Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

The Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a local government area which manages local affairs on the Australian external territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands (12°07′S 96°54′E; post code: 6799). The island is grouped with Western Australia but is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities[2] and an Administrator.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council
Seats7
Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Australia
Location of the coast of Western Australia
Population593 (LGA 2021)[1]
Area14.1 km2 (5.4 sq mi)
MayorAindil Minkom (shire president)
Council seatHome Island
RegionExternal territory of Australia
Federal division(s)Lingiari
WebsiteShire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

The Shire covers an area of 14.1 km2 (5.4 sq mi) in the Indian Ocean, about 2,770 km (1,720 mi) north-west of Perth and 1,000 km (620 mi) south-west of Java in Indonesia. The current shire president is Aindil Minkom, who was elected in October 2019.

History

From the 19th century onwards, the islands were owned by the Clunies-Ross family, and in 1886 were granted to them in perpetuity by Queen Victoria. On 23 November 1955 the islands were transferred to Australian control under the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955. In 1978, Australia entered a form of purchase of the islands with the Clunies-Ross family, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Council came into existence in July 1979 as a representative of the Cocos Malay community.

Administration

The Administrator is Natasha Griggs, who was appointed on 5th October 2017[3] and is also the Administrator of Christmas Island. These two Territories comprise Australia's Indian Ocean Territories. The Australian Government provides Commonwealth-level government services through the Indian Ocean Territories Administration and the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. As per the Federal Government's Territories Law Reform Act 1992, which came into force on 1 July 1992, Western Australian laws are applied to the Cocos Islands, "so far as they are capable of applying in the Territory";[4] non-application or partial application of such laws is at the discretion of the federal government. The Act also gives Western Australian courts judicial power over the islands. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands remain constitutionally distinct from Western Australia, however; the power of the state to legislate for the territory is a power delegated by the federal government. The kind of services typically provided by a state government elsewhere in Australia are provided by departments of the Western Australian Government, and by contractors, with the costs met by the federal government.

There also exists a unicameral Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council with seven seats. A full-term lasts four years, though elections are held every two years; approximately half the members retire each two years, alternating elections of three and four members for a total of seven. The first elections to the Shire Council, established by ordinance, were held in May 1993. The shire has seven councillors and no wards.

The Shire's offices are at Jalan Bunga Kangkong, Home Island.

Federally, Cocos (Keeling) Islanders form the electorate of Lingiari with Christmas Island and outback Northern Territory.

Members

There are currently six council members, with one seat being vacant.[5]

Name Office Term
Aindil Minkom Shire President 2021-2025
Seri Wati Iku Deputy Shire President 2019-2023
Ayesha Young Councillor 2021-2025
Tony Lacy Councillor 2021-2025
Helen Liu Councillor 2021-2025
Signa Knight Councillor October 2023

See also

  • List of leaders of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Cocos Islands (Local Government Area)". Australian Census 2021 QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2022. 
  2. "Territories of Australia". Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. 30 January 2008. Retrieved 7 December 2018. The Australian Government, through the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities administers the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, the Jervis Bay Territory and Norfolk Island. The department also manages the Government's interests in the Australian Capital Territory, and the Northern Territory.
  3. "Administrators Role". Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  4. Territories Law Reform Act 1992. Comlaw.gov.au. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  5. https://shire.cc/en/your-council/meet-the-council.html
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