COUNCIL MEETING: The June Council meeting on West Island resulted in Council decisions on the following:
· New fees and charges for 2019/20;
· A review of the Delegations Register;
· Importation of two cars to Home Island for work / projects;
· A request to import a sterilized cat to Cocos (Keeling) Islands; and
· A review of the Shipping and Sea Container Policy.
Minutes of the Council meeting are available on the Shire website within a week of the Council meeting or can be requested by phoning Ibrahim MacRae at the Shire office.
PULU KEELING NATIONAL PARK: Also at the June meeting, Council responded to the invitation by Parks Australia to include a representative on the Community Management Committee for Pulu Keeling National Park. The CEOwas nominated by Council to represent Council on this important Committee.
DELEGATION TO CANBERRA: The Cocos delegation to Canberra had a busy week. The delegation led by the Shire President, Cr Lacy and the Administrator was very pleased to meet the new Minister, the Hon Nola Marino, MP. The Minister was enthusiastic about her responsibility for the IOTs and is very keen to make progress on several matters of strategic importance, namely Insurance and the appropriate removal and management of legacy waste. Ms Marino also has responsibility for BBRF and is keen to see an application from Cocos. We presented the Minister with a draft advance copy of the Cocos CV and she was very pleased to see that we have been proactive and innovative in our approach to industry and economic development.
We were also very pleased to meet with Dr Steven Kennedy, Secretary, Ms Rachel Bacon, Deputy Secretary, Mr Alex Foulds Executive Director and other senior staff from the Territories Division of the Department. Issues discussed included the Strategic Plan and Master Plan and options for partnering in progressing actions from both those plans. The team was very interested in options for recycling on Cocos. The projects team also gave an undertaking to use the Cocos CV when calling for tenders.
Another important meeting we managed to secure was with Mr Chris Birrer, First Assistant Secretary Infrastructure with the Department of Defence and other senior Department of Defence personnel. The meeting was to discuss options to improve the South End Road and we were very pleased with the willingness of the Department of Defence to work with the Shire.
We also had an opportunity to discuss the Runway Upgrade project and are pleased to advise that the tender for the project has been advertised. Many of our questions about the project will be able to be answered once a contractor has been engaged. We presented the Cocos CV (advance draft copy) and were delighted with the response, including an invitation to present to prospective tenderers at a briefing in Perth next week. We see this as a demonstration of the commitment of the Department of Defence to ensure good outcomes for the community.
While in the area, Cr Lacy visited a recycling plant located near Canberra. This emerging technology from Perpetual Bio – energy Technologies Pty. Ltd. is working on Gasification of waste streams, including plastic, and conversion of gasses to electricity and the production of charcoal. This is part of an overall review of how we can utilise waste to create resources for our community. The RDO has funded a $30,000 study into plastics recycling options for the IOTs. The funding will be used to gather data needed on what plastic we have access to, the volumes available and the various technology that is emerging and to put together a business case to assist with funding applications.
Anyone wanting more information about our visit to Canberra is welcome to contact the Shire President, Administrator or myself.
WORKS UPDATE: With Ramadan and the wonderful Hari Raya celebrations over for the year, the Shires’ outside work force is now hard at work with quite a number of projects underway.
One project that was completed June was the reinstatement of replacement of sand bags that were damaged by the large northerly swell in April. The Shire was contracted by the Department of Infrastructure to complete this task.
The dredging programme that is being undertaken at the Home Island ferry terminal will be paused on Wednesday 26 June to allow the dumb barge be used in its normal stevedoring duties while the Ship is in and will resume once those duties are completed.
Installation of give-way signs and cautionary speed signs are being installed at all the back lane way intersections on Home Island. The speed limit is 8km which is a brisk walking pace. Please take note and observe these traffic calming measures to keep our community, particularly children, safe.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Marine Debris Project commenced the annual collection of marine debris on West Island last week. This Project is fully funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development in partnership with Tangaroa Blue and the Shires of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island.
The marine debris collected is analysed for the origin, type and quantity of the marine debris so it can assist Governments and Shires in influencing manufacturers in end of life ownership for their products that will stop marine debris washing ashore on our beaches. Approximately 18 cubic metres of marine debris was collected and analysed from West Island and Home Island and transported to Home Island for incineration. The Marine Debris Project is now continuing on Christmas Island.
Construction of the fire pit at Sandy point on Home Island is nearing completion. The fire pit and seating surround is made from gabions which are a welded steel cage coated in Galfan to protect them from corrosion. Coral is then placed into the cage and secured. The same fire puts will be constructed on West Island at North Point and Scout Park. Smaller pits will be placed at shelter on Direction Island.
The fire pits have been constructed to improve the amenity of these areas, allowing beach fires whilst keep the area clean and tidy for other users in the following days. Please enjoy them and let us know how they are working.
These are a few items that I think may be of particular interest but we are always willing to meet with members of the community who are interested in knowing more about Shire activities.
Chief Executive Officer