• Kangaroo Island. Photo courtesy of Park Trek.
    Kangaroo Island. Photo courtesy of Park Trek.
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Up to $52 million of works on bushfire-ravaged Kangaroo Island have started to help rebuild and boost the nature-based tourism economy.

AAP reports restoration of local sites destroyed by the fires, including the boardwalk to Remarkable Rocks, will also be fast-tracked.

Visiting Kangaroo Island last Friday, Premier Steven Marshall said its tourism industry contributed about $126 million to the regional economy each year, and the planned works would create more than 400 jobs.

"Rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed by the bushfires will provide a timely boost to the local economy and help Kangaroo Island's nature-based tourism industry bounce back," Mr Marshall said.

Earlier in the day, the state government committed $33 million to build a desalination plant on to address issues with water infrastructure highlighted during the bushfires.

Located at Penneshaw on the east coast, the new plant will add to the island's existing water infrastructure.

Mr Marshall said the new plant would improve water security and supply.

He said the investment would create about 500 jobs and more than $200 million of economic value to the island over the next 15 years.


More than 1000 customers on the island's east, who currently source water through rainwater tanks and private carters, will be connected through new pipelines.


During the bushfires, the water supply could not provide enough to meet the demands of locals and firefighters.

Damage to the Middle River treatment plant also left some customers reliant on water transferred from Penneshaw and the mainland.

Total cost of the desalination plant has been put at $47.8 million, with the state government working closely with the Commonwealth to secure the additional funding.

In December and January, more than 200,000 hectares of the island were burnt in the bushfires, with hundreds of buildings and kilometres of fencing destroyed and thousands of sheep and cattle killed.

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