology of the era 1935-1945. which are flanked by plantings. Island has developed.

57
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

5.3.7 Moveable Heritage Items and 5.4 ISSUES Maintenance and condition
Part B. Management Planning

Archaeological Remains Issues associated with the maintenance


Resourcing the management of a of the Island’s heritage estate include:
There are moveable items and heritage estate • Limited resources has led to
archaeological remains on the Island, Issues associated with the management maintenance problems for
which have heritage values: of the Island’s heritage estate include: heritage assets.
• As a result of the history of Rottnest • The restoration and interpretation of • As a consequence of Rottnest Island
Island, numerous archaeological heritage requires improved attention. being a public recreation destination,
remains and moveable heritage items • The magnitude of the heritage asset the heritage buildings and structures
have been located. Items include on Rottnest Island represents a are subject to constant use and
remnants of previous buildings, human significant community service pressure, increasing the need for
remains, glass spear points crafted by obligation in terms of protection, regular maintenance.
Aboriginal prisoners, art works, maintenance and interpretation. • The harsh climatic condition of
bottles, coins, clay pipes, general • The complexity of heritage issues on Rottnest Island adds to these
furniture pieces, household items and maintenance demands.
Rottnest Island adds significantly to
tools from earlier times. A collection • The use of poor or inappropriate
the costs of heritage management.
of moveable heritage items and maintenance treatments in the past
• Funds for heritage works comes
archaeological remains is displayed in has led to the creation of irreversible
largely from revenue raised and to a
the Rottnest Island Museum. impacts that have compromised the
lesser extent from grants which have
• There are numerous unexplored value of some sites and structures.
been gained for small projects.
areas on the Island that could • Various modifications to the fabric of
• There are missed opportunities in
contain archaeological remains. the remaining Thomson Bay and
terms of harnessing volunteer efforts
For example, many moveable Kingstown Barracks buildings have
for heritage restoration and
heritage items may still be present been made in order to adapt them to
maintenance works.
their current function or to better
within the sand foundations of the • Strategic business links could be adapt them to the Rottnest Island
Island and may be discovered either made between the maintenance of climate. Some of these changes are
through digging associated with heritage places and the provision of intrusive and some are not reversible.
construction or through natural visitor services, through paid • The absence of a comprehensive
exposure following major wind and interpretation programs. understanding of the comparative
rain driven sand movements. • The quantity of resources required to significance and condition of various
• Archaeological remains on the Island adequately protect, maintain and elements of the heritage estate and of
will provide further opportunities for interpret the heritage asset is greater requirements and priorities for
discovery and interpretation of past than the resources available to the maintenance and restoration is limiting
activities on the Island. Authority to carry out these tasks. the Authority’s ability to manage these
• The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972
assets strategically and effectively.
prohibits the removal of any • Access to advice on restoration and
Indigenous cultural material without maintenance of heritage buildings is
the proper authority and there are severely limited.
moves to mirror this arrangement • There are several heritage buildings
for other heritage materials under that are occupied by independent
the Heritage of Western Australia Island businesses who are responsible
Act 1990. for the maintenance of these structures.

58
Aboriginal Heritage and has tended to disguise the history training programs.
Issues associated with the management of development and aesthetic • There are opportunities to further
of the Aboriginal heritage on Rottnest subtleties. This issue was addressed in interpret the heritage asset of
Island include: the Settlement Planning Scheme Rottnest Island through the Rottnest
• The Aboriginal heritage of the Island which recommended the Island website.
is understated. development and implementation of • Kingstown Barracks is under-utilised
• The Quod, which is of particular a policy of colour scheme which as a contributor to the interpretation
significance to Aboriginal people, is reflects the historical Island colour of the Island’s Military History.
currently under lease as the Rottnest scheme (refer Part B, Chapter 2 - • Several opportunities exist to better
Island Lodge. The lease extends to 2018. Reserve Zoning Plan and interpret Rottnest Island’s maritime
• The full extent of the cemetery has Settlement Planning Scheme). heritage, including opening the
been suggested to be greater than lighthouses to public viewing and
Interpretation
that currently protected. better interpretation of shipwrecks.
Management of the interpretation of
• There is one existing Native Title claim
the heritage values on Rottnest Island Moveable Heritage
on Rottnest Island, which is yet to be
includes the following issues: Management of the moveable heritage
determined by the Native Title Tribunal.
• Interpretation is one of the Authority’s values on Rottnest Island includes the
Vistas, Landscapes and key tools in terms of raising the following issues:
Character Units appreciation of the heritage asset and • Professional and amateur collectors
Issues associated with the management influencing people to ensure that have removed many moveable
of the Island’s heritage vistas, their behaviour is consistent with the heritage items from Rottnest Island.
landscapes and character units include: values of Rottnest Island. • Hardening of areas has the potential
• Management of landscapes, vistas • Generally the significance and scale to seal in undiscovered
and spaces is as important as of the heritage value on Rottnest archaeological remains.
maintenance of individual buildings. Island is not well appreciated as a • Works that involve digging
Similarly, the maintenance of result of limited interpretation. and/or ground disturbance
significant collections of buildings is • There is an absence of a dedicated have the potential to uncover
important in order to maintain overall purpose-built facility for interpretation archaeological items and should
historic character. on the Island. This was highlighted in be appropriately managed.
• The loss of European plantings or the the Settlement Planning Scheme and • There is no formal program for the
built landscaping elements that exist the design and sourcing of funds for a exploration of archaeological remains
in the Settlement Zone would affect dedicated interpretation facility was on the Island.
the nature of the Settlement recommended (Part B, Chapter 2 - • The absence of resources, in
Character Unit, including its Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement particular a curator, has led to
significant vistas and ambience. Planning Scheme, Section 2.4.1.). difficulties in the appropriate
The condition of the planting stock is • The current range of brochures and collection and management of
generally mature to over-mature. other materials related to heritage are historical artefacts.
• There are several historic vistas in and out of date and therefore not
through the Settlement Zone that effective interpretation tools.
have been weakened. • There are opportunities to interpret
• Uniform paint colour has diminished the heritage estate through heritage-
the complexity and variety of finishes focussed conferences, seminars and

59
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Today as history 5.5 RECOMMENDATIONS seminars and training events.


Part B. Management Planning

The heritage of Rottnest Island is • Maintain and enhance opportunities


constantly evolving. Future generations Maintenance and Management for free-of-charge, self-directed
will consider this current period to hold • Compile a comprehensive inventory heritage interpretation on
of Rottnest Island’s heritage assets.
relevance to the history of Rottnest Rottnest Island.
• Undertake an assessment of the
Island. Management and recording of Aboriginal Heritage
condition and significance of all
current operations for future heritage assets on Rottnest Island. • Undertake further ground probing
interpretation from a heritage • Develop a priority listing of heritage radar work to determine the full
perspective include the following issues: restoration projects required on
extent of the Aboriginal burial grounds.
• Management should consider the Rottnest Island according to condition
and significance of assets. • Relocate any accommodation
preservation of the social heritage overlying the established area of the
• Develop and implement heritage
value of Rottnest Island, as created by maintenance procedures, in Aboriginal burial grounds.
its history and current use as a accordance with the Burra Charter • Investigate and implement
recreational area. (refer Part A, Chapter 5 - Policy mechanisms to further interpret the
• Maintenance of good records as Context, Section 5.2), to direct
Aboriginal burial grounds and other
practice will contribute significantly to heritage maintenance activities on
Rottnest Island. areas of Aboriginal significance.
the future understanding and • Maintain and enhance relationships
• Develop comprehensive guidelines
interpretation of the current period of with Aboriginal people to further
for the appropriate treatments for
Rottnest Island’s history. interpret the Aboriginal heritage of
landscapes and streetscapes on
• There are numerous opportunities for Rottnest Island.
Rottnest Island in order to maintain
gaining further heritage records that
associated heritage values. Moveable Heritage
are not being explored. In particular,
Resources • Develop and implement guidelines
oral accounts of people with close
• Develop and implement heritage for the appropriate archaeological
associations with the Island are a
projects that can be undertaken with assessment and supervision of
pivotal but disappearing resource.
the aid of volunteer effort. ground disturbance and hardening
• Establish a Cultural Heritage Advisory work on Rottnest Island.
Committee reporting to the Rottnest • Review, assess and enhance the
Island Authority to provide expert Rottnest Island museum collection.
advice on heritage issues. Today as history
Interpretation • Develop and implement a program
• Develop an Island-wide integrated of recording current features,
heritage interpretation approach that operations and activities of
includes business opportunities that Rottnest Island.
support heritage works. • Undertake a program of recording
• Revise and reissue heritage brochures oral accounts from people with
to enhance the interpretative previous and current associations
capability of this medium. with Rottnest Island.
• Develop and implement a strategy to
increase the profile of Rottnest Island
for heritage-focussed conferences,

60
6. Holiday and Recreation Services and Facilities

6.1 INTRODUCTION 6.2 VISITOR ADMISSION FEES AND 6.2.2 Issues


ENTRY TO THE RESERVE
Rottnest Island has been managed as a Issues associated with the Rottnest
public recreational Island for some 95 6.2.1 Background Island Admission Fee and entry into the
years with the first accommodation on Reserve are as follows:
This section refers to the individual
the Island established at Bickley around • As the Admission Fee provides to the
Admission Fee only and does not refer
1907. Recreational pursuits have ceased Authority funds necessary for the
to the Annual Payment in Lieu of the
only for short periods during the First maintenance and management of the
Admission Fee which is payable by
and Second World Wars. Reserve, this fee must continue to be
owners of boats and aircraft.
progressively increased in line with
The holiday and recreational focus of Discussion on the Annual Payment in
the increasing costs of these services.
the Island is now strongly forged in Lieu of Admission Fee for boats and
• Being unable to limit entry into the
legislation with a function of the aircraft is contained in Part B, Chapter
Reserve could cause problems
Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987 6 - Holiday and Recreation Services
relating to risk management and
being to ‘provide and operate and Facilities (Section 6.11) and
other difficulties in maintaining
recreational and holiday facilities on Chapter 7 - Marine Recreation and
control of the area.
the Island.’ Facilities (Section 7.3.2).
6.2.3 Recommendations
The Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987 Visitors are charged an Admission Fee
directs that in the provision and for entry to the Reserve. In 2002, the fee • Annually adjust the individual
operation of recreational and holiday was $10.45 per adult and 55c per child Admission Fee commencing
facilities on the Island, the Authority (GST inclusive). This fee is a contribution 1st July 2003.
shall give particular regard to the needs to the provision of public facilities and • Pursue amendment to the Rottnest
of people usually resident in the State. the overall management of the Island. Island Authority Act 1987 to allow the
Further, the Act states that the supply Rottnest Island Authority to control
The Rottnest Island Authority does
of these facilities should give no entry into the Rottnest Island Reserve.
not have the power to limit entry to
preference or advantage to any person
the Reserve.
or group.

These legislative directions have heavily


influenced the range and style of
facilities provided on the Island.

61
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008
Part B. Management Planning

Figure 2 - Total Number of Visitors to Rottnest Island arriving by Commercial Ferry or Aircraft (1997/98 - 2001/02)

355000

350000
Visitor Numbers

345000

340000

335000

330000

325000

320000
1997/98 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02

Figure 3 - Occupancy of Rottnest Island Accommodation per Month 1996/97-2001/02

100%

80%
Occupancy

60%

40%

20%

0%
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun

1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02

62
6.3 VISITOR NUMBERS AND 6.3.2 Issues management and business turnover.
SEASONALITY There could be some benefit from
Visitor Numbers
limiting visitor numbers in summer
6.3.1 Background Issues related to the number of Island
and increasing those in the cooler
visitors are as follows:
Visitor Numbers months, as this would allow an even
• Ferry passage data indicate that the
Currently some 500,000 people visit the spread of demand on resources.
number of visitors per year has
Island every year. Approximately
generally increased (Figure 2 - 6.3.3 Recommendations
350,000 of these visitors travel to the
Total Number of Visitors to
Island by commercial ferry or aircraft • Undertake research on the
Rottnest Island Arriving by
and the remainder by private pleasure relationship between Rottnest Island
Commercial Ferry or Aircraft
craft. Figure 2 displays the number of visitor numbers and behaviour and
(1997/98 - 2001/02).
people arriving on the Island by environmental, social and economic
• Accommodation occupancy data also
commercial ferry or aircraft from impacts on Rottnest Island.
indicate that the occupancy level of
1997/98 to 2001/02. • Develop and implement plans to
Authority accommodation has
increase the number of
Seasonality increased (Figure 3 - Occupancy of
accommodated visitors in the cooler
The visitor profile shows a marked Rottnest Island Accommodation
months.
seasonality. This is illustrated in per Month 1996/97-2001/02).
• Manage activities on the Island
accommodation booking figures that • The number of visitors to the Island is
commensurate with optimum
show generally between 90 percent and an issue as human activities have the
visitor levels.
100 percent occupancy in the peak potential to affect the Island’s natural
months including December, January, and social values, and there is a finite
February and March; through to around level of resources available to support
30 percent in August (Figure 3 - Island operations. The level of impact
Occupancy of Rottnest Island is dependent not only by the number
Accommodation per Month of visitors, but also the activities and
1996/7-2001/2). The lower number of behaviours of those visitors.
visitors in winter has been attributed to • The Authority does not have a good
the combination of the weather on the understanding of the relationship
Island and sea conditions experienced between visitor numbers, impact on
on the ferry journey to the Island. the Island’s environment and demand
on resources. Although there is
The Island also receives a greater number awareness of general seasonal and
of day-trippers in summer months. annual trends, there are limited
recorded data on visitor usage
On certain days during the peak season
patterns and behaviours.
there is a very high number of people on
the Island. These days include New Years Seasonality
Day, the Rottnest Island Channel Swim, Issues related to the seasonality of
and the Australia Day long weekend. This visitors to the Island are as follows:
has the potential to cause congestion • Seasonality creates management
and affect the visitor experience. issues in relation to staff and resource

63
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

6.4 ROTTNEST ISLAND AUTHORITY 6.4.3 Recommendations All visitor accommodation is contained
Part B. Management Planning

CORE BUSINESS within the Settlement Zone of the


• Assess business opportunities on a
Island (refer Part B, Chapter 2 -
6.4.1 Background case-by-case basis, giving priority to Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement
the requirements to maintain control Planning Scheme).
There is no definite policy in regard to
over the Reserve, preserve the ethos,
facilities managed by the Authority and In accordance with the Rottnest Island
equity and access, and sustain the
those that are operated privately on the Authority Act 1987, Authority
Island’s environmental and social values.
Island under lease or license, but a few accommodation is focussed on the
general trends exist. The Authority tends 6.5 AUTHORITY ACCOMMODATION needs of families. The changing nature
to limit itself to the supply of services and FACILITIES and size of Western Australian families
not products. For example, the Authority means that the Authority needs to be
has not ventured into the long term This section deals exclusively with the flexible in the services and facilities that
management of a bakery or restaurant. operation of Authority accommodation it provides. Accommodation ranges
The Authority is committed to the direct facilities. Private accommodation from 4- to 8-bed units and houses.
management and operation of its facilities are addressed in Section 6.6. Accommodation is of a modest, self-
accommodation facilities, as well as its catered nature.
There are three main issues related to
environmental, educational, Ranger and
accommodation, which are addressed The Authority is committed to the
heritage management role. The
within this Management Plan. These are provision of accommodation with
retention of the accommodation
the range and style of accommodation, universal access features. Six units have
management role is critical in order for
the upgrading of accommodation and been renovated for ease of access for
the Authority to maintain control over a
the amount of accommodation people with mobility impairment. An
facility that plays a significant role in
available on Rottnest Island. access ramp has been constructed to
establishing the ethos of the Island, and
to ensure equity of access to the provide easy access to Kingstown
6.5.1 Range and style of Sergeants’ Mess and some dormitory
community.
accommodation rooms at Kingstown Barracks.

6.4.2 Issues
6.5.1.1 Background 6.5.1.2 Issues
Issues relevant to the Authority’s Rottnest Island has a range of Issues associated with the range and
determination to operate an Island accommodation types available style of Authority accommodation are
service or facility are as follows: including villas, bungalows, cottages, as follows:
• The Authority has a commitment to units, fibro houses, campsites, camping • The existing style and range of
the maintenance of the Rottnest cabins and the hostel. In addition to accommodation is an important
Island visitor experience. The guest accommodation, there is contributor to the Rottnest Island
Authority has an obligation to sustain residential accommodation for staff and ethos, and alterations to the existing
the Island’s social, cultural and their families who work for the style and range could have a negative
ecological environment that includes impact on this.
Authority or one of the businesses on
ensuring that the needs of visitors are • It is important that the Authority
the Island. The majority of residential
met and that the visitor experience on is the major supplier of
accommodation is owned and
Rottnest Island is maintained. accommodation on the Island in
managed by the Authority.
order to maintain the ethos created
by this style of accommodation.

64
6.5.1.3 Recommendations • A high proportion of accommodation maintenance burdens. However,
• Retain the existing range of has not been refurbished, and there is within the current revenue earning
accommodation on Rottnest Island. a clear and strong message from capacity, it remains a constant
• Investigate designs for a Rottnest customers that the existing condition challenge for the Authority to fund
Island style of holiday cottage in of several types of unrefurbished these refurbishments at a rate
preparation for times when existing accommodation is below acceptable consistent with visitor expectations.
cottages require replacement. standards. Many units are cold in • There is a perception that the
winter with their basic facilities not Authority accommodation does not
6.5.2 Upgrading Accommodation suitable for this time of year. provide specifically for singles and
• The proportion of reactive couples. The Rottnest Island Hotel
6.5.2.1 Background maintenance that occurs in addition and the Lodge have accommodation
As noted previously, facilities provided to the scheduled maintenance that caters for singles and couples
within Rottnest Island accommodation program is considerable and a but this is not the same style as
are modest. This is a consequence of the significant proportion of this could be Authority accommodation.
affordable pricing charter that has been reduced if dated and aged facilities • Rottnest Island is committed to
maintained by the Authority. were refurbished or replaced. the provision of universal access
• Of the existing un-refurbished accommodation.
Although the modest forms of accommodation, there are three 6.5.2.3 Recommendations
accommodation are considered areas that are highly degraded and in • Investigate the feasibility of the
appropriate for Rottnest Island, need of improvement: redevelopment of the existing Kelly
Authority accommodation and facilities - Accommodation situated on Kelly St and Abbot Street accommodation,
contained within are generally old and and Abbot St (fibro houses and paying attention to environmental
in need of refurbishment. A bungalows). This accommodation is and heritage sensitive construction
refurbishment program commenced in in need of major maintenance to the and operation, winter comfort
1996, as part of a Government extent that full or partial redevelopment standards, and the flexibility to
commitment to upgrade the Island’s may be a more cost-effective option. provide for wider styles of use.
infrastructure. - Geordie/Longreach Bay • Refurbish the heritage cottages
accommodation. The condition of and the Geordie/Longreach units,
As at June 2002, 44 Bathurst units, 30
Geordie/Longreach area is degraded paying particular attention to
North Thomson units, 38 South
and uncomfortable. environmentally sensitive
Thomson Units and 28 Caroline
- Allison camping cabins. Allison construction and operation and to
Thomson camping cabins have been
camping cabins are highly degraded, winter comfort standards.
refurbished under this program. poorly designed and landscaped, • Demolish the existing Allison cabins
Customers have provided positive and lacking in appropriate facilities. and construct replacement cabins
feedback about the standard of • Improved accommodation conditions near Caroline Thomson using the
refurbished accommodation. could increase visitor satisfaction and existing Caroline Thomson cabin
be done in a manner that heightens model, paying particular attention to
6.5.2.2 Issues the potential for increased use. winter comfort standards.
Issues associated with the standard and Improvements could also incorporate • Improve and enhance the universal
upgrading of Authority accommodation best practice environmental access features of accommodation
are as follows: standards and minimise ongoing and visitor facilities on Rottnest Island.

