Following my recent announcement of a tailored COVID-19 economic stimulus package from the Australian Government to support the Indian Ocean Territories, I am pleased to share with you the local projects that will be delivered on Christmas Island (CI) through this funding.
Some $5.15 million funding for CI will see improvements to community facilities, the bringing forward of strategic power infrastructure upgrades, airport improvements, upgrades to public housing, and enhancements to Flying Fish Cove.
As I have said, we understand the significant impact that Coronavirus and associated restrictions has had on tourism and the local economies.
These projects will boost local employment and provide opportunities for local contractors, helping ensure that as we continue to work towards rebuilding from COVID-19 and travel restrictions are lifted, that the CI community, economy and tourism are future-proofed.
It is also great that this funding will continue the delivery of action items under our Christmas Island Strategic Plan.
Improving local infrastructure not only provides short-term stimulus to the CI economy and improves community facilities but also enhances the experience of visitors.
The community projects are complemented by a $445,000 tourism promotion package for the Indian Ocean Territories as a region. The package will ensure that as travel restrictions are lifted, the IOT is a destination of choice in a competitive domestic market. The Administrator, through the Regional Development Organisation, will work with the local tourism associations on this project and more detail will be provided soon.
I thank the WA Government for their support on the WA-IOT travel zone, which removes quarantine requirements for those who have been in the IOT or WA for the past 14 days.