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Assistant Minister's first visit to Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Number: A67/2019

Relevant: Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Date: 16 September 2019

I look forward to welcoming Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Hon Nola Marino MP, on her first official visit to the beautiful Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI).

After visiting Christmas Island last month, the Assistant Minister will experience the full richness and diversity of our incredible Indian Ocean Territories when she visits our CKI communities on West and Home Islands for the first time.

During her visit, the Assistant Minister will meet with a wide range of community members including local women, young leaders, seniors, tourism operators and business owners. She will welcome CKI’s newest Australian citizen, visit local services including our health services and school, and view local infrastructure and community projects.

I would like to extend an invitation to all West and Home Island residents to join me in officially welcoming the Assistant Minister on Wednesday at a community reception at the Home Island Cyclone Shelter from 5.30 -7.30pm.

The Assistant Minister tells me she is also keen to meet with locals at the traditional Thursday afternoon Scroungers session on West Island from 3.30pm.

As we did on Christmas Island, I would like to invite residents to register their interest in attending a one-on-one (or small group) discussion with the Assistant Minister. These will be held on Home and West Islands as follows:

  • Wednesday, 25 September from 2.15pm to 3pm
    Cyclone Shelter, Home Island
  • Friday, 27 September from 9.20am to 10am
    Community Resource Centre, West Island

This will provide community members the opportunity to sit down and talk with Assistant Minister Marino about particular issues of importance. Please contact David Eizenberg in my office on (08) 9162-6767 or by email at david.eizenberg@infrastructure.gov.au to register your interest (by no later than Friday, 20 September).

The Assistant Minister is looking forward to viewing some of the community infrastructure projects made possible through the $500,000 provided to the Indian Ocean Territories Regional Development Organisation (IOTRDO) in the 2019-20 Federal Budget, including $200,000 for CKI. She will hear directly from you about the issues that are most important to you, and is committed to delivering your vision outlined in the Our Cocos (Keeling) Islands 2030 Strategic Plan.

The Assistant Minister was appointed to the Regional Development and Territories portfolio in May, and has been the Federal Member for the Western Australian regional seat of Forrest since November 2007. In 2015, she was the first woman to be appointed as Chief Government Whip, and I had the pleasure of working with her during my time in Parliament. She is well known for her dedication to regional communities, something to which we can all relate. I am sure you will join me in making her most welcome on her first visit to CKI.

In 2019-20 the Australian Government is investing $114 million in the Indian Ocean Territories as part of our commitment to ensuring our communities have access to services comparable to other similar Australian communities. For more information about Australian Government services in our community, please visit www.regional.gov.au/territories/indian_ocean/ or email indianoceanterritories@infrastructure.gov.au.

Mrs Natasha Griggs
Administrator of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands