Norfolk Island Regional Council

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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Documents on Public Exhibition

Friday, October 21, 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  
 
21 October 2016 

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Rates Notices

Friday, October 21, 2016


Rates notices for this financial year were issued by the Norfolk Island Regional Council at the end of this week. 
 
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  
 
21 October 2016 

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Keeping the Community Informed

Friday, October 21, 2016


MAYOR VISITS WOOLLAHRA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL 

‘Whilst my time off Island last week was for personal business, I did take the opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Woollahra Municipal Council Cr Toni Zeltzer, the General Manager Mr Gary James and Councillors,’ Mayor Adams said, ‘Woollahra Municipal Council is just up the road from Rose Bay where I was staying with friends.  Their Council which has 15 Councillors meets twice a month on a Monday at 8.00pm.  I was very warmly received by the Mayor who gave the Norfolk Island Regional Council formal recognition during their Council meeting. It was interesting to observe their meeting procedures which are very similar to ours though most of the evening’s business was debating planning issues.’ 
 
CURBING AND SEALING OF TAYLORS ROAD
 ‘I responded on radio this week to questions asked of me about the works on Taylors Road and I hope the following is helpful though it does not answer the question “why are we only curbing the low side of the road,”’  Mayor Adams said.  
 
The Commonwealth provided $500,000 grant funding for – a) the footpath from Channers Corner to Norfolk Village;  b) roadworks at Channers Corner to the cattle stop on Taylors Road, including concrete kerb/gutter and dish-drain; and  c) roadworks along Taylors Road from this cattle stop until the Commonwealth’s funds ran out which was expected to happen near the Colony Chinese Restaurant.   
 
A decision was taken to only concrete curb and gutter the road on the low side to collect runoff and channel it into the pit outside the Chinese Restaurant.  Funds have been provided in Council’s 2016/2017 Budget to complete resealing Taylors Road from the Chinese Restaurant to, and including, Norfolk Village.  Again the project will include curbing on the low side of Taylors Road. 
 
MANAGEMENT PLANS FOR COMMONWEALTH MARINE RESERVES 
At its October Council Meeting this week Council agreed a submission be sent in the following terms: 
 
That Council provides a submission outlining the following: 
 
(1)  Currently Norfolk Island fishers can legally collect (in pots and nets) spanner crabs etc in waters surrounding Norfolk Island up to the limits of the 40nm x 67nm ‘box'. Rezoning the majority of ‘the box’ from MUZ (Multiple Use Zone) to HPZ (Habitat Protection Zone) will prevent Norfolk Island Fishermen from participating in traditional fishing activities; including using pots and nets to collect crabs outside of the 10 kms x 10km MUZ.  We ask that the current traditional fishing activities remain legal in waters surrounding Norfolk Island up to the limits of the 40nm x 67nm ‘box'. 
 
(2) Council is in agreement with the northern part of the reserve maintaining the marine national park zone. (3) Council is in agreement with the southern part of the reserve introducing a new marine national park zone which provides protection over the Vening-Meinsez Fracture Zone. (4) That the recommendation to rezone a large part of Norfolk Islands ‘box’ from MUZ to HPZ and to create a small 10km x 10 km MUZ zone around Norfolk Island be amended to be the same size as our current ‘box'. For clarity, the recommendation would need to be amended to read ‘Change the MUZ to HPZ except for an area of 40nm X 67nm centred around Norfolk Island’. 
 
In summary: In 2012 all Norfolk Island waters with the Norfolk Island box (The Box) were zoned multiple use.  The current proposal recommended by the Review Panel is that 98.5% of the area inside The Box is to be rezoned a habitat protection zone.  This move is creating wide spread confusion in the community and is not supported by the Norfolk Island Regional Council. The confusion is easily removed by leaving the area inside The Box zoned as a multiple use zone. 
 
