BUILDING PROJECT OFFICER: We are delighted to welcome Bulka Raptikan to the team as the Building Project Officer. Bulka has commenced work on a project plan for the construction of a house on Home Island. Bulka will be working with the Housing Reference Group to finalise a design within the budget we have for this project. 


We know Bulka has a reputation as a wonderful builder, so we know we that this project is in very capable hands.

Two long standing employees have advised of their retirement dates. Badlu Feyrel (our Carpenter) and Manija Pazan (our Plumber) are both retiring in April. Both Badlu and Manija have been exceptional members of our team and have made sure our buildings have been maintained to a high standard. We will miss them, but we wish them well in their retirement. We will acknowledge their contributions more thoroughly in the coming weeks.
 
RUNWAY UPGRADE PROJECT: The Project Director for the Runway Upgrade Project, Greg Flanagan, is planning to visit Cocos in the near future with representatives from the successful tenderer, Fulton Hogan. The primary purpose for Mr Flanagan’s visit is to bring the local community up to date, introduce Fulton Hogan’s key people and answer any questions before teams start arriving to conduct site sampling and geo-tech investigations which will commence as soon as Fulton Hogan can arrange. Mr Flanagan has advised that tenderers commented on how valuable they found the Cocos CV and his view that the effort invested in the CV has certainly paid dividends. 
We will be discussing prospective road upgrade works with Mr Flanagan and the representatives from Fulton Hogan.
 
FEBRUARY COUNCIL MEETING: The Ordinary Meeting of Council will be held on 26 February at 4pm at the CRC Conference Room on West Island. Members of the community are welcome to come along to observe the decision-making process. The Shire’s meeting procedures local law also provides an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions at Council meetings. At the February meeting Council will be considering several Development Applications, the Mid Year Budget Review and the annual review of the Policy Manual. The February meeting will also commence a change to the way in which Land Trust matters are dealt with. On advice from the Australian Government Solicitor, the business of Council acting in its capacity as Trustee will be dealt with in a separate part of the agenda to further strengthen our governance of the Land Trusts. Anyone wanting to know more about these items are welcome to contact me.  The agenda for the Council meeting will be on the Shire website as of Friday 21 February.

CEMETERY REGISTER: Shak Keegan has been doing an great job in creating our first cemetery register. Despite many of the graves being unmarked, Shak has identified each lot and recorded information about the deceased person where any information is available. We have approached IOGTA and PIPC to partner with the Shire to make a headstone/plaque for each lot and a fitting and final tribute to people buried here while fulfilling our  obligations to maintain a cemetery register. Thank you to Cree Haig for assisting with this project.

WORKS UPDATE: The play equipment at Trannies has now been completed and is open for all to enjoy. The Shire’s work crew have done an excellent job and it looks fantastic.
Construction has commenced on the eco toilet at the West Island Yacht Club. This toilet will be positioned at the South/West corner and will eleviate the pressure on the existing toilet through the busy kite/windsurfing season.
The restoration works on the William Keeling Crescent sea wall has been re-scheduled and will start on Monday 24th. This project is expected to be completed on that same day. While this work is in progress there will be road closed signs at Qantas Close to the northern boundary of House 9. Vehicles exiting or entering Qantas Close will need to detour along Airforce Road. There will be Traffic management signage in place.

These are 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 any stage to discuss the details of the above-mentioned items or any other items of interest or concern.