NEW ADVENTURES FOR IAN EVANS: It was with a very heavy heart that Ian, our much-loved Works Manager, tendered his resignation from the Shire. Ian has been with the Shire for over 5 years and in that time has shown time and time again his strong commitment to the community. He always goes well above the call of duty to make sure our community gets the best service possible. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Ian. Ian will stay on for the next three or so months to ensure a smooth hand-over to the next person so please make sure you let Ian know how much his work and dedication has been appreciated. We will provide a more thorough acknowledgement of Ian’s contributions before he leaves. Thanks Ian.
AUSTRALIA DAY: What a fantastic day on Direction Island on Monday 27 January to celebrate Australia Day. We were so delighted to have such great participation from the community. Thank you to everyone who came to the event which helps foster precious community connectedness. We were delighted to acknowledge Annelies Flynn for all her efforts in preserving and promoting Cocos heritage, particularly via the Cocos As It WasFacebook page. Sincere congratulations Annelies on this well-deserved recognition. We really appreciate your efforts. Thank you to our Administrator, Natasha Griggs for taking part and for sponsoring some of the events; and to the hard-working Shire staff – thank you all your efforts.
HOUSING REFERENCE GROUP: Thank you to members of the housing reference who met with us on Wednesday to discuss house plans to ensure that any plans are suitable for the Cocos/Home Island lifestyle. The group also deliberated on options for allocating a new house and understands the complexity of such decisions. The group hopes to be able to make recommendations to Council at a future meeting.
TRANNIES BEACH PLAY EQUIPMENT: We met with representatives of the parents/carers group at Trannies last week to discuss their concerns regarding the proposed location of the play equipment. We were so delighted that they felt comfortable to approach us with their concerns and ideas in the spirit of collaboration and a true sense of partnership, rather than let us proceed, not benefit from their great ideas and potentially not deliver the best result for the community. Their concerns were around traffic movements on the Bicentennial Track between the beach and the play equipment. After much discussion and looking at options, we all agreed that the proposed location on the other side of the track was the best space to take advantage of the natural shade, but that traffic calming measures and signage would address concerns about children and traffic. As always, anyone with any concerns is welcome to contact us at the Shire and we will do our very best to work with the community and to ensure whatever we do has strong community support.
MACAO PAPER WASP UPDATE: Our terrific Ranger Razalie would like to acknowledge community members who have supported Happy Jacks and the Shire by reporting sightings of wasp nest in person, on the phone or email or by using Snap Send Solve. The surveillance program shows that between Happy Jacks and the Shire, we have treated and destroyed over 2,000 nests around the Atoll. Happy Jacks and Ranger Razalie have trialed the new fogger. The trail has shown positive results so we will be implementing a fogging program for Home Island and West Island in the near future. Prior to commencing with the fogging program, we will distribute flyers to each household to ensure the community is well-informed. If you want to know more about the program, please contact the Shire and speak with Razalie or contact Happy Jack.
PONDOK PROJECT: As many people would know, Shak Keegan has commenced documenting and photographing Pondoks on the various Island around the southern Atoll and capturing some of the oral history of the Pondok owners. So far Shak has inspected 20 Pondoks, recorded eight oral history interviews and taken dozens of fantastic photos. Shak has also been doing an excellent job in encouraging people to keep their Pondoks tidy and well maintained and has received much positive feedback from the Pondok owners. We look forward to working in partnership with Pondok owners to protect and celebrate this unique and beautiful part of Cocos heritage.
WORKS UPDATE: Our talented carpenters have been busy over the last week constructing a wheelchair accessible eco-toilet at Sandy Point and should have it ready for use by the end of this week. The toilet is waterless and is fitted with solar powered fans to assist in the breakdown process.
New lights, that are best suited to this environment, were installed at the West Island Tennis Courts on Wednesday.
We will commence carting sand bags to the southern end of the seawall along William Keeling Crescent. These bags are to construct a radius wall from the concrete seawall and will be tied into the existing sand bag structure. There will be machinery movements in this area from Friday 7 to Tuesday 11 February. There will be traffic management signs in this area during these dates with short detours.
We have commenced a daily post to our Facebook page to alert the community to any works and machinery movements. The aim of the update is to alert members of the community to take care in the area but also so that the community can get a sense of the range of our daily operations. Please check them out and let us know if you have any other ideas for us to improve our communication.
The Shire will commence work on constructing the play equipment at Trannies Beach on Monday 10th February. There will be machinery movements in the area throughout the week between the hours of 6.45am to 3.30pm. If you are at Trannies through these times please park your car in the allocated parking area and enter the beach on the west side of the deck. For any more information please contact Ian Evans 91626649.
MAJU PULU KITA MASTERPLAN PROJECTS: While we have provided regular updates on the Maju Pulu Kita Masterplan projects in the Atoll, the report below was compiled to bring all projects updates together so people can see how much has been progressed from our plan. The coming year will see fewer smaller, quick win projects and a greater focus on larger strategic projects such as Housing, the Retail Centre and upgrading roads. Anyone wanting to know more about the Masterplan and project priorities is welcome to contact me at the Shire. These is just a quick summary of some of the Shire activities that may be of interest to our community. As always, community members are more than welcome to contact me at anystage to discuss the details of the above-mentioned items or any other items of interest or concern.
Chief Executive Officer