65
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

6.5.3 Amount of Accommodation • Except where otherwise specified, limit 6.5.4.1.2 Issues
Part B. Management Planning

construction of accommodation on The following are issues relevant to the


6.5.3.1 Background Rottnest Island to the replacement of booking of Authority accommodation
There are 322 accommodation units on existing accommodation, as necessary. on Rottnest Island:
the Island, including cabins, which have • The software program used by the
the capacity to accommodate a total of 6.5.4 Allocation of Accommodation
customer contact centre (ABBS) is in
1600 people. In addition to this there need of upgrade. Enhanced features,
are 50 campsites with capacity for 400 6.5.4.1 Regular booking procedures
particularly the introduction of a
people and 326 beds in Kingstown. 6.5.4.1.1 Background checking and verification capacity, are
This leads to a total bed capacity of The Authority operates a customer also desirable.
2326. When additional folding beds contact centre with dedicated staff, • On ‘open days’ for popular months,
hired by the Authority are considered tailored software and booking there is congestion at both the on-site
this brings the total potential sleeping procedures for the sale of Authority accommodation office and the
capacity to 3036. accommodation. Accommodation can customer contact centre.
be booked either by phoning the • Further enhancement could be made
Demand for Authority accommodation
customer contact centre or in person at to the website to move toward on-
well exceeds the amount available
the accommodation office in Fremantle line reservations. Currently, visitors
during peak holiday periods, to the
and on the Island, except for can check accommodation availability
extent that a ballot has been adopted to
accommodation booked during the and gather information on
allocate accommodation.
peak ballot periods (refer Section accommodation style and cost.
6.9.4.2 of this Chapter). The Customer
6.5.3.2 Issues 6.5.4.1.3 Recommendations
Contact Centre does not take bookings
There are two primary concerns with • Upgrade and improve Rottnest Island
for the private accommodation
increasing the amount of accommodation booking software
establishments on the Island, such as
accommodation on the Island: and procedures.
the Hotel and Lodge.
• The development of new • Investigate the feasibility of
accommodation would increase the Authority accommodation cannot be introducing on-line accommodation
number of people able to stay on the booked more than a year ahead, with booking facilities.
Island at any one time, potentially the beginning of each month designated
increasing demand on resources, all of 6.5.4.2 Peak accommodation
an ‘open day’ for accommodation
which are limited and costly to produce. allocation procedures
bookings for that month the following
• With the current available area for 6.5.4.2.1 Background
year. Reservations policies prevent the on-
accommodation development being At most times of the year,
selling of accommodation or the booking
the entire Settlement Zone, as specified accommodation on Rottnest Island is
of multiple units. There are also limits on
in the Rottnest Island Authority Act popular. However, in peak times the
the duration of stay during peak seasons.
1987, there is potential for demand for accommodation far
considerable development that would The Rottnest Island website allows outweighs availability.
be inconsistent with the social and general information about Authority Historically, these peak times have been
environmental values of Rottnest Island. accommodation to be obtained and for the summer, Easter and September/
6.5.3.3 Recommendations payments to be made, and for visitors to October school holidays but they now
• Determine and implement a defined check availability of Authority-managed tend to extend into the shoulder months
building envelope within the accommodation. Facilities are not yet of those periods. During these peak
boundary of the Settlement Zone. available to enable on-line bookings. periods accommodation is allocated

66
through a ballot system. This requires 6.5.5 Accommodation Charges 6.5.5.2 Issues
that people wanting accommodation fill There are issues associated with the
in a form available in The West Australian 6.5.5.1 Background current charge structure for Authority
newspaper and on the Authority’s Rottnest Island Authority charges for accommodation:
website. The Authority collects ballot accommodation vary on a seasonal • Analysis has revealed that the revenue
forms and an independent operator basis. The Rottnest Island Authority Act from accommodation does not cover
randomly allocates accommodation to 1987 states that the supply of facilities the full cost of providing these facilities.
the applicants. should not advantage any particular • The Authority has a charter to provide
person or group. In the past, the affordable accommodation options
6.5.4.2.2 Issues Authority has underpriced its for Western Australians who want to
The following issues are relevant to the accommodation as a means of achieving holiday on Rottnest Island. The
present system of accommodation affordable access to some facilities. Authority will continue to fulfil this
allocation in peak times: charter by increasing the number of
The Authority measures its affordability
• A high degree of administration is Caroline Thomson-style cabins,
by undertaking a comparison of the cost
required to conduct the providing them with heating,
of day trips or longer family holidays
accommodation ballot. The Authority maintaining them to a high standard,
on Rottnest Island with day trips and
will investigate more cost-effective and maintaining affordable pricing
holidays at broadly equivalent holiday
options for administering the structures. It will also continue to
destinations in the south west of the
accommodation ballot process for the offer discounted accommodation
State. In 2001/2002 the comparative
allocation of accommodation during during off-peak times.
costs of a day trip and family holiday to
peak seasons. • Different visitors to Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island were 66 percent and
• Monitoring and auditing of the ballot choose to make use of different
50 percent less expensive, respectively.
process has identified this as a fair and services and facilities and the
equitable approach to allocation of Accommodation fee increases over the Authority will set prices so that the
accommodation. However, segments past five years have been few, and have costs of those services are paid
of the public perceive the ballot included two CPI increases and by the users and are not imposed
process to be non-transparent. increases in price on the completion of on all visitors.
6.5.4.2.3 Recommendation some refurbished units. Over this same
• Investigate alternative methods period, pensioner concessions have also
to allocate accommodation during been introduced and the Caroline
peak periods. Thomson Cabins were refurbished and
leased without a price increase.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

6.5.5.3 Recommendations • Charge accommodation booked


Part B. Management Planning

• Implement the schedule of for off peak periods, which is not part
accommodation charges for of a discount package, at a 20 percent
bookings taken from 1 January 2003 discount rate.
as described in Table 5 - • Annually revise accommodation costs
Accommodation Charges. and operations.

Table 5 - Accommodation Charges

Accommodation Style Accommodation Charge


1 night ($) Per night for additional nights ($)

Campsite 8 8

Cottage: refurbished, 4 bed (Gem Heritage Cottage) 315 140

Cottage: refurbished, 6 bed (Gem Heritage Cottage) 400 165

Cottage: refurbished, 8 bed 355 185

Cottage: restored, 4 bed 225 125

Cottage: restored, 6 bed 270 135

Cottage: restored, 8 bed 300 170

Villa: refurbished, with view, 4 bed 205 115

Villa: refurbished, with view, 6 bed 225 125

Villa: refurbished, with view, 8 bed 245 150

Villa: unrefurbished, with view 4 bed 180 95

Villa: unrefurbished, with view, 6 bed 205 100

Villa: unrefurbished, view 8 bed 210 110

Units: refurbished, no view, 4 bed 170 80

Unit: refurbished, no view, 6 bed 195 85

Unit: unrefurbished, no view, 4 bed 140 65

Unit: unrefurbished, no view, 6 bed 170 70

Unit: unrefurbished, no view, 8 bed 210 75

Fibros 125 40

Bungalows: 4 bed 75 35

Bungalows: 6 bed 85 35

Caroline Thomson Cabins 95 50

68
6.6 PRIVATELY OPERATED 6.7 EDUCATION AND Discovery Centre. The program has been
ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES INTERPRETATION SERVICES developed in accordance with the State
Curriculum Framework and is aimed at
6.6.1 Background 6.7.1 Background
primary and secondary school students.
There are two accommodation facilities Education and interpretation are
The Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association
on Rottnest Island not directly operated recognised as key tools for the are active contributors to education and
by the Authority. These are the Rottnest management of Rottnest Island and interpretation and offer free of charge
Island Lodge and the Rottnest Island Hotel. have a role in many of the Authority’s tours of various styles around the Island.
diverse operations. Education and
6.6.2 Issues interpretation programs focussing on 6.7.2 Issues

Issues associated with the the natural environment, cultural


Issues associated with the provision
accommodation facilities on the Island heritage and sustainable management
of education and interpretation
that are not operated directly by the of the Island are run by the Authority.
services include:
Authority are as follows: Education and interpretation refer to • Education and interpretation are
• The Rottnest Island Hotel is managed the use of information to create investments in the management and
under contract by an agent. The awareness and understanding of use of Rottnest Island by future
Authority will consider options for the management issues and the values of generations of visitors.
future development of the Rottnest the Reserve. Education programs are
Island Hotel site, in consultation with 6.7.3 Recommendation
directed at formal learning groups
the community. The Rottnest Island visiting the Island with an interest in • Continue to provide education
Hotel will be redeveloped during the particular topics, while interpretation is and interpretation activities on
life of this Management Plan. aimed at the general visitor who may Rottnest Island.
• The Lodge is leased and operated not have an intention to learn about
privately. The lease for the Lodge specific issues and whose main purpose 6.8 SERVICES AND ATTRACTIONS
extends beyond the life of this is to enjoy the Island experience.
Management Plan and is due to
6.8.1 Background
expire in 2018. Some interpretive methods include
• The Authority will continue to work guided and self-guided tours, displays, There are a number of visitor
with the Rottnest Island Hotel and signage, brochures and talks. More attractions provided on Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island Lodge to provide information on these interpretation which are used by both day-trippers
appropriate holiday accommodation methods and directions are contained and holiday-makers.
on Rottnest Island. throughout the remaining chapters of
this Plan, relating to various areas of the The range of visitor attractions has been
6.6.3 Recommendations Authority’s operations. dominated by links to the natural and
cultural environment resulting in these
• Conduct a community consultation In addition to interpretation, the attractions playing an important role in
exercise to inform the future Authority implements an Education setting the tone of behaviour and
development of the Rottnest Island Program that offers a range of activities, experience of visitors on Rottnest Island.
Hotel site. encouraging active student involvement Visitor attractions are used to increase
• Redevelop the Rottnest Island and hands-on learning. The program is awareness, appreciation and
Hotel facilities informed by centred at Kingstown Barracks which understanding of the Island’s cultural
community consultation. contains accommodation and a and natural environment.

69
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Providers of visitor facilities and There are commercial operations within environmental and cultural heritage
Part B. Management Planning

attractions include the Rottnest Island the Reserve that do not have a lease or focus would compromise the
Authority, the business community and licence arrangement with the Authority Rottnest Island ethos and alter the
the Rottnest Voluntary Guides such as diving and fishing charters visitor experience.
Association. (this is considered specifically in • The range of visitor service providers
Part B, Chapter 7 - Marine and the range of opportunities means
The Authority is responsible for the Recreation and Facilities). there is a need for coordination and
interpretation of heritage sites and
clear direction in regard to the
environmental activities, providing a The Authority also recognises the need
development and provision of visitor
range of tours including coach tours to provide for non-English speaking
services and attractions.
and also providing of a range of facilities visitors, and a Language Services Policy
• There are some identified gaps in the
including the museum, library and has been developed to ensure language
current range and extent of visitor
Visitor and Information Centre. The barriers do not prevent visitors enjoying
services. Customer feedback has
Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association the unique Island experience. Signs on
advised there is a demand for an
conducts free tours for visitors covering the Island display international symbols
additional takeaway food venue that
a range of subjects and issues. and bilingual staff provide language
provides choice and value for money,
services to visitors. To assist visitors of
Businesses on the Island provide a ‘traditional style’ ice-cream shop
non-English speaking background staff
essential services as well as some tours and after dark activities for youth.
name badges signify any second
and attractions. These businesses There are also gaps in the
languages spoken.
operate under a lease or license telecommunications network on the
arrangement with the Authority. This section will address tours including Island while in peak seasons there is
bus tours; however, the bus transport an under-supply of bicycle racks.
Businesses on the Island are managed service is addressed in Section 6.9.
under a variety of arrangements 6.8.2.2 Management of Businesses
including leases, licences and contracts. Issues associated with the management
6.8.2 Issues
Leases are issued to businesses that of the Island’s privately operated
operate in Authority premises and businesses include the following:
6.8.2.1 Style and Range of
generally provide their services • The Authority maintains control over
Visitor Services
throughout the whole year. Licences are the Reserve, its property, lands and
Issues associated with the management
issued to businesses that do not operate surrounding waters.
of the style and range of visitor services
in Authority premises. Traditionally, • In general, it is considered that
on the Island include the following:
licensed businesses have provided licences have been a successful
• The strong link between visitor attractions
summer-specific services but more and heritage and environmental strategy for the Authority, attracting
recently, some have operated outside values means the development of small business operators to the Island
the peak season. appropriate links between heritage who have provided an array of
maintenance, environmental activities during peak visitor periods.
The Authority has adopted a standard • The provision of winter services
management and the development
selection and appointment process for through licence arrangements may
of visitor attractions is critical.
business opportunities on the Island, assist the Authority to reduce the level
• The style and range of visitor services
which involves public advertisement of seasonality by attracting a greater
contributes to the Rottnest Island
and complies with public sector number of visitors to the Island during
ethos. Altering this style and range
standards. winter months.
from its current interpretative,

70
• It is considered that the existing range of services and ability to meet 6.8.3 Recommendations
selection process for business peak demands. There are also some
universal access issues associated • Develop and implement a Plan for
opportunities on the Island is open,
with the Visitor and Information visitor services and attractions which
transparent and appropriate to
Centre that need to be addressed. is consistent with the Island’s purpose
determine the ability of a business to
• The current range of brochures and based on the principles of
deliver quality products and services
provided by the Visitor and environmental, social and economic
to visitors.
Information Centre is not considered sustainability.
6.8.2.3 Tours adequate interpretation tools. • Provide a range of visitor services and
This section will address issues • The range of merchandise sold attractions that are available on a self-
associated with guided tours, including by the Visitor and Information directed, free-of-charge basis.
coach tours (note that bus services of Centre is limited. • Maintain and enhance the services
the Bayseeker and Shuttle Bus are • There are opportunities to be provided by businesses operating on
addressed under Section 6.9 of explored in terms of the range of Rottnest Island.
this Chapter): merchandise available, as well as • Provide and enhance language
• Guided tours increase visitor alternative ordering mechanisms such services to non-English speaking
knowledge and positively influence as mail order and on-line ordering. visitors.
behaviour. Some guided tours are • Develop and implement a research
provided with the use of a bus and 6.8.2.5 Impacts of Visitor Services program to determine the impact of
some are walking based. The impact of visitor services is an issue: services and attractions on the
• Coach tours add to the number of • The Authority has a limited Rottnest Island environment and
vehicles, but provide the only understanding of the impact of tours its visitors.
opportunity for certain groups to and visitor attractions on the Island’s • Develop and implement a Rottnest
discover the outer bays of the Island. environment, the level of influence Island Merchandising Plan.
Furthermore, coach tours are a they have on visitors, and how they • Increase the number of bicycle racks
managed way for people to shape visitors’ enjoyment and on Rottnest Island.
experience the natural environment understanding of the Island. • Develop and implement a
with minimal impact. telecommunications plan.
• Coordination between the various 6.8.2.6 Charges for Visitor Services
• Determine and provide recreation
groups responsible for offering tours and Facilities
facilities targeted at youth.
is required to ensure an optimum Issues associated with the charges for
• Undertake a review of charges for the
balance of products. visitor services and facilities are as
full range of tours and visitor services.
follows:
6.8.2.4 Visitor and Information • Many visitor services currently
Centre provided do not operate on a cost-
The Rottnest Island Visitor and recovery model.
Information Centre provides • Given the provision of self-guided
information and advice to visitors to free interpretative opportunities,
Rottnest Island. The following issues are guided tours and services could be
associated with provision of services by sold at cost recovery rates while
the Visitor and Information Centre: maintaining a high level of access to
• The existing Visitor and Information Island experiences.
Centre is inadequate in terms of size,

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

6.9 TRANSPORT SERVICES management of the range of services: The Shuttle bus is limited to the
Part B. Management Planning

• Should the development of Wadjemup Settlement Zone including Settlement


6.9.1 Range of Services
Hill precinct occur, there may be a main bus stop, Geordie Bay/Longreach
6.9.1.1 Background need for additional bus services. Bay/Fays Bay, Airport and Kingstown.
This section deals only with the • There is a demand for the carriage of The Bayseeker bus does not travel to
passenger services that are to be large equipment around the Island West End although the coach tour does.
primarily for transport and are not mainly associated with people’s
Charter buses, the Malibu Dive Bus and
considered ‘tours’. Tours are addressed recreational pursuits, for example
the Department of Fisheries universal
in Section 6.8 of this Chapter. surfboards, but also including prams
access bus carry people to various areas
and other items. The carriage of large
The Authority operates several transport of the Island.
equipment by the Island’s bus services
services on the Island, which are for the
can compromise its primary function
primary purpose of the carriage of 6.9.2.2 Issues
of passenger alternative carriage and
passengers. Primary services are the Although the range of bus services is
can inconvenience passengers. The
Bayseeker bus service that carries people adequate, there are issues associated
Authority will be considering the need
from the Settlement to the outer bays of with the operating schedules:
to arrange for the alternative carriage
the Island (refer Chart 1- Rottnest • The current Bayseeker bus schedule is
of equipment around the Island.
Island Reserve), and the Shuttle Bus not adequate to meet the demands of
that shuttles people between Thomson 6.9.1.3 Recommendation visitors in peak times.
and Geordie/Longreach Bay and • Investigate mechanisms to improve • Of all the vehicles on Rottnest Island,
Kingstown. A charter bus service is the carriage of large equipment on the buses are probably the most
available on request. The Authority also bus services. visually and audibly obtrusive.
operates a light rail operation from • The frequency of the bus schedule
Thomson Bay to Oliver Hill. 6.9.2 Bus Route and Schedule must be managed against the conflict
There are two bus transport services on between cyclists, walkers and buses
6.9.2.1 Background
the Island, not operated by the as a passing bus in the Natural Zone
The Bayseeker bus service has a winter
Authority. The Department of Fisheries diminishes the amenity value of the
and summer schedule with the more
conducts fishing tours for people with a outer bay experience. There is a need
frequent summer timetable offering 20-
disability with the aid of their dedicated to determine the right balance of
to 30-minute intervals between buses.
and specially designed bus. Malibu Dive buses in terms of number and style
The Shuttle Bus runs approximately
operates a bus as part of their diving to meet the needs of all visitors
every 30 minutes. Some additional
tours offered around the Island. including walkers, riders and those
services are provided to complement
travelling on buses.
As a result of the conflict between organised evening activities.
buses, pedestrians and cyclists, the 6.9.2.3 Recommendations
The Bayseeker stops include the
Authority has determined not to increase • Investigate alternative-powered
Settlement main bus stop, South
the number of bus seats available. buses for Rottnest Island that will
Thomson, Kingstown turn-off, Porpoise
have a more positive impact on visual
6.9.1.2 Issues Bay, Parker Point, Little Salmon Bay,
and environmental amenities.
The existing range of bus services is Salmon Bay, Green Island, Strickland
• Investigate the feasibility of
adequate to meet visitors’ current Bay, Rocky Bay, Roland Smith Memorial,
the extension of the Rottnest Island
needs. However, the following issues Stark Bay, City of York Bay, Little
rail service.
are associated with the future Parakeet Bay and Geordie Bay store.

