To the residents of the Indian Ocean Territories

I am thrilled the Prime Minister asked me to take on the position of Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories. This means I will proudly join the new Member for Lingiari, Marion Scrymgour, as one of your voices in Canberra.

I plan to visit the Indian Ocean Territories as soon as possible, to meet with you face-to-face, to learn more about your extraordinary local environment and multicultural communities, and to discuss our shared priorities for your communities moving forward.

I will support and champion the Indian Ocean Territories and I look forward to working with you to explore sustainable pathways for the economy and local businesses.

Together we will identify how best to harness your incredible natural assets to grow emerging sectors and support the small, family-run businesses that are the backbone of your local economies.

As the former Mayor of a regional council and a small business owner, I understand the challenges and opportunities facing regional and remote communities like Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Growing up in a small, coastal New South Wales town, helping my parents run an independent sporting goods store, I experienced the benefits of living in - and helping to build - a close-knit community. It was these experiences that formed my values and work ethic.

I have seen how the challenges of distance and small populations can mean communities like yours can be left behind when it comes to reliable supply chains and improvements to service delivery and infrastructure.

I am committed to working with the Administrator, my department, our partners in Western Australia and the local Shires to advocate for and support innovative and modern solutions that achieve the best outcomes for your community and economy.

I am greatly looking forward to experiencing the rich and diverse cultures of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands first hand, and seeing for myself the extraordinary natural environment of your island homes.  

Kristy McBain, Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories

27 June 2022