I am pleased to announce the Morrison Government will provide $13.5 million of additional economic stimulus to support the remote communities and businesses of Norfolk Island and Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, as part of the COVID-19 response.
I am committed to delivering this economic support package for these territories as I understand the significant impact the Coronavirus and associated restrictions has had on tourism and the local economies.
This additional funding will support the delivery of local projects and create local jobs on Norfolk Island and in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT). The projects will help to position your communities to be ready for the return of tourism.
The $13.5 million will deliver community infrastructure projects, and also includes more than $400,000 for each territory for tourism promotion for Norfolk Island and the IOT. These tourism promotion projects will ensure the territories are visible to future travellers once travel restrictions are lifted.
The Government is continuing to ensure Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands have access to a range of economic support measures, in recognition of the impacts of the Coronavirus restrictions on the tourism sector and related business.
Not only will this package support shovel-ready projects, it will assist in increasing local employment and provide support to businesses and the local economies.
On Norfolk Island, there will be support for 22 projects ranging from revitalisation of the Bicentennial Centre and Rawson Hall, to upgrades of sports facilities and playgrounds and improvement of the footpath from the airport to Burnt Pine.
In the IOT, there will be 23 projects delivered including community initiatives identified in the Christmas Island and Cocos Strategic Plans – including Flying Fish Cove landscaping works and renovation of the Cocos retail precinct.
This tailored economic package has been made available in recognition of the Commonwealth’s special role in the governance of the territories. The package is provided in addition to national programs such as the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payment scheme. I thank the Administrators of Norfolk Island and the IOT for their input into the development of the package, informed by local stakeholders on island.