2021 end of year message

Over the past twelve months, since COVID-19 first emerged, we have all needed to adapt and change to keep our families and community safe while also keeping the economy moving forward.

Thank you for everything you have done during these difficult times and for rolling up your sleeves to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Now, looking forward to 2022, with vaccination rates in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) above 95% and our borders reopening to domestic travel, we can return our focus to longer term goals for Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Working with your Administrator, Mrs Natasha Griggs, a raft of essential community infrastructure upgrades have been delivered through the $8.15 million economic stimulus package for CI and CKI, along with new tourism promotion strategies to position the islands as a sought-after tourism destination.

The Government is opening up new opportunities through the new Northern Australia Development Program grants, supporting business expansion, diversification and potential new industry investment across the region. The Government is also investing in long-term sustainability and economic development through funding for a water security assessment, waste management strategy and an agriculture grants program.

I look forward to continuing to work with you on our shared goals for a sustainable future, working together to position the IOT as a world-class destination to live, work and visit as borders reopen.

Wishing you and your families a very safe and Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.