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The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
is an Australian external territory in the Indian Ocean, comprising a small archipelago approximately midway between Australia
Australia
and Sri Lanka. It is part of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
and is in the Southern Hemisphere. The territory's dual name (official since 1955) reflects that the islands have historically been known as either the Cocos Islands or the Keeling Islands. The territory consists of two atolls made up of 27 coral islands, of which only two – West Island and Home Island
Home Island
– are inhabited. The population of around 600 people consists mainly of Cocos Malays, who practise Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
and speak a dialect of Malay as their first language. The territory is administered by the Australian federal government's Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, and together with Christmas Island
Christmas Island
forms the Australian Indian Ocean Territories administrative unit. However, the islanders do have a degree of self-government through the local shire council. Many public services – including health, education, and policing – are provided by the state of Western Australia, and Western Australian law applies except where the federal government has determined otherwise. The islands were first discovered in 1609 by William Keeling, but no settlement occurred until the early 19th century. One of the first settlers was John Clunies-Ross, a Scottish merchant; much of the island's current population is descended from the Malay workers he brought in to work his copra plantation. The Clunies-Ross family
Clunies-Ross family
ruled the islands as a private fiefdom for almost 150 years, with the head of the family usually recognised as resident magistrate. The British formally annexed the islands in 1857, and for the next century they were officially administered from either Ceylon
Ceylon
or Singapore. The territory was transferred to Australia
Australia
in 1955, although until 1979 virtually all of the island's real estate still belonged to the Clunies-Ross family.

Contents

1 Name 2 Geography

2.1 Flora and fauna

3 Climate 4 Demographics 5 History

5.1 Discovery and early history 5.2 Annexation by the British Empire 5.3 World War I 5.4 World War II 5.5 Transfer to Australia

6 Government

6.1 Federal politics 6.2 Defence and law enforcement 6.3 Courts 6.4 Health care

7 Economy 8 Strategic importance 9 Communications and transport

9.1 Transport 9.2 Communications 9.3 Internet

10 Media

10.1 Television

10.1.1 Australian 10.1.2 Malaysian

11 Education 12 Culture 13 See also 14 References 15 Bibliography 16 External links

Name[edit] The islands have been called the Cocos Islands (from 1622), the Keeling Islands (from 1703), the Cocos–Keeling Islands (since James Horsburgh in 1805) and the Keeling–Cocos Islands (19th century).[2] Cocos refers to the abundant coconut trees, while Keeling is William Keeling, who discovered the islands in 1609.[2] John Clunies-Ross,[3] who sailed there in the Borneo
Borneo
in 1825, called the group the Borneo
Borneo
Coral Isles, restricting Keeling to North Keeling, and calling South Keeling "the Cocos properly so called".[4][5] The form Cocos (Keeling) Islands, attested from 1916,[6] was made official by the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Act 1955.[2] The territory's Malay name is Pulu Kokos (Keeling). Sign boards on the island also feature Malay translations.[7][8] Geography[edit] The Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
consist of two flat, low-lying coral atolls with an area of 14.2 square kilometres (5.5 sq mi), 26 kilometres (16 mi) of coastline, a highest elevation of 5 metres (16 ft) and thickly covered with coconut palms and other vegetation. The climate is pleasant, moderated by the southeast trade winds for about nine months of the year and with moderate rainfall. Tropical cyclones may occur in the early months of the year. North Keeling
North Keeling
Island is an atoll consisting of just one C-shaped island, a nearly closed atoll ring with a small opening into the lagoon, about 50 metres (160 ft) wide, on the east side. The island measures 1.1 square kilometres (270 acres) in land area and is uninhabited. The lagoon is about 0.5 square kilometres (120 acres). North Keeling
North Keeling
Island and the surrounding sea to 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from shore form the Pulu Keeling National Park, established on 12 December 1995. It is home to the only surviving population of the endemic, and endangered, Cocos Buff-banded Rail. South Keeling Islands is an atoll consisting of 24 individual islets forming an incomplete atoll ring, with a total land area of 13.1 square kilometres (5.1 sq mi). Only Home Island
Home Island
and West Island are populated. The Cocos Malays
Cocos Malays
maintain weekend shacks, referred to as pondoks, on most of the larger islands.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

1889 map of South Keeling Islands.

1976 map of South Keeling Islands.

