Landslide Recovery, encompassing Flying Fish Cove and Murray Road (Drumsite)

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Number: D44/2017

Date: 28 August 2017

Relevant: Christmas Island

Topic: Landslide Recovery, encompassing Flying Fish Cove and Murray Road (Drumsite)

Recovery Efforts Ongoing

Following a second landslide event in June 2017, access to Tai Jin House/ Smith Point was restricted to critical infrastructure users due to the damaged rockfall fence in the former ‘Boat Club’ location. Recovery efforts to reinstate the fence are ongoing, with preliminary clearance work underway. Due to the extent of debris present and the complexity of the project a collaborative effort was required to develop a safe method for the work, which included input from the Indian Ocean Territories Administration (IOTA), the contractor (Acker), a geotechnical advisor and a structural engineer.

The initial clearance work has enabled an assessment of damage to occur, with significant parts required from the mainland in order to reinstate the fence. These parts are being ordered to arrive on the next ship. Once on island, Acker will complete the reinstatement works and IOTA will seek structural engineering sign off. We estimate a completion date of 30 November 2017. Due to the increased risk to life below the damaged fence area, public access will not be granted until this work is complete.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has also allocated funds to complete a comprehensive landslide risk assessment and management project over the short to medium term. The project will quantify landslide risk and determine any further planning or investments required to minimize the impact and risk associated with landslides. This project has commenced, with an advertisement active on AusTender seeking appropriate experts for the work. Community consultation sessions will be held throughout this project, ensuring Kampong residents, Flying Fish Cove users and facility stakeholders are involved in the process.

Murray Road remains closed at Drumsite, under the order of the Shire of Christmas Island. Permanent engineering solutions for the stabilization of the C2 conveyor belt have been completed by Phosphate Resources Limited (PRL), and the Department's geotechnical advisor has provided an updated risk assessment on the long term stability of Murray Road, rating the risk as tolerable. Both these reports are under the Shire’s consideration at present. Concurrently, in March 2017 the Department engaged GHD to conduct an analysis of storm water management along Murray Road to determine any correlation with landslide and erosion events. GHD is now in the process of undertaking modelling work to determine the effectiveness of proposed engineering solutions for storm water management. The Department is working closely with the Shire and PRL to implement the storm water recommendations, finalise stability work on C2 and reopen Murray Road as soon as possible.

A further update will be provided once a timeline for the implementation of these recommendations and engineering solutions has been agreed.

Any questions relating to the long term recovery from the Landslides should be directed to the IOTA Emergency Management Officer, Jessica Sullivan, via

Leon Mills