72
6.9.3 Bus Charges Self directed recreation can occur over injury are similar to risks on the
the entire Island with the exception of mainland. The requirement to wear a
6.9.3.1 Background
Environmental Exclusion Zones helmet when cycling and to use a
The current charges for Bayseeker
(refer Part B, Chapter 2 - Reserve light at night applies on Rottnest
buses, at December 2002 were $7.00
Zoning Plan and Settlement Island. Enforcing cycling road rules is
per adult and $3.50 per child.
Planning Scheme). the responsibility of the Western
Concessions, family passes and annual Australian Police Service.
tickets are also available. The Shuttle 6.10.1 Cycling • Although cycling is popular on
bus service is free of charge. Rottnest Island, there are some areas
6.10.1.1 Background
The primary form of transport on Rottnest where it is a hazard as a result of
6.9.3.2 Issues
Island is the bicycle. Bicycles are available congestion and high volumes of
• The operational costs of bus services
for hire on the Island year round. Visitors people. These areas include the
are not covered by the fees charged.
are also able to transport their own Arrival and Departure Precinct,
6.9.3.3 Recommendation bicycles onto the Island by ferry. shopping area and the Main
• Annually review and amend bus Passenger Jetty. This is addressed in
service fees and charges. There are conflicts between the various the Settlement Planning Scheme
modes of transport on the Island. where it is recommended that
6.10 SELF-DIRECTED RECREATION Cycling, as well as vehicular traffic, are mechanisms be developed and
known to cause mortality of Island implemented to enforce no bicycle
Self-directed recreation is popular and fauna, particularly quokkas. The level of riding in these areas (refer Part B,
highly valued on Rottnest Island. mortality is elevated by the fact that Chapter 2 - Reserve Zoning Plan
Generally this includes bicycle riding some cyclists ride at night without a and Settlement Planning Scheme).
and walking in the terrestrial bicycle light. Conflicts also occur
environment, and swimming, fishing 6.10.1.3 Recommendations
between cyclists and pedestrians. To
and snorkelling in the marine • Work with the Rottnest Island Police
minimise this conflict cycling is not
environment. This section deals only to enforce the requirement for cyclists
permitted in congested and popular
with the terrestrial recreational to wear helmets on Rottnest Island.
pedestrian areas including the mall and
activities. Refer to Part B, Chapter 7 - • Work with the Rottnest Island Police
the jetty.
Marine Recreation and Facilities, to enforce the requirement for cyclists
The interpretation of the Island on a to use a light when cycling at night.
for discussion on self-directed
marine recreation. self-directed basis is covered under 6.10.2 Walking
Part B, Chapter 3 - Terrestrial
6.10.2.1 Background
Rottnest Island offers exceptional scenic Environment, and Chapter 5 -
Walking is an activity that is enjoyed by
views and walking tracks appreciated by Cultural Heritage.
people of all ages, interests and fitness
both cyclists and walkers. There is an
levels, and is a popular mode of
opportunity to further enhance the self- 6.10.1.2 Issues
transport around the Island. Rottnest
directed recreational experience of Issues associated with cycling on
Island offers several impressive walking
Rottnest Island through the provision of Rottnest Island include:
areas and a range of opportunities to
interpretative material either in the form • Visitors tend to feel safe on their
meet the needs of this diverse group.
of brochures or site-specific bicycles on Rottnest Island,
Interpretative walks have been provided
interpretative signage. presumably due to the small numbers
to enhance the visitor experience.
of vehicles. However, the risks of

73
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Walkers are encouraged to use the guides the approach to providing Rottnest Air Taxi who offers chartered
Part B. Management Planning

roads and existing walking tracks. A universal recreational facilities. transport for visitors to the Island and
coastal walking trail has been partially conducts joy flights. Other users include
The Authority has been active in air charter companies, recreational
constructed over recent years and the
providing universal access to training schools, Royal Australian
Settlement Planning Scheme includes
recreational facilities on Rottnest Island. Airforce, the Royal Flying Doctor Service
the recommendation to extend and
Beach accessible wheelchairs and and private recreational users.
enhance this trail (refer Part B, Chapter
electronic scooters are currently
2 - Reserve Zoning Plan and
available, in addition to manual People arriving on the Island in
Settlement Planning Scheme,
wheelchairs. The Authority also has recreational aircraft (ie. not those on a
Section 2.5.1).
some tour vehicles equipped with commercial service who pay a fee for
The interpretation of the Island on a wheelchair lifts. transport) are required to pay the
self-directed basis is covered under Admission Fee of $10.45 per adult and
The Authority’s recreational facilities are
Part B, Chapter 3 - Terrestrial 55 cents per child. There is also an
enhanced by the Department of
Environment and Chapter 5 - option to make an annual payment in
Fisheries which conducts fishing clinics
Cultural Heritage. lieu of the Admission Fee, which is
for people with a disability with the aid
currently $110 per aircraft. People
of a purpose-built bus.
6.10.2.2 Issues arriving by recreational aircraft for
Issues associated with walking around which an annual payment in lieu of
6.10.3.2 Issues
Rottnest Island include: Admission Fee has been paid, are not
The Rottnest Island Authority is
• Viewing the Island through committed to the future maintenance required to pay the Admission Fee.
formalised and maintained walking and enhancement of recreational Commercial aircraft operators bringing
tracks can be a low impact activity activities for all visitors to the Island.
passengers to the Island are required to
and is encouraged by the Authority.
collect the Admission Fee from their
6.10.3.3 Recommendations
6.10.2.3 Recommendation passengers and remit the fees collected
• Implement the Rottnest Island
• Review and rationalise the number of to the Authority.
Authority Disability Services Plan.
walking tracks on Rottnest Island to • Refurbish the ramp to North In addition to the Admission Fee,
minimise environmental impacts while Thomson Beach to provide beach owners of aircraft that land at the
providing for the needs of visitors. and water access. aerodrome, other than those who carry
out a regular passenger or joyflight
6.10.3 Universal Access to 6.11 ROTTNEST ISLAND AERODROME service, are required to pay to the
Recreational Facilities
Authority an Aerodrome Usage Fee.
6.11.1 Background
6.10.3.1 Background The owner of the aircraft may make
The Authority owns and maintains the
The Authority recognises the principles Aerodrome Usage Fee payments on each
Rottnest Island Aerodrome. The
of universal access as being beneficial to landing occasion which are currently set
Authority is responsible to the Civil
guiding the development of recreation at $22.00 for aircraft not greater than
Aviation Authority for all matters
and leisure projects on the Island and 2000kg, $33.00 for aircraft greater than
relating to the maintenance of facilities
removing the barriers that prohibit an 2000kg and $33.00 for a helicopter.
and equipment used at the aerodrome.
accessible holiday experience for all Alternatively, the owner of an aircraft may
The Rottnest Island aerodrome receives
visitors. The Authority has a Disability choose to pay the Authority an annual
in the region of 1000 landings per year.
Services Plan for Rottnest Island which payment for Aerodrome Usage Fee.
The main user of the aerodrome is the

74
The annual usage fee is currently 6.12 QUALITY OF CUSTOMER 6.13 MARKETING
calculated: SERVICE
- for aircraft with a maximum loaded 6.13.1 Background
weight not greater than 2000 6.12.1 Background
Rottnest Island devotes limited
kilograms, by multiplying the number
It is important that all Rottnest Island staff resources to marketing. This is largely
of declared visits to the Island by $17;
provide a high level of customer service. because of the fact that during peak
- for aircraft with a maximum loaded
This is critical to achieving the Authority’s seasons, demand for accommodation
weight greater than 2000 kilograms,
vision of ‘Rottnest: Forever Magic’. outweighs availability. In addition, the
by multiplying the number of
highest proportion of visitors come from
declared visits to the Island by $25; The Authority conducts an Induction
the local market who are considered to
and Program and Environmental Awareness
- for any helicopter, irrespective of its have a high level of awareness of the
Course aimed at familiarising staff with
maximum loaded weight, by Island. The Authority does not currently
topical issues. A program of training
multiplying the number of declared have a formalised marketing plan.
staff in nationally accredited
visits by $25. telecommunications customer service Marketing activities conducted by the
If the owner of the aircraft has paid the programs has also commenced. Authority include the compilation and
Aerodrome Usage Fee, then a person distribution of brochures, the
6.12.2 Issues
who is carried to the Island in that monitoring and development of the
aircraft shall be deemed to have paid Issues associated with management of website, campaign marketing during
the Admission Fee. customer service include the following: the winter months which aims to
• Industry standards provide a benchmark increase accommodation occupancy
6.11.2 Issues and visitor numbers, and ongoing
from which to assess customer service
and product standards. media activity throughout the year.
Issues associated with the management
of the Rottnest Island Aerodrome include: • Uniforms are required so that all
The Island is also promoted by ferry
• The annual payment in lieu of Authority staff are identifiable to visitors.
companies who advertise regularly, and
Admission Fee and Aerodrome Usage the Business Community who take part
6.12.3 Recommendations
Fee for aircraft has not been increased in seasonal marketing initiatives.
for some years, resulting in these • Provide training opportunities to
being out of line with other Rottnest Authority staff to improve service 6.13.2 Issues
Island Admission fees and with the levels to meet industry standards and
Issues associated with the marketing of
cost of the provision of these services. benchmarks.
Rottnest Island include the following:
Fees for the aerodrome must be set • Investigate certification under national
• The absence of a good understanding
within the context of the high tourism accreditation schemes.
of market segmentation, market
management cost and relatively low • Develop and introduce a new
needs and visitor behaviour limits the
usage of the aerodrome. range of Rottnest Island Authority
Authority in its ability to market the
staff uniforms.
6.11.3 Recommendations Island’s services effectively.
• The absence of a formal marketing
• Review the operation of the Rottnest strategy also limits the ability of the
Island Aerodrome. Authority to be strategic in its
• Review the range of aerodrome fees. marketing activities.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

• Marketing of visitor facilities and 6.14 ORGANISED EVENTS AND The Authority charges a non-refundable
Part B. Management Planning

attractions on the Island is as FUNCTIONS permit fee for all organisations and
important as marketing of individuals wishing to hold a private
6.14.1 Background
accommodation, but this aspect is event or function on the Island. A bond
given less attention. is payable for most large-scale public
Externally Organised Events
• It is critical that marketing of the functions, corporate events and private
Rottnest Island is a popular location
Island is realistic about the nature of functions of more than 50 people. If the
for a range of functions and events.
the Rottnest Island product in order to event attracts more than 300 people,
Many of these are organised and
manage customer expectations, limit organisers are responsible for the
operated by external groups, using
disillusionment and complaints about removal of event-generated waste from
Rottnest Island as a venue.
the standard of services and facilities. the Island.
• It is critical that marketing and The Rottnest Island Regulations 1988
promotion undertaken by Island direct that events and functions cannot Authority Hosted Events
businesses is accurate and consistent be held within the Reserve without the The Rottnest Island Authority also hosts
with the Authority’s objectives. express approval of the Authority, and a number of events as entertainment
• A new Authority website has recently preference is given to events that add to and interest for its accommodated
been implemented and will be utilised the family holiday experience. A visitors. These include organised bands
as a strategic marketing tool. function is defined as an official or in public areas, Christmas Carols, school
formal gathering, for example a holiday programs and art displays,
6.13.3 Recommendations among others.
wedding, birthday party or conference
• Design and implement a market while an event is generally a commercial
6.14.2 Issues
research program to gain an activity of larger scale and usually
understanding of market segments involves more people than a function, Issues relevant to the management of
and needs. for example a festival, sporting occasion events and functions on Rottnest Island
• Develop and implement a strategic or contest. Several large-scale public include:
marketing plan for Rottnest Island, events are conducted annually on • There is a need to consider the impact
based on the outcomes of market Rottnest Island including the Rottnest of events and functions on other
research. Island Channel Swim, Rottnest Swim- people recreating and holidaying on
• Work with Rottnest Island businesses Thru, and the Rottnest Island Marathon the Island.
and ferry operators to improve the and Fun Run. • Demands to increase the scale of
compatibility of marketing campaigns current events could contribute to
The approval and management of
with Rottnest Island objectives. compromising the experience of
events and functions is guided by the
individual visitors.
Authority’s Events Policy and is subject
• During peak periods when the Island
to conditional approval.
is congested, organised events can
In accordance with the Reserve Zoning add to the congestion and potential
Plan (refer Part B, Chapter 2 - Reserve associated impacts, therefore the
Zoning Plan and Settlement Authority prefers to support events
Planning Scheme) events and that have the potential to boost visitor
functions are restricted to the numbers in off peak periods and
Settlement Zone and the Activity Nodes. shoulder months.

76
• Events on Rottnest Island should have
relevance to the Rottnest Island
environment and ethos and not
compromise the visitor experience.
• There is currently little guidance
about the type or scale of events or
functions that require approval.
• Authority-hosted programs
add considerable value to the
visitor experience.
• Events can have positive financial
benefits to the Island businesses
including the Authority.

6.14.3 Recommendations

• Determine a policy on the scale and


type of function and event
appropriate for Rottnest Island
based on considerations of social,
economic and environmental
benefits and impacts.
• Undertake a range of Rottnest Island
Authority-hosted programs to
enhance the visitor experience.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

7. Marine Recreation and Facilities

7.1 INTRODUCTION should also be considered in regard to Recreational Fishing


Part B. Management Planning

the management of the Marine Reserve. Rottnest Island is considered to be one


7.1.1 General
of the most popular recreational fishing
Many user groups are not mutually
The marine portion of the Rottnest locations in Western Australia and many
exclusive, for example those who bring
Island Reserve contains a variety of visitors fish during their stay. The
private boats to Rottnest Island may also
resources and facilities that make these environmental management of fishing
fish and dive during their stay. The range
waters a significant attraction for activities is addressed in Part B,
of users of the Marine Reserve include
visitors. It is interesting to note that Chapter 4 - Marine Environment.
members of the commercial sector, for
although the Marine Reserve is a major Commercial fishing charters also
example charter boat operations and
attraction, its management has, in the operate in the Reserve.
commercial fishing, as well as
past, been given considerably less
recreational users. Surfing
attention than the terrestrial realm.
7.2 MARINE RECREATIONAL Rottnest Island is recognised
This chapter deals with the management internationally for the quality of its
ACTIVITIES
of the many user groups and facilities surfing waves. Annual surfing events
within the Marine Reserve, which are A range of passive recreational activities are held at Strickland Bay and
inextricably linked to environmental occur in the Marine Reserve and some championship surfing events have also
management and protection of its of these include swimming, snorkelling, been staged at this location.
natural resources. This chapter should diving and surfing. Management of
be read in conjunction with Part B, these activities are described below. Personalised Powered Watercraft
Chapter 4 - Marine Environment Personalised powered watercraft
7.2.1 Background
that details the environmental (eg. Jetskis) are currently permitted to
management of the marine environment. be operated within the Reserve but are
Swimming, Diving and Snorkelling
restricted in their efficiency in areas
It is also important to acknowledge that There are numerous bays in the
where speed limits apply.
users of the Marine Reserve often also Settlement and the Natural Zone which
make use of general land-based are popular swimming locations. 7.2.2 Issues
facilities provided including toilets, People swim off the beaches and off
their boats. Issues relevant to marine recreation
showers and barbeques. This group also
activities in the Reserve are as follows:
uses the Island’s infrastructure, for
Diving and snorkelling are common
example, the provision of water and the Swimming, snorkelling and diving are all
recreational pursuits in the Reserve and
disposal of rubbish, and these uses are popular and valued recreational
there are a large variety of boat-based
appropriate and encouraged. activities, and the conflicting nature of
and shore-based diving and snorkelling
opportunities, including a diversity of these uses needs careful management.
7.1.2 Users of the Marine Reserve
marine habitats. The Authority has Part B, Chapter 2 - Reserve Zoning
The diversity of Rottnest Island’s marine developed self-guided trails for divers Plan and Settlement Planning
environment lends itself to a range of and snorkellers at Kingston Reef and Scheme recommends the development
users including swimmers, divers, Parker Point. of a marine zoning plan to address this.
snorkellers, boaters, fishers and surfers.
Commercial diving charter operators Personalised powered watercraft have
The marine environment also has a
bring divers and snorkellers to the Reserve associated noise, environmental and
significant amenity and visual value to
on a daily basis for much of the year. risk issues and are not considered
land-based visitors and these users
compatible with the Reserve.

78
7.2.3 Recommendations increasing with approximately 500 swimming and snorkelling activities
private vessels purchased each month that will influence boating capacity, as
• Monitor the use of Personalised
and the number of registered boats in will the size profile of boats.
Powered Watercraft within the
Western Australia increasing by about • The sustainable boating capacity of
boundary of the Reserve over the
three percent per year and 28 percent the Reserve is unknown; however,
peak months of 2003/2004 and monitoring data and anecdotal
over the last decade. As Perth’s major
2004/2005 and determine whether evidence suggests the number of
boating destination, it is assumed that
they should continue to be permitted boats on peak boating days already
without mechanisms to manage
within the Reserve. affects the amenity of the Island.
boating visitors, the number of boats in
the Reserve will escalate, and so will the • The Authority has no mechanisms to
7.3 BOATING
associated impacts discussed in Part B, control the number of boats
7.3.1 Boating Capacity Chapter 4 - Marine Environment. occupying the Reserve. Furthermore,
there is no model or formula available
To assist in consultation and liaison, the for determining its maximum
7.3.1.1 Background
Authority has recently endorsed the sustainable boating capacity.
As the only developed offshore boating
establishment of a Rottnest Island
destination in the region, with close
Marine Issues Advisory Committee 7.3.1.3 Recommendations
proximity to Perth, Rottnest Island is one
(RIMIAC) to provide advice and • Undertake research into the boating
of the most popular destinations in the
assistance on matters relating to the capacity of the Rottnest Island
west and southwest of Western
recreational use and management of Marine Reserve based on social,
Australia. Facilities on the Island mean it
the Marine Reserve. environmental and infrastructure
can also be used as an overnight constraints.
destination, which creates specific • Investigate mechanisms to manage
7.3.1.2 Issues
conditions requiring consideration the boating capacity of the Rottnest
Issues associated with the management
and management. Island Marine Reserve.
of boating capacity of the Marine
Western Australia has the highest vessel Reserve are as follows:
7.3.2 Boating Annual Admission Fee
ownership per capita in the nation, and • The amount of boating activity the
16,000 private vessels are registered Reserve can sustain is closely linked to
7.3.2.1 Background
and capable of travelling to Rottnest the behaviour of boaters. Appropriate
Visitors entering the Reserve by ferry
Island. It is estimated that up to 150,000 management of boating and
pay the Authority an Admission Fee, as
visitors to the Island arrive by private associated activities will minimise any
part of their ferry fare, which is currently
vessel annually. potential adverse impacts. However,
set at $10.45 per adult and 55c per
there will be a point when the Reserve
child. Those entering the Reserve by
Many boaters who arrive at the Reserve reaches its limit in accommodating
private boat are also required to pay the
and spend an extended time there, private boats without harmful effects
Admission Fee, but have the option of
bring with them around three to six to the environmental and social
making an annual payment in lieu of the
people. They use land-based facilities, values of the Island.
Admission Fee of $110 (as at 2002) and
and make use of the natural resources • Limiting factors are sullage and
displaying a sticker to this effect on their
and facilities. damage to marine life and impacts on
vessel. This is then valid for all visitors
the amenity in terms of the vistas of
Boating industry figures indicate that entering the Reserve in that vessel,
the bays. There are also conflicts
the number of boats in Perth is regardless of the number of people
between boating use and diving,
carried, days of access or facilities used.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

