Budget 2021: Delivering for the Indian Ocean Territories

The Morrison Government is supporting the long-term sustainability and economic development of the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) through the 2021 Federal Budget.

$2.3 million will be provided over two years to promote diversification and growth across Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI). $58.6 million will be provided over four years for maintenance of critical Commonwealth assets and infrastructure in Australia’s territories, and approximately $5 million will be brought forward from 2021-22 Financial Assistant Grant funding for the Shires of CI and CKI to spend on local priorities. This funding is in addition to other ongoing Australian Government investments for service delivery and infrastructure in the IOT.

The $2.3 million commitment will assist with improved water security, waste management and a new grants program for local landholders and research organisations to support trials for innovative agricultural methods on CI and CKI. The agriculture grants will identify produce that can be grown in the region, building on previous agricultural research and supporting long-term economic opportunities, jobs, health and food security.

To ensure the IOT has the infrastructure needed to grow, we will undertake a water security assessment to help determine current and future water infrastructure needs. The remote location and complex groundwater systems of the IOT makes water security vitally important. We are also building on the CI and CKI 2030 Strategic Plans by developing a waste management strategy for the IOT.

The Government is moving to secure the future of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands’ marine environments with plans to establish two new Marine Parks, covering up to 740,000 square kilometres of waters around the IOT. The Government will now open consultation with Island communities, stakeholders and the commercial fishing industry to establish a Marine Park Area (MPA) to protect this international marine treasure.  $5.4 million has been provided to support local jobs and economic growth associated with the marine park. 

One of the proposals Government has carefully considered was the proposed re-issuing of a casino licence for CI.  The Government has determined not to proceed with the proposal, but will continue to support other local tourism opportunities.

After what has been a year like no other, we are building a bridge to recovery through targeted, sustainable economic measures that will help the IOT grow and flourish now and into the future.

For full details, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au

Media Contact:

Assistant Minister Marino ­– Sophie Beeton (02) 6277 4293