Local Consulting Firm to Develop Cocos (Keeling) Islands Strategic Plan and New Regional Investment Officer Appointed

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Number: A55/2018

Date: 13 September 2018

Relevant: Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Topic: Economic Development

The Indian Ocean Territory Regional Development Organisation (RDO) met yesterday to endorse the selection of Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) based company C Change Sustainable Solutions to prepare the strategic plan for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI). Development of the Strategic Plan is being funded by the Australian Government as part of its commitment to the future prosperity and economic development for the CKIs.

C Change Sustainable Solutions was selected earlier in the year to develop the strategic plan for Christmas Island. The plan's development is well underway with the community engagement phase successfully completed last month. The finalised plan for Christmas Island is due for completion late October this year.

The RDO also appointed Mr Madi Signa, a born and bred Cocos Malay, as the RDO's new Regional Investment Officer (RIO). The key aspect of this position is to identify investment opportunities and attract investors to the IOTs. This new position is being funded under the Australian Government's Regional Development Australia (RDA) program.

Madi has over a decade of experience working in economic development within regional Australia. In his current role as a Regional Manager with AusIndustry in Western Australia, Madi has gained experience in economic improvement, strategic networking, and government grants. His focus will be on increasing investment into the IOTs to achieve greater local industry, increased levels of local employment and stronger local capacity. Madi will be accompanied by his wife, Kartini, who currently heads the Department for Humanities and Social Sciences at the newly-formed Fremantle College.

I ask you to join me in congratulating and welcoming Madi and Kartini back to the IOTs as they make Christmas Island their new home before the end of the year.

With the generous financial support of the Commonwealth government the RDO has been extremely active over the last twelve months in developing strategies and opportunities for economic development in the IOTs. These two announcements will further strengthen the RDO's contribution to the economic transformation of the IOTs.

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