Islets (clockwise from north)

Islet (Malay name) Translation of Malay name English name Area (km²)

1 Pulau Luar Outer Island Horsburgh Island 1.04

2 Pulau Tikus Mouse Island Direction Island 0.34

3 Pulau Pasir Sand Island Workhouse Island <0.01

4 Pulau Beras Rice Island Prison Island 0.02

5 Pulau Gangsa

Closed sandbar, now part of Home Island <0.01

6 Pulau Selma

Home Island 0.95

7 Pulau Ampang Kechil  Little Ampang Island Scaevola Islet <0.01

8 Pulau Ampang Ampang Island Canui Island 0.06

9 Pulau Wa-idas

Ampang Minor 0.02

10 Pulau Blekok

Goldwater Island 0.03

11 Pulau Kembang Flower Island Thorn Island 0.04

12 Pulau Cheplok

Gooseberry Island  <0.01

13 Pulau Pandan Pandan Island Misery Island 0.24

14 Pulau Siput Snail Island Goat Island 0.10

15 Pulau Jambatan Bridge Island Middle Mission Isle <0.01

16 Pulau Labu Pumpkin Island South Goat Island 0.04

17 Pulau Atas Top Island South Island 3.63

18 Pulau Kelapa Satu One Coconut
Coconut
Island North Goat Island 0.02

19 Pulau Blan

East Cay 0.03

20 Pulau Blan Madar

Burial Island 0.03

21 Pulau Maria

West Cay 0.01

22 Pulau Kambling

Keelingham Horn Island <0.01

23 Pulau Panjang Long Island West Island 6.23

24 Pulau Wak Bangka

Turtle Island 0.22

There are no rivers or lakes on either atoll. Fresh water resources are limited to water lenses on the larger islands, underground accumulations of rainwater lying above the seawater. These lenses are accessed through shallow bores or wells. Flora and fauna[edit] Main articles: Flora of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Flora of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
and Fauna of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Climate[edit] Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
experiences tropical monsoon climate (Am) according to Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
as the archipelago lies approximately in the midway between the Equator
Equator
and the Tropic of Capricorn. The archipelago has two distinct precipitation totals between the wet season and the dry season. The wettest month is April with precipitation total 250.0 millimetres (9.84 in), while the driest month is October with precipitation total 50.9 millimetres (2.00 in). The temperature varies a little as its location away from the Equator. The hottest month is March with average high temperature 29.8 °C (85.6 °F), while the coolest month is August with average low temperature 23.6 °C (74.5 °F).

Climate data for West Point, Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 32.0 (89.6) 32.4 (90.3) 32.1 (89.8) 31.9 (89.4) 31.2 (88.2) 30.5 (86.9) 29.7 (85.5) 29.8 (85.6) 29.8 (85.6) 30.1 (86.2) 31.1 (88) 31.2 (88.2) 32.4 (90.3)

Average high °C (°F) 29.5 (85.1) 29.8 (85.6) 29.8 (85.6) 29.6 (85.3) 29.1 (84.4) 28.4 (83.1) 27.9 (82.2) 27.9 (82.2) 28.1 (82.6) 28.6 (83.5) 28.9 (84) 29.3 (84.7) 28.9 (84)

Average low °C (°F) 24.6 (76.3) 24.9 (76.8) 25.1 (77.2) 25.0 (77) 24.8 (76.6) 24.2 (75.6) 23.8 (74.8) 23.7 (74.7) 23.6 (74.5) 24.0 (75.2) 24.2 (75.6) 24.5 (76.1) 24.4 (75.9)

Record low °C (°F) 21.1 (70) 20.1 (68.2) 19.8 (67.6) 19.6 (67.3) 19.4 (66.9) 20.1 (68.2) 20.4 (68.7) 18.3 (64.9) 19.0 (66.2) 20.6 (69.1) 19.3 (66.7) 21.2 (70.2) 18.3 (64.9)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 205.7 (8.098) 172.8 (6.803) 248.7 (9.791) 250.0 (9.843) 186.8 (7.354) 208.9 (8.224) 197.1 (7.76) 118.4 (4.661) 84.1 (3.311) 50.9 (2.004) 98.5 (3.878) 116.6 (4.591) 1,938.5 (76.318)

Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 14 14 18 18 19 19 20 17 14 11 12 11 187

Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst[9]

Demographics[edit] In 2010, the population of the islands is estimated at just over 600.[10] The population on the two inhabited islands generally is split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island (estimated population 100) and the ethnic Malays on Home Island
Home Island
(estimated population 500). A Cocos dialect of Malay and English are the main languages spoken, and 80% of Cocos Islanders are Sunni Muslim, the other 20% are of another religion.[10] History[edit] Discovery and early history[edit]

Historic compass chart of the Cocos islands[11]

