Norfolk Island Regional Council

Keeping the Community Imformed - Stop Press!

Friday, November 04, 2016


Local screening of Norfolk Island Tourism’s new Destination Campaign Video


I am pleased to be able to advise that the Ray Martin video and the short story videos launched last Friday night are currently being shown nightly at 7 pm until mid-next week. I thank the owners of TVNI and radio announcer Ian (Spider) Webb for making the suggestion when we chatted on air this week; and for the Norfolk Tourism team making it happen so promptly.

Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act 2016 No 38

We talked last week about how NSW legislation has been applied or will be applied to Norfolk Island by the Commonwealth and I identified the four laws that have been applied so far. One of those laws is the NSW Local Government Act 1993 under which the Norfolk Island Regional Council operates. Once a NSW law has been applied to Norfolk Island an amendment made to that law from time to time by the NSW Parliament will automatically apply as a Commonwealth law to Norfolk Island unless the Commonwealth by a section 19A Ordinance provides otherwise.

Yesterday Council was advised of the making by the NSW Parliament of the Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act 2016 No. 38 which amends the NSW Local Government Act 1993. The Act commenced in part on 23 September 2016.

Norfolk Island does not have representation in the NSW Parliament and it is important that Norfolk Island be made aware in advance of laws being made by that Parliament which may be applied as Commonwealth law to our Island. Accordingly I will be writing to Senator the Hon. Fiona Nash proposing that as a courtesy, the Commonwealth provide the Norfolk Island Regional Council with copies of Bills being considered by the NSW Parliament that will potentially impact on the people of Norfolk Island. This will allow Council to undertake its advocacy role to the Commonwealth on behalf of the Norfolk Island community.

This week I will provide detail of changes made under the above Act to the expanded role of the mayor and the role of a councillor. Other changes will be provided in the coming weeks.

New Section 226 – Role of mayor

The role of the mayor is as follows:
(a) to be the leader of the council and a leader in the local community,
(b) to advance community cohesion and promote civic awareness,
(c) to be the principal member and spokesperson of the governing body,
including representing the views of the council as to its local priorities,
(d) to exercise, in cases of necessity, the policy-making functions of the
governing body of the council between meetings of the council,
(e) to preside at meetings of the council,
(f) to ensure that meetings of the council are conducted efficiently,
effectively and in accordance with this Act,
(g) to ensure the timely development and adoption of the strategic plans,
programs and policies of the council,
(h) to promote the effective and consistent implementation of the strategic
plans, programs and policies of the council,
(i) to promote partnerships between the council and key stakeholders,
(j) to advise, consult with and provide strategic direction to the general
manager in relation to the implementation of the strategic plans and
policies of the council,
(k) in conjunction with the general manager, to ensure adequate
opportunities and mechanisms for engagement between the council and
the local community,
(l) to carry out the civic and ceremonial functions of the mayoral office,
(m) to represent the council on regional organisations and at
inter-governmental forums at regional, State and Commonwealth level,
(n) in consultation with the councillors, to lead performance appraisals of
the general manager,
(o) to exercise any other functions of the council that the council
determines.

New Section 232 – the Role of a councillor
(1) The role of a councillor is as follows:
(a) to be an active and contributing member of the governing body,
(b) to make considered and well informed decisions as a member of the
governing body,
(c) to participate in the development of the integrated planning and
reporting framework,
(d) to represent the collective interests of residents, ratepayers and the local
community,
(e) to facilitate communication between the local community and the
governing body,
(f) to uphold and represent accurately the policies and decisions of the
governing body,
(g) to make all reasonable efforts to acquire and maintain the skills
necessary to perform the role of a councillor.
(2) A councillor is accountable to the local community for the performance of the
council.

Cr. Robin Adams
Mayor
3 November 2016

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Your Regional Council

Friday, November 04, 2016


The Norfolk Island Regional Council is now four months old and is well on the way to progress its goals under the integrated planning and reporting framework:  the Operational Plan 2016/17 which is in line with the draft Delivery Program 2016-2020 and the Community Strategic Plan 2016-2026.  A progress report on the activities during the first quarter of this newly formed Regional Council will be presented at the November Ordinary Council meeting to be held on Wednesday, 16 November at 2:00pm.

 

Please be informed that the Customer Care Team are available to the community to assist with all general enquiries about Council services including rates and billing queries, information regarding fees and charges, motor vehicle licensing and registration and Rawson Hall bookings to just name a few.  Customer Care can be emailed at customercare@nirc.gov.nf or free call 0100 to speak to a Customer Care Officer.

