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Facilitate economic and infrastructure development in non self-governing territories

Key strategy Performance indicators Achievement
Facilitate economic and infrastructure development in non self-governing territories.
(Contributing division: Territories and Local Government)
Improve employment levels and economic activity in the non self-governing territories. Significant improvements achieved

Key achievements

Improving employment levels and economic activity in the non self-governing territories is an ongoing project.

Work continued on Christmas Island towards the development of space launch facilities and the Immigration Reception and Processing Centre which created buoyant conditions for much of the 2002-03 financial year. In addition to these major projects, economic activity benefited from growth in tourism to the IOTs.

In 2002-03 employment levels and economic activity were improved in the following ways.

Economic development associations

The government established economic development committees in the IOTs to develop more sustainable economic futures. In February 2002 the committees became incorporated associations and the Commonwealth provided funding of $75 000 to each committee.

The establishment of these committees is a key outcome of the Australian Government's response to the Northern Australia Forum, a public forum attended by over 200 people in the Northern Territory in October 2000 to address the issues facing communities in northern Australia.

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Support for small business

Small business assistance is also available through Service Delivery Arrangements the department has in place with the WA Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC). The WA SBDC, through the Indian Ocean Group Training, provides independent guidance and information to existing and/or intending small business owners and innovative state-type programs to assist small business.

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Market testing of service delivery

The department is in the process of market testing a range of services currently provided to the IOTs including aviation, airport management, cleaning, gardening and marine functions to determine the most effective and efficient provision mechanisms.

An appropriate way forward for each of these services is currently being determined by considering comparable mainland service levels and models, potential regulatory and policy obstacles and potential cost savings.

These changes will boost private sector activity in the territories and improve efficiency, enabling service standards to be maintained and expanded as the island populations increase.

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