The Authority provides a range of 7.3.2.3 Recommendations reflect the need to ensure
Part B. Management Planning

facilities for recreational boats visiting • Increase the boating annual payment precautionary vessel movements.
Rottnest Island including jetty berthing in lieu of Admission Fee from
7.3.3.3 Recommendation
facilities, barbeques, a fuelling station, 1 September 2003 to the following
• Work with the Department for
the provision and maintenance of GST inclusive prices:
Planning and Infrastructure to expand
ablution blocks and showers, the - Vessels up to 8 metres: $121.00
the boating five-knot speed limit area
provision of rubbish collection and - Vessels greater than 8 metres but
to include all bays containing
disposal services and the provision of less than 10 metres: $137.50
moorings and all waters within 100
bus transport services. It is - Vessels 10 metres or greater but less
metres of the shoreline.
acknowledged that many facilities used than 15 metres: $165.00
by boaters are used, to varying extents, - Vessels 15 metres or greater: $275.00 7.4 MOORINGS
by other visitors to the Island. • Annually review the boating Annual
Payment in Lieu of Admission Fee. The Rottnest Island Reserve contains
The boating annual payment in lieu * Vessel length refers to the registration length of a licensed recreational moorings and
of the Admission Fee has not been vessel as defined in vessel registration papers issued rental moorings. Licensed moorings are
increased in accordance with CPI by the Western Australian Department for Planning
distributed through the Settlement and
and Infrastructure.
for 3 years. outer bays of the Island. Rental
7.3.3 Boating Speed Limits moorings are located only in Thomson
7.3.2.2 Issues Bay, Geordie Bay and Longreach Bay.
Issues associated with the boating 7.3.3.1 Background
annual payment in lieu of Admission Fee Compared to anchoring, moorings are
The Rottnest Island Regulations 1988
are as follows: considered to have relatively low
provide the Authority with the power to
• This fee is revenue to the Authority environmental impact and are therefore
limit the speed of any specified class or
used for the management of the considered to be an effective
classes of vessels in any area of the
Island and its facilities. The current environmental management tool (refer
Reserve. The Authority works with the
annual payment is significantly Chapter 4 - Marine Environment,
lead agency for boating transport and
underpriced when compared with Section 4.6 - Mooring Damage, and
safety, the Department for Planning and
Admission Fees paid per visit by Section 4.7 - Anchor Damage).
Infrastructure, in this regard. Five-knot
individuals. speed limits apply in Thomson, Authority-owned moorings are rented
• An analysis of the cost of the Longreach, Geordie and Parker Point, to private vessel owners on a short-term
provision of these services and Parakeet, Stark, Rocky, Narrowneck, basis. Permanent recreational moorings
facilities to the boating community Marjorie and Porpoise Bays. Boating are licensed to boat owners on an
versus the revenue received from accidents are reasonably frequent in the annual basis. The demand for
current charges has revealed that the Marine Reserve. recreational mooring site licences well
Authority makes a net loss. It is exceeds the availability of these facilities,
considered that in a self-funding 7.3.3.2 Issues and the demand for rental moorings
environment, it is not sustainable for Management of boating speed limits exceeds availability in peak times.
the Authority to use revenue from includes the following issues:
other visitors’ admission fees, and • The Reserve is a popular diving, 7.4.1 Mooring Capacity
funding from other areas, to subsidise snorkel and swimming area, and 7.4.1.1 Background
the activities and services of the considering the potential for
There are 899 moorings within the
boating community. accidents, boat speed limits should
Marine Reserve, consisting of 864

80
recreational moorings and 35 rental • Sand accretion in bays is rendering Under the existing policy, only a mooring
moorings. There is limited documented some moorings unsuitable for a Licensee or its ‘Authorised User’ can use
information available on the level of use vessel as the draft of the vessel the licensed recreational mooring.
of moorings but anecdotal evidence exceeds the depth of the water. In Authorised Users are people who have
suggests that apart from peak periods, such circumstances, the Authority been given formal approval by the
it is unusual for a high proportion of facilitates the re-assignment of a licensee of the mooring to occupy that
moorings in the Reserve to be occupied suitable mooring to that licensee. facility, and the Authorised User system
at any one time. Interference with the sea bottom in is administered by the Authority.
order to increase the depth of the
7.4.1.2 Issues As the demand for recreational mooring
mooring apparatus is considered
Issues associated with the number of site licences well exceeds the availability
unacceptable.
moorings in the Rottnest Island Reserve of moorings, the Authority also
include the following: 7.4.1.3 Recommendations operates a waitlist that allows eligible
• At the broadest level, the mooring • Maintain the current total number of people to register applications for a
capacity of an area is influenced by licensed recreational moorings in the relinquished mooring. Waitlist periods
the size of boats using the moorings - Rottnest Island Marine Reserve. can be up to fifteen years.
which must be far enough apart to • Employ geographical positioning
The mooring policy creates a range of
avoid collisions. It is also influenced by survey methods to determine and
requirements regarding eligibility for a
the need to minimise environmental maintain records of mooring locations.
mooring site licence. The major
damage caused by the apparatus itself • Prohibit people from dredging or
requirement is that only those who own
and the need to manage the resultant otherwise interfering with any area of
a boat registered in Western Australia,
impact of boating in the Reserve. sea bed in the Marine Reserve.
and who reside in Western Australia
• The Authority does not maintain 7.4.2 Mooring Site Licences and are on the Western Australian
geographically positioned data on electoral role are eligible for a mooring
mooring locations, which impedes its 7.4.2.1 Background site licence and are able to sit on the
ability to ensure appropriate distances Licensed moorings are allocated and mooring site licence waiting list. Further,
are maintained between moorings managed in accordance with the a maximum of one mooring site licence
and that no illegal relocation of Authority’s 1997 Moorings Policy. is permitted per person.
moorings occurs.
• There is concern that if the pattern of The Authority grants recreational
7.4.2.2 Issues
mooring usage increases significantly, licences for moorings allowing a
The following are issues relevant to the
the environmental and social values person’s vessel to occupy a specific
future management of Rottnest Island
of Rottnest Island will be mooring site. A recreational mooring
recreational mooring site licences:
compromised, particularly in the site licence has a 12-month term and
popular Settlement bays of the current policy is to renew these Allocation and Access to
Thomson, Geordie and Longreach. annually on 1 September, subject to Recreational Mooring Site Licences
Any alteration to the existing compliance with licence conditions. The The current policy restricts access to a
mooring policy should carefully Authority may refuse to renew a licence mooring to the Licensee of that
consider the influence that this if it considers that it is in the public mooring and any nominated Authorised
may have on patterns of mooring interest or in the best interest of the Users. Licensees are not permitted to
use and subsequent social and Reserve to do so. moor on another person’s mooring,
environmental impacts.

81
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

unless they are an Authorised User of Authorised Users. Licensees will be will retain their mooring licence and the
Part B. Management Planning

that mooring. Boaters must be an required by the Authority to have annual renewal policy will continue.
Authorised User of any mooring they Authorised Users, and may continue to Allocation of moorings that become
intend to use. Boaters who are not nominate them. The terms and vacant will be from the waitlist. The
Licensees or Authorised Users of a conditions of site licences will grant the annual renewal policy will also apply to
recreational mooring are not permitted Authority the right to allocate new licensees.
to make use of that facility, however Authorised Users to moorings, in order
This system will be trialed from
rental moorings are available for hire to ensure increased access. People may
1 September 2003. The trial will be
from the Authority. The popularity of nominate their interest in becoming an
developed and implemented in
moorings on the Island, and the annual Authorised User without being an
consultation with a working group
licence renewal process means the associate of a Licensee. Each Authorised
including representatives of stakeholder
waitlist system is limited in its ability to User may have Authorised User access
groups and in consultation with the
increase access for boaters. The current for several recreational moorings.
newly established Rottnest Island
policy has resulted in a total of only
Access Rights. Under the trial system, Marine Issues Advisory Committee.
approximately 1600 individuals having
Licensees and Authorised users will
access to a mooring on the Island. There are several issues that will need to
have the right to access the moorings
be resolved in the development and
There is strong public pressure to they are assigned to, and will also have
implementation of the trial. The
increase access to moorings in the casual user access to all other recreational
Reserve. The boating community has Authority will underwrite Public Liability
moorings. This access will be subject to
expressed strong support for a mooring Insurance for all moorings on Rottnest
conditions including having a
system that retains the current licensing Island but other insurance matters,
competent operator on board at all
and Authorised User arrangements economic viability and administrative
times, recognising physical limitations
while introducing the opportunity for issues will require development.
and other conditions to be specified.
other boaters to have access to
The Authority will pursue other
moorings on a short term basis. Licensees will have priority access to
mechanisms to increase access to
their mooring, over all other users.
The Authority is committed to recreational moorings within the
Authorised Users have priority access to
increasing access to licensed Reserve, should the trial be unsuccessful.
those moorings that they are authorised
recreational moorings. There are several to use, over casual users.
ways that this can be achieved and the Charges for Recreational Mooring
Authority proposes to trial a system with Both Licensees and Authorised Users Site Licences and Authorised Access
the support of the boating community. will have the option of casual use. This All fees and charges for Licensees and
This system will maintain the existing will allow people to visit friends in other Authorised Users will be based on per
categories of mooring users (ie. bays, explore other bays, or to moor for metre of boat length.
Licensees and Authorised Users) but short periods of time in Thomson or
Mooring Licensees pay an annual
increase access by extending the rights Geordie Bays to obtain essentials and
recreational mooring site licence fee to
of those users and the method of utilise facilities.
the Authority which is currently set at $55
allocation of Authorised Users as
License term and renewal process. per metre. The licence fee for the trial has
follows, and summarised in Table 6 -
Under the trial system, existing renewal been amended to $66 per metre, or
Summary of Recreational Mooring
processes and allocation of moorings $660, whichever is the greater amount.
Trial System.
from the waitlist will remain. Licensees

82
Table 6 - Summary of Recreational Mooring Trial System

Feature Description

Access Rights of Licensees Licensees have priority access to their mooring above all others. Licensees have casual access to all other
vacant recreational moorings until such time as the Licensee or an Authorised User of that mooring
requires use of the mooring - a competent operator must remain on board during “casual” use.
Access Rights of Authorised Users Authorised Users have priority access to moorings for which they are an Authorised User, above others
who are not nominated to that mooring. The Licensee of that mooring has priority access over the
Authorised User and the Authorised User would be required to vacate the mooring should the Licensee
arrive. Authorised Users have casual access to all other vacant recreational moorings until such time as
the licensee or an Authorised User of that mooring requires use of the mooring - a competent operator
must remain on board during “casual” use.
Nomination of Authorised Users A Licensee can nominate Authorised Users or a person can nominate themselves to the Rottnest Island
Authority. All mooring sites will be required to have Authorised Users.
Allocation of relinquished moorings From existing waitlist
License term and renewal for existing licensees 12-month licence with annual renewal subject to compliance with conditions.
License term and renewal for new licensees 12-month licence with annual renewal subject to compliance with conditions.

Should the trial be unsuccessful and the • There is concern that some • Revise annual recreational mooring
current arrangements be reinstated, the recreational moorings are being used site licence fees effective 1 September
licence fee will be set at $77 per metre, for commercial operations. 2003 to $66.00 per metre of length
or $770, whichever is the greater amount. • There are opportunities to improve of licensed vessels or $660, which
the methods of determining eligibility ever is the greater amount, for the
In the past, Authorised Users have not status for a mooring site licence, duration of the recreational mooring
been required to pay a fee to the particularly in relation to vessel trial, and permanently thereafter
Authority for access to mooring ownership. The requirement to
should the trial system be
facilities. Authorised User fees will be present a ‘hull identification number’
implemented substantively.
set at $33.00 per metre of vessel, with as issued by the Department for
• Introduce an Annual Authorised User
no minimum fee, plus the applicable Planning and Infrastructure may
Fee of $33.00 per metre as at 1
Admission Fee. These fees recognise the strengthen the Authority’s ability to
September 2003.
increased access to moorings by enforce the eligibility policies.
• Maintain the Annual Administration Fee
Authorised Users and the flexibility 7.4.2.3 Recommendations
for Authorised Users of $33 per vessel.
provided by the “casual user” status • Undertake a trial of a mooring system
• Review all mooring fees annually.
afforded to Licensees and Authorised as detailed in Table 6 - Summary of
• Prohibit recreational moorings from
Users. The existing annual Recreational Mooring Trial System,
being used for commercial gain or
administration fee of $33.00 will remain. in consultation with major stakeholders,
commencing September 2003, with a being sub-let.
view to on-going implementation. • Revise mooring renewal procedures
Eligibility for Recreational
• Pursue alternative mechanisms for to make the presentation of a hull
Mooring Licenses
increasing access to recreational identification number a prerequisite
There are two issues in relation to
moorings should the trial indicate for a mooring site licence renewal by
the eligibility for recreational mooring
that the system detailed in Table 6 is 1 September 2004.
site licences:
not feasible.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

7.4.3 Conversion of Permanent to • With the introduction of a mooring • As there is high demand for rental
Part B. Management Planning

Rental Moorings system that provides enhanced short- moorings during peak season, greater
term access to licensed moorings, it is access to these facilities would be
7.4.3.1 Background envisaged that there will not be an generated if there was a reduction in
The provision of rental moorings in increased demand for rental moorings the maximum number of nights able
addition to the recreational licensed in the Rottnest Island Reserve. to be booked.
moorings provides a greater access of • The fees for rental moorings are on a
7.4.3.3 Recommendation
use of mooring facilities. par with other mooring facilities
• Develop a business model for the
rental mooring business unit to throughout the State. However,
Rental moorings are in high demand
determine an optimum number of based on the demand for moorings at
with waitlists for these facilities
rental moorings. Rottnest Island, current prices are
occurring in December and January. In
below market value. This is
response, the Authority has aimed to 7.4.4 Rental Moorings particularly true for peak periods of
increase the number of rental moorings
school holidays, and particularly
available. Since late 2000 the Authority 7.4.4.1 Background Christmas and Easter.
has implemented a policy of retaining The Authority manages beach and
one in every three relinquished offshore swing moorings which are 7.4.4.3 Recommendations
recreational licensed moorings in available for rent on an overnight basis • Eliminate the maximum rental period
Thomson, Geordie and Longreach Bays from 10am to 10am. These facilities can limit for rental moorings for the off-
for conversion to rental moorings. be booked three months in advance. peak season of May to November.
This equates to about two to three • Introduce a maximum limit for rental
The rental of swing moorings is limited
conversions each year. The selection of moorings during the accommodation
to 14 consecutive nights year round to
relinquished moorings to convert to ballot periods consistent with the
contribute to the distribution of access
rental moorings is sensitive to the need during peak periods. Rental moorings maximum ballot booking periods,
to have rental moorings suitable for are established for the use of from 1 July 2003.
vessels of a range of sizes. recreational vessels only and are • Increase rental swing mooring fees to
charged at rates that reflect this. $33 per night, from 1 July 2003.
7.4.3.2 Issues • Increase Bathurst Beach mooring fees
The conversion of licensed recreational The Rottnest Island Regulations 1988 to $16.50 per night, from 1 July 2003.
moorings to rental moorings requires permit the Authority to determine the • Annually review rental mooring prices.
management: fee payable for rental moorings. Swing
• Resuming licensed recreational moorings are currently charged at $22
7.4.5 Commercial Vessel Moorings
overnight and Bathurst Beach moorings
moorings for conversion to rental
are $11. Rental jetty pens are also
moorings slows the waitlist for a 7.4.5.1 Background
available and the Authority will
mooring site licence. There is a range of commercial charter
continue to provide these facilities.
• It would not be economical for the vessels operating in the Reserve. These
Authority to convert all moorings to charter vessels, particularly diving and
7.4.4.2 Issues
rental facilities as there is little fishing charters, generally operate at
Issues associated with the provision of
demand for these during off peak specific sites that do not have moorings
rental mooring facilities are as follows:
months, and also due to the expense • During off peak seasons, rental available for commercial use. Some
related to maintaining this volume of moorings are not in demand and the operators use recreational moorings for
mooring apparatus. 14-night limit is unnecessary. charters and therefore commercial benefit.

84
7.4.5.2 Issues 7.5 RENTAL PENS 7.5.3 Recommendations
The following issues are relevant to the
7.5.1 Background • Eliminate the maximum rental period
mooring of commercial vessels in the
limit for rental pens for the off-peak
Marine Reserve: The Authority has jetty and beach pens
season of May to November.
• The generally large size of commercial available for rental on a daily basis.
• Introduce a maximum limit for the
charter vessels and repeated These can be booked three months in
rent of rental pens during the
anchoring at specific sites by those advance, for a period of up to 14 nights.
accommodation ballot periods
vessels creates potential for
Rental fees for pens are currently consistent with maximum ballot
environmental damage. Strategic
$16.50 overnight for small pens and booking periods, from 1 July 2003.
placement of moorings for
$22 (GST inclusive) for larger pens. By • Increase charges for rental pens to
commercial charter operators may
comparison, the rate for all pens $33 per night for large pens at the
contribute to reducing the amount of
(ranging from 10-18metres) at Hillary’s Fuel Jetty, and $22 per night for small
anchoring by commercial vessels.
Boat Harbour is $38.50 (GST inclusive). pens at the Fuel, Hotel and Stark Jetty,
• Although it may be appropriate in
The Authority will maintain the from 1 July 2003.
some circumstances for commercial
provision of rental pen facilities. • Annually review rental pen prices.
vessels to use rental mooring facilities,
the commercial nature of the operations
7.5.2 Issues
should be reflected in the application
of a commercial pricing scale. Such a Issues associated with the provision of
scale has not been established. rental pen facilities include:
• The mooring policy allows for the • Rental pens require less maintenance
establishment of commercial than rental moorings and are
moorings but the establishment of considered to be relatively benign in
these facilities has not yet been terms of environmental impact.
explored or implemented. • During off peak seasons, rental pens
7.4.5.3 Recommendations are not in demand so that the
• Investigate the feasibility of 14-night limit is unnecessary.
establishing a number of strategically • As there is high demand for rental
placed moorings dedicated for pens during peak season, greater
commercial charter operations, with access to these facilities would be
the objective to establish a viable generated if the maximum number of
commercial charter moorings system. nights able to be booked was
• Establish and introduce a commercial reduced.
rate for commercial operators using • Based on a comparison of jetty pen
rental moorings. charges in similar localities, the
Rottnest Island pen fees are
undervalued.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

7.6 ANCHORING of diving or snorkelling experiences. 7.7.2 Issues


Part B. Management Planning

This issue is addressed in Part B,


7.6.1 Background Issues associated with the management
Chapter 4 - Marine Environment.
of the Island jetties include the
Many boats that do not have a
7.6.3 Recommendations following:
recreational mooring site licence or
• Many of the jetties are in a poor state
Authorised User status enter the Marine • Provide information to boat owners
of repair, are costly to maintain and
Reserve and anchor. Beach anchoring is on appropriate methods of beach
have associated risk management
currently available for small vessels on anchoring.
issues. In particular, the Green Island
any beach outside boating-prohibited • Investigate the feasibility of the
and Hotel Jetty are expected to
areas which exist in small portions of formalisation of beach anchoring
become unusable within the life of
Thomson Bay, Geordie Bay, Longreach sites in Thomson Bay, with a view to
this Management Plan.
Bay and the whole of the Basin and Little implementation.
• The Authority receives a very high
Parakeet Bay. Anchoring is not
level of customer complaints
permitted within 50 metres of any 7.7 JETTY MANAGEMENT
regarding the expense of the ferry
mooring. Drop anchoring is permitted in
7.7.1 Background fares to Rottnest Island.
areas of the Reserve.
The Rottnest Island Marine Reserve 7.7.3 Recommendations
7.6.2 Issues
contains seven jetties. Five of these are
• Implement mechanisms to ensure
Issues associated with beach in Thomson Bay: the Main Passenger
efficient and effective operation
anchoring include: Jetty, Army Jetty, Fuel Jetty, Hotel Jetty
and management of the Main
• While beach anchoring opens up and Stark Jetty. Jetties are also located at
Passenger Jetty.
access to the Island for small vessels Green Island and Geordie Bay.
• Assess the feasibility of upgrading the
and those without moorings, there
The most utilised jetty is the Main Hotel Jetty.
are a number of concerns associated
Passenger Jetty where commercial ferry • Restore and maintain the Green
with this activity. Beach anchor lines
operators berth, followed by the Fuel Island Jetty as a recreational fishing
present tripping hazards and can
Jetty for recreational vessels. The Main area and small vessel-berthing site.
contribute to beach erosion. Beach
Passenger Jetty has recently been • Work with commercial ferry
anchorage areas have also been
licensed to the Authority, allowing the companies to encourage affordable
associated with high noise levels and
ability to control ferry schedules. pricing strategies for Rottnest Island
antisocial behaviour that can
ferry tickets, accepting that the ferry
compromise the aesthetic appeal of Commercial ferries that carry the fare includes the individual Admission
Rottnest Island bays. There are some majority of visitors to the Island are Fee to the Island.
popular anchorages, particularly independent and privately owned.
within Thomson Bay, where the high
density of boats compound these The Army Jetty is used periodically
problems. for landing large equipment on the
• Drop anchoring on the sea bed and Island. The other jetties are used for
limestone areas causes physical and short term berthing of boats and
biological damage to fauna, flora and recreational fishing.
structures. This can also cause a visual
impact that detracts from the quality