BUSINESS CASE TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
In relation to Council’s deliberations on the future of Norfolk Island’s Telecommunications, as discussed in the Confidential part of the Ordinary Council meeting, Council resolved the following: 
 
‘In acknowledgement that – 
 
1) Quality telecommunications are imperative to Norfolk Island’s future prosperity especially as a tourism destination;  2) Norfolk Telecom is currently the principle provider of fixed-line ADSL; PSTN; 2G voice and text mobile services on the Island; and  3) The commercial viability of Norfolk Telecom currently is in serious doubt – 
 
in order to improve the commercial viability of Norfolk Telecom going forward Council be provided as a matter of urgency with a business case: 
 
A) To support an application being made to the Commonwealth -   (i) For grant funding to upgrade the mobile network to 4G which in 2014 was estimated to cost $3.7 million; and  (ii) For grant funding to update the fixed voice system with fixed wireless units with the 4G system at an estimated cost of $640,000;  B)  To support Norfolk Telecom becoming a Retail Service Provider (RSP) for nbn services as recommended by Senator the Hon Fiona Nash in her letter to Cr Adams of 21 September 2016 thereby allowing Norfolk Telecom to compete with other RSPs to provide nbn services on Norfolk Island as well as to expand its potential market to other parts of regional Australia;  C) To support a further application being made to the Commonwealth for grant funding to enable fibre optic connectivity; and D) If the aforementioned are not successful then Council commence discussions with the Minister for Regional Communications, Senator the Honourable Fiona Nash, with the aim of extending the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) to Norfolk Island by 30 June 2017. 
 
General Manager Norfolk Island Regional Council  Quality Row, Kingston, Norfolk Island 2899 telephone: +6723 22001; email: regionalcouncil@nirc.gov.nf  
 
‘Detail of other matters dealt with at the meeting of Council this week can be accessed at http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/NIRC_Council_Meetings/Minutes,’ the Mayor said. 
 

Cr Robin Adams Mayor 
 
21 October 2016 

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Child and Family Wellbeing - Why does Norfolk Island Need a Child Welfare Officer?

Friday, October 21, 2016


Without doubt, children are the most precious resource to our community. They are our future, helping to continue our important cultural heritage and bringing fresh new ideas for solving old problems.  Raising our children in a safe and nurturing community is a strong value underpinning Norfolk Island life – we know that it takes a village to raise the child, and we know that everyone looks out for the kids. So it may seem puzzling to some people why the island ‘needs’ a Child Welfare Officer, so I’d like to give you a few answers. 


Most governments around the world have laws in place for the protection of children.  Norfolk Island has had its own Child Welfare Act since 2009 (the Act). This legislation provides a framework for promoting the care, protection and wellbeing of children and young people living on or visiting the island.  

The Act recognises that parents and families have core responsibility for providing children and young people with a safe and nurturing environment, and that community and government agencies must work together to help parents and families foster their children’s health, education, developmental needs, spirituality, self-respect, self-reliance and dignity. Our core aim is to keep children safe and protect them from abuse and neglect.  

To help administer the Act, the position of Child Welfare Officer (CWO) was established in 2010. The role of this person is to: 
 support and help families caring for their children and young people; 
 provide the community with information about children’s developmental needs; 
 set up community programs to help prevent abuse or neglect of children, or support children in cases where abuse or neglect could be (or is) a risk; 
 investigate and manage cases where abuse or neglect has been reported including supporting those who are legally bound to report suspected abuse or neglect (e.g. teachers, nurses, doctors); 
 provide ongoing support to people who have left the Child Welfare Officer’s care. 
 
These responsibilities fall into two broad groups – responding to the needs of children and families when things go wrong and children are at risk, as well as strengthening family resilience so our community is raising healthy, well-functioning children. 
 