The archipelago was discovered in 1609 by Captain William Keeling of the East India
India
Company, on a return voyage from the East Indies. North Keeling was sketched by Ekeberg, a Swedish captain, in 1749, showing the presence of coconut palms. It also appears on a 1789 chart produced by British hydrographer Alexander Dalrymple.[12] In 1814, Scottish merchant seaman Captain John Clunies-Ross
John Clunies-Ross
stopped briefly at the islands on a trip to India, nailing up a Union Jack
Union Jack
and planning to return and settle on the islands with his family in the future. Wealthy Englishman Alexander Hare had similar plans, and hired a captain – coincidentally, Clunies-Ross' brother – to bring him and a harem of 40 Malay women to the islands, where he hoped to establish his private residence.[13] Hare had previously served as resident of Banjarmasin, a town in Borneo, and found that "he could not confine himself to the tame life that prosy civilisation affords".[13] Clunies-Ross returned two years later with his wife, children and mother-in-law, and found Hare already established on the island and living with a private harem. A feud grew between the two.[13] Clunies-Ross' eight sailors "began at once the invasion of the new kingdom to take possession of it, women and all".[13][14] After some time, Hare's women began deserting him, and instead finding themselves mates amongst Clunies-Ross' sailors.[15] Disheartened, Hare left the island. He died in Bencoolen in 1834.[16] Clunies-Ross' workers were paid in a currency called the Cocos rupee, a currency John Clunies-Ross
John Clunies-Ross
minted himself that could only be redeemed at the company store.[17]

1840 chart of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

A landing party from the German Navy cruiser Emden leaves Cocos (Keeling) Islands via this jetty on Direction Island on 9 November 1914.

On 1 April 1836, HMS Beagle under Captain Robert FitzRoy
Robert FitzRoy
arrived to take soundings to establish the profile of the atoll as part of the survey expedition of the Beagle. To the naturalist Charles Darwin, aboard the ship, the results supported a theory he had developed of how atolls formed, which he later published as The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs. He studied the natural history of the islands and collected specimens.[18] Darwin's assistant Syms Covington noted that "an Englishman [he was in fact Scottish] and HIS family, with about sixty or seventy mulattos from the Cape of Good Hope, live on one of the islands. Captain Ross, the governor, is now absent at the Cape." Annexation by the British Empire[edit] The islands were annexed by the British Empire
British Empire
in 1857.[19] This annexation was carried out by Captain Stephen Grenville Fremantle
Fremantle
in command of HMS Juno. Fremantle
Fremantle
claimed the islands for the British Empire
British Empire
and appointed Ross II as Superintendent.[20] In 1878, by Letters Patent, the Governor of Ceylon
Ceylon
was made Governor of the islands, and, by further Letters Patent
Letters Patent
in 1886,[21] responsibility for the islands was transferred to the Governor of the Straits Settlement to exercise his functions as "Governor of Cocos Islands".[19] The islands were made part of the Straits Settlement
Straits Settlement
under an Order in Council of 20 May 1903.[22] Meanwhile, in 1886 Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
had, by indenture, granted the islands in perpetuity to John Clunies-Ross.[23] The head of the family enjoyed semi-official status as Resident Magistrate and Government representative.[23] In 1901 a telegraph cable station was established on Direction Island. Undersea cables went to Rodrigues, Mauritius, Batavia, Java
Java
and Fremantle, Western Australia. In 1910 a wireless station was established to communicate with passing ships. The cable station ceased operation in 1966.[24] World War I[edit] Main article: Battle of Cocos On the morning of 9 November 1914, the islands became the site of the Battle of Cocos, one of the first naval battles of World War I. A landing party from the German cruiser SMS Emden captured and disabled the wireless and cable communications station on Direction Island, but not before the station was able to transmit a distress call. An Allied troop convoy was passing nearby, and the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney was detached from the convoy escort to investigate. Sydney spotted the island and Emden at 09:15, with both ships preparing for combat. At 11:20, the heavily damaged Emden beached herself on North Keeling
North Keeling
Island. The Australian warship broke to pursue Emden's supporting collier, which scuttled herself, then returned to North Keeling
North Keeling
