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END OF 36 YEARS OF SELF-GOVERNANCE ON NORFOLK ISLAND


The Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly sat for the last time at 10.00 a.m. on Wednesday, 17 June 2015.

I wish to acknowledge the support of the members of the Norfolk Island community who attended that meeting both inside the Assembly Chamber and outside in the Assembly complex to voice their support for the continuation of a Norfolk Island elected Legislative Assembly.

The Legislative Assembly will be abolished at 11.59 p.m. on 17 June 2015 thus ending 36 years of self-governance on Norfolk Island.

The 14 Legislative Assemblies that have been elected during that 36 year period have provided a bed of Legislation and infrastructure development that would be the envy of small communities in mainland Australia. This has also included social support systems that normally fall within the Federal Government’s responsibilities.

However, Governments alone cannot deliver those benefits to a community and the support of the Norfolk Island community over those 36 years has been critical to those 14 Legislative Assemblies ability to develop and introduce those reforms.

On behalf of the 14th Legislative Assembly I would like to thank all past Assembly members and the Norfolk Island community in achieving those outcomes.

As we move to a Local Regional Council on 1 July 2016 it is critically important that as a community we work together to ensure the possible best outcome for all Norfolk Islanders

David E Buffett
Speaker

17 June 2015

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CHRISTMAS AND NORFOLK ISLANDS GOVERNANCE CONFERENCE



Kelvin Matthews (CEO), Shire Council Members Cnr Philip Woo, Shire Council President Gordon Thomson and Cnr. Azmi Yon 


An informal governance conference between the Shire of Christmas Island representatives and the Norfolk Island Government was held in the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly Chambers on 9 and 10 June 2015.

The theme of the conference was ‘It is for the people to determine the destiny of its Territory and not the Territory the destiny of the people’.

The conference discussed;
 The historical backgrounds to both the Norfolk Island and Christmas Island and governance arrangements.
 The Joint standing Committee of the National Capital and External Territories inquiry into Norfolk Island and the current inquiry into the Governance of the Indian Ocean Territories
 Economic Development, Financial Implications and Self Governance
 The Meaning of Self Determination & United Nations Intervention

There was identified the need for greater dialogue between the External Territories of Norfolk Island and Christmas Island as we move into a changing political environment driven by the Commonwealth aimed at reducing and removing the democratic rights of the people in the External Territories.
To this extent there is a commitment between Norfolk Island and Christmas Island to work closely together in ensuring their communities are fully informed of the consequences of the reform agenda of the Commonwealth, and to where possible develop joint responses. This is to also include regular meetings between representatives of both External Territories.

Lisle Snell                                                              Gordon Thomson
Chief Minister of Norfolk Island                           President of the Shire of Christmas Island
12 June 2015

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SITTING OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF NORFOLK ISLAND


 

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GEOFF GARDNER OAM



On behalf of the Norfolk Island Government and the people of Norfolk Island I extend our sincere congratulations on the Award to Geoff of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Whilst the published citation only says the OAM was awarded to him for “service to the community of Norfolk Island through leadership roles, and to athletics”, we as a Government and community wish to acknowledge your outstanding achievements both as a Chief Minister, Minister of the Government of Norfolk Island and as a Member and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.

Coupled with this are Geoff’s significant achievements in the international sporting arena both as an athlete and a sports administrator, including but I am sure not limited to: Councillor, International Association of Athletics Federations, since 2011; Oceania Area Representative, current; Member, Development Commission, current; Member, Finance and Budget Commission, current; Member, Technical Delegate Panel, 2013; Member, Jury of Appeal, London 2012 Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships, 2013 and IAAF Continental Cup, 2014 and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. President, Oceania Athletics Association (OAA), since 2007; Councillor, since 2003; National Technical Official, OAA Championship, 2005-2014. Member, Norfolk Island Amateur Sports and Commonwealth Games Association (formerly Norfolk Island Amateur Sports Association); Secretary, Norfolk Island Athletics Association, since 1984; served as Coach, Administrator and/or Senior Technical Official, Oceania Championships, Pacific Games, and South Pacific Mini Games for many years.

I also take this opportunity to thank Geoff for his ambassadorship of Norfolk Island over the years.

Once again congratulations, an Award well deserved.

Lisle Snell
Chief Minister
12 June 2015

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INTERIM ADVISORY COUNCIL FUNCTIONS AND COMMUNITY TRANSITIONAL ENGAGEMENT



I acknowledge the announcement by Assistant Minister Briggs on the appointment of Melissa Ward as the Chair of the interim Norfolk Island Advisory Council, and the naming of the other appointees in the near future.

I would stress to Mrs Ward and the appointees once named, that they should seek immediate clarification with Assistant Minister Briggs to broaden their functions beyond those as identified in his Media Release of 4 June 2015.

1. The Norfolk Island Regional Council model.

2. The transition of Norfolk Island Administration staff to the Norfolk Island Regional Council.

3. The phasing in of state law, keeping in mind the need to prioritise economic development, community safety and sustainable government while responding to the unique circumstances on Norfolk Island.

The above functions need to be broadened to include engagement of the Norfolk Island community on the transitional arrangements to the Australian Taxation, Social Security and Medicare systems.

That community engagement should identify to the interim Advisory Council of any transitional issues that need to be raised and resolved with the Commonwealth prior to the implementation date of 1/7/2016.

