Happy New Year:
Here’s to a bright, positive and productive 2019 for each and everyone and for us all as a community. It has been off to a busy start with many activities and new projects already underway and more planned. Here is a brief overview of just a few that may be of interest to the community—please come and see me for more detailed information about these items or any other Shire matter.
 
Paper Wasps:
The combined efforts of Happy Jacks and our Ranger has resulted in positive progress in the control paper wasps with over 160 nests treated in one month. There are several nests high in trees and therefore unable to be treated until the EWP arrives (expected early next month). The feedback from the community has been positive with many noticing a reduction in paper wasps.Thank you to community members for reporting sightings—please continue to keep an eye out and report nests so the team can treat them with the correct methods.
 
January Council Meeting:
The agenda for the first Council meeting for 2019 is on the Shire website for interested members of the community. There are many important issues being considered such as the following:
  • Request for a lease of land on Home Island for a renewable energy facility;
  • Request for Council to consider a community and stakeholder engagement strategy to get community feedback on a proposal for a resort on Direction Island. 
  • The lease to Parks Australia for North Keeling and an application for Development Approval for a shelter;
  • The Shire’s Audited 2017/18 Financial Statements, Annual Report and Annual Electors Meeting;
  • A Communications and Social Media Policy and Local Law for Council Meeting Procedures.
These are all very important and complex matters being considered by our hard-working Councillors. If you would like to know more about these matters, please read the full detailed Council Agenda or contact me with your queries.
 
Maju Pulu Kita: 
In an effort to take a more planned and considered approach to planning for future capital works, we are working to develop a master plan for Home Island and for West Island. 
The master plan will identify  land use opportunities for new/improved community infrastructure and any other development opportunities to enhance the quality of life on the islands.
We will also develop a prioritised list of capital works projects arising from the master planning that can form the basis of a coordinated approach to funding of the works (Council funding and grant funding applications), and develop a rational framework for prioritising the capital works opportunities in the future.
The intent is to hold a large design workshop on Saturday 23 February on Home Island with as many members of the community as possible to provide the raw information to inform the master plans. Recruitment will commence in the near future. Preliminary scenarios and ideas will then be presented back to the community for feedback in two smaller workshops on Wednesday 27 February  before final draft plans are developed and released as draft to the whole community to review and feedback. Once all feedback is gathered, the final report will be presented formally for Council consideration and adoption. 
Working collaboratively with the community and stakeholders lies at the heart of the process. So start thinking about what infrastructure this community needs, now and into the future, and contact Luluk, Jo, Ian, Ibrahim or I if you want to know more or to register your interest.
 
Works Crew:
The Works Crew has been busy with the regular Siam weed spraying program and with general tidying up of both Islands. Works have commenced to tidy up the area around Sandy Point, which is already looking much more cared for. Thanks to the crew. 
 
Staff Birthdays:
The Shire office crew helped to celebrate three staff birthdays for January. We wish their birthdays to be the start of a year filled with good luck, good heath and much happiness.