I am very pleased to be back at work after several weeks away due to illness. I am busy catching up on activities at the site, and am very grateful to the Council's Team Leader KAVHA, Mike Johnston, and the KAVHA Works Team for keeping things moving along in my absence.
Each year, Mike and I jointly review repair and maintenance issues across the site and identify and prioritise works required over the coming year. Over the past few months the Works Team has been continuing to work through the tasks for this year at buildings across the site, including the REO Stables (toilets), Surgeon's Quarters (Lions Club), New Military Barracks, Quality Row houses and Government House.
Of course, unforeseen issues will always arise and it remains an ongoing challenge to keep up with the work required to maintain KAVHA's historic structures in the harsh maritime environment. While priority is given to works to prevent the deterioration of building fabric, such as roofing, weather sealing, and maintenance of exterior joinery, a host of other work is needed, including internal carpentry, plastering and painting, and caring for the extensive grounds and gardens.
Under our Capital Works Program, work is currently underway to repair and strengthen the New Military Barracks Officers' Mess verandah so that it can be safely accessed for repairs and ongoing maintenance of the building. Reconstruction and resurfacing of Cemetery Road is also progressing and we expect work to commence soon on upgrading the public amenities at Slaughter Bay, including ensuring that disability access meets current standards. Having relocated the Museum Library to the Research Centre at No 9 Quality Row, we hope to begin work to prepare the Settlement Guard House for use as an interpretive space to help tell the fascinating story of KAVHA's history to its many visitors.
Consultants GML Heritage and Context are currently conducting two important projects for KAVHA—the development of a Cultural Landscape Management Plan and a Workplace Health and Safety Scoping Study. A Cultural Landscape Management Plan will provide a valuable tool to guide the future management of KAVHA to conserve its significant heritage values, improve the experiences for visitors, and ensure that KAVHA remains an integral part of the local community. On a practical level, it will include strategies for the management of priority issues such as vehicle and pedestrian access, livestock, vegetation, site drainage and water quality. A draft plan is expected to be delivered by the end of this financial year. The plan will then be made available for public review and comment prior to finalisation.
A GML Heritage and Context team will be on island this coming week to review workplace and public safety issues at KAVHA with a view to identifying possible solutions that will improve public safety and accessibility to KAVHA's buildings and ruins, while preserving KAVHA's unique character and protecting its heritage values.
The project team will be particularly interested in options and innovations that can facilitate site interpretation and improved visitor experiences, while also addressing priority hazards. They will be meeting with representatives of the Norfolk Island Museum, KAVHA Works Crew, Norfolk Island Regional Council and KAVHA Advisory Committee.
We are very grateful to all the community members that have willingly shared their knowledge and ideas about KAVHA, and continue to contribute insights with GML Heritage and Context during their consultations.
I am always keen to have a chat and hear suggestions or comments from people in the community about the management of KAVHA. If you have any ideas or comments that you would like to offer about how things can be done better, please don't hesitate to contact me directly by email at Brian.Prince@infrastructure.gov.au or give me a call at the office on 23115.
My best regards to everyone.
Brian Prince, Commonwealth Heritage Manager
28 April 2018