Island at 16:00. At this point, Emden's battle ensign was still flying: usually a sign that a ship intends to continue fighting. After no response to instructions to lower the ensign, two salvoes were shot into the beached cruiser, after which the Germans lowered the flag and raised a white sheet. Sydney had orders to ascertain the status of the transmission station, but returned the next day to provide medical assistance to the Germans. 134 personnel aboard Emden were killed, and 69 were wounded, compared to 4 killed and 16 wounded aboard Sydney. The German survivors were taken aboard the Australian cruiser, which caught up to the troop convoy in Colombo
Colombo
on 15 November, then transported to Malta
Malta
and handed over the prisoners to the British Army. An additional 50 German personnel from the shore party, unable to be recovered before Sydney arrived, commandeered a schooner and escaped from Direction Island, eventually arriving in Constantinople. Emden was the last active Central Powers
Central Powers
warship in the Indian or Pacific Ocean, which meant troopships from Australia
Australia
and New Zealand
New Zealand
could sail without naval escort, and Allied ships could be deployed elsewhere. World War II[edit] During World War II, the cable station was once again a vital link. The Cocos were valuable for direction finding by the Y service, the worldwide intelligence system used during the war.[25] Allied planners noted that the islands might be seized as an airfield for German planes and as a base for commerce raiders operating in the Indian Ocean. Following Japan's entry into the war, Japanese forces occupied neighbouring islands. To avoid drawing their attention to the Cocos cable station and its islands' garrison, the seaplane anchorage between Direction and Horsburgh islands was not used. Radio transmitters were also kept silent, except in emergencies.[citation needed] After the Fall of Singapore
Fall of Singapore
in 1942, the islands were administered from Ceylon
Ceylon
(Sri Lanka), and West and Direction Islands were placed under Allied military administration. The islands' garrison initially consisted of a platoon from the British Army's King's African Rifles, located on Horsburgh Island, with two 6-inch (152.4 mm) guns to cover the anchorage. The local inhabitants all lived on Home Island. Despite the importance of the islands as a communication centre, the Japanese made no attempt either to raid or to occupy them and contented themselves with sending over a reconnaissance aircraft about once a month. On the night of 8–9 May 1942, 15 members of the garrison, from the Ceylon
Ceylon
Defence Force, mutinied under the leadership of Gratien Fernando. The mutineers were said to have been provoked by the attitude of their British officers and were also supposedly inspired by anti-imperialist beliefs. They attempted to take control of the gun battery on the islands. The Cocos Islands Mutiny
Mutiny
was crushed, but the mutineers killed one non-mutinous soldier and wounded one officer. Seven of the mutineers were sentenced to death at a trial that was later alleged to have been improperly conducted. Four of the sentences were commuted, but three men were executed, including Fernando. These were to be the only British Commonwealth soldiers executed for mutiny during the Second World War.[26] On 25 December 1942, the Japanese submarine I-166 bombarded the islands but caused no damage.[27] Later in the war, two airstrips were built, and three bomber squadrons were moved to the islands to conduct raids against Japanese targets in South East Asia and to provide support during the planned reinvasion of Malaya and reconquest of Singapore. The first aircraft to arrive were Supermarine Spitfire
Supermarine Spitfire
Mk VIIIs of No. 136 Squadron RAF.[28] They included some Liberator bombers from No. 321 (Netherlands) Squadron RAF (members of exiled Dutch forces serving with the Royal Air Force), which were also stationed on the islands. When in July 1945 No. 99 and No. 356 RAF squadrons arrived on West Island, they brought with them a daily newspaper called Atoll
Atoll
which contained news of what was happening in the outside world. Run by airmen in their off-duty hours, it achieved fame when dropped by Liberator bombers on POW camps over the heads of the Japanese guards. In 1946, the administration of the islands reverted to Singapore
Singapore
and it became part of the Colony of Singapore.[29] Transfer to Australia[edit] On 23 November 1955, the islands were transferred from the United Kingdom to the Commonwealth of Australia. Immediately before the transfer the islands were part of the United Kingdom's Colony of Singapore, in accordance with the Straits Settlements (Repeal) Act, 1946 of the United Kingdom[30] and the British Settlements Acts, 1887 and 1945, as applied by the Act of 1946.[19] The legal steps for effecting the transfer were as follows:[31]