86
7.8 CHARTERED COMMERCIAL 7.8.2 Issues 7.8.3 Recommendations
VESSELS
The following issues are relevant to • Adjust the annual payment to the
7.8.1 Background the management of the chartered Authority in lieu of Admission Fees for
commercial vessels operating in Charter Boat operators to: $22
Charges to Charter Vessels the Reserve: multiplied by the vessel’s capacity for
Several charter and commercial • The current system allows that charter vessels making 14 or less entries to
passenger vessels (often referred to as vessel clients pay an Admission Fee the Reserve; $44 multiplied by the
Surveyed Passenger Vessels or SPVs) that is in the order of 10 percent of vessel’s capacity for vessels making
including charter-fishing boats, that paid by other daily visitors to the more than 14 but less than 31 entries
ecotourism vessels, party charters and Reserve. The current system of into the Reserve; $66 multiplied by
dive charter vessels frequently operate charges has not been subject to the vessel’s capacity for vessels
within Rottnest Island’s Marine Reserve. adjustments in line with the increase making more than 30 and less than
in individual Admission Fees that have 45 entries into the Reserve; and $88
Under the Rottnest Island Regulations taken place in recent years. multiplied by the vessel’s capacity for
1988 fishing or diving charter operators Furthermore, current arrangements vessels making 45 or more entries to
make an annual payment based on do not include a requirement for the Reserve.
carrying capacity and the number of commercial charter operators to • Develop and implement a pricing
visits the vessel makes to the Island, in contribute financially to the strategy to apply to charter vessel
lieu of Admission Fees. This currently management of the Reserve. fees, including annual review.
ranges from $48 to $1 600 per annum • The Rottnest Island Regulations 1988 • Amend legislation to ensure that all
for the use of Rottnest Island waters. specify payments by fishing and categories of charter vessels
Admission Fees for commercial vessels diving charters, although it is known operating in the Reserve are required
were last increased in 1993. that there are other types of charters to collect and pay Admission Fees.
operating in the Reserve. • Investigate a charter vessel
Management of Charter Vessels • Licensing charter vessels may allow operators licence system for the
The Authority has the power to grant a the Authority to have an influence on Rottnest Island Reserve.
licence to any person operating a the operations of charter operations
business for recreational and holiday in the Reserve to ensure sustainable
facilities on the Island under the use of marine resources, receive
Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987. The equitable revenue returns, provide
Authority has never yet pursued such an better management of the Reserve
arrangement with Charter operators in and provide additional facilities for
the Reserve. charter vessel operators.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

8. Community Involvement and Relations

8.1 COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT The Authority also has a number of


Part B. Management Planning

advisory committees that provide expert


8.1.1 Background
and community advice on specific
The Rottnest Island Authority is subjects. There is currently an
fortunate to have a number of groups Environmental Advisory Committee,
that carry out a substantial amount of a Railway Advisory Committee and a
work on a volunteer basis within the Marine Issues Advisory Committee.
Reserve. These include the Rottnest In addition, members of staff and
Voluntary Guides Association, Winnits, residents are significant contributors to
Rottnest Island Military Heritage volunteer efforts.
Working Group, Scouting Association,
8.1.2 Issues
Birds Australia, Carine Probus Group,
Rottnest Island Honorary Rangers, the Issues associated with volunteers on
Australian Army Reserve, Rottnest Rottnest Island include the following:
Island Foundation, Rottnest Society, and • The role of volunteers is highly valued
many others. Rottnest Island volunteers by the Authority, and it is recognised
contribute to visitors’ enjoyment, that greater benefits could be
provide information and assist with gained from volunteer groups
enhancing and conserving the Island. through appropriate management
Thousands of people give their time to and coordination. The Authority
help maintain the Island’s natural retains the responsibility for quality
environment, participating in weeding, control in interpretation and
planting, fencing, construction conservation activities.
programs and other projects. • Advisory committees provide a forum
for the Authority to gain input from a
The efforts of volunteers are particularly
range of experts and representative
valued in the context of the Authority’s
groups on specific issues.
financial environment.
8.1.3 Recommendations
The Rottnest Voluntary Guides
Association has a daily interpretative • In consultation with volunteer
role on Rottnest Island that is greatly groups, develop and implement a
valued by the Authority and visitors. Volunteer Services Plan to clarify and
Some tours and activities provided by formalise the role of volunteer groups
the Guides include History of the on Rottnest Island.
Settlement, Guns and Tunnels at Oliver • Encourage and support volunteer
Hill, Pilot Boat and Pilot Service, Bird groups to carry out conservation and
Walks, Behind the Scenes Tour, Ghost interpretive activities on the Island.
Mysteries and Tall Tales, Star Gazing and • Maintain the use of advisory
West End Sunset Tours. committees to provide advice and
guidance to the Authority on specific
issues and subjects.

88
8.2 COMMUNITY RELATIONS 8.2.2 Issues

8.2.1 Background Issues relevant to community relations


for the Authority include:
The Authority’s community relations
• There are opportunities to further
processes are focussed on systems to
improve the relationship between
gauge feedback from the community in
the Authority and the Western
relation to their satisfaction with the
Australian community, and to
Island. These systems include customer
enhance the role of this community in
feedback forms being placed in Island
decision making regarding Rottnest
accommodation to enable visitors to
Island’s management.
provide positive or negative feedback
on various aspects of the Island’s 8.2.3 Recommendations
services and facilities. Surveys are
• Operate a complaint handling
carried out across a random selection of
process that is visible, accessible
visitors who have stayed in Rottnest
and fair.
Island accommodation or visited the
• Review the consultation mechanisms
Island. These measure the level of
used for the development of the
satisfaction on a number of key
Rottnest Island Management Plan.
facilities. Visitors to the Island also write
or e-mail the Rottnest Island Authority
with comments and feedback.

The Authority has recently reviewed its


current system for managing customer
complaints in accordance with
Australian Standard AS 4269-1995 and
is in the process of implementing a
revised system.

Other links to the community include


various public consultation exercises
such as those conducted for the
proposed wind turbine and for input
into this Management Plan.

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Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

9. Visitor Support Services

9.1 RANGERS relevant to the management of the • The high level of local knowledge
Part B. Management Planning

Rottnest Island Reserve. These include required to undertake Ranger duties


9.1.1 Background
representation on the Local Emergency has resulted in difficulties in the
Rottnest Island Rangers are appointed Management Committee, participation recruitment of staff to meet short
under the Rottnest Island Authority in local emergency and incident term or seasonal requirements.
Act 1987. The Act gives Rangers powers responses, visitor risk assessments, • The operation of a Ranger service on a
to enforce the Rottnest Island advising visitors on activities and 24-hour a day, seven-day a week,
Regulations 1988. behaviour and assistance with on-call basis is expensive. As a result,
educational programs. Rangers are also the augmentation of compliance
Five full-time resident Rangers are involved in the planning of major through interpretation and
employed on the Island. To ensure events, environmental and wildlife education, and through the
adequate and appropriate resourcing at management through dealing with sick observation and reporting role of
peak times and certain events, the and injured wildlife, fencing, planting, Honorary Rangers, is a high priority.
Authority contracts security staff to the control of pests and supervision and
9.1.3 Recommendations
assist during these periods. Because coordination of the Rottnest Island
there are an estimated 500,000 visitors Honorary Rangers. • Maintain and promote a Ranger
to the Island every year, it is evident that profile based on guidance,
Rangers must be one of a number of The Rottnest Island Honorary Ranger
interpretation and a high level of
mechanisms to ensure compliance program provides much necessary
public contact with all user groups.
with Regulations. support to the Ranger operation.
• Replace the Ranger 1 Marine Vessel.
Rottnest Island Honorary Rangers have
• Continue to support the Honorary
Two land-based vehicles, and two a role in the observation and reporting
Ranger Program.
sea-going vessels are provided to the of activities around the Island and are
• Identify and train a pool of staff who
Rangers to assist in the performance of trained in public contact, environmental
are available to fulfil short term or
their duties. A third small marine vessel issues and the Island Regulations.
seasonal Ranger duties.
is available for close shore work.
9.1.2 Issues
In terms of compliance, Rangers adopt a 9.2 POLICE
three-phase approach of education, Issues associated with Ranger services
on Rottnest Island include the following: 9.2.1 Background
guidance and enforcement: educate by
giving advice on activities; offer • Rangers are in the ideal position to
The Police Station is located within the
guidance and explanation for minor inform and guide visitors in a way that
Settlement Zone and is staffed by three
offences; and issue infringement can positively influence behaviour.
full-time resident Police Officers. This
notices to repeat offenders and/or when • Given the emergency response role of
number is augmented in peak visitor
education is not an option. In Rangers, it is essential that equipment
periods. Police are responsible for
performing their duties, Rangers seek to and resources are regularly
general law enforcement and
maintain a high level of public contact maintained and replaced and that
investigation of offences on the Island.
and visibility, with all Island visitors, staff are appropriately trained. In
while maintaining a friendly and particular, the Authority needs a The WA Police Service is also responsible
approachable profile. replacement marine vessel. for the management and coordination
• There are many risk management of all emergency situations including
In addition to compliance, Rangers are issues associated with duties Marine Search and Rescue incidents, and
responsible for a number of other duties performed by Rangers. assist in enforcing Island Regulations.

90
9.2.2 Issues 9.3.3 Recommendation contractual risk, financial management
risk, human resource risk, asset and
Issues associated with the Rottnest • Maintain and enhance relations
technology risk and market, public and
Island Police Station include: between the Nursing Post, as part of
political risk.
• The coordination between the Rottnest the Fremantle Hospital and Health
Island Rangers and the Rottnest Island Service, and the Authority. The Authority’s risk management
Police provides for efficient and program includes fencing of hazardous
effective compliance operations. 9.4 RISK MANAGEMENT areas, warning signage, staff hazard
reporting, emergency response
9.2.3 Recommendation 9.4.1 Background
procedures and critical incident reporting.
• Maintain and enhance relations with Rottnest Island is an A-class Reserve that
Island visitors are required to act
the Rottnest Island Police. offers visitors the experience of a
reasonably and responsibly and adult
natural environment that has inherent
visitors are responsible for the behaviour
9.3 NURSING POST risks. Rottnest Island has a diverse risk
of children in their care.
profile with numerous natural and built
9.3.1 Background
hazards that require visitors to show 9.4.2 Issues
The Department of Health operates a appropriate caution. Effective risk
Nursing Post on Rottnest Island as an management is now recognised as Issues associated with risk management
annex of the Fremantle Hospital and being essential in any private or public on Rottnest Island include the
Health Service. The post is staffed by sector organisation. following:
three full-time resident nurses. A • There is an increasing culture of
The Authority is required under the litigation and courts are applying a
Memorandum of Understanding exists
terms of the Financial Administration wide definition of negligence and
outlining the relationship between the
and Audit Act 1985 (Treasury very high compensation payments.
Nursing Post and the Authority.
Instruction 109) to ‘ensure that there • Rottnest Island’s relaxed ethos and
The Nursing Post is represented on the are procedures in place for the periodic the community’s familiarity with the
Local Emergency Management assessment, identification and Island give visitors an exaggerated
Committee and plays a principal role in treatment of risks inherent in the sense of security and safety,
the response to emergencies, accidents operation of the [agency] together with particularly with respect to the
and illness on the Island. suitable risk management policies and supervision of children.
practices, and that these are • Given the diversity of the Island’s risk
The Ranger Service work closely with
documented.’ Responsibility for risk profile, the large number of visitors to
the Nursing Post and provide logistical
management rests with the Authority’s the Island each year, and limited
support to their operations.
Audit Committee. resources, the management of risk
9.3.2 Issues puts a heavy burden on the Authority’s
The Authority has put in place policies
financial and human resources.
Issues associated with the Rottnest and procedures to manage the diverse
• The Authority’s obligation to protect
Island Nursing Post include: risks associated with the Island. These
and conserve the natural and built
• Close links are required between the include human risk as well as statutory
environments can conflict with
Authority and the Nursing Post to compliance risk (at least 50 pieces of
required risk treatments.
ensure that situations resulting in legislation apply to the Authority),
corporate governance, business and For example, extensive signage
accidents and incidents can be
operational risk, commercial warning of coastal hazards and
addressed and resolved.

91
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

restriction of access to coastal areas is A Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service 9.5.2 Issues
Part B. Management Planning

considered by many visitors to operates on the Island coordinated by


Issues associated with Emergency
diminish their holiday experience. the Authority’s Facilities Management
Management on Rottnest Island include:
• Many buildings on Rottnest Island Contractor. The Volunteer service is
• Volunteer effort is essential to the
include asbestos material and will equipped with a local fire station that
management of emergencies and
require a long-term strategy for has a truck and two other vehicles.
other incidents on the Island.
treatment and removal.
The Rottnest Island Fire and Rescue
9.5.3 Recommendations
9.4.3 Recommendations Service has direct radio contact with the
Fire and Emergency Services Authority • Maintain participation in and support
• Review the Authority’s Risk
Communications Centre on the of the Local Emergency Management
Management Program.
mainland, enabling them to provide Committee.
• Review and reissue the Authority’s
situation reports, access specialist • Investigate and implement means to
Risk Awareness Brochure.
advice and request specialist equipment ensure efficient fire fighting in a low
• Continue the implementation of the
and personnel. water pressure environment.
Rottnest Island Asbestos
• Progressively upgrade all buildings so
Management Program. Fire is a particular threat to Rottnest
that they meet the current Buildings
Island, especially in summer because of
9.5 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Code of Australia requirements in
the dryness of the area and the strong
regard to fire ratings.
winds that could rapidly spread a fire.
9.5.1 Background
The Island’s susceptibility is also related
A number of emergencies and incidents to the fact that many of the buildings do
have occurred over the last five years not meet current Building Code of
including plane crashes, diving related Australia requirements. All the Island’s
accidents, wild fire, structural fire, vessel vegetation types are prone to fire. The
sinking, chemical spill and cliff rescues. low water pressure on the Island is an
issue in terms of fire fighting as the
A Local Emergency Management pressure is not sufficient to meet fire-
Committee (which consists of the Fire fighting standards.
and Emergency Services Authority, WA
Police Service, Rottnest Island Authority, Potential fire sources include illegal
Nursing Post, Fremantle Sea Rescue and campfires, lightning strikes, illegal use
Rottnest Island Fire and Emergency of flares, activities of holidaymakers and
Service) oversees planning for and day-to-day Island operations.
management of emergency incidents
A Volunteer Sea Rescue Group also
on the Island. The
services the Island.
Local Emergency Management
Committee has developed an
emergency response plan for a number
of potential scenarios.

92
10. Infrastructure and Utilities

10.1 INTRODUCTION provided on Rottnest Island. This has Prior to the introduction of the second
occurred to the extent that Rottnest desalination plant the relative
As Rottnest Island is not connected to
Island has a distinct feel, which to a contribution of the three main sources
the mainland, utilities and services such
large extent, is founded on minimal use of water were: desalination 20 percent;
as power, water, sewerage systems,
of resources. groundwater abstraction 70 percent;
waste collection and disposal are
and rainwater catchment 10 percent.
produced and managed on the Island. 10.2 POTABLE WATER
With the introduction of the second
The Authority fulfils the significant role
10.2.1 Potable Sources and Systems desalination plant, the annual
of both a Local Council and a State
expectation of relative contribution is:
utility supplier within the bounds of the 10.2.1.1 Background desalination 74 percent; groundwater
Reserve. Water supply on the Island has always abstraction 20 percent; and rainwater
been limited, as there is no natural fresh catchment 6 percent.
An overview of the operation of utilities
surface water supply. In the past, there
and infrastructure on Rottnest Island
have been times when water has had to Generally rainfall on Rottnest Island is
reveals a trend of improvement over the
be brought to the Island from the low, typically receiving less rainfall than
last 50 years with respect to efficiency,
mainland to meet demands. Perth. Over the last decade rainfall levels
technology and environmental
have declined. For example, the average
management, limited by available The water on Rottnest Island is supplied rainfall over last 100 years was
funds. Nonetheless, some problems of by three main sources: 710.5mm; the average over the last
past practices persist, notably a leachate • Reverse Osmosis Desalination decade was 617mm, and in 2000 it was
plume from the Island’s landfill site (refer Plant - Rottnest Island has been 477.8mm. These figures illustrate
Part B, Chapter 3 - Terrestrial operating with one desalination plant rainfall being relatively limited in terms
Environment, Section 3.3). since 1995. A second plant was of the Island’s total water needs.
commissioned in January 2002.
The concept of sustainability is
• Groundwater Abstraction - 10.2.1.2 Issues
particularly relevant in terms of these
Groundwater from the freshwater
issues. Increased environmental Borefield
lens situated in the central area of the
management of infrastructure and Issues associated with the management
Island is pumped by the Island’s
utilities, and minimising the use of of the Island’s groundwater borefield
borefield and used as a potable water
resources are issues which are relevant include the following:
source. The shallow freshwater lens
both on the mainland and on Rottnest • The maximum allowable yields from
floats above a saline water layer with
Island, but which can be passively and groundwater abstraction were
a thick brackish zone in between.
more effectively interpreted on the calculated by the Department of
• Rainwater Catchment - Rainwater
Island. This chapter considers these Environmental Protection in 1988 and
is collected from a 7.3ha bituminised
issues and emphasises the were incorporated in the licence
catchment located on the eastern
interpretation of environmentally conditions covering the borefield.
side of the Island on Mt Herschel. The
sustainable utilities and infrastructure Despite never drawing the maximum
rainwater catchment is made up of
on the Island that can be used to amount of water from the borefield,
two areas, one of 5.3ha and the
promote sustainable living. monitoring has indicated that the
other of 2ha. Only the 5.3ha
aquifer has reduced in size. This is
The restriction on water and power has catchment is operational as the tank
related to the below average rainfall
significantly influenced the range of servicing the 2ha southern
of the last decade that has reduced
services and style of experience that is catchment is in need of repair.
the natural recharge to the aquifer.

