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Indian Ocean Territories - 2001 - 02


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 Commission's recommendations as a way of ensuring future annual funding levels are determined in a transparent way within the budget context.

The proposed five-year capital expenditure programme of $88.9 million, recommended by the Commission to bring infrastructure up to mainland standards was also accepted by the Government. The programme is being implemented consistent with the priorities recommended by the Commission.

Expenditure and Revenue

In 2001-02 IOT operating expenses totalled $61.6 million. Approximately 60 per cent of these funds were expended directly on the provision of services to the IOTs communities.

Most of the services to the IOTs are delivered through service delivery agreements (SDAs) with Western Australian State agencies. These SDAs are administered through the Department's Territories Office in Perth (TOP). In 2001-02 TOP administered expenditure of $24.3 million on arranging and delivering services to the IOTs.

The day to day activities associated with service delivery and the provision of public utilities (e.g. water, electricity, sewerage) is provided by the on-Island Administrations. In 2001-02 approximately $25.8 million was expended by the Christmas Island Administration and $10.1 million by the Cocos Island Administration.

Figure 5: Indian Ocean Territories Expenses

Figure 5: Indian Ocean Territories Expenses

In addition, around $23.3 million was directed to Capital projects, the main projects being sewerage treatment works and power reticulation on Cocos Island and the rockfall risk reduction strategy and wharf and school upgrading on Christmas Island.

The IOTs raised $10 million in revenue in 2001-02 from the sale of goods and services.