The Commonwealth Parliament and the Government requested and consented to the enactment of a United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Act for the purpose. The Cocos Islands Act, 1955, authorized Her Majesty, by Order in Council, to direct that the islands should cease to form part of the Colony of Singapore
Colony of Singapore
and be placed under the authority of the Commonwealth. By the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Act, 1955, the Parliament of the Commonwealth provided for the acceptance of the islands as a territory under the authority of the Commonwealth and for its government. The Cocos Islands Order in Council, 1955, made under the United Kingdom Act of 1955, provided that upon the appointed day (23 November 1955) the islands should cease to form part of the Colony of Singapore and be placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia.

The reason for this comparatively complex machinery was due to the terms of the Straits Settlement
Straits Settlement
(Repeal) Act, 1946. According to Sir Kenneth Roberts-Wray "any other procedure would have been of doubtful validity".[32] The separation involved three steps: separation from the Colony of Singapore; transfer by United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and acceptance by Australia. H. J. Hull was appointed the first official representative (now administrator) of the new territory. He had been a lieutenant-commander in the Royal Australian Navy and was released for the purpose. Under Commonwealth Cabinet Decision 1573 of 9 September 1958, Hull's appointment was terminated and John William Stokes was appointed on secondment from the Northern Territory
Northern Territory
police. A media release at the end of October 1958 by the Minister for Territories, Hasluck, commended Hull's three years of service on Cocos. Stokes served in the position from 31 October 1958 to 30 September 1960. His son's boyhood memories and photos of the Islands have been published.[33] C. I. Buffett MBE from Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island
succeeded him and served from 28 July 1960 to 30 June 1966, and later acted as Administrator back on Cocos and on Norfolk Island. In 1974, Ken Mullen wrote a small book[34] about his time with wife and son from 1964 to 1966 working at the Cable Station on Direction Island. In the 1970s, the Australian government's dissatisfaction with the Clunies-Ross feudal style of rule of the island increased. In 1978, Australia
Australia
forced the family to sell the islands for the sum of A$6,250,000, using the threat of compulsory acquisition. By agreement, the family retained ownership of Oceania House, their home on the island. In 1983, the Australian government reneged on this agreement, and told John Clunies-Ross
John Clunies-Ross
that he should leave the Cocos. The following year the High Court of Australia
Australia
ruled that resumption of Oceania House was unlawful, but the Australian government ordered that no government business was to be granted to Clunies-Ross's shipping company, an action that contributed to his bankruptcy.[35] John Clunies-Ross now lives in Perth, Western Australia. However, some members of the Clunies-Ross family
Clunies-Ross family
still live on the Cocos. Extensive preparations were undertaken by the government of Australia to prepare the Cocos Malays
Cocos Malays
to vote in their referendum of self-determination. Discussions began in 1982, with an aim of holding the referendum, under United Nations supervision, in mid-1983. Under guidelines developed by the UN Decolonization Committee, residents were to be offered three choices: full independence, free association, or integration with Australia. The last option was preferred by both the islanders and the Australian government. A change in government in Canberra
Canberra
following the March 1983 Australian elections delayed the vote by one year. While the Home Island
Home Island
Council stated a preference for a traditional communal consensus "vote", the UN insisted on a secret ballot. The referendum was held on 6 April 1984, with all 261 eligible islanders participating, including the Clunies-Ross family: 229 voted for integration, 21 for Free Association, nine for independence, and two failed to indicate a preference.[36] In recent years a series of disputes have occurred between the Muslim Coco Malay inhabitants and the non-Muslim population of the islands.[1] Government[edit] The capital of the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
is West Island while the largest settlement is the village of Bantam[citation needed] (Home Island). Governance of the islands is based on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955[37][38] and depends heavily on the laws of Australia. The islands are administered from Canberra
Canberra
by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
through a non-resident Administrator appointed by the Governor-General. They were previously the responsibility of the Department of Transport and Regional Services (before 2007) and the Attorney-General's Department (2007–2013)[39][40] The current Administrator is Natasha Griggs, who was appointed on 5 October 2017 and is also the Administrator of Christmas Island. These two Territories comprise the Australian Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Territories. The Australian Government provides Commonwealth-level government services through the Christmas Island
Christmas Island
Administration and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.[41] As per the Federal Government's Territories Law Reform Act 1992, which came into force on 1 July 1992, Western Australian laws are applied to the Cocos Islands, "so far as they are capable of applying in the Territory.";[42] non-application or partial application of such laws is at the discretion of the federal government. The Act also gives Western Australian courts judicial power over the islands. The Cocos Islands remain constitutionally distinct from Western Australia, however; the power of the state to legislate for the territory is power delegated by the federal government. The kind of services typically provided by a state government elsewhere in Australia
Australia
are provided by departments of the Western Australian Government, and by contractors, with the costs met by the federal government. There also exists a unicameral Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Shire Council with seven seats. A full term lasts four years, though elections are held every two years; approximately half the members retire each two years. Federal politics[edit]

Senate, 2016[43]

Labor

54.64%

Rise Up Australia

22.86%

Country Liberal

11.07%

Greens

5.00%

CEC

3.21%

HEMP/Sex

3.21%

House of Representatives, 2016[44]

Labor

64.34%

Shooters

19.49%

Country Liberal

8.82%

Greens

2.94%

Others

4.41%

Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
residents who are Australian citizens also vote in federal elections. Cocos (Keeling) Islanders are represented in the House of Representatives by the member for the Division of Lingiari (in the Northern Territory
Northern Territory
and in the Senate by Northern Territory senators.[45] At the 2016 federal election, the Labor Party received absolute majorities from Cocos electors in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.[43][44] Defence and law enforcement[edit] Defence is the responsibility of the Australian Defence Force. There are no active military installations or defence personnel on the islands. The Administrator may request the assistance of the Australian Defence Force
Australian Defence Force
if required. The 2016 Australian Defence White Paper stated that the airfield in the island would be upgraded to support the RAAF's P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.[46] Civilian law enforcement and community policing is provided by the Australian Federal Police. The normal deployment to the island is one sergeant and one constable. These are augmented by two locally engaged Special
Special
Members who have police powers. Courts[edit] See also: Supreme Court of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Since 1992, court services have been provided by the Western Australian Department of the Attorney-General under a service delivery arrangement with the Australian Government. Western Australian Court Services provide Magistrates Court, District Court, Supreme Court, Family Court, Children's Court, Coroner's Court and Registry for births, deaths and marriages and change of name services. Magistrates and judges from Western Australia
Australia
convene a circuit court as required. Health care[edit] Home Island
Home Island
and West Island have medical clinics providing basic health services, but serious medical conditions and injuries cannot be treated on the island and patients are sent to Perth (3000 km) for treatment. Economy[edit] The population of the islands is approximately 600. There is a small and growing tourist industry focused on water-based or nature activities. In 2016, a beach on Direction Island was named the best beach in Australia
Australia
by Brad Farmer, an Aquatic and Coastal Ambassador for Tourism Australia
Australia
and co-author of 101 Best Beaches 2017.[47][48] Small local gardens and fishing contribute to the food supply, but most food and most other necessities must be imported from Australia or elsewhere. The Cocos Islands Cooperative Society Ltd. employs construction workers, stevedores, and lighterage worker operations. Tourism employs others. The unemployment rate was 6.7% in 2011.[49] Strategic importance[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (November 2017)