Examples of some of those issues go to transitional arrangements for women on Norfolk Island to the Australian aged pension requirements, clarity on the introduction of Australian taxation for small businesses and individuals and the transition to Medicare for treatment of existing medical conditions.
It is imperative the interim Advisory Council clarifies that community transitional engagement is a function within their tasks with Assistant Minister Briggs as soon as possible.

I would urge members of the community who have concerns about the transitional arrangements to raise them directly with Mrs Ward and the other members of the interim Advisory Council once they are named.

I also urge members of the community to fully utilise the services of the Australian Government information centre in World Traders to clarify any concerns you may have.

Lisle Snell
Chief Minister

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BAY STREET ROAD BRIDGE CLOSURE



A Engineer’s report has identified serious structural defects with the Bay Street Bridge that is within KAVHA, accordingly for public safety the Bay Street Bridge will be closed immediately  

The closure will be for at least a 2 month period depending on the supply and delivery of material necessary for the repair works to be completed. 

While access for emergency vehicles will be provided via alternative access, the public will need to park at the Lime Kilns or along Slaughter Bay until the repairs have been completed. 

While we understand this is of disruption to public and tourist access via the Bay Street Bridge the safety to the public is of our paramount concern.  

Every effort will be made to ensure the closure of the Bridge is as minimal as possible. 

Ron Ward 
Minister for the Environment

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REMONSTRANCE MOTION


Photo: The Hon. David E. Buffett presenting the Remonstrance to Senator Gavin Marshall, Deputy President of the Senate.

The Legislative Assembly at its sitting on 20 May 2015 resolved that a Remonstrance Motion be delivered to the Australian Parliament objecting to the removal of the Legislative Assembly and the elected representation of the Norfolk Island community, and petitioned that any change in governance, to be the subject of a referendum in Norfolk Island.

The Speaker, the Hon. David E. Buffett, delivered on Monday last 25 May, the formal Remonstrance to the Deputy President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in their parliamentary offices. Speaker Buffett was courteously received and had discussion about the purpose of the Remonstrance and the infrequent nature of such important communications directly from one parliament to another. Both Presiding Officers undertook to consider its content seriously and to bring it to the attention of their respective chambers. The Remonstrance was tabled in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 27 May 2015 by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the full text of which is recorded in the Votes and Proceedings of the hansard. No action has been noted in the Senate at the time of this media release as the Senate does not sit until 15 June 2015.

Speaker Buffett responded to radio and television interviews on the contents of the Remonstrance and the specific grievances detailed therein. There were questions about whether this was the last available mechanism for Norfolk Island to forestall the abolition of the Legislative Assembly. Mr Buffett explained that the Remonstrance sought that the Commonwealth Parliament reconsider the abolition of the Legislative Assembly, not the abandonment of all necessary or desirable governance or policy changes. He also pointed out the unprecedented step being taken of removing self-government from a community to which it had been extended over 35 years ago.

Speaker Buffett also stressed that the Norfolk Island Government and the Norfolk community, while accepting the need for changes to implement mainland taxes and welfare services, had identified more effective and efficient governance models which could deliver local, state and territory services better suited to Norfolk Island's particular circumstances at lower cost, without abolishing the Island's properly elected Assembly. Advice has been received since delivery of the above Remonstrance, that the Governor-General Assented to the package of Norfolk Island amending Legislation on 26 May 2015.

David E. Buffett
Speaker
29 May 2015

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REMONSTRANCE MOTION



This week the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly on 20 May 2015 passed a REMONSTRANCE motion which petitions the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia to re-examine the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.

Accordingly, I have written to the Prime Minister the Hon Tony Abbott MP requesting that the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 not be presented to the Governor General for assent prior to the House of Representatives and Senate considering the remonstrance motion passed by the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly.

The Speaker the Hon David Buffett will be travelling to Canberra next week to present the remonstrance motion to both the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate on behalf of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly.

The petition reaffirms the wishes of the Norfolk Island voters as expressed at referendum on 8 May 2015 to be consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament.

This provides the Australian Parliament with the opportunity to at last recognise the rights of the people of Norfolk Island to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development.

The full Remonstrance Motion is a follows:


Ms Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

REMONSTRANCE – Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015


Mr Speaker

I seek leave of the House to move the foreshadowed motion regarding the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 without notice.

I move –

That this Assembly calls on the:

(a)       Chief Minister to write to the Prime Minister of Australia requesting that the Australian Government respect the view of the Assembly and initiate action to re-examine those aspects of  the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 that results in the removal of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly; and

(b)       Speaker of the Legislative Assembly to present to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth Parliament copies of a Remonstrance which will read as follows;

REMONSTRANCE

The Legislative Assembly for Norfolk Island respectfully addresses itself to –

The Honourable The President of the Senate and Members of the Senate,

The Honourable The Speaker of the House of Representatives and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled.


PREAMBLE

The passage, in the Commonwealth Parliament, of the Norfolk Island Act 1979 conferred on Norfolk Island a limited grant of self-governing powers with its own legislature (the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island) with a plenary grant of legislative powers to legislate for the peace, order, and good government of the Territory established, with its own body politic under the Crown with a wide grant of executive powers and with its own judicial system.


The Legislative Assembly for Norfolk Island is constituted of 9 representatives of the people of Norfolk Island; duly and democratically elected pursuant to the Legislative Assembly Act 1979.


The Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 passed by the Commonwealth Parliament in May 2015 removes the self government powers of Norfolk Island.  It has been passed without genuine consultation and negotiation with the Norfolk Island Government, the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island or the people of Norfolk Island.


The Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights contained within the Explanatory Memorandum for the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 asserted that the proposal to remove  self government powers from Norfolk Island was the result of an extensive consultation process that found significant support for change within the Norfolk Island community.  


Norfolk Island voters in a referendum conducted on 8 May 2015 under the Referendum Act 1964 voted by a 68% majority that the people of Norfolk Island should have the right to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development and be consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament.


GRIEVANCES

 The Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island presents its grievances to the Commonwealth Parliament. These are that:

(1)       The people of Norfolk Island having been granted self governing powers, the duly elected representatives of the people of Norfolk Island are aggrieved that self government should be removed without genuine consultation and negotiation.

(2)      The removal of self government in Norfolk Island breaches one of the conventions of self government in the Westminster tradition that once self government is granted to a political entity, it should not thereafter be taken away except in the most extreme circumstances, for example, war or civil disturbance. See submission of the Commonwealth Attorney- General‟s Department to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Northern Territory, page 8 of Parliamentary Paper No.281 of 1974 where it also states that it would be politically unthinkable to take away such powers after they had been granted.


PETITION

 The Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island and its democratically elected Members respectfully request that the Commonwealth Parliament affirm the rights of the people of Norfolk Island to self-government by re-examining those aspects of the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 that result in the removal of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly and call on the Prime Minister to confer on the people of Norfolk Island the right to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development and be consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament..


Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

22 May 2015 

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NOTICE PAPER 20th MAY 2015



NORFOLK ISLAND

FOURTEENTH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

NOTICE PAPER NUMBER 26

wednesday 20 MAY 2015

 

NORF’K AILEN

FORTIINTH LEJESLIETEW ‘SEMBLE

NOETIS PIEPA NAMBA 26

WENSDI 20 MAY 2015

 

NOTICES

 

1          THE ABOLITION OF SELF-GOVERNMENT

            Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, to move ¾

 

This House resolves to note that –

 

  1. The Australian Parliament has passed legislation which abolishes the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island and the limited self-government granted to Norfolk Island in 1979
  2. In 1978 the then Commonwealth Minister, Mr Ellicott, announced that although Norfolk Island was part of Australia and would remain so, this did not require the Island to be regulated by the same laws as regulate other parts of Australia.  But in 2014 an Australian Parliamentary Committee recommended that self-government should be abolished. That recommendation was reflected in the title of the Committee’s report, “Same Country: Different World”. The logic of the report was that because Norfolk Island was part of the Commonwealth of Australia it should be governed in the same way as other parts of Australia.
  3. The shift from Mr Ellicott’s position to the Committee’s position is contestable, and contested.  The shift was driven by a great number of reports by Australian authorities since 1979 that have in general been critical of the governance of Norfolk Island. But they did not adequately take into account the real and concrete achievements of the Norfolk Island community under self-government.
  4. Those achievements include many infrastructure and social initiatives, for example the takeover of the airport; a new airport terminal; extension of the electricity reticulation network; the water assurance scheme; a replacement police station; the Bicentennial Centre; a new library and broadcasting station; a replacement works depot; a new waste management centre; a new telecommunications centre, satellite arrangement, internet and mobile phone service; the maintenance of Commonwealth assets such as the Cascade pier; and a new landing platform for cruise ships. Some initiatives were contributed to by the Commonwealth (such as the Kingston Arthur’s Vale Historic Area). The majority were not.
  5. Social issues addressed during self-government included a statutory social security system; no fault worker’s compensation; a healthcare scheme (originally instituted as an emergency response to the withdrawal without notice of Commonwealth legislation); modernisation of numerous laws, especially relating to criminal justice; the introduction of land planning; guaranteed land titles; and education to Year 12.
  6. The outcome of all of these measures – and many more – differed from Australian laws. But they vindicated Mr Ellicott’s expectation that the Island could develop an appropriate form of government involving its elected representatives.
  7. As well, they allowed room for recognition of the heritage of the Pitcairn descendants, in a way which cannot – and will not – operate in a system where Australian laws and practices are introduced wholesale.  The preamble to the Norfolk Island Act 1979 included Parliamentary recognition of the special relationship of the Pitcairn decedents with Norfolk Island, but we find from the explanatory memorandum to the Commonwealth's legislation that "the preamble no longer reflects the Parliament's intention".
  8. At the heart of the self-government experience was the recognition that Norfolk Island is different from Australia. The present intent of the commonwealth is to make it the same. The debate about whether Norfolk Island is “part of” the Commonwealth reflects that tension.  It is not an empty slogan, but the foundation of the nature of Norfolk Island as a polity.  And it is not the case that that debate has ended.  Many authoritative commentators, ranging in time from Sir Robert Garran to Professor James Crawford, have expressed the view that Norfolk Island is not part of the Commonwealth but a dependency of it. The High Court of Australia itself said in 2007 that “the answer to the question whether an external territory is ‘part of the commonwealth’ may depend upon the purpose for which the question is asked.  There are different senses in which a place, or a community, or a body politic, may be said to be, or not to be ‘a part of’ another place, or community, or body politic”. And until now the Commonwealth has itself recognised that, even if the Island is part of the Commonwealth, it should be treated in many respects as if it were not.  But it seems that that viewpoint is now to be abandoned.
  9. Why is this important? It is important because good government proceeds from lived experience of the nature of the polity concerned.  It is important because without that experience it is unlikely to operate satisfactorily: as is seen from Federal attempts to govern the Indian Ocean territories, and indeed the experience of Norfolk Island itself prior to self-government.  It is important because democracy not only confers legitimacy - it works.
  10. The Commonwealth’s proposals will not enhance democracy in Norfolk Island.  They will not preserve the right or opportunity to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or though freely chosen representatives. Instead, they will remove that right and deny that opportunity at the vital level of state-type functions, including the delivery of health services; education and many others.
  11. And self-government is not jut an expression of democracy, it is also feasible at a practical level. Contrary to uninformed opinion, small communities with small populations can and do exercise wide-ranging powers: St Helena (approximately 5,000 people); Montserrat (5,000); Falkland Islands (2,500); Niue (1,600); Tokelau (1,400). There are many other examples.
  12. Mr Ellicott in 1978 recognised the truth of this. His recommendation to the Australian cabinet was that a referendum of the Island’s electors should be held if it were proposed to integrate Norfolk Island into Australia. And last Friday, 8 May 2015, the electors overwhelmingly expressed their opinion that they should be consulted, by means of referendum or plebiscite, on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before the Australian Parliament proceeds further.
  13. The people of Norfolk Island have the right to freely determine their political status, and their economic, social and cultural development.
  14. For the peace, order and good government of Norfolk Island, that right should be pursued by all possible means.

