Reflecting on Rottnest Island Authority governance improvements

Rottnest Island Authority executive building

In September 2016, the Public Sector Commission completed a review of governance practices within the Rottnest Island Authority (RIA).

The review report detailed 51 recommendations to enhance governance practices in areas such as procurement, human resource management, development approvals, and efficiencies of the RIA Board and its committees.

Since the new management team was formed under the leadership of Ms Michelle Reynolds in January 2017, these recommendations have been systematically addressed, with 45 of the 51 recommendations completed. The remaining six corporate actions are subject to the Machinery of Government reforms announced by the Premier in May of this year, and will be finalised through the streamlining of functions within the new Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

In conjunction with these activities, the RIA has made significant improvements in the way it carries out its responsibilities. Rottnest Island, also known by its Noongar Whadjuk name of Wadjemup, is also enjoying renewed interest in the establishment of new Island-based businesses, highlighted by the commencement of a third ferry operator from November this year.

Some other publicly funded initiatives, such as the commemoration of the Aboriginal Burial Ground on the Island, have also been revitalised and are gaining momentum.

This revitalisation does not end with the actioning of the PSC’s recommendations. The Rottnest Island Authority remains committed to ongoing improvement, governance and business efficiencies that will continue to see interest and activity grow on the Island for many years to come.