Federal Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon and NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy acknowledge the appointment by the Minister for Local Government and Territories Fiona Nash of Natasha Griggs as Administrator of the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Mrs Griggs is the second Northern Territorian Administrator for the Indian Ocean Territories, as Dawn Lawrie served a time as Administrator to Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the years 1988-90.
“The position of Administrator is significant as the Islanders on both Christmas and Cocos face many challenges that mainlanders take for granted.” Mr Snowdon said
““It is important that the incoming Administrator, who is the Government appointed representative for the islands, establish an effective working relationship with the diverse population across the islands. All are fiercely proud of being Australian as well of shared unique Island Territory heritage and their varied cultural backgrounds.” Senator McCarthy said.
“The incoming Administrator would be aware of issues on the islands having visited the islands during her time on the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories. She will know that the role is not a political one and that the Administrator must be apolitical. Mr Snowdon said.
“The Committee over many years has spent time discussing with Islanders what role does the Administrator play in the delivery of services to the Indian Ocean Territories and how the position can be best organised to provide effective, economical and timely delivery of government administration in a non self-governing Territory.
“These Island Territories have unique environments that have required special action to insure their protection, for examples while feral cats are a huge problem on Christmas Island the importation of dogs and cats is prohibited. This is to ensure that no new diseases or introduced species contribute to any threats to the current wildlife on the island.” Mr Snowdon said.
“Mrs Griggs must understand that Islanders are often frustrated at the lack of progress despite numerous government reports and bi-partisan supported recommendations on how best to provide for the remote Indian Ocean Territories.” Senator McCarthy said.
Senator McCarthy and Warren Snowdon look forward to working with Mrs Griggs as Administrator of the Indian Ocean Territories on issues familiar to Territories such as shipping and air freight costs and frequency, the many service delivery agreements (SDA’s) for state like services as well as growing the economic and employment future of the Islands.