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Territories Asset Management

The total book value of the Departments assets located in the Non Self-Governing Territories of Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Jervis Bay Territory is around $184.4 million. Of these assets $165.6 million are located in the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. There are also administered assets on Norfolk Island with a value of $13.4 million.

In 2000 the Territories and Regional Support Division finalised a 5-year strategic asset management plan as part of the overall Departmental asset management planning process. The planning process for the Indian Ocean Territories was based around the recommendations of the 1999 Commonwealth Grants Commission Report on the level of expenditure required to provide the Indian Ocean Territories with infrastructure that is aligned with that in comparable communities on the mainland. During 200102 around $23.3 million was spent on capital works in the Indian Ocean Territories, in line with the Commonwealth Grants Commissions recommendations. It also includes expenditures on a programme of minor capital works, repairs and maintenance.

An internal review was commenced to assess the relative priority of projects recommended by the Grants Commission and asset needs that have emerged since the Grants Commission investigation. The outcome of this review will inform the asset management plans for future years.

On Norfolk Island, DOTARS made a contribution of $0.5 million to the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area Management Board. The Board, of which DOTARS is a member, oversees the ongoing restoration of items of heritage significance in the Historic Area. An ongoing programme of restoration for Norfolk Island Government House, the residence of the Administrator, was also funded.

In line with overall Commonwealth Government Policy, the Division also commenced a programme to identify and divest assets not required to meet the Departments core function of providing State type services to the Indian Ocean Territories. Successful auctions of surplus housing were undertaken on Christmas Island and on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Service provision models will also be progressively reviewed to improve asset management forward planning.

Christmas Island

A number of major projects were undertaken on Christmas Island. The Rockfall Risk Reduction Strategy was largely completed as was the construction of public housing units in the Kampong. A major upgrading of port facilities has been commenced to better allow for the handling of increased freight flows that is resulting from developments on the island. The first stage of upgrading to the power distribution network was commenced to improve the integrity of the Island power supply. A major project to replace demountable buildings and construct an Assembly Hall at the school was also commenced. Essential restoration and repairs to Government (Buck) House were commenced to support the existing heritage protection. Management of the refurbished facility will be transferred to the Shire of Christmas Island to enable the building to be used for community purposes.

Preliminary design and pre-construction work was undertaken on projects to improve common use infrastructure on the Island, following decisions to proceed with construction of the Asia Pacific Space Centre and an Immigration Reception and Processing Centre (IRPC) on Christmas Island. Construction of extensions to the airport runway, an additional port to be utilised when Flying Fish Cove is closed during the swell season, and an upgrade of Link Road are all expected to
commence in the 2002-03 financial year. In excess of $68 million is budgeted for these projects. Contracts for the construction of housing for the first stage of the IRPC were let in April 2002 and construction was well advanced by the end of the financial year. While construction of the housing has been managed by this Department, these assets will be transferred to the Department of Immigration Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs on completion.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Major projects on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands include power reticulation works, waste water and sewerage treatment plants for Home and West Islands and the continuation of the sea wall on West Island to protect the foreshore and residential buildings. Navigation works in the Lagoon were also undertaken to improve shipping safety.

Environmental and feasibility studies have been completed on the Rumah Baru freight and passenger facility on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. This project will provide a safe, efficient all-weather port and offloading facility to the community. The project was considered by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works during 2001-02 and construction funding has been allocated for 2002-03.

Jervis Bay Territory

A programme of minor capital works, repairs and maintenance was continued on assets in the Jervis Bay Territory.