Message from the General Manager
This is the fourth Operational Plan developed for the Norfolk Island Regional Council, and therefore the last year of the Delivery Program, which is the project plan that was developed by the Councillors for their term in Council.
The key projects that were planned for in the first year, and tendered for in the second year, progressed and/or executed in the third year and completed or near completion in the fourth year are:
Waste – project to ensure the discontinuation of burning and dumping of waste into the sea – completed with the installation of the aerated composting system and the car baler.
Airport – apron, taxiway and runway rehabilitation – to be completed in June 2020
Sewer treatment – project plan completed, funding sourced, and tenders sought
Telecommunication – future proofing telecommunication in place (4G project)
Electricity – progress the Energy Solution project – generator and battery in place as first step to reduce diesel and store solar energy.
Each of these government business areas are delivered on the premise of “fee for services” and they have been budgeted to break even, or with the aim of a surplus budget (any surplus will in the future pay for the upgrade of related assets).
The Waste Management budget was the most challenging to balance due to the cost of baling and shipping waste off the island. Therefore, the deficit in this fund had to be offset by savings in other areas, supported by the general fund that is offset by the financial assistance grant.
Council was successful in obtaining a 50 per cent contribution to the Tourism Marketing fund with $385,320 from the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, which means that Council can continue to deliver Tourism Marketing at the same levels as the previous year. Tourism is the backbone of the Island’s economy and Council remains committed to supporting the industry. Air Chathams will commence regular transport services (RPT) from September 2019.
The social and environmental areas of the Operational Plan will address advocacy roles relating to education, training, health, and well-being; the implementation of key actions in the of the Environment Strategy, the focus on a water strategy, and pests and noxious weed eradication. Heritage and Culture features in its own section, while Governance and Leadership includes the continuation of a transparent and accountable local government.
The activities in this Operational Plan for 2019–2020 have a strong focus on the environment, with specific projects derived from the Environmental Strategic Plan, key priorities for year one (1).
Further, the Environment Assessment research project, funded by DIRDC and conducted by the University of Newcastle, is critical research for environmental sustainability on Norfolk Island. This research will underpin the development of a Population Policy.
In summary, Council continues to focus on the objectives in the Community Strategic Plan with the aim to be the ‘Best Small Island in the World’.
To view the full Operational Plan 2019-2020 please visit http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/your-council/council-documents/plans