View Comments
Opposition warns on Rotto privatisation push
Opposition warns on Rotto privatisation push

Privatising key Rottnest Island services could push the cost of a family holiday out of the reach of average West Australians, the State Opposition has warned.

Fremantle Labor MP Simone McGurk said Rottnest Island Authority staff had been advised that the Government planned to privatise several key services on Rottnest.

These included accommodation, tours, transport, bike hire, the golf course and country club, the Fun Park, Kingstown Education Centre and boat moorings on the Island.


The West Australian
reported last year that private operators would take over running Rottnest holiday accommodation under plans being devised by the authority.

“The Barnett Government must reveal plans to privatise any of these services on Rottnest Island,” Ms McGurk said.

“If prices and service levels are controlled by private operators, what guarantee does the Government give that this won’t push a holiday on Rottnest out of the reach of ordinary for Western Australians?

“Many volunteers dedicate their time to running parts of the Island and this could also be lost when private operators move in.

“I am concerned that if services on the island are privatised than the important job of managing Rottnest’s heritage buildings and the environment on the island could be neglected.

“Rottnest Island is too important to Western Australians to just to be sold off by stealth. The government must come clean with what it plans to do with the iconic holiday destination.”

“Meanwhile the government has spent over $1.6million on irrigating the golf course and will spend approximately $220,000 every year to treat and irrigate the water on the course."

But Tourism Minister Liza Harvey says privatising some services could reduce prices.

"The State Government remains committed to ensuring the island is accessible to all in the community," she said in a statement.

The Tourism Council of WA told the ABC that privatising services at Rottnest Island could be good reduce prices.

"Elsewhere, Government-owned accommodation in national parks or other public land, typically is operated by the private sector," he told the ABC.

The West Australian
reported last year that private operators would take over running Rottnest holiday accommodation under plans being devised by the authority.