Developing the Christmas Island Strategic Plan

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Number: A27/2018

Date: 25 May 2018

Relevant: Christmas Island

Topic: Economic Development

As you may recall, I informed the community on 18 April that the Indian Ocean Territories Regional Development Organisation (RDO) was requesting proposals from consultants interested in developing the new Christmas Island Strategic Plan. I am now pleased to announce that the RDO has selected local consultant, Vanessa Bennett from C Change Sustainable Solutions, working with Phil Gouldson, a consultant with extensive experience of Northern Australia and Asia, to develop the Strategic Plan.

The development of the Strategic Plan is being funded by the Australian Government to help map out the future of Christmas Island. The Strategic Plan will be a plan for the community by the community to support economic and social actions to ensure that Christmas Island is sustainable into the future. This will include how we can capitalise on our comparative advantages, assist in further developing local businesses and increasing the community" s well­being. Strategising on how we can best develop land outside the National Park and facilitate the Island's connectivity with Asia will both be important elements of the Strategic Plan.

As another concrete step in this direction, the Australian Government has provided funding to the RDO to engage a Regional Investment Officer to promote foreign and domestic investment in the Indian Ocean Territories. The position will be advertised in the next few weeks.

To be most successful in developing the Christmas Island Strategic Plan, we need your input. All community members and stakeholders will be invited to participate in creating Christmas Island's future through various consultations. We will continue to keep you informed on progress with the development of the Strategic Plan and how you can contribute. As Chair of the RDO, I look forward to working with the consultants and the community to make the Strategic Plan a reality before the end of the year.

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