 

Formal submissions and other formal correspondence to Council need to be emailed to regionalcouncil@nirc.gov.nf or posted to the attention of the General Manager, PO Box 95, Norfolk Island, 2899. This is so that incoming mail can be registered and forwarded to the relevant actioning officer within the Regional Council, and because Council has an obligation to keep records of all documentation to ensure accountability and transparency.

 

It is important to note that the Mayor and Councillor's listen to community concerns, however they cannot address individual matters and these must be directed to Customer Care or formal submissions through the General Manager as detailed above.  For example, enquiries regarding specific rates notices and the like are in line with the framework of Local Government where the Mayor and Councillors’ roles are strategic and decision making, whereas the General Manager has the responsibility for the operational side of Council and for the implementation of Council’s decisions.

 

The Local Government Act 1993 (NSW)(NI) (the Act) details the role of a Councillor.  They have an important role to play including developing the Community Strategic Plan and other long term planning documents, representing the interests of all residents, ratepayers and the local community and facilitating communication between the local community and the governing body.

 

In addition to the role of a Councillor, the Act details the extra responsibilities of the Mayor, including being the principal member and spokesperson of the governing body, promoting partnerships between the Council and key stakeholders and carrying out civic and ceremonial functions of the Mayoral Office.

 

The Act also details the role of the General Manager which includes to conduct the day-today management of the Council in accordance with strategic plans, programs, strategies and policies of Council, to implement Council decisions without undue delay and ensuring Councillors and the Mayor are given timely information and advice and the administrative and professional support necessary to effectively discharge their functions.   

  

'I trust this information will assist the community.  The Mayor and Councillors’ roles include listening to their community to ensure they are representing the collective interests of the community, however their role does not include assisting with individual operational requirements, that is the role of the public service staff to do in an efficient and effective manner’, Ms Lotta Jackson said. 

 

Council welcomes feedback from the community on its service delivery, using either of the emails above, or by post addressed to the General Manager.

 

Lotta Jackson

General Manager

 

3 November 2016

Lotta Jackson

             

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Documents on Public Exhibition

Friday, November 04, 2016


The following document has been resolved by Council to be on Public Exhibition:



The document can be viewed at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf under the ‘Public Exhibition Documents’ link or at the Library.

For those wanting to make a public submission on this document please provide before 4.30pm on the date the public submissions close, shown in the table above. Submissions need to address the content of the document with clear references to specific items or sections within the document. Submissions can be made via email to regionalcouncil@nirc.gov.nf or posted to ‘Public Exhibition Submissions, Norfolk Island Regional Council, PO Box 95, Norfolk Island, 2899’.

Lotta Jackson
General Manager
24 October 2016

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Wholesale Fuel Prices

Friday, October 28, 2016


There has been a cost increase in the recent fuel shipment to the island as follows (per litre):


$0.03 cents – Unleaded petrol
$0.01 cents – Diesel
$0.09 cents – Jet-A1

In the recent past when supply prices fell the savings were fully passed on to the community through the reduction in the wholesale price.

These increases have been added to the wholesale price and the new wholesale prices are detailed below (per litre):

$1.40 – Unleaded petrol
$1.37 – Diesel
$1.59 – Jet-A1

These prices take effect from the first delivery after 30 October 2016. Electricity prices will not change with this increase.

Lotta Jackson
General Manager
24 October 2016

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Keeping the Community Informed - Application of NSW Legislation to Norfolk Island

Friday, October 28, 2016


The following NSW laws were applied to Norfolk Island on 1 July 2016 –


 Health Services Act 1997
 Interpretation Act 1987
 Local Government Act 1993
 Long Service Leave Act 1955

The application of other NSW laws was suspended for six months until 31 December 2016 to allow time for further negotiations and further consideration be given to transitional arrangements which will need to be in place before extensive application of NSW applied laws to Norfolk Island can occur. Mayor Adams wrote to Senator the Honourable Fiona Nash on 25 October 2016 in the following terms:

“Senator the Hon Fiona Nash MP
Minister for Regional Development
Minister for Local Government and Territories
Minister for Regional Communications
Deputy Leader of the Nationals
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Email to: Senator.Nash@aph.gov.au

Dear Senator,

APPLICATION OF NSW LEGISLATION TO NORFOLK ISLAND

Senator you will of course be aware that under the Norfolk Island Applied Laws Ordinance 2016 (Cth), section 4 – ‘Simplified outline of this Ordinance’ – ‘The laws of New South Wales, as in force in New South Wales from time to time, form part of the law of the Territory’ and that in this Ordinance ‘the term “applied laws” is used to refer to New South Wales laws in their character as laws of the Territory.’

