Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories to visit Christmas Island

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Number: A54/2018

Date: 11 September 2018

Relevant: Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

A new Federal Cabinet was sworn in on Tuesday, 28 August 2018 with the Hon. Sussan Ley MP appointed as Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories. I am delighted with the appointment of Sussan as our Minister for Territories, having had the pleasure of working with her in a previous role and I know firsthand how passionate she is about rural, regional and remote Australia.

I am pleased to advise that Sussan has accepted my invitation to visit Christmas Island on the 29th September 2018 to join the community in marking the 60th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty of Christmas Island to the Commonwealth of Australia. During her visit, the Assistant Minister will accompany the Governor-General and myself at various community events and activities - details of which will be announced next week.

Assistant Minister Ley is a strong advocate for many rural and regional issues and is particularly passionate about fostering decentralization and improving services for rural health amongst other things. I look forward to working with her again in her new role as I continue to champion and advocate on behalf of the people of the Indian Ocean Territories.

You may be interested to know that Assistant Minister Ley not only holds a Bachelor of Economics, Master of Taxation Law and a Master of Accounting but she is also a commercial pilot. Throughout her parliamentary career she has had responsibility in a number of portfolio and policy areas including treasury, customs, justice, health, sport, childcare, early childhood learning, aged care and women. I encourage you to visit her website to find out more about our new Assistant Minister.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Hon. Dr John McVeigh MP for his contribution as Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government. During his time as Minister, he was successful in initiating the release of Crown land on Christmas Island, approving funding for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Strategic Plan and securing approval in this year's budget for $27.3 million over three years to replace the wharf crane d mooring system on Christmas Island.

I look forward to working with Assistant Minister Ley and welcoming her to our wonderful island community in the next couple of weeks.

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