City extends lease of historic Cossack
The historic Cossack townsite has been leased to the City of Karratha for another three years under a contract extension, but a more permanent arrangement for the land remains up in the air.
After negotiations with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, the City of Karratha was awarded a threeyear lease extension for management of Cossack in late June, continuing $120,000 in funding a year, with an extra $69,000 to reflect its modern value.
Councillors formally executed the agreement at a council meeting last Monday.
The agreement comes after the City’s previous 21-year lease over the townsite on similar terms expired on June 30 this year.
However, the council’s longterm plan is to continue negotiations and reach a more permanent, longer-term arrangement over the land at Cossack, preferably through a transfer of the freehold title.
Councillor Grant Cucel said he was keen to make sure the City was pushing ahead with a more permanent solution from the department because securing agreements over the historic townsite had been an “ongoing saga”.
A Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage spokeswoman said they were working with the City to progress longerterm land and heritage plans.
“The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the City of Karratha have recently agreed to extend the 21-year Cossack lease issued in 1996 for a further three years,” she said.
In May, local Roebourne-based not-for-profit organisation, the Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd, won a City contract to take over activation, promotion and marketing of the site.
NYFL chief executive Bruce Jorgensen said they would prefer a longer-term land tenure arrangement for the significant activation plans being developing for the site, which include a busy events calendar, guided tours, artist-in-residence programs and the establishment of a Living Heritage Village.
Former Whim Creek manager Bob Bongiorno is due to become the new NYFL Cossack site manager, while two new NYFL caretakers arrived at the site last Monday.