The Cocos Islands are strategically important because of their proximity to shipping lanes in the Indian and Pacific oceans.[50] The United States
United States
and Australia
Australia
have expressed interest in stationing surveillance drones on the Cocos Islands.[51] Euronews
Euronews
described the plan as Australian support for an increased American presence in Southeast Asia, but expressed concern that it was likely to upset Chinese officials.[52] James Cogan has written for the World Socialist Web Site
World Socialist Web Site
that the plan to station surveillance drones at Cocos is one component of US President Barack Obama's
Barack Obama's
"pivot" towards Asia, facilitating control of the sea lanes and potentially allowing US forces to enforce a blockade against China.[50] After plans to construct airbases were leaked to the Washington Post,[citation needed] Australian defence minister Stephen Smith stated that the Australian government views the "Cocos as being potentially a long-term strategic location, but that is down the track."[53] Communications and transport[edit]

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Transport[edit] The Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
have fifteen kilometres (9.3 miles) of highway. There is one paved airport on the West Island. A tourist bus operates on Home Island. The only airport is Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airport
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airport
with a single 2,441 m (8,009 ft) paved runway. Virgin Australia
Australia
operates scheduled jet services from Perth Airport
Perth Airport
via Christmas Island. After 1952, the airport at Cocos Islands was a stop for airline flights between Australia
Australia
and South Africa, and Qantas
Qantas
and South African Airways stopped there to refuel. The arrival of long-range jet aircraft ended this need in 1967. An interisland ferry, the Cahaya Baru, connects West, Home and Direction Islands. There is a lagoon anchorage between Horsburgh and Direction islands for larger vessels, while yachts have a dedicated anchorage area in the southern lee of Direction Island. There are no major seaports on the islands. Communications[edit] The islands are connected within Australia's telecommunication system (with number range +61 8 9162 xxxx). Public phones are located on both West Island and Home Island. A reasonably reliable GSM mobile phone network (number range +61 406 xxx), run by CiiA (Christmas Island Internet Association), operates on Cocos (Keeling) Islands. SIM cards (full size) and recharge cards can be purchased from the Telecentre on West Island to access this service. Australia
Australia
Post provides mail services with the postcode 6799. There are post offices on West Island and Home Island. Standard letters and express post items are sent by air twice weekly, but all other mail is sent by sea and can take up to two months for delivery. Internet[edit] .cc
.cc
is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Cocos (Keeling) Islands. It is administered by VeriSign through a subsidiary company eNIC, which promotes it for international registration as "the next .com"; .cc
.cc
was originally assigned in October 1997 to eNIC Corporation of Seattle WA by the IANA. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also uses the .cc
.cc
domain, along with .nc.tr. Internet access on Cocos is provided by CiiA (Christmas Island Internet Association), and is supplied via satellite ground station on West Island, and distributed via a wireless PPPoE-based WAN on both inhabited islands. Casual internet access is available at the Telecentre on West Island, and the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Group Training office on Home Island. The National Broadband Network
National Broadband Network
announced in early 2012 that it would extend service to Cocos in 2015 via high speed satellite link.[54] Media[edit] The Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
have access to a range of modern communication services. Digital television stations are broadcast from Western Australia
Australia
via satellite. A local radio station, 6CKI – Voice of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, is staffed by community volunteers and provides some local content. Television[edit] Australian[edit] The Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
receives a range of digital channels from Western Australia
Australia
via satellite and is broadcast from the Airport Building on the West Island on the following VHF frequencies: ABC6, SBS7, WAW8, WOW10 and WDW11[55] Malaysian[edit] From 2013 onwards, Cocos Island
Cocos Island
will receive four Malaysian channels via satellite: TV3, ntv7, 8TV and TV9.[citation needed] Education[edit] There is a school in the archipelago, Cocos Islands District High School, with campuses located on West Island (Kindergarten to Year 10), and the other on Home Island
Home Island
(Kindergarten to Year 6). CIDHS is part of the Western Australia
Australia
Department of Education. School instruction is in English on both campuses, with Cocos Malay teacher aides assisting the younger children in Kindergarten, Pre-Preparatory and early Primary with the English curriculum on the Home Island Campus. The Home Language of Cocos Malay is valued whilst students engage in learning English. Culture[edit] Main article: Culture of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Gallery

Aerial view of Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airport
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airport
(ICAO code: YPCC).