93
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

• It was previously discussed in Part B, Rainwater Catchment 10.2.2 Infrastructure


Part B. Management Planning

Chapter 3 - Terrestrial Issues associated with the


Environment, that there is a lack of bituminised rainwater catchment 10.2.2.1 Background
definition of the relationship between include the following: Water from all sources is collected in two
the Island’s groundwater, wetlands • Increasing the bitumen catchment tanks located at the base of Mt Herschel.
and rainfall levels. It was subsequently area would increase the amount of The water collected in these tanks is
recommended in that chapter that modified environment in the area pumped to a further two tanks at the top
the Authority undertake research into outside the Settlement Zone and is of Mt Herschel where it is chlorinated
these relationships, to aid in the not seen as desirable. and pumped to a feeder tank which
development of sustainable • The effectiveness of the catchment is allows a gravity fed supply to the
extraction conditions. influenced by maintenance Settlement. The water is sampled and
• The values of the parameters used to difficulties associated with this facility. tested fortnightly according to Health
develop the borefield management • The southern catchment that is Department licence conditions. The
plan in 1988 are no longer valid, not being used may be interfering water has never been found to be non-
particularly given the significant with the freshwater seeps that exist compliant with the licence conditions.
decline in rainfall over the last decade. in its pathway.
• A system of water collection from Potable water for outer bay facilities is
Desalination plant provided through a direct connection
roofs is not in place on the Island
Issues associated with the desalination with the borefield, from rainwater or by
because of the additional
plants on Rottnest Island include transported water to these sites.
infrastructure, operational and
the following:
maintenance burden that this would
• Desalination is a high-energy process, The water infrastructure network has
require.
costing around three times as much been developed over a period of many
to produce potable water as the 10.2.1.3 Recommendations years and throughout that time records
• Operate the desalination plants as the have not been fully kept and
other two sources, mainly due
primary source of potable water. maintained. Current procedures require
to the diesel power supplies that
• Revise the borefield management that information regarding any
this process requires.
licence conditions according to infrastructure work is recorded into the
• The installation of the second
current rainfall and define parameters Island’s AutoCAD system.
desalination plant was part of the
and outcomes of research between
2001/2002 Integrated Power and
rainfall, groundwater and wetlands, 10.2.2.2 Issues
Water Supply Project for the Island.
in coordination with the Department Issues associated with the management
This project coupled the second
of Environmental Protection. of the Island’s potable water
desalination plant with the planned
• Progressively decommission bores to infrastructure include the following:
introduction of a wind turbine on the
achieve a sustainable number of bores. • The Island has a capacity to hold a
Island, providing an economic power
• Remove the southern catchment area maximum of 23,000 kL of water. It
supply for the plant. Installation of
and rehabilitate the area of the has been determined that this holding
the wind turbine has received
freshwater seeps. capacity is adequate to meet the
Ministerial approval and Federal
• Develop and implement a bituminised requirements of the Island currently
Government funding.
catchment maintenance program to and in the foreseeable future.
ensure maximum possible yield from • Poor record-keeping practices of the
the remaining bituminised past have led to a limited knowledge
catchment. of the current water network location

94
which has complicated maintenance The Authority has been progressively 10.3 WASTEWATER
and repair operations. replacing current water fixtures with
10.3.1 Wastewater Treatment
• The water pressure on the Island is water saving alternatives, as part of
System and Infrastructure
low as the gravity fed distribution ongoing maintenance. There is also a
system does not have the head of long-running passive information
10.3.1.1 Background
pressure required to produce higher campaign on the Island relating to the
Wastewater is generated from
pressure. This does not seem to be a conservative use of water supplies.
Settlement toilets, sinks and showers,
high priority issue from the
Potable water is supplied to residential gravity fed to a number of pumping
perspective of visitor facilities but is an
and business properties. A water levy stations and fed to the Island’s
issue in terms of fire fighting as the
is charged to in order to recover cost wastewater treatment plant. The
pressure is not sufficient to meet fire-
of production. wastewater treatment plant is a
fighting standards.
sequential batch reactor type utilising a
10.2.2.3 Recommendation 10.2.3.2 Issues biological nutrient removal process.
• Map the location of the water Management of the demand for Maximum capacity of the treatment
network system. potable water on Rottnest Island plant is 800kL. The plant is operated by
include the following issues: the Authority through the Facilities
10.2.3 Potable Water Demand • Water supply on the Island is severely Management Contract and is
limited and will never match the levels maintained through a fully automated
10.2.3.1 Background available on the mainland. asset management plan.
Potable water supplies on Rottnest • Demand for potable water on the
Island are used for drinking water, The wastewater treatment process
Island needs to be carefully managed
watering Settlement vegetation results in greywater and biosolid.
at a level that can be met on an
especially grass, showering and toilet Approximately 10 percent of the
environmentally and economically
flushing, cleaning and emergency fire greywater is used to reticulate the
sustainable basis. During peak
control. It should be noted that up until cricket oval, while the remaining 90
periods Rottnest Island is close to
1995 the Island operated with a dual percent is evaporated off. The biosolid is
capacity in terms of its ability to
water system in which potable water sent to the landfill site and used in the
produce enough water to meet the
was supplied to the kitchen only and salt production of compost.
essential water needs of its visitors. A
water was supplied to the toilets and significant portion of potable water is Monitoring bores measure the nutrient
showers. This system was serviced by used for watering lawns. levels in the groundwater adjacent to
two separate pipeline networks, which • It is generally agreed that the cost of the evaporation ponds located at the
have now been bonded together to water production on the Island should Wastewater Treatment Plant. Monthly
provide potable water to all outlets. be provided on a cost-recovery basis. samples are taken from effluent after
Based on current costs and charges, treatment and prior to discharge into
The demand for potable water on
residents and businesses cover the evaporation ponds. These are tested for
Rottnest Island in 1998 was estimated
cost of their water use. nutrient and microbiological levels as
at approximately 160ML/year (Transfield
Environmental Services 1999). The required by the Department of
10.2.3.3 Recommendations
maximum possible demand has been Environmental Protection. Grey water
• Continue to install water-saving
estimated to be 215 ML/year with full used on the cricket oval is disinfected
devices in accommodation units.
occupancy and visitor numbers at and is monitored for microbiological
• Investigate options to reduce the
existing levels. levels on a monthly basis for the
demand on potable water for
Department of Health.
watering lawn areas.

95
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

There have been no non-compliance 10.4 SOLID WASTE 10.4.1.3 Recommendations


Part B. Management Planning

issues and results have been within • Develop and implement an


guidelines set by both Departments. 10.4.1 Sources of Waste
awareness campaign to discourage
visitors from bringing non-recyclable
10.3.1.2 Issues 10.4.1.1 Background
and excessively packaged products to
Issues associated with the wastewater Solid wastes include visitor and resident
Rottnest Island.
treatment system on Rottnest Island domestic wastes, general litter,
• Work with the business community
include the following: recyclable wastes of glass, cardboard,
to reduce the proportion of
• Through normal summer peak aluminium, paper, and plastic,
products supplied that are
periods, the wastewater treatment businesses’ putrescible wastes, green
excessively packaged.
plant operates at approximately waste from land management, the
450kL per day, but there are isolated biosolid product of the wastewater 10.4.2 Waste Treatment
times within peak periods where the treatment process, construction waste
and various hazardous wastes. 10.4.2.1 Background
plant is operating close to capacity.
• Much of the Island’s wastewater pipe All waste, except for recyclable material,
The majority of public waste collection
network is old and poorly understood construction debris and hazardous
facilities are recycling stations that provide
in terms of location, and presents wastes, is treated and disposed of on the
for the separation of general wastes,
difficult maintenance issues. These Island. After separation and bailing,
glass, aluminium, plastics and paper.
result in a number of breakdowns and recyclable materials are removed from
Island businesses separate recyclable
a high degree of reactive the Island to a recycling facility.
materials and putrescible wastes.
maintenance. Hazardous wastes are removed by barge
• In such a water-poor environment, it and sent to specialised treatment and
10.4.1.2 Issues
would be beneficial to make better disposal facilities. Construction waste is
Managing the generation of wastes on
use of greywater, with 90 percent of removed from the Island as required.
the Island involves the following issues:
this currently evaporated. Public • A large proportion of waste A high proportion of the Island’s waste
health and environmental impact generated on the Island comes from is separated for recycling and recycling
concerns surrounding the use of products that visitors bring from the stations are situated around the Island
greywater means it will need careful mainland to the Island. The amount with visitors encouraged to separate
management. of waste generated on the Island is their waste. Rottnest Island was one of
increased by highly packaged the first public areas to have waste
10.3.1.3 Recommendations
products, non-recyclable materials recycling facilities.
• Develop a plan to replace the
being bought to the Island and the sale
wastewater network system.
and use of non-recyclable products The Authority is also planning to
• Develop and implement plans for the
through Island businesses. Authority purchase a glass crusher that will mean
cost-effective and environmentally
operations add to the waste load. glass waste can be ground and reused in
sensitive use of greywater, compliant
• The use of plastic bags on the Island cement around the Island.
with public health requirements.
creates an excessive amount of waste
Island businesses also separate
and is unsightly.
recyclable materials, as well as
• Although there are several mechanisms
putrescible waste. This allows the
in place to reduce waste production,
diversion of organic waste from landfill
there are further waste reduction
resulting in a reduction of waste
opportunities which could be explored.

96
production and protection of management practices in order to 10.5 ENERGY
groundwater. Putrescible waste is used extend the life of the current cell and
10.5.1 Energy sources
to produce compost. Limited resources has commissioned a consultant to
means the Authority is unable to investigate all options for waste
10.5.1.1 Background
separate putrescible waste generated management and determine a
Power generation on Rottnest Island is
from residences, and therefore this goes strategic plan for waste management
currently provided by five diesel and
to landfill. for the future.
gas-supplemented generators with a
Biosolids from wastewater treatment total output of 300kW each. The diesel
10.4.2.2 Issues
and cardboard are used in the distillate and LPG are brought to the
Rottnest Island supports and
composting process, while general Island by barge. Diesel distillate is
encourages the general philosophy of
waste goes to landfill. Green waste from pumped to a storage tank adjacent to
local treatment and disposal of waste.
land management activities is used for the power station and at the fuel farm.
However, there are several factors that
brushing dune areas and the remainder Gas is also delivered by truck to
limit its ability to treat and dispose of all
goes to landfill for use in composting. numerous individual bullets located
wastes on the Island:
Waste sump oil is added to the diesel around the Island. In 2001, the cost of
• Rottnest Island has a statutory and
fuel used in the power plant. diesel was calculated at $685,000 and
social obligation to provide a holiday
LPG $188,000, making the cost of
Over the history of the Island’s and recreation facilities. Its size leads
power generation on Rottnest Island
development it is likely that several to a limitation of the amount of waste
one of the most expensive in Australia.
landfill sites have operated. The current that can be disposed of before
landfill operation is located on Forbes affecting the social values of the Electricity is used predominantly to
Hill and is managed in accordance with holiday experience and desalinate, pump, and treat water for
Department of Environmental environmental values of the Island. lighting, refrigeration, cold storage and
Protection licence conditions and the • The waste burden is increased on the powering the borefield operation. With
Island’s Waste Management Plan. Island as holiday-makers and day one exception, all power distribution is
visitors tend to consume a high underground. The exception is the
The Authority originally had approval to proportion of highly packaged overhead line that runs from the
cut four landfill cells. The first cell was products (for example, take away powerhouse to Wadjemup Hill to serve
cut in 1992 and capped in 1996. The food products), putting a strain on the bore fields.
second cell, which is currently being the capacity to treat all waste locally.
used, was cut in 1996. At 2002, that • It is critical that recycling and re-use Both gas and combined solar/electric
landfill was approximately 65 percent are key tools used to lighten the booster hot water heating systems are
full. The first and second cells have not Island’s waste production, and that used in some of the accommodation.
been lined and leachate from the fill has visitors are educated in waste LPG is used mainly for cooking and
been absorbed into the Island’s minimisation, recycling and reuse. water heating and is piped from
foundation. The option of a fourth cell numerous LPG bullets underground to
has now been removed. 10.4.2.3 Recommendation many of the Island’s buildings. Some
• Develop a waste management plan bottled gas is still used in isolated outer-
The Department of Environmental for Rottnest Island. settlement areas.
Protection has specified that should a
third cell be cut it should be lined.
The Authority has changed waste

97
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Some wood heating systems still occur • Reliance on non-renewable sources of endeavours to reduce the demand on
Part B. Management Planning

on the Island. Approximately 50 percent fuel is unsustainable both globally and non-renewable sources, are key
of the heated accommodation is heated on the local scale of Rottnest Island. messages to be communicated to the
with wood fires or pot belly stoves. • The introduction of renewable Island’s staff, visitors, residents and
energies as an alternative to the business operators.
The use of biodiesel may have
current diesel/gas system would 10.5.1.3 Recommendations
environmental benefits on Rottnest
Island. A trial of a biodiesel fuelled vehicle contribute significantly to the • Investigate the feasibility of burying
commenced on the Island in mid-2002. sustainability ethos of Rottnest Island. the Wadjemup power line in an
• Overhead power lines have a visual environmentally sensitive, cost-
Solar lighting has been used and trialed and environmental impact where effective manner in coordination with
on the Island. The Stark Bay and Narrow they are located over wetlands used the development of Wadjemup as an
Neck toilets are powered by solar
heavily by migratory water birds. Activity Node.
panels. Solar lights are currently being
Scare lines are being fixed to the • Construct a wind turbine on
trialed in front of the Rottnest Island
overhead power lines in an attempt to Mt Herschel and monitor its impact
Hotel in Thomson Bay.
make the power lines more obvious and efficiency.
In the 1980s, two wind turbines were to wading birds arriving at and leaving • Assess the benefits of the
installed for trial on the Island. At the the wetland. The effectiveness of the introduction of a second turbine,
time, difficulties were experienced, but scare lines will be monitored. based on the analysis of impacts and
with current technologies wind is now • The electrical wiring around the Island efficiencies of the first wind turbine.
considered a viable and efficient source is old and presents significant • Use solar panels as a source of
of energy for the Island. maintenance issues. alternative energy on Rottnest Island,
The establishment of a wind turbine is • The use of wood is costly and where possible and practicable.
being progressed as part of the inefficient, and does not support the • Investigate the benefits of biodiesel
Integrated Power and Water Supply Island’s environmental ethos; and for Rottnest Island, with a view to its
Project, where the turbine will generate visitors inappropriately tend to use introduction as an alternative fuel on
energy to operate the Island’s local vegetation as fuel. the Island.
desalination plants. As noted previously, Consequently, the use of wood is • Develop and implement a program to
the establishment of a wind turbine has currently being eliminated as interpret issues associated with
received Ministerial approval and was documented in Part B, Chapter 3 - power supply.
positively received by the Western Terrestrial Environment, Section
Australian community during a recent 3.5 - Atmosphere.
community consultation process. • Solar panels appear to be an
Federal funding has now been secured appropriate form of alternative
for this project.
power for Rottnest Island, particularly
for outer bay facilities.
10.5.1.2 Issues
• The introduction of a wind turbine
Issues associated with the production of
will dramatically reduce the
power on the Island include the following:
• There are significant risks and cost cost of operating the second
issues associated with the high volumes desalination plant.
of diesel and gas which are transported • The cost of power production, use of
to and stored on the Island. alternative energies on the Island and

98
10.5.2 Power Demands • The proportion of power use The Authority is responsible for the
attributed to accommodation units is maintenance of local roads and this is
10.5.2.1 Background not well understood and limits the done through the Facilities
Each of the generators at the power Authority in accounting for this Management Contract in accordance
plant has a 300kW capacity, resulting in expense in accommodation charges. with the maintenance plan for local
a maximum capacity of 1500kW, Mechanisms to recover costs of roads. Volunteer groups also play a
sufficient to meet current requirements. power production on Rottnest Island significant role in the maintenance of
The plant runs most efficiently at up to will be investigated. the Island’s tracks.
800 kW. The wind turbine will 10.5.2.3 Recommendations
significantly reduce the amount of 10.6.2 Issues
• Investigate and trial energy-saving
power generated by existing technologies in Rottnest Island Issues associated with the maintenance
infrastructure and the use of diesel. buildings and facilities. of the Island’s roads and tracks include
• Employ appropriate passive energy the following:
Feeder ring capacity is adequate to cope
and other energy-efficient • The dual responsibility of road
with current power demands, but in
technologies in all new maintenance on Rottnest Island
parts of the Island power feeder
accommodation and other buildings means the efficient relationship that
supplies are operating close to capacity.
constructed on Rottnest Island. has developed between the
Commercial businesses and residents Department for Planning and
are metered and charged for electricity 10.6 ROAD AND TRACK Infrastructure and the Authority is
and gas consumption. MAINTENANCE important and highly valued.
• There is no maintenance plan for
10.6.1 Background
10.5.2.2 Issues walking tracks and trails.
Management of power usage on Rottnest This section deals only with the • Lack of appropriate funding and
Island includes the following issues: maintenance of roads and tracks. The resources limits the ability to
• The long-standing limitation on Settlement Planning Scheme addresses implement the local road
power production on Rottnest Island the issues of road alignment and maintenance plan.
has significantly influenced the style rationalisation. • Maintenance of walking trails, tracks
of the Settlement’s development. and roads should take into
Limitation on power production is a The road and track system on the Island consideration the requirement for
key element contributing to the includes bituminised roads, unsealed universal access. The Authority will
Island’s ethos and should be roads, unsealed tracks and trails for assess universal access requirements
maintained. pedestrian and bicycle access, and in the maintenance and construction
• The high cost of power production firebreaks. Roads on the Island are of of all roads and tracks.
means the management of power two kinds: ‘gazetted roads’ (under the
usage and demand is critical. The Road Traffic Act 1974) and ‘local roads 10.6.3 Recommendations
Authority can further capitalise on and tracks’. Maintenance of gazetted
• Develop and implement a
opportunities that exist to reduce and roads on Rottnest Island is the
comprehensive maintenance plan for
better manage energy consumption responsibility of the Department for
roads and tracks.
through cheaper and more efficient Planning and Infrastructure. The
energy sources. Authority values and benefits
significantly from the work of this
Department on the Island.

99
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008
Part C. Implementation

Part C. Implementation
1. Introduction 101
2. Legislation 102
3. Research 103
4. Resources and Funding 104
5. Implementation 105
6. Review and Public Reporting 106

100
1. Introduction

The implementation of this Plan will occur over the five-year period, from
2003-2008, and will be undertaken according to a set of predetermined
priorities, based on the availability of funding and resources.
These factors are discussed in this chapter, however priorities will
need to be reassessed as circumstances, including the availability of
resources, change.

101
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

2. Legislation

The Rottnest Island Management Plan A particular legislative issue in need of


Part C. Implementation

1997-2002 had, as an objective, review is the penalties for offences as


consistency between the Management established under the Rottnest Island
Plan and legislation governing the Regulations 1988. In many cases
operation of the Authority. This remains penalties are not considered to be a
a relevant objective for the current deterrent, particularly in relation to
Management Plan. The Rottnest Island offences that are potentially life
Authority Act 1987 establishes an threatening or that could cause extreme
Authority to control and manage environmental harm.
Rottnest Island. In 1995 a major review
2.1 RECOMMENDATIONS
into all aspects of the management and
operations of Rottnest Island • Review and amend the Rottnest
recommended a review of the Act. The Island Authority Act 1987.
review of the Act was completed but • Annually review and amend as
amendment to the Act is yet to occur appropriate the Rottnest Island
and will progress during the life of this Regulations 1988.
Management Plan. • Review and amend penalties for
offences as established under the
Rottnest Island Regulations 1988.

102
3. Research

This Management Plan proposes to This Management Plan proposes


undertake numerous research projects research projects that will lead the
relating to the Island. These projects Authority to gain a better
relate to the terrestrial and marine understanding of visitor demographics
environment, as well as to the and patterns, visitor needs, use of
management of holiday and recreation marine resources and aspects of the
facilities. Aspects of the Island’s future Island’s infrastructure as a basis for
management will depend on the evidence-based decision making.
outcomes of these research projects.
There will be a need to seek formal
The Authority has been active in research arrangements in relation to maintaining
relating to biological and physical aspects intellectual property rights in relation to
of the Island’s terrestrial environment, research processes and outcomes.
however very little research has been
3.1 RECOMMENDATIONS
conducted on the social aspects of
Rottnest Island, for example, in relation • Develop and implement a research
to managing recreational and holiday program for Rottnest Island.
programs and facilities. There is also • Implement arrangements to ensure
relatively less information available maintenance of intellectual property
on the management and use of the in relation to Rottnest Island
Marine Reserve. research projects.