Notwithstanding this, under Schedule 1 of the Ordinance –

‘the suspension of most applied NSW laws for six month is intended to allow time for further negotiations with the NSW government for its officers and employees to perform functions and provide services in relation to Norfolk Island. It would also enable further consideration to be given to transitional arrangements which will need to be in place before more extensive application of NSW applied laws to Norfolk Island can occur.’

Over the term of their appointment, the Norfolk Island Advisory Council made a number of formal recommendations to the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs and to the Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government Paul Fletcher. In their final report in June 2016 the Advisory Council made the following recommendation in respect of a ‘Modern Legal Framework for Norfolk Island’ –

‘The Advisory Council recommends the Australian Government establish a community consultation process to be applied for changes to laws on Norfolk Island which includes an impact assessment, a set timeframe for responding to the Minister and involves the Administrator and Regional Council’

I feel confident Senator that you will share Council’s concern that with 31 December 2016 fast approaching that a community consultation process and an impact assessment is yet to be undertaken. Additionally neither Council nor the Norfolk Island community has been advised whether it is intended that further transitional arrangements are to be put in place before there is more extensive application of NSW applied laws. These concerns have been relayed to the Administrator from time to time in our fortnightly meetings and I appreciate he shares Council’s concern.

Accordingly I write to propose to you Senator that a task force of Commonwealth officers and representatives from the Norfolk Island Council be established as a matter of priority to discuss what transitional arrangements are required and what impact assessment is to be undertaken to ensure the extension of NSW legislation, if it is to occur, that it is seamless and harmonises with the culture and way of life of the Norfolk Island people that has evolved over time independently of the culture and way of life of the people of New South Wales.

Yours sincerely,
Robin Adams
Mayor

Letter copied to the Administrator, Mr Gary Hardgrave; Mr Richard Hay Executive Officer; General Manager Ms Lotta Jackson, and Councillors

COUNCIL MATTERS

A reminder that the Delivery Program is out on public exhibition for 28 days and a copy is available at the Library and at Telecom as well as on Council’s website www.norfolkisland.gov.nf where you click on the link public exhibition documents. The Delivery Program sets out the actions the Councillors have committed to undertake in their four year term of office. These actions are consistent with the strategic objectives detailed in the Community Strategic Plan 2016-2026.

Robin Adams
Mayor
27 October 2016

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CHILD AND FAMILY WELLBEING - Raising Our Kids Together…as Community

Friday, October 28, 2016


Raising kids is far harder these days than ever before. Not only do we have to cope with all the risks from the internet, but many parents struggle with the job of parenting as well as holding down employment. I hear almost every day parents telling me how exhausted they are, and many talk about feeling as if they are in one long dark never-ending tunnel. It’s even harder if you’re going through a relationship breakdown and parents are hurt, angry, and frightened about the future.
All these life pressures mean that many parents simply don’t have the emotional resources to cope well with the normal demands of kids. In fact, I believe that every parent, at different times in their lives, comes unstuck when kids act out…or are simply kids being kids but at the wrong moment when the grown-ups just aren’t in the best headspace.


At these times, things can very quickly get out of hand. I’ve talked with many parents over the years who have shared with me those moments when they felt they were within a whisker of lashing out at their kids. Or worse still, those who have lost the plot for a moment and then found themselves up to their neck in trouble with the authorities. These are sad cases and even sadder, in every case, could have been prevented.

One way we can work towards preventing these tragic events is to step up, as a community, to the responsibility we all have to protecting our children and working together to raise secure, stable and resilient adults for tomorrow. Many cultures across the world have versions of the old African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”i. Communities through history have realised that children need the support and nurturing from a range of different adults to nourish their development. It’s only been since the 1800’s and the emergence of capitalism that the nuclear family (typically a family group consisting of a pair of adults and their children) came into being, and much more recently that single-parent families and blended families became common in our society. As capitalism grew, so did the need for young adults to move away from their village and extended family to seek work. This trend has increased steadily and now we commonly see young adults and their children even travelling overseas for jobs. With this, family support weakens and parents have to take on even more responsibility juggling parenthood with raising the kids without support.

