Appendix G : Indian Ocean Territories report 2000–01
The Federal Government provides funding for the delivery of a wide range of services to the Indian Ocean Territories (IOTs), including public utilities, education, health, and transport. The funding for many of these services would be the responsibility of state government in most other areas of Australia.
In its 1999 report on the IOTs, the Commonwealth Grants Commission examined funding levels for the IOTs. It recommended both a base level of funding and annual mechanisms for determining operating funding levels, taking into account different categories of operating expenses. The Government accepted the Commissions recommendations as a way of ensuring future annual funding levels are determined in a transparent way within the budget context.
The Government also accepted the proposed five-year capital expenditure program of $88.9 million, recommended by the Commission to bring infrastructure up to mainland standards. The program is being implemented according to the priorities recommended by the Commission. Infrastructure requirements will be reviewed if there is significant population growth.
Expenditure and Revenue
In 2000–01 IOT operating expenses totalled $71.5 million. Approximately 50 per cent of these funds were expended directly on the provision of services to IOT communities.
Most of the services to IOTs are delivered through service delivery agreements (SDAs) with Western Australian State agencies. These SDAs are administered through the Departments Territories Office in Perth. In 2000–01, the Territories Office in Perth administered expenditure of $22 million on arranging and delivering services to the IOTs.
The day to day activities associated with service delivery and the provision of public utilities (for example water, electricity and sewerage) is provided by the on-Island Administrations. In 2000–01 approximately $38 million was expended by the Christmas Island Administration and $9 million by the Cocos Island Administration.
In addition, around $13 million was directed to infrastructure projects including, sewerage treatment works on Cocos Island and electrical reticulation, housing and wharf upgrading on Christmas Island.
The IOTs raised $10.1 million in revenue in 2000–01.