Home Island.

Compass stand from the bridge of HMAS Sydney, which destroyed the SMS Emden, installed at Port Macquarie, New South Wales, in 1929.

A broadside view of the wrecked German raider Emden after her encounter with HMAS Sydney near Cocos Island. Seamen, shortly to be rescued by the Sydney, crowd together on the clear end of the vessel. In the foreground, several crew members look on from the Sydney 's foredeck.

The last bombing raid of World War II
World War II
by 99, 356 and 321 Squadrons is cancelled, 15 August 1945.[56]

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrive at the Cocos Islands, April 1954.

Prince Philip waves goodbye as he and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by John Clunies-Ross, return to their ship from Home Island
Home Island
(1954).

Queen Elizabeth at a garden party held in her honour at Home Island (1954).

See also[edit]

Banknotes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Cocos Malays Index of Cocos (Keeling) Islands-related articles King of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Pearl Islands
Pearl Islands
(Isla de Cocos, Panama; Cocos Island, Costa Rica).

Geography portal Islands portal Asia portal Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
portal Australia
Australia
portal

References[edit]

^ https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/FlagPost/2017/June/Census_2016_-_Summary_of_results ^ a b c Woodroffe, C.D.; Berry, P.F. (February 1994). Scientific Studies in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: An Introduction. Atoll Research Bulletin. 399. Washington DC: National Museum of Natural History. pp. 1–2.  ^ "Dynasties: Clunies-Ross". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 2016-01-06.  ^ Horsburgh, James (1841). "Islands to the Southward and South-eastward of Java; The Keeling or Cocos Islands". The India directory, or, Directions for sailing to and from the East Indies, China, Australia, and the interjacent ports of Africa and South America: comp. chiefly from original journals of the honourable company's ships, and from observations and remarks, resulting from the experience of twenty-one years in the navigation of those seas. Vol.1 (5th ed.). London: W.H. Allen and Co. pp. 141–2.  ^ Ross, J. C. (May 1835). "The Cocos' Isles". The Metropolitan. Peck and Newton. p. 220.  ^ Weber, Max Carl Wilhelm; Weber, Lieven Ferdinand de Beaufort, Max Wilhelm Carl (1916). The Fishes of the Indo-australian Archipelago. Brill Archive. p. 286. Retrieved 26 August 2015.  ^ https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/1a/22/b3/1a22b3506897ed6571e01f37ab80722c.jpg ^ https://diannewolfer.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/10429811_10152701070713780_7000322669539587620_n1.jpg ^ "Klimatafel von Kokos-Insel (Cocos Island, Flugh.), Indischer Ozean / Australien" (PDF). Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Retrieved 16 June 2016.  ^ a b "Cocos (Keeling) Islands". The World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved 27 January 2012.  ^ Nationaal Archief, The Hague, archive 4.VEL inventorynumber 338] ^ Pulu Keeling National Park
Pulu Keeling National Park
Management Plan. Australian Government. 2004. ISBN 0-642-54964-8.  ^ a b c d Joshua Slocum, "Sailing Alone Around the World", p. 212 ^ "Gleanings in Science".  ^ The Clunies-Ross Chronicle Archived 5 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Morning Post (London) 20 March 1835 ^ "BBC NEWS - Programmes - From Our Own Correspondent - The man who lost a 'coral kingdom'".  ^ Keynes, Richard (2001), Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary, Cambridge University Press, pp. 413–418  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ a b c Commonwealth and Colonial Law by Kenneth Roberts-Wray, London, Stevens, 1966. P. 882 ^ "The Cocos Islands". The Chambers's Journal. 76: 187–190. 1899.  ^ S.R.O. & S.I. Rev. XXI, 512. ^ S.R.O. 1903 No. 478, S.R.O. & S.I. Rev. XXI, 515 ^ a b Commonwealth and Colonial Law by Kenneth Roberts-Wray, London, Stevens, 1966. P. 883 ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-15.  ^ McKay, S. 2012. The Secret Listeners. Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 978 1 78131 079 3 ^ Cruise, Noel (2002). The Cocos Islands Mutiny. Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press. p. 248. ISBN 1-86368-310-0.  ^ "Imperial Submarines".  ^ Fail, J.E.H. "FORWARD STRATEGIC AIR BASE COCOS ISLAND". www.rquirk.com. Retrieved 13 February 2013.  ^ Colony of Singapore. Government Gazette. (1946, April 1). The Singapore
Singapore
Colony Order in Council, 1946 (G.N. 2, pp. 2–3). Singapore: [s.n.]. Call no.: RCLOS 959.57 SGG; White paper on Malaya (1946, January 26). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Tan, K. Y. L. (Ed.). (1999). The Singapore
Singapore
legal system (pp. 232–233). Singapore: Singapore
Singapore
University Press. Call no.: RSING 349.5957 SIN. ^ 9 & 10 G. 6, c. 37 ^ Commonwealth and Colonial Law by Kenneth Roberts-Wray, London, Stevens, 1966. Pgs. 133-134 ^ Commonwealth and Colonial Law by Kenneth Roberts-Wray, London, Stevens, 1966. P. 134 ^ Stokes, Tony (2012). Whatever Will Be, I'll See: Growing Up in the 1940s, 50s and 60s in the Northern Territory, Christmas and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, New South Wales
New South Wales
and the Australian Capital Territory. Tony Stokes. p. 238. ISBN 9780646575643.  ^ Cocos Keeling, the islands time forgot (1974). Ken Mullen. published by Angus & Robertson, Sydney. 122 pages. ^ "Cabinet papers: The last King of Cocos loses his palace". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-01-01.  ^ Kenneth Chen, "Pacific Island Development Plan: Cocos (Keeling) Islands- The Political Evolution of a Small Island Territory in the Indian Ocean" (1987): Mr Chen was Administrator, Cocos Islands, from December 1983 – November 1985. ^ WebLaw – full resource metadata display Archived 22 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ " Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Act 1955".  ^ Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. "Territories of Australia". Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2008. As part of the Machinery of Government Changes following the Federal Election on 29 November 2007, administrative responsibility for Territories has been transferred to the Attorney General's Department. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ First Assistant Secretary, Territories Division (30 January 2008). "Territories of Australia". Attorney-General's Department. Archived from the original on 6 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008. The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General's Department administers Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Jervis Bay, and Norfolk Island as Territories.  ^ "Commonwealth of Australia
Australia
Administrative Arrangements Order made on 18 September 2013" (PDF). Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 18 September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2013.  ^ "Territories Law Reform Act 1992".  ^ a b Senate polling places on Christmas Island:

