Minister To Visit the Indian Ocean Territories

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Number: A30/2018

Date: 21 June 2018

Relevant: Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

I am delighted to advise the community that the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government , will be visiting Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands from Tuesday 3rd July to Thursday 5th July. The Minister will be accompanied by Dr Steven Kennedy PSM, Secretary of the Department of lnfrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.

I am in Canberra this week with a delegation from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands attending the National General Assembly of Local Government and meeting with a range of Ministers and Departments to discuss issues of importance to the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT). We met with Minister McVeigh on Wednesday 20 June, where I introduced him to our very impressive delegation that highlights strong female leadership in the Cocos community, and discussed his visit to the islands.

Delegation members include Seriwati Iku, President of the Shire of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Anna Swain, Senior AFP Officer on Cocos and Territory Controller; Andrea Selvey, new CEO of the Shire; Jo Soderlund, Deputy CEO; Councillor Tony Lacy; and myself as Administrator of the IOT.

Representatives from the Shire of Christmas Island are also in Canberra this week and met with Minister McVeigh this morning. I recently met with the Shire President and was encouraged to hear that the Shire wants to work constructively with myself and the Government to ensure the recently announced release of Crown Land occurs in a timely manner.

While on the islands, the Minister and Secretary will inspect Government infrastructure and community assets, and meet with business, cultural and community leaders, local investors, both Shires and members of the community.

I am hosting functions on Christmas Island, Home Island and West Island to welcome the Minister and Secretary, and introduce them to our communities. I encourage you all to come along and share your experiences about living on the islands with the Minister and Secretary:

  • Christmas Island - CLA foreshore on Tuesday 3 July at 6.30pm.
  • West Island - Government House on Wednesday 4 July at 6.30pm.
  • Home Islan  - Morning tea at the Cyclone Shelter on Thursday 5 July at 10.00am.

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