103
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

4. Resources and Funding

For many years the Authority has The Plan provides for improved financial
Part C. Implementation

struggled to generate the revenue performance in each year of operation


necessary to meet its operational needs of the Plan, improved accommodation
and maintain investment in Island service, improved asset condition and
infrastructure. In the course of the significant achievements in the
development of this Plan the Authority conservation of the natural and built
has critically examined its costs, current heritage of the Island.
prices and the condition of Island assets.
4.1 RECOMMENDATION
As foreshadowed in recommendations
in this Plan the Authority will pursue • Continue to seek funding from
increased prices for a range of services. external sources, including special
It will also attend to its own costs over grants and sponsorships, to
the life of the Plan to improve efficiency. supplement income.

The Plan provides for significant capital


improvements by way of restoration of
heritage cottages, refurbishment of
accommodation units, construction of
additional cabins and ongoing asbestos
treatment works. The increased
revenue generated by various initiatives
provided for in the Plan meets the cost
of these works. In short, this Plan pays
for itself.

104
5. Implementation

A timeframe has been developed for the


implementation of recommendations
over the five-year period of this Plan.
This is particularly important to facilitate
the effective implementation of the
many inter-dependent
recommendations in this Plan.

Appendix 2 - Implementation,
Timelines & Responsibilities
summarises the recommendations and
implementation timeframe, and
responsibilities for the
recommendations contained in the
Rottnest Island Management Plan
2003-2008.

105
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

6. Review and Public Reporting

The Rottnest Island Management Plan


Part C. Implementation

2003-2008 will be the subject of an


annual review to assess the level of
implementation and success of the Plan.
The need for changes in managing the
Island will be assessed on the basis of
this evaluation.

Should significant changes to the


Management Plan be required during
the five-year period of its currency,
public comment on the proposed
revisions will be sought.

The Authority reports annually in


accordance with the Financial
Administration and Audit Act 1985. The
Management Plan sets a new agenda
for the Authority and it is appropriate
that it reports to the public on its
performance against this plan, through
its Annual Report.

6.1 RECOMMENDATION

• Annually report to the public on


progress on the implementation of
the Rottnest Island Management Plan
2003-2008.

106
107
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

References

Black, R. (1985). ‘The Intertidal Zone: Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Huisman, J. and Walker, D. I. (1990). ‘A
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Rottnest Island Authority (RIA), Rottnest (1994). ‘Thomson Bay Settlement Rottnest Island, Western Australia, with
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February 1985. the Rottnest Island Authority. biogeography’ Kingia 1: 349- 549.

Brooker, M.G., Smith, G.T., Saunders, Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Hutchins, B. (1985). ‘Marine Fish of
D.A. Ingram, J.A., Leone, J. and de Ltd and Online Richards Consultants Rottnest Islands Waters’ Rottnest Island
Rebeira, C.P.S. (1995). ‘A biological (1995). ‘Chronological History of Authority (1985) Rottnest Island Draft
survey of Garden Island, Western Rottnest Island.’ Report prepared for the Management Plan Vol 2: Appendices,
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Department of Conservation and Land Kylie Winworth Interpretation
184 and 21: 142-143.
Management (1994) Reading the Consultation and Peter Freeman Pty Ltd
Bunn, S. E. and Edwards, D. H. H. Remote: Landscape Characters of (1997). ‘Rottnest Island Interpretation
(1984). ‘Seasonal Meromixix in Three Western Australia. Department of Plan.’ Report prepared for the Rottnest
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Marchant, N. and Abbot, I. (1981).
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(2002). Focus on the Future: the flora of Garden Island, Western
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Marsh, L. (1985). ‘Marine Invertebrates
99-101.
Environment Australia. National of Rottnest Island’ Rottnest Island
Chris Antill Planning and Urban Design Strategy for the Conservation of Authority (1985) Draft Rottnest Island
and Ove Arup and Partners (1995). Australia’s Biological Diversity. Management Plan 1985.
‘Rottnest Island Local Traffic Commonwealth of Australia.
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Management Study.’ Report prepared
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for the Rottnest Island Authority.
(1995). ‘Seagrass loss associated with Rottnest Island: A National Estate
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Quaternary Changes in the Vegetation Western Australia.’ Ocean and Coastal Environment. Book 2: Environment.
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Nature 7(6): 160-166.
Hesp, P.A., Wells, M.R., Ward, B.H.R. Online Richards, Chris Antill and Ove
Commonwealth Department of Tourism and Riches, J.R.H. (1983). ‘Land Arup and Partners. ‘Rottnest Island
(1994). ‘National Ecotourism Strategy.’ Resource Survey of Rottnest Island: an Landscape Master Plan.’ Report for the
Commonwealth of Australia. aid to land use planning.’ Western Rottnest Island Authority.
Australian Department of Agriculture
Bulletin 4086.

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Playford, P.E. and Leech, R.E.J. (1977). Smith, L.A. (1997). ‘An Additional Williams, A. A. E. (1997). ‘The
‘Geology and Hydrology of Rottnest Species of Reptile for Rottnest Island, butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Garden and
Island.’ Geological Survey of Western Western Australia.’ The Western Rottnest Islands, Western Australia.’
Australia, Report No. 6, Perth. Australian Naturalist 21: 181. Australian Entomologist, 24: 27-34.

Powell, R. (1998). ‘Two additional Storr, G.M. (1989). ‘A new Pseodonaja White, B. J. and Edminston, R. J. (1974).
species of butterfly recorded from (Serpentes: Elapidae) from Western ‘The Vegetation of Rottnest.’
Rottnest Island.’ Western Australian Australia.’ Records of the Western Unpublished report by the Forest
Naturalist, 22: 136. Australian Museum 14: 421: 481. Department for the Rottnest Island Board.

Rippey, E. and Rowland, B. (1995). The Planning Group (1997) ‘Rottnest


Plants of the Perth Coast and Islands. Island Settlement Land Use
University of Western Australia, Management Plan.’ Report prepared for
Nedlands. the Rottnest Island Authority.

Rottnest Island Authority (1985). Draft Veron, J.E.N., and Marsh, L.M. (1988).
Rottnest Island Management Plan 1985. ‘Hermatypic corals of Western
Rottnest Island Authority. Australia.’ Records of the Western
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Rottnest Island Authority (1995).
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Rottnest Island Review.
Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., Kirkman, H. and
Rottnest Island Authority (1998). Outer
Lethbridge, R. (eds) (1993a). The Marine
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Flora and Fauna of Rottnest Island,
Parakeet/Little Parakeet Bays, Fays Bay,
Western Australia, Vol 1. Western
Bathurst Point, Bickley Bay, Parker Point
Australian Museum, Perth.
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Authority. Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., Kirkman, H. and
Lethbridge, R. (eds) (1993b). The
Saunders, D. A. and de Rebeira, C.P.
Marine Flora and Fauna of Rottnest
(1985). ‘Turnover in Breeding Bird
Island, Western Australia, Vol 2,
populations on Rottnest Island, Western
Western Australian Museum, Perth.
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‘Introduction to the Marine
Saunders, D. A. and de Rebeira, C.P.
Environment of Rottnest Island,
(1993). Birds of Rottnest Island. DAS
Western Australia.’ The Marine Flora
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and Fauna of Rottnest Island, Western
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D.I., Kirkman, H., and Lethbridge, R.
Western Australian Museum, Perth.

109
Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

Appendix 1. Principles Guiding the Development of the


Reserve Zoning Plan and Settlement Planning Scheme

The following principles have guided • Motorised Vehicles - Motorised


Appendix 1

the development of the Reserve Zoning vehicles will be minimal in number


Plan and Settlement Planning Scheme: and, as far as possible, unobtrusive.

• Rottnest ethos - New developments • Vistas - Important vistas will be


or facilities will be consistent with the maintained and improved.
Rottnest Island ethos/experience.
• Streetscape - Streetscape features will
• No accommodation outside the be appropriate to the area, its
Settlement area - No accommodation heritage and use.
will be established outside the
• Vegetation and wildlife - The diversity
designated Settlement area; only
and distribution of important
essential structures will be provided
vegetation forms and fauna will be
outside the Settlement area and these
recognised, preserved and enhanced.
will be minimal.
• Heritage - Links with cultural heritage
• Environmental impacts - Zones will be
and associated sites will be respected
designed to minimise environmental
and enhanced.
impacts and enhance sustainability.
• Education and Interpretation -
• Compatible Users - Zones will be
Education and interpretation will be
designed to separate incompatible
key strategies for the implementation
activities and link activities that are
of zoning plans.
compatible.
• Businesses and services -
• Cost effectiveness - The development
The Settlement Plan will provide
of the Zoning Plan and Settlement
for a suite of holiday services
Planning Scheme will aim to maximise
that contribute to the Rottnest
cost effectiveness.
Island experience and will ensure
• Appropriate use of areas and optimal location of these businesses
resources - Built and natural resources and services.
will be used appropriately to enhance
visitor experiences.

• Risk Management - Zoning and


Settlement planning will be based on
sound risk management.

• Transport/Access - Pedestrians and


cyclists will be given priority; roads
and tracks will be the minimal
number necessary to protect and
manage the Island.

110
Appendix 2. Implementation Timelines and Responsibilities
Indicates year of commencement of implementation.
Indicates ongoing project to be implemented over the years highlighted.

Year Directorate
Sustainability 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

1. Develop Rottnest Island as a model of sustainability. Conservation and Planning

2 . Develop and commence implementation of an interpretation strategy that allows visitors to fully appreciate and understand the values Conservation and Planning
of the Island, and which communicates its sustainable management practices.

3. Promote, demonstrate and integrate environmental technologies where they meet the social and cultural requirements Business Services
of the Island and are economically viable and relevant.

Reserve Zoning and Settlement Planning Scheme


4. Define the boundary of the Rottnest Island Reserve in terms of a series of geo-positioning data points. Conservation and Planning

5. Amend the Rottnest Island Reserve purpose to ‘for the purposes ofthe Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987’. Conservation and Planning

6. Incorporate Swan Locations 12523, 12524, 12525, 12526, 12667,10613, 10750 and 10614 into the Rottnest Island Reserve. Conservation and Planning

7. Define the Rottnest Island Settlement Zone boundary in terms of a series of geo-positioning data points. Conservation and Planning

8. Implement the Terrestrial Zones as described in Chart 3 - Terrestrial Zoning Plan that comprise the Settlement Zone, Conservation and Planning
Natural Zone, Activity Nodes and Permanent and Temporary Environmental Exclusion Zones and manage in accordance
with Table 1 - Activities and developments permitted in the Rottnest Island Terrestrial Zones.

9. Investigate the feasibility of the development of Wadjemup Hill Activity Node for the interpretation of military, maritime and environmental heritage. Conservation and Planning

10. Investigate the feasibility of the development of Oliver Hill Activity Node for the interpretation of military,maritime and environmental heritage. Conservation and Planning

11. Develop and implement a signage plan for Rottnest Island. Marketing and Communications

111
Appendix 2 Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

112
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

12. Develop and implement a marine management strategy that promotes equity of access and opportunity for a quality experience among Conservation and Planning
recreational users of the Marine Reserve, protecting its environmental values, in coordination with the Department of Fisheries and in
consultation with relevant stakeholders.

13. Pursue restriction on commercial fishing in coordination with the Department of Fisheries. Conservation and Planning

14. Develop the Arrival and Departure Precinct to provide for a visitor-friendly experience. Business Services

15. Investigate and implement methods to improve the orientation of arriving visitors to their required first point of contact and other points Tourist Services
around the Island.

16. Establish appropriate shelter for ferry passengers in the Arrival and Departure Precinct. Business Services

17. Develop a conceptual model for a purpose-built interpretation facility on Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

18. Seek external funding for the establishment and operation of an interpretation facility on Rottnest Island in consultation with relevant Conservation and Planning
groups with a historical interest in the Island.

19. Develop and implement a strategy for Signal Hill to reduce erosion from trampling and to manage risk issues. Conservation and Planning

20. Maintain the Commercial Precinct to provide commercial services to enhance visitor experience, and to improve access for people with disabilities. Business Services

21. Investigate the feasibility of the construction of a vehicular route connecting the Service Precinct 6a to the Golf Club and the south side of Business Services
the Settlement to link the north and south of the Settlement, eliminating the need for vehicles to move through the core pedestrian area.

22. Investigate the feasibility of establishing an additional food outlet in the Commercial Precinct, which provides further value-for-money food Business Services
options utilising and promoting Western Australian produce.

23. Develop and implement strategies to enhance the library service. Tourist Services

24. Develop and implement strategies to enhance the museum service. Tourist Services

25. Manage the Bathurst Visitor Accommodation Precinct to provide visitor accommodation. Tourist Services

26. Provide appropriately designed beach access paths and approaches in the Bathurst Visitor Accommodation Precinct. Conservation and Planning
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

27. Maintain and preserve the Bathurst Lighthouse and Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage without additional development. Business Services

28. Manage the North Thomson Visitor Accommodation Precinct to provide visitor accommodation. Tourist Services

29. Relocate the Hire Services Shed and the Office from the North Thomson Visitor Accommodation Precinct to the Services Precinct Business Services
or the Commercial Precinct.

30. Investigate the feasibility of relocating the Youth Hostel facility from Kingstown Barracks to the North Thomson Visitor Accommodation Precinct. Conservation and Planning

31. Manage the existing accommodation stock in the South Thomson Visitor Accommodation Precinct to provide visitor accommodation. Tourist Services

32. Continue to provide access to the beach via purpose-built designated accessways and stairs in the South Thomson Visitor Accommodation Precinct. Conservation and Planning

33. Monitor beach erosion in the South Thomson Visitor Accommodation Precinct. Conservation and Planning

34. Manage the Geordie, Longreach and Fays Bay Visitor Accommodation Precinct to provide visitor accommodation. Tourist Services

35. Review and realign roads, tracks and traffic flows in the Geordie, Longreach and Fays Bay area to improve amenity and traffic flow. Business Services

36. Improve beach access in the Geordie, Longreach and Fays Bay Visitor Accommodation Precinct. Conservation and Planning

37. Restore and rehabilitate Fays Bay headland. Conservation and Planning

38. Develop a plan for a dedicated Staff Accommodation Precinct including the relocation of staff from other precincts to this area. Business Services

39. Investigate the feasibility of the development of an additional road along the Railway Track to limit the use of Parker Point Road by vehicles. Business Services

40. Maintain and improve the use of Kingstown Barracks as an Environmental Education Centre primarily for school groups. Conservation and Planning

41. Develop a business Plan for Kingstown Barracks that capitalises on other opportunities for the use of this area and improves its economic viability. Conservation and Planning

42. Control noise, odour and visual impact around the Service and Operation Precinct. Business Services

43. Develop and implement a plan for the development of a Recreation Precinct based around the Country Club. Conservation and Planning

113
Appendix 2 Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

114
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

44. Promote and enhance golf on Rottnest Island and undertake a feasibility study into the sustainable greening of the golf course, Tourist Services
with a view to implementation.

45. Review, rationalise and where necessary realign tracks in areas outside the Settlement Zone. Business Services

46. Extend and enhance the existing Rottnest Island coastal walk trail. Conservation and Planning

47. Restrict vehicle numbers, size and type to the minimum required to carry out necessary operations and actively encourage alternatively Business Services
powered vehicles, as replacements are required.

48. Implement an approved range of landscape materials for Rottnest Island. Business Services

49. Define and implement a furniture style for the public open spaces of the Settlement Zone and around the Island that meets customer Business Services
needs and is consistent with and sympathetic to the heritage elements of Rottnest Island.

50. Retain existing Settlement vegetation including trees, ground cover and shrubs. Conservation and Planning

51. Maintain existing canopy lines within the Settlement Zone, particularly along the ocean frontage where they are a key element of the vista. Conservation and Planning

52. Define and implement a colour scheme that maintains the character of Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

53. Develop and implement a lighting plan that addresses the location and style of lighting. Business Services
Year Directorate
Terrestrial Environment 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

54. Develop and implement a strategy for the protection and rehabilitation of coastal landforms. Conservation and Planning

55. Review and implement an interpretation program featuring the Island’s geology, landforms and soils. Conservation and Planning

56. Undertake research into the relationship between rainfall, groundwater and the wetlands of Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

57. Protect, preserve and interpret Barker Swamp as a primary example of the pre-disturbed condition of Rottnest Island swamps. Conservation and Planning

58. Protect, conserve and interpret Rottnest Island lakes, swamps, freshwater seeps and surrounding vegetation. Conservation and Planning

59. Monitor water and salinity levels within swamps and freshwater seeps on Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

60. Rehabilitate Lighthouse Swamp. Conservation and Planning

61. Rehabilitate Parakeet Swamp. Conservation and Planning

62. Rehabilitate Salmon Swamp. Conservation and Planning

63. Develop a Plan for the rehabilitation of Bulldozer and Bickley Swamps. Conservation and Planning

64. Develop and implement a Plan to interpret the rehabilitation of Rottnest Island swamps. Conservation and Planning

65. Manage the nutrient plume from Rottnest Island’s landfill to ensure minimal impact to the water quality and other values of Lake Herschel. Conservation and Planning

66. Revise and commence the implementation of plans for outer bays to minimise any negative impact on the diversity and values of Conservation and Planning
the Island’s landscape and vistas.

67. Develop and implement a Plan to effectively manage and interpret the values of the Island’s natural landscapes. Conservation and Planning

68. Develop and implement strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Rottnest Island in accordance with the National Greenhouse Business Services
Challenge actions

115
Appendix 2 Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

116
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

69. Eliminate wood fires in Authority accommodation and replace them with an alternative environmentally sensitive and cost-effective Business Services
source of accommodation heating.

70. Investigate options to reduce the impact of aircraft noise. Business Services

71. Review and implement the Woodland Restoration Strategy in the context of a vegetation management strategy. Conservation and Planning

72. Assess and manage all developments on the Island to minimise possible threats to the habitats, flora and fauna of Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

73. Review and implement a Plan for the interpretation of the flora and fauna of Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

74. Develop and implement a fire management plan for Rottnest Island that recognises key ecological areas of protection, in coordination Business Services
with the Fire and Emergency Services Authority.

75. Implement an effective weed management program for Rottnest Island, based on existing procedures. Conservation and Planning

76. Implement an effective feral animal eradication program, based on existing procedures. Conservation and Planning

77. Encourage research on Island flora and fauna particularly that which contributes to the management of plant diseases on Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

78. Investigate the benefits of pursuing Ramsar wetland classification for Rottnest Island’s wetlands used by migratory bird species. Conservation and Planning
Year Directorate
Marine Environment 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

79. Implement the Rottnest Island policy on waste discharge from vessels. Conservation and Planning

80. Develop and implement a water quality monitoring program for Rottnest Island bays, to test for bacteria and nutrients. Conservation and Planning

81. Manage Island infrastructure to minimise land-based discharge of nutrients and debris into the marine environment. Business Services

82. Review the Rottnest Island fuel and oil spill Plan. Business Services

83. Investigate the provision of a waste receptor facility for liquid waste from vessels. Conservation and Planning

84. Undertake research on the impact of vessel movements on Rottnest Island’s marine habitats, particularly in relation to movement of large vessels. Conservation and Planning

85. Maintain the use of moorings in designated Rottnest Island bays as an environmental management tool. Tourist Services

86. Develop and implement a research program to monitor the level of environmental impact from the current mooring apparatus design. Conservation and Planning

87. Prohibit the anchoring of boats in the Rottnest Island Reserve on areas other than sand. Conservation and Planning

88. Develop and implement a campaign to promote environmentally benign diving techniques to divers and snorkellers in the Rottnest Island Reserve. Tourist Services

89. Develop and implement a research program to monitor fish stocks and gain an understanding of the level of recreational fishing in the Conservation and Planning
Rottnest Island Reserve.

