Infrastructure boost for external territories

Australia’s external territories of Norfolk Island and Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands will be supported by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government through an almost $8 million boost to local governments for road and community projects.

The investment will support local jobs and businesses and boost the territories’ economies which are struggling under the effects of COVID-19.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino said the package included more than $550,000 funding from the new Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program to the Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Shire of Christmas Island and Norfolk Island Regional Council. The Government is also providing early payment of a total of $7.4 million in Financial Assistance Grant-type funding to the external territories’ local governments.

“Accelerating local infrastructure projects is important for supporting jobs and the local economies in the territories,” Assistant Minister Marino said.

“Every single job we support makes a huge difference in our local communities, now and as we navigate out of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Not only will this package support jobs, construction businesses and the economy across the territories, it will improve local roads and provide for new and upgraded amenities to help communities stay connected.

“I will be working closely with the Administrators and the shires and council in each territory to make sure projects get under way to support local jobs and businesses as soon as possible.”

The new Local Road and Community Infrastructure program is based on the successful Roads to Recovery program and will enable local councils to deliver priority projects with a focus on upgrades and maintenance to local roads and community infrastructure.

A broad range of road and community infrastructure projects will be eligible including new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, and picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks.

Guidelines for the Program will be provided directly to local governments by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Media Contact:

Sophie Beeton (02) 6277 4088