Local business development and tourism - key for Cocos

Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) business and tourism operators have come together at Government House on West Island to discuss with me the potential to grow the local economy, support employment, and create opportunities for small businesses and young people.

It follows my official launch yesterday of the Cocos CV which showcases the unique capacity and capability of CKI to attract major project investment and local employment in Australia’s remote coral atolls.

The Cocos CV, which was partly funded by the Australian Government, is representative of   our shared vision for an economically sustainable CKI which continues to be community driven and collaborative.

The Australian Government recognises the CKI community’s priorities as outlined in the Our Cocos (Keeling) Islands 2030 Strategic Plan . In the most recent Federal Budget, the Government provided $500,000 to the Indian Ocean Territories, including $200,000 for community infrastructure projects on CKI.

This funding is supporting the Shire to deliver on key projects identified by the community to advance CKI in its recently developed Masterplan.

I am pleased to see the projects on West Island including infrastructure improvements under way at Trannies Beach, and the shade structures installed at the Central Park playground. Upgrades to the pump track at the playground and to public facilities at the Yacht Club will begin shortly.

I have also inspected the projects under way on Home Island including improvements to the Cyclone Shelter that will become a community cinema and performance space, and the Sandy Point upgrades that will include disability access to the beautiful beach and waters. Upgrades to the foreshore picnic area, and shading for the local playground and Pondok Abang will begin shortly. I have also visited local infrastructure including the waste transfer station on Home Island where our joint funding will see new recycling equipment installed.

While we all celebrate the recent award recognising CKI as an emerging tourism destination, I am focused on identifying opportunities for sustainable tourism growth on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands through the work the Australian Government is funding to review tourism in the IOT to better match the tourism market with the product.

The Australian Government is presently seeking an external consultant to conduct the review.

Experiencing the unique environment and close community of CKI first hand this week has been a privilege that better supports me to understand, and find solution for, the issues impacting you.