90. Raise awareness and understanding among Island visitors of the adverse impacts of reef walking on marine habitats and species. Conservation and Planning

91. Develop and implement a strategy to reduce the occurrence of locally generated marine litter in the Rottnest Island Reserve. Conservation and Planning

92. Implement an annual program to collect litter in Rottnest Island bays. Conservation and Planning

93. Encourage research on the occurrence and extent of coral bleaching in the Rottnest Island Marine Reserve. Conservation and Planning

117
Appendix 2 Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

118
Year Directorate
Cultural Heritage 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

94. Compile a comprehensive inventory of Rottnest Island’s heritage assets. Conservation and Planning

95. Undertake an assessment of the condition and significance of all heritage assets on Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

96. Develop a priority listing of heritage restoration projects required on Rottnest Island according to condition and significance of assets. Conservation and Planning

97. Develop and implement heritage maintenance procedures, in accordance with the Burra Charter, to direct heritage maintenance Conservation and Planning
activities on Rottnest Island.

98. Develop comprehensive guidelines for the appropriate treatments for landscapes and streetscapes on Rottnest Island in order to maintain Conservation and Planning
associated heritage values.

99. Develop and implement heritage projects that can be undertaken with the aid of volunteer effort. Conservation and Planning

100. Establish a Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee reporting to the Rottnest Island Authority to provide expert advice on heritage issues. Conservation and Planning

101. Develop an Island-wide integrated heritage interpretation approach that includes business opportunities that support heritage works. Conservation and Planning

102. Revise and reissue heritage brochures to enhance the interpretative capability of this medium. Conservation and Planning

103. Develop and implement a strategy to increase the profile of Rottnest Island for heritage-focussed conferences, seminars and training events. Marketing and Communications

104. Maintain and enhance opportunities for free of charge, self-directed heritage interpretation on Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

105. Undertake further ground probing radar work to determine the full extent of the Aboriginal burial grounds. Business Services

106. Relocate any accommodation overlying the established area of the Aboriginal burial grounds. Business Services

107. Investigate and implement mechanisms to further interpret the Aboriginal burial grounds and other areas of Aboriginal significance. Conservation and Planning

108. Maintain and enhance relationships with Aboriginal people to further interpret the Aboriginal heritage of Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

109. Develop and implement guidelines for the appropriate archaeological assessment and supervision of ground disturbance Conservation and Planning
and hardening work on Rottnest Island.

110. Review, assess and enhance the Rottnest Island museum collection. Conservation and Planning

111. Develop and implement a program of recording current features, operations and activities of Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

112. Undertake a program of recording oral accounts from persons with previous and current associations with Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

Holiday and Recreation Facilities


113. Annually adjust the individual Admission Fee commencing 1st July 2003. Business Services

114. Pursue amendment to the Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987 to allow the Rottnest Island Authority to control entry into the Rottnest Island Reserve. Conservation and Planning

115. Undertake research on the relationship between Rottnest Island visitor numbers and behaviour and environmental, social and economic Conservation and Planning
impacts on Rottnest Island.

116. Develop and implement plans to increase the number of accommodated visitors in the cooler months. Tourist Services

117. Manage activities on the Island commensurate with optimum visitor numbers. Marketing and Communications

118. Assess business opportunities on a case by case basis, giving priority to the requirements to maintain control over the Reserve, preserve the Business Services
ethos, equity and access, and sustain the Island’s environmental and social values.

119. Retain the existing range of accommodation on Rottnest Island. Tourist Services

120. Investigate designs for a Rottnest Island style of holiday cottage in preparation for the times when existing cottages require replacement. Tourist Services

121. Investigate the feasibility of the redevelopment of existing Kelly and Abbot Street accommodation, paying attention to environmental and Conservation and Planning
heritage sensitive construction and operation, winter comfort standards, and the flexibility to provide for wider styles of use.

119
Appendix 2 Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

120
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

122. Refurbish the heritage cottages and the existing Geordie/Longreach units, paying particular attention to environmentally sensitive construction Business Services
and operation and to winter comfort standards.

123. Demolish the existing Allison cabins and construct replacement cabins near Caroline Thomson using the existing Caroline Thomson Business Services
cabin model, paying particular attention to winter comfort standards.

124. Improve and enhance the universal access features of accommodation and visitor facilities on Rottnest Island. Business Services

125. Determine and implement a defined building envelope within the boundary of the Settlement Zone. Conservation and Planning

126. Except as otherwise specified, limit construction of accommodation on Rottnest Island to the replacement of existing accommodation, Business Services
as necessary.

127. Upgrade and improve Rottnest Island accommodation booking software and procedures. Business Services

128. Investigate the feasibility of introducing on-line accommodation booking facilities. Marketing and Communications

129. Investigate alternative methods to allocate accommodation during peak periods. Tourist Services

130. Implement the schedule of accommodation charges for bookings taken from 1 January 2003 as described in Table 5 - Accommodation Charges. Tourist Services

131. Charge accommodation booked for off peak periods, which is not part of a discount package, at a 20 percent discount rate. Tourist Services

132. Annually revise accommodation costs and operations. Business Services

133. Conduct a community consultation exercise to inform the future development of the Rottnest Island Hotel site. Business Services

134. Redevelop the Rottnest Island Hotel facilities informed by community consultation. Business Services

135. Continue to provide education and interpretation activities on Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

136. Develop and implement a Plan for visitor services and attractions which is consistent with the Island’s purpose and based on the principles of Conservation and Planning
environmental, social and economic sustainability.

137. Provide a range of visitor services and attractions on Rottnest Island that are available on a self-directed, free-of-charge basis. Tourist Services

138. Maintain and enhance the services provided by businesses operating on Rottnest Island. Business Services

139. Provide and enhance language services to non-English speaking visitors. Marketing and Communications

140. Develop and implement a research program to determine the impact of services and attractions on the Rottnest Island environment and its visitors. Conservation and Planning

141. Develop and implement a Rottnest Island Merchandising Plan. Marketing and Communications

142. Increase the number of bicycle racks on Rottnest Island. Business Services

143. Develop and implement a telecommunications plan. Business Services

144. Determine and provide recreation facilities targeted at youth. Conservation and Planning

145. Undertake a review of charges for the full range of tours and visitor services. Tourist Services

146. Investigate mechanisms to improve the carriage of large equipment on bus services. Tourist Services

147. Investigate alternative-powered buses for Rottnest Island that will have a more positive impact on visual and environmental amenities. Business Services

148. Investigate the feasibility of the extension of the Island rail service. Conservation and Planning

149. Annually review and amend bus service fees and charges. . Tourist Services

150. Work with the Rottnest Island Police to enforce the requirement for cyclists to wear helmets on Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

121
Appendix 2 Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

122
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

151. Work with the Rottnest Island Police to enforce the requirement for cyclists to use a light when cycling at night. Conservation and Planning

152. Review and rationalise the number of walking tracks on Rottnest Island to minimise environmental impacts while providing for the needs of visitors. Conservation and Planning

153. Implement the Rottnest Island Authority Disability Services Plan. Conservation and Planning

154. Refurbish the ramp to North Thomson Beach to provide beach and water access. Conservation and Planning

155. Review the operation of the Rottnest Island Aerodrome. Business Services

156. Review the range of aerodrome fees. Business Services

157. Provide training opportunities to Authority staff to improve service levels to meet industry standards and benchmarks. Business Services

158. Investigate certification under national tourism accreditation schemes. Tourist Services

159. Develop and introduce a new range of Rottnest Island Authority staff uniforms. Marketing and Communications

160. Design and implement a market research program to gain an understanding of market segments and needs. Marketing and Communications

161. Develop and implement a strategic marketing plan for Rottnest Island, based on the outcomes of market research. Marketing and Communications

162. Work with Rottnest Island businesses and ferry operators to improve the compatibility of marketing campaigns with Rottnest Island objectives. Marketing and Communications

163. Determine a policy on the scale and type of function and event appropriate for Rottnest Island based on considerations of social, Marketing and Communications
economic and environmental benefits and impacts.

164. Undertake a range of Rottnest Island Authority-hosted programs to enhance the visitor experience. Marketing and Communications
Year Directorate
Marine Recreation and Facilities 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

165. Monitor the use of Personalised Powered Watercraft within the boundary of the Reserve over the peak months of 2003/2004 and Conservation and Planning
2004/2005 and determine whether they should continue to be permitted in the Reserve.

166. Undertake research into the boating capacity of the Rottnest Island Marine Reserve based on social, environmental and infrastructure constraints. Conservation and Planning

167. Investigate mechanisms to manage the boating capacity of the Rottnest Island Marine Reserve. Tourist Services

168. Increase the boating annual payment in lieu of Admission Fee from 1 September 2003 to the following GST inclusive prices: vessels up Tourist Services
to 8 metres: $121.00; vessels greater than 8 metres but less than 10 metres: $137.50; vessels 10 metres or greater but less than
15 metres: $165.00; vessels 15 metres or greater: $275.00.

169. Annually review the boating annual payment in lieu of Admission Fee. Tourist Services

170. Work with the Department for Planning and Infrastructure to expand the boating five-knot speed limit area to include all bays containing Conservation and Planning
moorings and all waters within 100 metres of the shoreline.

171. Maintain the current total number of licensed recreational moorings in the Rottnest Island Marine Reserve. Tourist Services

172. Employ geographical positioning survey methods to determine and maintain records of mooring locations. Conservation and Planning

173. Prohibit people from dredging or otherwise interfering with any area of sea bed in the Marine Reserve. Conservation and Planning

174. Undertake a trial of a mooring system as detailed in Table 6 - Summary of Recreational Mooring Trial System, in consultation Tourist Services
with major stakeholders, commencing September 2003 with a view to ongoing implementation.

175. Pursue alternative mechanisms for increasing access to recreational moorings should the trial indicate that the system detailed in Tourist Services
Table 6 is not feasible.

176. Revise annual recreational mooring site licence fees effective 1 September 2003 to $66.00 per metre of length of licensed Tourist Services
vessels or $660, whichever is the greater amount, for the duration of the recreational mooring trial and permanently thereafter should
the trial system be implemented substantively.

177. Introduce an Annual Authorised User Fee of $33 per metre as at 1 September 2003 Tourist Services

123
Appendix 2 Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

124
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

178. Maintain the Annual Administration Fee for Authorised Users of $33 per vessel. Tourist Services

179. Review all mooring fees annually. Tourist Services

180. Prohibit recreational moorings from being used for commercial gain or being sub-let. Conservation and Planning

181. Revise mooring renewal procedures to make the presentation of a hull identification number a prerequisite for a mooring site licence Tourist Services
renewal by 1 September 2004.

182. Develop a business model for the rental mooring business unit to determine an optimum number of rental moorings. Tourist Services

183. Eliminate the maximum rental period limit for rental moorings for the off-peak season of May to November. Tourist Services

184. Introduce a maximum limit for rental moorings during the accommodation ballot periods, consistent with maximum ballot Tourist Services
booking periods, from 1 July 2003.

185. Increase rental swing mooring fees to $33 per night, from 1 July 2003. Tourist Services

186. Increase Bathurst Beach mooring fees to $16.50 per night, from 1 July 2003. Tourist Services

187. Annually review rental mooring prices. Tourist Services

188. Investigate the feasibility of establishing a number of strategically placed moorings dedicated for commercial charter operations, with Business Services
the objective to establish a viable commercial charter moorings system.

189. Establish and introduce a commercial rate for commercial operators using rental moorings. Business Services

190. Eliminate the maximum rental period limit for rental pens for the off-peak season of May to November. Tourist Services

191. Introduce a maximum limit for rental pens during the accommodation ballot periods, consistent with maximum ballot Tourist Services
booking periods, from 1 July 2003.

192. Increase charges for rental pens to $33 per night for large pens at the Fuel Jetty, and $22 per night for small pens at the Fuel, Hotel and Tourist Services
Stark Jetties, effective 1 July 2003.
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

193. Annually review rental pen prices. Tourist Services

194. Provide information to boat owners on appropriate methods of beach anchoring. Conservation and Planning

195. Investigate the feasibility of the formalisation of beach anchoring sites in Thomson Bay, with a view to implementation. Tourist Services

196. Implement mechanisms to ensure efficient and effective operation and management of the Main Passenger Jetty. Business Services

197. Assess the feasibility of upgrading the Hotel Jetty. Business Services

198. Restore and maintain the Green Island Jetty as a recreational fishing area and small vessel-berthing site. Business Services

199. Work with commercial ferry companies to encourage affordable pricing strategies for Rottnest Island ferry tickets, Tourist Services
accepting that the ferry fare includes the individual Admission Fee to the Island.

200. Adjust the annual payment to the Authority in lieu of Admission Fees for Charter Boat operators to: $22 multiplied by the vessel’s capacity Business Services
for vessels making 14 or less entries to the Reserve; $44 multiplied by the vessel’s capacity for vessels making more than 14 but less than 31
entries into the Reserve; $66 multiplied by the vessel’s capacity for vessels making more than 30 and less than 45 entries into the Reserve;
and $88 multiplied by the vessel’s capacity for vessels making 45 or more entries to the Reserve.

201. Develop and implement a pricing strategy to apply to charter vessel fees, including annual review. Business Services

202. Amend legislation to ensure that all categories of charter vessels operating in the Reserve are required to collect and pay Admission Fees. Conservation and Planning

203. Investigate a charter vessel operators licence system for the Rottnest Island Reserve. Business Services

125
Appendix 2 Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

126
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

Community Involvement and Relations


204. In consultation with volunteer groups, develop and implement a Volunteer Services Plan to clarify and formalise the role of volunteer Tourist Services
groups on Rottnest Island.

205. Encourage and support volunteer groups to carry out conservation and interpretive activities on the Island. Conservation and Planning

206. Maintain the use of advisory committees to provide advice and guidance to the Authority on specific issues and subjects. ALL

207. Operate a complaint handling process that is visible, accessible and fair. Tourist Services

208. Review the consultation mechanisms used for the development of the Rottnest Island Management Plan. Conservation and Planning

Visitor Support Services


209. Maintain and promote a Ranger profile based on guidance, interpretation and a high level of public contact with all user groups. Conservation and Planning

210. Replace the Ranger 1 Marine Vessel. Business Services

211. Continue to support the Honorary Ranger Program. Conservation and Planning

212. Identify and train a pool of staff who are available to fill short term or seasonal Ranger duties. Business Services

213. Maintain and enhance relations with the Rottnest Island Police. Conservation and Planning

214. Maintain and enhance relations between the Nursing Post, as part of the Fremantle Hospital and Health Service, and the Authority. Conservation and Planning

215. Review the Authority’s Risk Management Program. Conservation and Planning

216. Review and reissue the Authority’s Risk Awareness Brochure. Marketing and Communications

217. Continue the implementation of the Rottnest Island Asbestos Management Program. Business Services

218. Maintain participation in and support of the Local Emergency Management Committee. Business Services

219. Investigate and implement means to ensure efficient fire fighting in a low water pressure environment. Business Services

220. Progressively upgrade all buildings so that they meet the current Buildings Code of Australia requirements in regard to fire ratings. Business Services
Year Directorate
Utilities and Infrastructure 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

221. Operate the desalination plants as the primary source of potable water. Business Services

222. Revise the borefield management licence conditions according to current rainfall and define parameters and outcomes of research Conservation and Planning
between rainfall, groundwater and wetlands, in coordination with the Department of Environmental Protection.

223. Progressively decommission bores to achieve a sustainable number of bores. Business Services

224. Remove the southern catchment area and rehabilitate the area of the freshwater seeps. Business Services

225. Develop and implement a bituminised catchment maintenance program to ensure maximum possible yield from the remaining Business Services
bituminised catchment.

226. Map the location of the water network system. Business Services

227. Continue to install water-saving devices in accommodation units. Business Services

228. Investigate options to reduce the demand on potable water for watering lawn areas. Business Services

229. Develop and implement a plan to replace the wastewater network system. Business Services

230. Develop and implement plans for the cost-effective and environmentally sensitive use of grey water, compliant with public health requirements. Business Services

231. Develop and implement an awareness campaign to discourage visitors from bringing non-recyclable and excessively packaged Marketing and Communications
products to Rottnest Island.

232. Work with the business community to reduce the proportion of products supplied which are excessively packaged. Business Services

233. Develop a waste management plan for Rottnest Island. Business Services

234. Investigate the feasibility of burying the Wadjemup power line in an environmentally sensitive, cost-effective manner in coordination Business Services
with the development of Wadjemup as an Activity Node.

235. Construct a wind turbine on Mt Herschel and monitor its impact and efficiency. Business Services

127
Part B. Management Planning Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003-2008

128
Year Directorate
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007/8 Responsibility

236. Assess the benefits of the introduction of a second turbine, based on the analysis of impacts and efficiencies of the first wind turbine. Business Services

237. Use solar panels as a source of alternative power on Rottnest Island, where possible and practicable. Business Services

238. Investigate the benefits of biodiesel for Rottnest Island, with a view to is introduction as an alternative fuel on the Island. Business Services

239. Develop and implement a program to interpret issues associated with power supply. Conservation and Planning

240. Investigate and trial energy-saving technologies in Rottnest Island buildings and facilities. Business Services

241. Employ appropriate passive energy and other energy-efficient technologies in all new accommodation and other buildings Business Services
constructed on Rottnest Island.

242. Develop and implement a comprehensive maintenance plan for roads and tracks. Business Services

Implementation
243. Review and amend the Rottnest Island Authority Act 1987 Conservation and Planning

244. Annually review and amend as appropriate the Rottnest Island Regulations 1988. Conservation and Planning

245. Review and amend penalties for offences as established in the Rottnest Island Regulations 1988. Conservation and Planning

246. Develop and implement a research program for Rottnest Island. Conservation and Planning

247. Implement arrangements to ensure maintenance of intellectual property in relation to Rottnest Island research projects. Conservation and Planning

248. Continue to seek funding from external sources, including special grants and sponsorships, to supplement income. Conservation and Planning

249. Annually report to the public on progress on the implementation of the Rottnest Island Management Plan 2003 - 2008. Conservation and Planning
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Rottnest Island Authority Board Rottnest Island Management Plan


Reference Group
Ms Jennifer Archibald, Chairman
Mr Laurence O’Meara, Deputy Chairman Chair: Ms Lesley Smith, Director
Mr Joseph Merillo Conservation and Planning;
Mr Angas Hopkins Acting Chief Executive Officer
Ms Rachel Roberts from October 2002
Ms Catherine Nance
Project Manager: Ms Jo McCrea
Rottnest Island Authority Chief (Bunting), Principal Planning Officer
Executive Officer
Members:
Mr John Mitchell (to October 2002) • Mr Peter Purves, Director
Tourist Services;
• Ms Carol Shannon, Director
Business Services;
• Ms Claire Wright, Manager
Conservation;
• Ms Roxane Shadbolt, Manager
Visitor Operations,
• Mr John Richmond, Principal
Projects Officer (to August 2002).

129
Rottnest Island Authority Administration
Level 1, E Shed, Victoria Quay
Fremantle WA 6160
Postal Address
PO Box 693,
Fremantle WA 6959
Tel:(08) 9432 9300
Fax: (08) 9432 9301
Website: www.rottnest.wa.gov.au
Email: enquiries@rottnest.wa.gov.au
Published by the Rottnest Island Authority. March 2003