Home Island Home Island
Home Island
PPVC West Island

^ a b House of Representatives polling places:

Home Island Home Island
Home Island
PPVC West Island

^ "Profile of the electoral division of Lingiari (NT)". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 May 2016.  ^ "2016 Defence White Paper (para. 4.66)" (PDF). defence.gov.au.  ^ Jackson, Belinda (4 December 2016). "Cossies Beach, Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Beach expert Brad Farmer names Australia's best beach 2017". traveller.com.au. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 December 2016.  ^ Bonnor, James (22 August 2016). " Australia
Australia
appoints Brad Farmer to beach ambassador role". www.surfersvillage.com. XTreme Video. Retrieved 4 December 2016.  ^ "Cocos (Keeling) Islands : Region Data Summary".  ^ a b Cogan, James, "US Marines begin operations in northern Australia." World Socialist Web Site, 14 April 2012. ^ Whitlock, Craig, "U.S., Australia
Australia
to broaden military ties amid Pentagon pivot to SE Asia", The Washington Post, 26 March 2012. ^ Grubel, James, " Australia
Australia
open to US spy flights from Indian Ocean." Euronews, 28 March 2012. Archived 27 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ McGuirk, Rod, " Australia
Australia
to Welcome 250 US Marines next Month, Plays down Proposal for Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
Air Base."[dead link] Associated Press, 27 March 2012. ^ Kidman, Alex, "NBN To Launch Satellites in 2015." Gizmodo, 8 February 2012. ^ "List of licensed broadcasting transmitters". ACMA. Retrieved 28 December 2013.  ^ Maj-General J. T. Durrant (SA Air Force, Commanding Officer, Cocos Islands), watched by Wing Commander "Sandy" Webster (Commanding Officer, 99 Squadron), Squadron Leader Les Evans (Acting Commanding Officer, 356 Squadron) and Lieutenant Commander W. van Prooijen (Commanding Officer, 321 Squadron).

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2003 edition".

Bibliography[edit]

Clunies-Ross, John Cecil; Souter, Gavin The Clunies-Ross Cocos Chronicle, Self, Perth 2009, ISBN 9780980586718

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Shire of Cocos
Shire of Cocos
(Keeling) Islands homepage Areas of individual islets Atoll
Atoll
Research Bulletin vol. 403 Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Tourism website Noel Crusz, The Cocos Islands mutiny, reviewed by Peter Stanley (Principal Historian, Australian War Memorial). The man who lost a "coral kingdom" Amateur Radio DX Pedition to Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
VK9EC

Coordinates: 12°07′S 96°54′E / 12.117°S 96.900°E / -12.117; 96.900

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