NOVEMBER COUNCIL MEETING: At the Council meeting on 6 November, Council set the meeting schedule for meetings in 2020. A reminder that Council meetings are open to the public, so we warmly invite community members to attend to see your Council at work. Agendas and minutes of meetings are also available on the Shire’s website so you can easily follow Council decision-making.
Also at the Council meeting on 6 November, Mr C Bloomfield JP conducted the swearing in of Councillor-elect Mr Mazlan Hamiril. Mazlan Hamiril was an apology at the Special Meeting Council held on the 23 October 2019 and as such was swore sworn in at November Council meeting.
Congratulations Cr Mazlan Hamiril and best wishes in your role.
DIRECTION ISLAND RESPORT PROPOSAL – UPDATE: As most of our residents would know the Shire was approached by Cocos Boronia Resort (CBR) early in the year to commence preliminary discussions on leasing land on Direction Island for the purpose of building a world class, luxury eco-resort. Concept Plans and other supporting documents were included in the agenda for the Council meeting in January 2019 and are available on the Shire’s website at www.shire.cc
The Shire commenced community and stakeholder engagement via public submissions and a Community Reference Group. In April 2019 Council, acting in their capacity as the Trustee, received the report on the outcomes from the engagement. That report is available at www.shire.cc
Based on the recommendations from the public submissions and the Community Reference Group, the Shire commenced negotiations with CBR. Those negotiations have been informed by the community and stakeholder input and have included consideration of all items of due diligence that would be required for social, economic and environmental sustainability, business planning and financial modelling.
The Shire has also received valuation on the land area (18.00711 hectares) from an independent valuer which places the recommended value at $225,000 per annum lease fee.
CBR has agreed to this valuation and offered the following:
· Pre-construction stage (noting that Direction Island would not be disturbed in anyway during this period): $100,000;
· Construction stage - $10,000 per month;
· Post construction stage - $225,000 per annum / $18,750 per month; plus a per person / per night levy once occupancy reaches a target level to go into a community program fund.
Note: The requested lease area is 18.00711 hectares and excludes everything south of the existing jetty. The actual footprint of the proposed resort is 7.4 hectares.
The lease term proposed by the Council is 40 years + 20 + 20.
The Shire is aiming to put the proposal formally to Council in their capacity as Trustee at the Council Meeting on 4 December 2019 seeking approval from the Trustee to proceed with giving public notice of the proposal and to seek stakeholder and public submissions; noting that the Trust Deed requires the Trustee to get Commonwealth sanction on the lease.
CBR representatives are also proposing to be on Cocos from 4 to 6 December to engage with the Community on the proposal. Please look out for information about opportunities to meet with CBR representatives during this time.
For further information please contact the CEO on 9162 6649.
CIVIL WORKS AT SOUTH END: Contractors working for the Department of Defence are carrying out some exploratory digging for the project in the South End. Digging will occur at various points along the service track that runs parallel to the main South End Road, from the Twist memorial to the Defense facility.
While access to the South End remains open, please note that there is no public access to the service track during this period as there are holes and trenches open along the service track and workers and machinery will be active in the area. Please observe barricades and signage at access points along the service track.
Works are likely to take until at least the end of December.
DWER INSPECTION OF LICENCES SITES: Officers from the Department of Water and the Environment were on Cocos last week to assess our licensed sites (waste transfer stations etc.) Overall, they were very complimentary of the works that have been undertaken and the standard of operation. The few areas identified for improvement have already been reviewed and works commencing. Well done to Ian and the Waste Management teams on Home Island and West Island.
While on the subject of waste management, we are very excited to advise that we have installed two cardboard compactors at our waste transfer stations; one in the recycle station on West Island and the other at the recycle station on Home Island. The cardboard compactor on Home Island has been in operation for several months where we are averaging four x 50kg bales each week.
These bales are introduced into the incinerator prior to the initial start which assists the incinerator to reach operating temperature a lot quicker. This has resulted in the fuel consumption being reduced by about 50% or 1000 liters each week.
WE NEED YOUR HELP - YOU can help to further reduce the fuel consumption. Please take any unwanted cardboard boxes to the transfer station and place them in the window openings of the recycling sheds- clearly marked Cardboard Recycling. With your help we can reduce the amount of waste that is burnt in the open and reduce the amount of diesel used in the Incinerators.
If you want to know more about this exciting initiative or our any of our recycling, please contact Ian at the Shire.
AUDIT 2018/19: Jo and the Finance team also deserve a huge congratulations. The Shire’s external auditors were also on Cocos last week to undertake the 2018/19 audit. They acknowledged the quality of work and standards and made only one recommendation for improvement which has already been actioned.
ACTING CEO AND ALL THE BEST FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON: As many people would have heard, Neale and I are off on a big travel adventure so, as this will be my last Atoll article for 2019, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and safe festive season. Thank you to everyone for your strong support of your Shire. Thank you also to the incredibly hard working and positive team, Councillors and staff, with whom I have the pleasure of working. We think we have had a very productive and positive year and we will be working hard to ensure 2020 is just as positive. Jo will be Acting CEO while I am away so please look after Jo as it is going to be a busy time for her. Bye for now.
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