Selamat Hari Raya. The Shire President and Councillors along with the CEO and staff extend warm wishes for a peaceful and joyous Hari Raya and year ahead.
Emergency Management Procedures: The Shire’s Standard Operating Procedure during Cyclones was tested with TC Mangga last week. We are grateful that in this instance the cyclone stayed a respectable distance from Cocos but still gave us a good opportunity to test our processes to ensure we can operate effectively in these circumstances. Thanks as always to everyone in the community who pulls together to make sure we stay safe and well-informed in emergencies. Speaking of staying safe…well done to all involved in their quick action and amazing efforts in preventing a major disaster at Castaways over the weekend. Annelies is very grateful and full of praise for all involved. Annelies also wanted to send a reminder to all that 000 is the number to call in case of emergency.
Financial Assistance Grants and Roads Funding: The Shire is pleased to note that the Commonwealth Government will be providing the Shire with $136,000 in additional funding. This revenue will be considered as part of the 2020/21 budget process with a recommendation from officers that Council allocates the funds towards road renewal works. Road renewal works are critical to continue to maintain our assets and to provide much needed employment for local residents.
William Keeling Crescent – refined concepts: The Shire received a lot of feedback and ideas on how to improve the amenity and appearance of William Keeling Crescent. Thank you to everyone who contributed their ideas, especially the students from CIDHS. The ideas we received varied with some wanting some significant changes, others preferring just minor changes. Revised concept drawings are included in this edition of the Atoll on pages following. In summary, at this first stage the Shire is not recommending much built infrastructure, mostly tree planting to provide natural shade, bird habitat and some coastal erosion mitigation. The main changes proposed are as follows…
- Remove blue bollards.
- Plant drinking coconuts along the road verge to create an avenue effect and to serve the same purpose as the blue bollards.
- Replace some (not all) of the blue bollards with solar bollard lights to provide some gentle, non-intrusive lighting.
- Plant three clusters of native shade trees in three locations along the ocean side of the road, strategically placed not to block the views directly in front of any of the houses.
- Plant vines along the sandbags to soften the look of the sandbags.
- Install some functional public art (e.g. jukongs repurposed as seating as on Sandy Point).
May Council Meeting: The Ordinary Meeting of Council was held on 20 May at the Home Island Shire Office. For those interested, the full agenda is available on the Shire’s website from the weekend prior to the meeting (and the unconfirmed minutes available within a week following). The following items that were considered by Council may be of specific interest.
- Property and Places Local Laws. Council resolved to commence the process for making this important Local Law. Advertising will commence in the near future to encourage community review and input into this local law.
Anyone interested in knowing more about either of these items or anything on the Council agenda is welcome to contact me.
E-Meetings: The next meeting of Council is on 24 June at the CRC Conference Room on West Island. At this meeting, Council will be considering an e-Meeting policy that puts a structure around the new legislation that allows Council to use electronic means to meet during a State of Emergency. As this impacts the way in which the community can observe, ask questions and make presentations or deputations to Council, it is important that the community is aware of this legislative change and proposed policy.
New Rubbish Truck: We have just received a new rubbish truck for use on West Island. This purchase is consistent with our Plant Replacement Program which is considered by Council and updated each year. The Plant Replacement Program is supported by a reserve fund which is also considered each year as part of the budget, so we have sufficient funds to ensure our Plant and Equipment is fit for purpose and able to meet our operational requirements. Each month, as part of the Council agenda, we publish our financial statements which includes information on our reserve funds so the community can see how funds are managed.
Chief Executive Officer