What’s changed since 1st July? 
Put simply, not much yet. The Norfolk Island Child Welfare Act 2009 has not been repealed and remains the primary Child Welfare law for Norfolk Island.   
Under the current legislation, the CWO still has legal responsibility for protecting the safety, welfare and well-being of Norfolk Island’s children, and for promoting the capacity of the community to raise healthy children in a safe environment. 

The CWO still has responsibility to investigate reports or suspected abuse or neglect, and this includes making sure that people who have a legal obligation to report suspected abuse (such as teachers, doctors and nurses) are well informed about the regulations and procedures they must follow, such as the correct forms to use to report concerns. Members of the public can also report concerns about children at risk direct to the CWO. 
 
Child Welfare Officer Mobile: 51115 
 
21 October 2016 
 
The Child Welfare Office is a state level function being delivered through the Norfolk Island Regional Council, Lotta Jackson, General Manager. 

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Appointment of New Child Welfare Officer

Friday, October 21, 2016


The Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) is pleased to announce the recent commencement of Dr Kate Lemerle to the position of Child Welfare Officer. Kate will be in the role on a sixmonth contract to oversee services for children and families, and can be contacted directly on mobile 51115. 


Kate has recently moved from Brisbane to Norfolk Island after visiting regularly over the past few years. She is a Psychologist by training and has previously worked with autistic children and their families, set up support services in a women’s refuge to help kids adjust to family breakdown, and designed a school-based program to strengthen resilience in children from refugee backgrounds. Kate has also worked in community development roles, including setting up Healthy Cities in south west NSW and evaluating the Health Promoting Schools program for her doctoral research.  

‘One of my first goals is making it easier for the community to seek help when it’s needed’, Kate said, ’I’d like to hear from the community to find out what children, young people and families think could be done to make Norfolk Island the best place in the world for kids. Soon, we’ll hold public meetings where the community can share their ideas as well as finding out from the children what they think will help them grow into well-functioning adults. In addition, I’ll be offering workshops to help the community understand the steps to take for managing situations where children’s wellbeing is at risk’. 

Kate can be contacted directly on 51115 or email kate.lemerle@nirc.gov.nf to book an appointment to meet and share ideas or suggestions. 

Lotta Jackson
General Manager 

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Council Reminders

Friday, October 14, 2016


COMMUNITY DONATIONS 
 
The General Manager, Ms Lotta Jackson, would like to remind the community that an expression of interest is open calling for applications from local voluntary/community organisations to be provided with a community donation this financial year.  Council has allocated $5,000 towards this community donations program.  Expressions of interest must be received no later than 4:00pm Friday, 4 November 2016. 
 
For further information the Norfolk Island Government Gazette can be viewed at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf or in hard copy at Customer Care in the Telecom Building or the Library. 
 
RAWSON HALL BOOKINGS 
 
Bookings for Rawson Hall can now be made through the Customer Care Team, located in the Telecom Building, 9 New Cascade Road.  The form is available at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf under ‘forms’.  The form and payment can be lodged at Customer Care in person or by emailing customercare@nirc.gov.nf, any enquiries please call 0100. 

Lotta Jackson
General Manager  

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Council Meeting - 19th October

Friday, October 14, 2016


An Ordinary Council Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 19 October at 2:00pm in the Council Chambers at the Bicentennial Complex.   
 
There is a large volume of business to be addressed at the meeting, some of the main points of business include Committee Membership for the Public Reserves, Rock Feed Source, Tourism and Waste Management Advisory Committees; the draft Delivery Program 20162020; and Heritage and Culture Advisory Committee. 
 
‘It is a legal requirement for Council to adopt a Delivery Program.  The Delivery Program details the targets that the Councillors’ commit to achieve in their four year term of office.  The targets in the Delivery Program align with the Community Strategic Plan 2016 – 2026 and both documents form part of the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework’, Ms Lotta Jackson said.   
 
The full agenda for this meeting, and minutes of previous meetings can be viewed at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf or in hard copy at Customer Care in the Telecom Building or the Library. 
 
Lotta Jackson
General Manager  

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