Friday, June 25, 2010

'Locals rort Rotto ballot'

This tremendous report in the POST: it has quotes, figures, emotion, juicy allegations and one-sentence paragraphs.

It is so good it is on the front page (er, actually page 28) and could well be the final word on the matter.

We like the data so much we will take it to the beautiful island and study it in depth over a G&T at the pub.

Contact Rotto Bloggo if you want the lowdown on your postcode luck.

A LABOR MP says western suburbs holidaymakers are rorting the Rottnest ballot system.

Regional development spokesperson Mark McGowan says there should be a quota system during island ballot time so more people from other areas get to holiday on Rottnest.

“Four or five members from a family apply during the Christmas and Easter ballots,” Mr McGowan said.

“It can result in unfairness.”

The Rockingham MP said figures given to him during recent estimates hearing in Parliament show an “overwhelming” rate of western suburbs people securing ballot accommodation.

“Many people from the outer suburbs and country apply as well,” Mr McGowan said.

“For example, 20 times as many people from Cottesloe went to Rottnest compared to my electorate – which is much bigger than Cottesloe.”

Mr McGowan suggested 25 per cent of Christmas and Easter accommodation be reserved for country people, and another chunk be set aside for those from out suburban areas.

“Those people help subsidise Rottnest as well,” he said.

But data from the last two Easter and Christmas periods show western suburbs holidaymakers have only a slighter luckier success rate than people from other areas.

In Easter this year there were 1702 applications: 767 were successful, a 45% success rate.

There were 448 applications from the nine western suburbs postcodes and 222 were successful: a 49.5% success rate.

Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove had more luck than most: a 53.8 success rate from 52 applications.

But South Perth people were luckier that Easter: a 77.2% success rate from their 44 applications.

Some of the unluckiest were those from the nine southern suburbs in the 6163 postcode: a 20.5% success rate from 34 applications.

Very few people from Rockingham applied for Easter or Christmas ballot accommodation in the last two years.

The area has a population of more than 15,000, but there were only seven applicants – with two successful – for island time in Easter this year.

In the 2008/09 summer 17 Rockingham people applied (and five were successful): in all there were 5573 applications for that period.

The Rottnest Island Authority said the ballot system was computerised and cannot be manually adjusted in any way.

“The RIA ballot process was independently reviewed by Stantons International earlier this year and concluded that the system provided a fair and secure randomised process for the allocation of balloted accommodation,” Authority CEO Paolo Amaranti said.

“Every applicant has an equal chance of securing accommodation through the ballot system.

“A higher proportion of allocations to people from a particular area is likely to reflect a higher proportion of applicants from that area.”

Mr Amaranti spruiked winter Rottnest deals, including one for $339 for two people for three nights.

He said there were still vacancies for next month's school holidays.

“Packages are inclusive of accommodation, bike hire and Bayseeker bus pass for the duration of the booking and are $185 per night for four people,” he said.

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