A former senior adviser to the Tasmanian Government, David Price, is playing a key role in determining the future of Christmas Island.
Mr Price, a former Labor Party state secretary and adviser to former Premier Paul Lennon, is the chief executive of the Shire of Christmas Island.
Launceston-born Mr Price left Tasmanian politics in 2009 to take up a post in Pakistan for the American-based National Democratic Institute.
He also was chief of staff to the Norfolk Island Government for several years.
Mr Price has been working on Christmas Island for three years and said he was disappointed the future of the Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, and the recently re-opened detention centre was uncertain.
"Prime Minister Scott Morrison re-opened the Island's detention centre in March and now says if he wins the election he will repeal the medevac legislation," Mr Price said.
"It was a stunt and people were making financial decisions based on the re-opening."
The centre was re-opened after the medevac legislation passed Federal Parliament allowing for sick asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island to get treatment in Australia.
Mr Price said Christmas Island only had a small regional hospital which did not perform surgery and most residents flew to Australia for medical treatment.
"The detention centre is open but there is no-one there," he said.
"It seems the Island is in the hands of politicians and it is disgraceful.
"It has galvanised Islanders though who do not want Christmas Island to be seen as just a penal colony."
Mr Price said the Shire was working towards "an economic strategy that supported diversity of the island's economic base without a detention centre".
He said some businesses had taken steps to expand their operations after Mr Morrison's visit in March - the first by a Prime Minister.
"They were told to expect hundreds of new arrivals so they made commitments which they have now had to get out of," he said.
"This is extremely distressing for these people and their families and workers."
Mr Price said Christmas Island's reputation had again been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
"We have been working hard in the past two years to rebrand the Island to make it an attractive place for people to visit," he said.
"We want a tourism industry to provide jobs for Islanders.
"Now Australians just think it is a place to detain people."
The Shire of Christmas Island has nine elected councillors for an island population of about 1600 people.