A project on Cocos (Keeling) Islands has received $947,000 under round two of the Australian Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund, boosting local jobs and improving community infrastructure.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, announced $293 million for projects that were successful under round two of the programme, with 111 projects across Australia selected for funding.
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council would receive $947,000 to assist with the construction of a retail precinct on Home Island.
“The funding will go towards construction of a $1.8 million retail precinct of about 600sqm consisting of retail spaces of 50 – 100sqm to allow for new business opportunities to service the Cocos Keeling Islands,” Senator Scullion said.
“The building will be constructed incorporating green principles that will be used to demonstrate how buildings can be built on Cocos that reduce the need for artificial cooling and reduce power consumption while not increasing construction costs.
“The building will include much needed storage to enable existing and new businesses to cope with the irregular freight services.
“The construction of the retail precinct will involve the use of Work-for-the-Dole and job seeker participants who will receive training in construction and other relevant skills. It is envisaged these new skills and experience, combined with further training, will lead to new trades becoming available to the local Indigenous Cocos Malay residents, thus reducing the islands’ reliance on the mainland.”
The National Stronger Regions Fund is providing $1 billion over five years to promote economic growth and address disadvantage in Australia’s regions.
More information on the National Stronger Regions Fund, including a full list of successful round two projects and details on the application process, is available online at www.infrastructure.gov.au/nsrf.