 

2          PUBLIC SERVICE ACT 2014 – APPOINTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER

            Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, to move ¾

 

THAT this House, in accordance with section 15(1) of the Public Service Act 2014 (the Act), resolve that ¾

Michael Francis Moore

 

being a person who has qualification, skills, experience, knowledge, independence and aptitude as expected of a person holding a position such as described in Schedule 2 of the Act and who is not ordinarily resident in Norfolk Island and who is not a former employee of the Administration or an employee of a territory instrumentality be appointed by the Administrator as a Public Service Commissioner commencing on the date the notice of appointment is published in the Gazette.

 

3          MUSEUM TRUST ACT 1987 - RE-APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE MUSEUM TRUST

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to move ¾

THAT this House resolve for the purposes of subsections 5(1) and (2) of the Museums Trust Act 1987 that the Minister re-appoint the following as members of the Norfolk Island Museum Trust:

Albert Fletcher Buffett;

Jeanette Elizabeth Calder;

Peter Russell Horrocks;

Ronald Coane Nobbs; and

Jodie Therese Williams

 

            and appoint the following as members of the Norfolk Island Museum Trust:

 

Lisa Richards; and

Brian McGrath

                                            

         for the period 9 May 2015 to 8 May 2017.

 

4          IMMIGRATION ACT 1980 - APPLICATION FOR GENERAL ENTRY PERMIT

      Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to seek leave to move ¾

THAT for the purpose of paragraph 17A(1)(e) of the Immigration Act 1980, this Legislative Assembly resolve that -

 

Rujirawan Hongsalerk

 

be authorised to make an application for a general entry permit under the Act.

 

5          NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL (AMENDMENT) BILL 2015

DAA HOSPETL (CHIENJEN) BIL 2015

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985.

 

6          TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT NO 2) BILL 2015

            TRAEFIK (CHIENJEN NAMBA 2) BIL 2015

            Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward, to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Traffic Act 2010.

 

7          CHILD WELFARE (FURTHER PROTECTION) AMENDMENT BILL 2015

LUKEN AUT FE LETL SALAN (SAMOR) CHIENJEN BIL 2015

Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan, to present a Bill for an Act to to make further provision for the welfare of children and young people, to provide minimum age of employment, to protect children from hazardous employment, to protect young children from prostitution and, to further those ends, to amend the Child Welfare Act 2009, the Criminal Code 2007, and the Employment Act 1988, and for matters connected therewith.

 

8          PROVIDENT ACCOUNT CLOSURE AND DISTRIBUTION BILL 2015

DISTREBYUSHASN DEN D SHETEN UDAA PROEWEDENT 'KAUNT BIL 2015

            Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, to present a Bill for an Act to provide for closure and distribution of the Provident Account and related purposes.

 

9          FIREARMS AND PROHIBITED WEAPONS (AMENDMENT) BILL 2015

            GAN EN’ TAEDA THING YU ENTFOH GAT (CHIENJEN) BIL 2015

            Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Firearms and Prohibited Weapons Act 1997.

 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

 

1          KINGSTON AND ARTHURS VALE HISTORIC AREA (KAVHA) – REVIEW

            Resumption of debate (Mr Nobbs) from 25 June 2014 on the question – THAT the motion be agreed

 

Gaye Evans

Clerk to the Legislative Assembly       

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REFORM BILLS PASS THROUGH THE AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT



The Australian Parliament passed the Norfolk Island reform Bills through both the House of Representative and Senate this week.

The action of the Australian Parliament in doing so ignored the wishes of the Norfolk Island electors as expressed at referendum on May 8.

Now that the Australian Parliament has passed the reform Bills, the Norfolk Island Government, with what every time it has left as your democratically elected government, is committed to ensure the fairest and effective transition to the new system as possible.

While I will not be a member of the Interim Advisory Committee, I wish the members of the Interim Advisory Committee the very best in their discussions with the commonwealth.