The consequence is that ‘the state’ (governments and other agencies) has had to step in and take over providing support to families. This includes providing financial support as well as services such as child care and family welfare. But with this often comes guilt and suspicion from parents who may be struggling but feel that reaching out for support is a sign of weakness. In many of the tragic cases we read about in the news, we find that the victims refused to seek help, believing that they would be punished for doing so. They forget the old proverb mentioned above – it’s up to all of us, as a community, to raise the children!
So here are a couple of the take-home messages:

 If you are a parent and you’re struggling to cope, please reach out and tell someone and ask for help; it is an act of courage and self-respect – NOT a sign of weakness – to recognise you can’t do the job of raising healthy responsible adults alone. And most importantly, by asking for help you’re showing your kids that you’re a strong parent who values their needs above a bit of misplaced self-pride.

 If you are part of this community and you observe a parent who seems to be struggling, reach out with a caring heart; it’s an act of kindness to someone who may be on the brink, and it could just be something that comes at a critical moment that could save a life. It can be as simple as complimenting the parent on the job they’ve taken on, or offering to help in the moment.

 As a whole community, we need to talk more about working together to raise our children. We shouldn’t be waiting until there’s a major crisis before we act, it’s about working together to create a seamless network of community members, services and agencies with responsibility for growing our next generation into the best possible people they can be. And that’s up to all of us!

If you’re a parent and not coping as well as you could, or if you know a friend or neighbour is struggling, please encourage them to contact the Child Welfare Officer on 51115 or other agencies for support to arrange a meeting to talk about how we could work together to make things better.

Child Welfare Officer
Mobile: 51115
25 October 2016

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Documents on Public Exhibition

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


The following document has been resolved by Council to be on Public Exhibition: 
 

 
The document can be viewed at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf under the ‘Public Exhibition Documents’ link or at the Library. 
 
For those wanting to make a public submission on this document please provide before 4.30pm on the date the public submissions close, shown in the table above.  Submissions need to address the content of the document with clear references to specific items or sections within the document. Submissions can be made via email to regionalcouncil@nirc.gov.nf or posted to ‘Public Exhibition Submissions, Norfolk Island Regional Council, PO Box 95, Norfolk Island, 2899’. 

Lotta Jackson General Manager  
 
24 October 2016 

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Return of Waste Management Centre Opening Hours

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


The Waste Management Centre will return to its usual opening hours from 25 October 2016.  Therefore, the Centre will again be open from 7am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday. 


Council thanks the community for its patience whilst the Centre had to reduce hours due to operational requirements this month.   
 
Lotta Jackson General Manager  
 
24 October 2016 

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Rates Notices

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Rates notices for this financial year were issued by the Norfolk Island Regional Council by 21 October 2016.  Rates are levied on each parcel of land, otherwise known as a portion of land.  The only exception is land categorised as tourist accommodation, which is charged according to the number of registered units. 
 
Properties which are exempt from rates, such as those listed as KAHVA and Historical sites, will not receive an account, but will receive a letter outlining their property details and the fact that they have been classified as exempt. 
 
Rates notices are subject to a pensioner rebate. To enquire if you are eligible for this rebate contact the Customer Care Team, or download a form at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf.  
 
If you are having difficulties paying your rates, you may be eligible for a financial hardship (rate relief) application, including payment arrangements. A copy of this form can be downloaded from www.norfolkisland.gov.nf.  Payment arrangement enquiries can be made to the Finance Team on +6723 22001. 
 
For the information of the community, the back page of the rates notice is attached to this media release and provides information on how to pay your rates and how to make applications for rebates and special considerations. 
 
The community will recall that Council approved the Rating Model on 28 September 2016.  Administrative errors were identified within that model.  At the Council meeting on 19 October, Council adopted the correct Rating Model and that is also attached to this media release.  For full details on the administrative changes, please view the October meeting Agenda on Council’s website. 
 
If you have any general queries regarding your rates notice please contact the Customer Care Team on +6723 22244 or email customercare@nirc.gov.nf.  Hard copies of forms can be collected from the Customer Care Team. 
 
Lotta Jackson General Manager  
 
25 October 2016 



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Taylors Road update

Friday, October 21, 2016


 
The General Manager of the Norfolk Island Regional Council, Ms Lotta Jackson, would like to thank the community, business owners and visitors for their patience during the road works and temporary road closures on Taylors Road.  Ms Jackson would also like to thank the Commonwealth for the funds contributed to allow Council to undertake these works. 
 
The road is now sealed and is open for use by the community.  There is only a relatively short stretch of Taylors Road that remains to be upgraded – from outside Paw Paw’s Pump Shed to the village entrance.  There is money allocated in Council’s budget to complete these works this financial year. 
 
 
Lotta Jackson General Manager 
 
21 October 2016 

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