Cocos (Keeling) Islands receive funding boost for community projects
15 December 2015
The Australian Government will deliver over two million dollars for erosion mitigation works on Cocos (Keeling) Islands, as well as provide additional grant funding for new projects to support the local community.
Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government Paul Fletcher, who announced the funding during a visit to Home Island, said the Turnbull Government is committed to funding projects that create jobs, increase business and strengthen the local economy.
“During my visit to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands I have had the opportunity to see first-hand the erosion mitigation works. The Shire Council mines local sand to fill geo-textile fabric bags, which are used on both Home Island and West Island to protect infrastructure and the natural habitat from erosion,” Mr Fletcher said.
“I also had the opportunity while on Home Island to flick the switch on the new desalination plant, completed with $3.7 million of Australian Government funding, and taste the fresh water it will now provide to the community to supplement the natural ground water supply.
“During the visit I met with members of the Shire Council and heard from members of the local community about projects that were important to them. Recreation facilities are vital for the 600 residents of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, who live in an extremely remote community.
“Following a recommendation by the Administrator and the Regional Development Organisation, I have today committed $100,000 to fund new playground equipment for both Home and West Islands, and $63,000 to provide outdoor gym facilities for West Island.
“These two projects will again create jobs for the community, provide long term recreational and social benefits and will enhance liveability on the islands. And the goods and services for these projects will be sourced, wherever possible, from local suppliers.”
Mr Fletcher said these one-off grants are in addition to Round Two of the Indian Ocean Territories Community Development Grants, which recently provided $1.491 million in grant funding for community infrastructure and projects in Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
“I am pleased to have had the opportunity during my first visit to Cocos to gain a direct understanding of the key issues and needs of the local community and I look forward to working with the community to provide the support required to generate further employment, tourism, industry and infrastructure development opportunities in the future,” Mr Fletcher said.