FIRST ORDINARY MEETING OF COUNCIL FOR 2021: Council commenced the year with a busy agenda for their February meeting. The following items were considered:

1. GRANT APPLICATION FOR OLD WORKSHOP / TOKOH ON HOME ISLAND: Council approved a grant application for funding of $1.5 million and committed Shire funds of $500, 000 to restore the old Workshop/ Tokoh on Home Islands. This two-storey building has enormous heritage and aesthetic value and it would be great to see it restored and repurposed. 
The concept is for the visitor centre and museum to be housed in the building to provide a wonderful entry statement to Home Island. We are very grateful to the IOT RDO for their financial support of developing the application and supporting documents. We were also delighted by the support of local organisations and businesses who have provided financial and in-kind support:
b. Linx
c. Zentner
d. Cocos Islands Cooperative Society Ltd
e. Cocos Boronia Resort
f. Freightshop
g. Fire & Safety Services - Christmas Island

2.WEST ISLAND RECREATION PRECINCT: The tender for this building was approved by Council. The tender includes the gym, community hub and office for Fulton Hogan as separate items to allow Council, the Commonwealth and Fulton Hogan to decide what is affordable and able to be delivered on our budgets.

3. Leases: Council approved four leases for land on Home Island to allow two local business and Water Corporation to continue serving the community.
In addition, Council considered the financial statements as usual and an internal review of compliance.
As always, members of the community are invited to attend Council meeting to see how hard our Councillors work on behalf of the community.

YACHT CLUB – AMAZING RACE: A big sing out to our very own DCEO, Jo Soderlund for all her effort in bringing such a fun event to Cocos. It was so well organised and very creative. Well done and thank you Jo. While I think our team should have won (ok, maybe not), congratulations to the actual winners.

CLUB NIGHT: It was great to see such a strong turnout for Club Night at the Cocos Club. We hope new (and not so new) residents supported all our wonderful community groups and clubs. Being part of these clubs not only makes Cocos a great environment for all residents, it is a great way for new residents to become involved and enjoy all Cocos has to offer.

SANDBAG SEAWALL BARRICADES: We understand how unsightly the orange safety barricades at Trannies Beach and on William Keeling Crescent look. The barricades were installed as a response to a serious complaint arising from an incident which flagged the risks, making it essential for the Shire to act immediately. We hope to have a more aesthetically acceptable solution to providing safe access to the beach in the near future and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience in the interim.

STEVE TEMPRA - ADMINISTRATOR’S BRAVERY AWARD: It was wonderful to see that Steve Tempra has been recognised for his act of bravery and for the critical role he played putting out a very dangerous fire on West Island last year. Steve used equipment at hand and kept the fire at bay until volunteer fire fighters arrived on site. Dave Williams, our AFP Officer-in-Charge, said that Steve’s quick thinking and brave actions saved the residence, and potentially some neighbouring properties, from substantial fire damage. Modest to the core, Steve did not want any recognition but we hope this award shows him how grateful we are. Congratulations Steve. 

PLASTICS RESEARCH: We are delighted to have three researchers, Taylor Simpkins, Renae Hovey, Harriet Paterson, from the UWA Oceans institute on Cocos at the moment to review options for plastics recycling on our remote coral atoll. This study, which was initiated by the Shire and kindly funded by the IOT RDO, aims to build upon our knowledge of offshore marine plastics arriving in Cocos provide us with workable solutions for dealing with plastic marine debris and our own plastic waste. The team is looking at innovative ways of collecting these beach plastics and recycling them into resources that can be used within the community.

VISIT FROM SHIRE OF DOWERIN PRESIDENT: Darrel Hudson, Dowerin Shire President and his wife Di visited Cocos for a week last week. While Darrel and Di were on a holiday, Darrel took the opportunity to attend the Shire meeting and was impressed with the way in which council works together to benefit the community.
Cooperation between local governments is a great way to share skills and knowledge, and for Councillors to build their support network. We enjoyed hosting Darrel at the meeting and hope he and Di take plenty of photos and stories of a great holiday back to Dowerin to encourage family and friends to visit.

Congratulations to our fabulous DCEO on achieving a 10 year milestone as a CPA. This is a wonderful achievement and we are all so proud of you.

These are just a few items I thought would be of interest to our community. Please contact me to discuss these or any other Shire matters.

Andrea Selvey
Chief Executive Officer