Regional Development Organisation receives funding for Strategic Plan

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Number: A54/2017

Date: 17 October 2017

Thank you to the communities of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands for your warm welcome over the past few weeks. I look forward to working together to maximise opportunities for our community. Even though I am currently in Darwin, finalising my move (and working remotely), you can be assured I am doing everything I can to be back on Christmas Island by the end of October. It is also my intention to make at least one more visit to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands before the end of the year.

For those who use Facebook please like my page @NatashaGriggsIOT so you can receive regular updates.

Funding Announcement

It is with great pleasure that I advise that Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Minister for Local Government and Territories, has provided funding to the Regional Development Organisation (RDO) to develop a new Strategic Plan for Christmas Island. I welcome the Minister's decision as it reflects her commitment to the economic growth of the island and our community.

A new Strategic Plan is needed given that Christmas Island will be undergoing an economic transition and to refresh the current plan, titled; Our Future: Christmas Island Community Strategic Plan 2011–2021.

It is essential that this be a community driven plan. To achieve this objective I will be working with the RDO to ensure extensive consultation with the Shire of Christmas Island, community members, local businesses, government agencies and other key stakeholders across the Indian Ocean Territories.

As part of this process I would like to explore new economic opportunities for the island. I would also like the Strategic Plan to outline the community's goals and objectives for its future—it is vital that the community contributes to its development and the delivery of recommendations.

The Strategic Plan for Christmas Island is important for both Indian Ocean Territories due to the links between the economies of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The RDO has representatives from both Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and I look forward to working with them on this vital initiative. I will continue discussions with the Minister to secure additional funding for the RDO in 2018/19 so we can develop a Strategic Plan specifically for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Finally, I would like to thank former Administrator Mr Barry Haase and members of the RDO especially Christmas Island Shire President, Mr Gordon Thomson for all their efforts in securing this funding. I look forward to working together to develop a community driven Strategic Plan that sets out clear goals and objectives for the future of Christmas Island. Details on the consultation process and how you can become involved will be forthcoming once the RDO has had a chance to meet.

Thanks again for your warm welcome.

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