I would also thank the Norfolk Island community for its support over the months as we attempted to put fairness and equity into the reform process.

I would extend my warmest thanks and appreciation to David Buffett, Andre Nobbs and Chelsea Evans who joined me in a delegation to Canberra last week in an effort to have the reform process referred to a Senate Select Committee. While we were not successful in achieving an Inquiry, I wish to commend David, Andre and Chelsea for their tireless effort in trying to achieve that outcome.

The future direction of Norfolk Island is challenging, but as a community we will all need to work together to ensure the best outcomes for Norfolk Island going forward into the future.

Lisle Snell
Chief Minister
15 May

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LETTER TO THE NORFOLK ISLAND RESIDENTS




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NORFOLK ISLAND SEEKS A SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE INQUIRY



The House of Representatives in voting today to support the change to the Norfolk Island Act 1979 to remove the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly, has been mislead by Assistant Minister Briggs by his comment in the Explanatory Notes for those Bills, that the removal of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly has support by the majority of Norfolk Island residents.

The referendum result on 8 May 2015 on Norfolk Island clearly demonstrates that as not true, with 624 votes YES to 266 votes NO by the residents of Norfolk Island wanting a say through referendum, with regard to changes to governance arrangements - prior to those changes being voted on by the Australian Parliament.

The Senate should put a stop to this process through the establishment of a Senate Select Committee Inquiry as proposed by me in my correspondence to members of the Australian Parliament.

Assistant Minister Briggs has allowed the House of Representatives to vote on those Bills when it has been clearly mislead by him, and he needs to resign now.

Lisle Snell
Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

12 May 2015

CONTACT: CHIEF OF STAFF, NORFOLK ISLAND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, OLD MILITARY BARRACKS, KINGSTON, NORFOLK ISLAND 2899 SOUTH PACIFIC. TELEPHONE: (+6723) 22003 FACSIMILE: (+6723) 23378

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WASTE MANAGEMENT UPDATE



Waste Management Update
1. Norfolk Island’s waste management issues are not new and there are no quick fix options to be applied.

2. The increasingly diverse range and ever expanding volumes of toxic materials and products that are constantly being imported, all ultimately contribute to the waste stream somewhere along the line.

3. As with all developed countries of the world, these products and materials are used in abundance with no consideration of the impacts they inevitably bring. The physical constraints of a small island highlight what is actually a world-wide issue. For example houses built here a hundred years ago were mostly built of timber and iron – both being materials that ultimately break down naturally over time. Today there is asbestos sheeting, aluminium, tanalised woods and a multitude of plastics.

4. The proliferation of plastics and other synthetic materials such as packaging, personal effects, white-goods and vehicle componentry place further burden on waste management services.

5. The introduction of digital TV saw bulk quantities of functional TVs discarded. Changes to immigration and business activities have also added their pressures.

6. Successive governments have underestimated the waste issue which has in turn kept them from successfully dealing with the issue, despite the best of intentions.

7. The Commonwealth’s refusal to allow the Norfolk Island Government to install improved burning facilities at Headstone Reserve, the one suitable industrial activity node under the Norfolk Island Plan has also been a major impediment to progress, leaving the island dependent upon establishing and trusting an expensive high tech incinerator to filter outputs close to town.

8. The Norfolk Island Government has been systematically tackling the waste management problem and quickly assessed that the proposed RDAF 4 funded incinerator is inadequate for the island’s ongoing needs, a fact supported by the planning issues that have delayed the installation of the high temperature incinerator.

Although delaying progress, planning laws and the Administrative Review Tribunal (A.R.T) process are serving to ensure all measures taken are the best possible options rather than substandard “quick fix solutions”. While awaiting the outcome of the current A.R.T process the Government has been working through the logistics of using the Administration’s Air Curtain burner as an interim measure to improve incineration at Headstone.
A draft waste management strategy has been produced “in house”. This strategy is being reviewed and refined by waste management specialists in the near future. The document covers all aspects of waste – domestic, industrial, e-waste and green-waste. It addresses waste minimisation, recycling and export of hazardous materials and recyclables. The strategy also proposes interim measures for green-waste management until Argentine ants are controlled.

While increased funding would enable improvement, the Waste Management Centre conducts a massive, thankless and unenviable task that would be more readily recognised were it not functioning.

Ron Ward
Minister for the Environment
12 May 2015
CONTACT: CHIEF OF STAFF, NORFOLK ISLAND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, OLD MILITARY BARRACKS, KINGSTON, NORFOLK ISLAND 2899 SOUTH PACIFIC. TELEPHONE: (+6723) 22003 FACSIMILE: (+6723) 23378

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THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS BEING GRAVELY MISLED



The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 on Tuesday 12 May. The Bill effectively abolishes the Norfolk Island Parliament and replaces it with a Regional Council model. Passing of this Bill which is premised on the fabrication that there has been adequate in depth community consultation would be an absolute denial of human rights and a grave travesty of justice.

A Report, with questionable statistics, by the Commonwealth’s representative in Norfolk Island, the Hon. Gary Hardgrave, the Administrator of Norfolk Island, has advised the responsible Federal Minister, the Hon. Jamie Briggs –

“That the overwhelming view of the community is the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly should be abolished and replaced …. by a local type body” (“Norfolk Island Community Report to Minister prepared by the Hon. Gary Hardgrave 20 December 2014”).

The Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories (the JSC), Mr Luke Simpkins, has reported in similar terms based on a few days on island and discouraging Norfolk Island witnesses to the Inquiry from discussing “governance issues”; requesting them instead to focus “on opportunities for growing economic activity on the island”.

Assistant Minister Briggs has continued to decline to hold a referendum, claiming that adequate consultation has taken place. The Norfolk Island Government refutes that claim.

The Norfolk Island electorate at referendum last Friday overwhelming voted in favour of their being “…consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament” - YES votes 624 NO votes 266 Informal votes 22.
This result clearly exposes the lie that the overwhelming view of the community is that the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly and self-government should be abolished.

The Australian Government has ignored the petition of in excess of 800 members of the community to the Federal Parliament last October requesting that the community be consulted at referendum or plebiscite and having a democratic say on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before any proposed changes are voted on.

The Norfolk Island community has now clearly spoken at referendum.

The Abbott Government and the Australian Parliament need to listen, and not ignore the voice of the Norfolk Island electorate expressed at referendum. To do otherwise, will be a day of shame for Australia, and the Australian Parliament will go down in history as the first Parliament since Federation – and possibly the first in the British Commonwealth – to remove a democratically elected parliament even though it has been clearly demonstrated that the Australian parliament has been misled.

Robin Adams
Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services
11 May 2015
CONTACT: CHIEF OF STAFF, NORFOLK ISLAND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, OLD MILITARY BARRACKS, KINGSTON, NORFOLK ISLAND 2899 SOUTH PACIFIC. TELEPHONE: (+6723) 22003 FACSIMILE: (+6723) 23378

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NORFOLK ISLANDERS AGREE GOVERNANCE CHANGE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL MATTER



“In voting 624 in favour and 266 against at referendum on 8 May 2015 Norfolk Islanders clearly expressed their position that any change to the Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Cth) to change the future model of governance for Norfolk Island is a matter on which they expect to have a direct say at referendum”, the Hon. Robin Adams, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community services said.

“This is a clear rejection of the assertion of the Administrator, the Hon. Gary Hardgrave, that a referendum on Norfolk Island governance was not a constitutional matter” Minister Adams said.

“As I have said previously, Norfolk Island was accepted by Australia as a Territory under the Authority of Australia in 1914. Well after the Australian Constitution was put in place in 1901. Therefore, Norfolk Island is not mentioned in the Australian Constitution, so the closest thing to a constitution for Norfolk Island is the Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Cth). The Norfolk Island Act should therefore be treated like the Australian Constitution – no changes should be made without a referendum” Minister Adams said.

“The Parliament is the voice of the people; therefore a referendum of the Norfolk Island community on governance change is essential. The Australian Government, as 21st Century legislators in a democratic country, must pay attention to the 8 May 2015 referendum on Norfolk Island before they vote on legislation changes now before the House of Representatives to abolish the Legislative Assembly and self-government in the external territory of Norfolk Island. Anything less is undemocratic and a denial of human rights.” Minister Adams said.

Robin Adams
Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services
11 May 2015

CONTACT: CHIEF OF STAFF, NORFOLK ISLAND LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, OLD MILITARY BARRACKS, KINGSTON, NORFOLK ISLAND 2899 SOUTH PACIFIC. TELEPHONE: (+6723) 22003 FACSIMILE: (+6723) 23378

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Norfolk Islanders vote YES at today’s Referendum for the right to have a democratic say at the ballot box on their future governance arrangements!



“Today the people of Norfolk Island have spoken loudly with an overwhelming YES vote on the question –


Should the people of Norfolk Island have the right to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development and be consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament?”


the Hon Lisle Snell, Chief Minister of Norfolk Island said this evening.  The results of the voting were:


624 yes, 266 no and 22 informal


“The referendum outcome has blown a hole in the Commonwealth’s assertion that the reforms they have introduced into the Australian Parliament to abolish the Legislative Assembly and Norfolk Island Parliament were overwhelmingly supported by the people of Norfolk Island.  


“The referendum result clearly exposes that the Norfolk Island community has been misrepresented by the Norfolk Island Administrator to Assistant Minister Briggs.  The people of Norfolk Island today have clearly said that they want a say on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island, not just have a governance model imposed on them.  The justification of community support for these changes on which Assistant Minister Briggs progressed the Bills can now only be described as flawed”, Mr Snell said.


“I will be writing immediately to the Commonwealth Government, the Opposition, the Greens and Independent Members and Senators to ensure that the views of the people of Norfolk Island expressed at today’s referendum are respected.  That correspondence, and a community delegation which I will be leading from Norfolk Island to Canberra next week, will be seeking a process of consultation to ensure a more acceptable implementation of the Norfolk Island reform process is on the table.  This is NOT about delaying the reform, this is about getting such important reform right!  Our reform timeline ensures that the agreed reforms - taxation, social security and medicare - will still be extended on 1 July 2016 with appropriate transition provisions”, Mr Snell said.


 Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

 

8 May 2015

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GOVERNANCE CHANGE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL MATTER!



“I was extremely disappointed and astounded to hear the highest Commonwealth Representative on Norfolk Island, the Hon. Gary Hardgrave, say that a referendum on governance is not a constitutional matter”, Hon. Robin Adams, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community services said.

“For a person who holds a Vice-Regal position to say such a thing, along with a referendum being  a waste of time and money is appalling and is not in line with democracy in the 21st century”, Ms Adams said.

Norfolk Island was accepted by Australia as a Territory under the Authority of Australia in 1914.  Well after the Australian Constitution was in place in 1901.  Therefore, Norfolk Island is not mentioned in the Australian Constitution, so the closest thing to a constitution for Norfolk Island is the Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Cth).  The Norfolk Island Act should therefore be treated like the Australian Constitution – no changes should be made without a referendum. 

“As I have been saying for years in our Parliament, the Parliament is the voice of the people, therefore a referendum of the Norfolk Island community on governance change is essential.  The Australian Government, as 21st Century legislators in a democratic country, must pay attention to the 8 May 2015 referendum on Norfolk Island before they vote on the bill now before the House of Representatives, which proposes to abolish the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.  Anything less is undemocratic.  This is consistent with the resolution of the Australian Region Management Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s letter dated 14 April 2015, in which they called upon Assistant Minister Briggs to not proceed with the legislation before the House of Representatives until, amongst other things, the result of the referendum on 8 May is known”, Ms Adams said.

RobRobin Adams

MinMinister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

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THE REFERENDUM



‘A number of recent public comments cannot go unanswered”, the Chief Minister Lisle Snell said today.

The first is the Administrator suggested the current referendum was not a constitutional matter and that the Government was acting like children in the process and concentrating on things about themselves rather than the community.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

“As I said on radio this week, if the Administrator and the Australian Government do not think that a question on a community’s political status does not go to the very heart of constitutional and democratic process they are clearly mistaken and wrong. Any change to the Norfolk Island Act 1979 that seeks to remove the Legislative Assembly is in our view clearly a constitutional matter, and therefore the right of the people through referendum to have a say in that process is paramount.

“We now also see through a Joint Press Release from the Liberal and Labor Parties on Norfolk Island in their support for a NO vote next Friday saying ’…calling for no further delay in making proper plans for economic revitalisation, the youth, the elderly and the most vulnerable in our community..’

“1 July 2016 is when those benefits will flow to the community, this won’t be delayed.  I have to say, that making such commentary suggests they have not taken the opportunity to inform themselves of the content and lack of detail contained in the proposed Bills before the Australian Parliament. For if they did, I am sure they would have the same concerns as me about the lack of detail, and in some areas discrimination particularly in relation to transition in the areas of taxation and pensions.

“While we should have robust discussion around the referendum I would urge that be on the basis of fact and not statements directed to scare. On that I have to put the record right, a vote either way on the referendum will not delay the flow to the community of the benefits to the Australian systems from 1 July 2016.

“We are going to hold a public meeting next Wednesday at 5.30pm in Rawson Hall to enable all parties and the community to express their views in an open and respectful manner and I would encourage all community members to attend.” Mr Snell said.

Lisle D. Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism                                                            1 May 2015

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A MEDICINAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY FOR NORFOLK ISLAND


“In my press release of 27 March 2015 I advised the community that an application under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1927 was expected from AusCann Group Holdings Pty Ltd for a licence to import, export, plant, cultivate, tend or harvest and sell cannabis for the purpose of establishing a medicinal cannabis industry on Norfolk Island for export purposes”, Minister Adams said.

“I am pleased to advise that an application has been received and a rigorous assessment undertaken to ensure that all the concerns identified by the Administrator, Mr Gary Hardgrave, with an earlier application from another company, have been addressed by the current applicants” the Minister said. “That assessment is now complete”.

The application was lodged by AusCann representatives in person during their recent visit to the Island and the community was given the opportunity to meet with AusCann representatives during their visit.  During that meeting AusCann reported on their positive meeting with the Administrator to whom they provided a copy of the application and support document provided to Minister Adams.

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

24 April 2015

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ANZAC Day Commemoration



The Hon. Lisle Snell, Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism and the Hon. David Buffett, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, shared components of ANZAC day commemorations.


‘We acknowledge ANZAC Day each year on Norfolk Island.  This year marks 100 years since the landing of Gallipoli, a special year indeed, and we were pleased to hold a special Ceremonial Sitting of the Legislative Assembly to recognise this.  The Ceremonial Sitting this afternoon commenced at 3pm, Chaplain, Rev. David Fell read prayers, the Chief Minister, Honourable Members and Captain Andrew Fysh OAM RAN were all invited to address the Legislative Assembly.  This was followed by a commemorative period of silence.  We were honoured to have Captain Fysh OAM RAN and Gr Captain Catherine Wallis RAAF, members of the Norfolk Island RSL Sub-Branch and other distinguished guests present for the sitting’ Mr Buffett said.


‘Norfolk Island sent more men per capita to the first and second world wars than other place, a significant contribution from our small island.  We will attend the dawn Service tomorrow at 5.40am at Emily Bay and the mid-morning Service at 10.40am at the Kingston Cenotaph.  We thank all those involved for organising the events and also warmly welcome the visitors who have travelled to Norfolk to honour ANZAC Day this year’ Mr Snell said.


Lisle D. Snell                                                                                      David E. Buffett

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism                                                 Speaker

24 April 2015

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AUSTRALIAN REGION MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE OF THE COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION (THE CPA) MEETS TO DISCUSS NORFOLK ISLAND ISSUES



The Australian Region Management Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (the- CPA) convened an extra-ordinary meeting of the Management Committee on 10 April 2015 at the Victorian Parliament in Melbourne. The meeting was convened to consider a Media Release sent out in March by Minister Robin Adams to all CPA Branches in the Commonwealth of Nations.  The media release advised that democracy was at risk on Norfolk Island with the move by the Australian Government to abolish the Norfolk Island Parliament and to abolish self-government without appropriate prior consultation of the Norfolk Island community at the ballot box.


Minister Adams, Speaker David Buffett AM (in his role of Norfolk Island CPA Branch President and Regional Representative for the Australian Region) and the CPA Branch Secretary Mrs Gaye Evans attended the meeting. The meeting, which afforded the Norfolk Island delegation the opportunity to personally discuss the intentions of the Australian Government, was represented by all of the Australian States and Territories CPA Branches, either in person or by teleconference.

The Management Committee wrote to Assistant Minister Briggs noting that a petition signed by 834 citizens was presented to the Australian House of Representatives on 1 December 2014 and to the Australian Senate on 18 November 2014, and that on 18 March 2015 the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly resolved that a referendum of Norfolk Island residents was to be held on 8 May 2015 be undertaken.


In writing to Assistant Minister Briggs, the Management Committee called on the Minister “not to proceed with the legislation currently before the House of Representatives dealing with this matter until:

 

(a)             the result of the referendum to be conducted on 8 May 2015 is known; and

(b)             further consultation with the people of Norfolk Island on the proposed governance models for Norfolk Island has been undertaken by the Commonwealth Government.”


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

22 April 2015

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VOTE FOR DEMOCRACY ON NORFOLK ISLAND


Norfolk Island residents who are on the Electoral Roll will be receiving the YES and NO cases for the upcoming referendum on 8th of May 2015.

The Speaker the Hon David Buffett on the floor of the Assembly on Wednesday this week when talking about the loss of democracy within the Commonwealth’s Regional Council Model eloquently outlined what this referendum is about.

 Accordingly I would encourage all residents on the Electoral Roll to vote on the referendum as it may be the last time you are able to exercise that right on Norfolk Island.

The people of Norfolk Island will express their view on the referendum question on May 8, but the other question is will the Commonwealth abide by that result.


That is the question that should be answered by the Commonwealth and answered NOW.

Lisle D. Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism                                                17 April 2015

Date 10 April 2015

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AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SERVICE DEPARTMENT ORDERS REWRITES OF REPORT


The Hon. Lisle Snell, Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism notes the article written by the Canberra Times on 15 April 2015 titled ‘APS department orders report to be rewritten 16 times’.

The Department referred to in the article is the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development - the same department that is responsible for Norfolk Island within the Commonwealth.

‘The accusations made in the article raises serious concerns regarding the many reports commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development on Norfolk Island.  How many times have we heard from the Commonwealth that they are relying on the numerous reports that they have commissioned to support their claim for the need to abolish self-government.  Were any of these reports changed until the Commonwealth Department were happy with the contents and were written in a manner that supported their views? This is a very disturbing article indeed and I am deeply concerned at the possibility that unreliable decisions have been made on the advice contained within any such reports affecting governance and other issues relating to Norfolk Island’, Mr Snell said.

A copy of the article is below.

Lisle D. Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism                                               17 April 2015

Date 10 April 2015




APS department orders report to be rewritten 16 times

Noel Towell
Published: April 15, 2015 - 11:54AM

A Commonwealth department has produced 17 versions of a consultant's report, amid accusations the document was redrafted until it told departmental bosses what they wanted to hear.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development hired the private contractors in May 2014 for a report on aged care on Christmas and Cocos Island after years of complaints from islanders and the territory's administrator about the lack of services.

But nearly a year after hiring Australian Healthcare Associates, for what seemed a straightforward job, the department admits there are now 17 drafts of the report in existence but refuses to make any of them public.

The department would not answer a series of questions on Tuesday but denied it demanded the report be shorn of bad news, saying the rewrites were to ensure the consultants complied with their brief.

Christmas Island Shire president Gordon Thomson and former administrator of the Indian Ocean Territories Jon Stanhope say they believe the department's bosses in Canberra have been sending the reports back to Australian Health Associates until its finding are in keeping with what the department wants.

Mr Thomson says the "questionable practice" has been going on for years.


Christmas Island Shire faces an aged-care crisis, with up to 110 of its ageing residents likely to need full-time care in coming years, but with only a basic version of home help available to elderly islanders.

The shire believes Canberra bureaucrats are determined not to provide the same level of care to elderly Australians living on Christmas and Cocos islands as their fellow citizens on the mainland enjoy.

After years of lobbying, the department agreed to hire the consultants in May 2014 with a report due by August that year, for a price of about $60,000.


But eight months after it was due, all 17 versions of the report are being kept under wraps and the department has demanded more than $4000 to consider releasing the document under freedom of information laws.


Former administrator of the territories Jon Stanhope, who lodged the FOI application, says he too believes the department sent back the report's drafts, demanding a rosier picture be painted of the services offered to the islanders.


"One is entitled to ask why," the former ACT chief minister said.

"What it is about aged care in the Indian Ocean Territories that the department and the minister are embarrassed to reveal is that there is none and that is what this report will reveal."

The consultant who wrote the review is on leave and was unavailable to be interviewed on Tuesday.

Mr Thomson said he and his fellow islanders were used to the department asking for reports to be changed when they did not suit the departmental agenda.

"The department often gets a report and then they they ask the consultant to change the report, which I think is a very strange practice but it is the practice," the shire president said.


"Its been going on for many years.

"Let us assume the department is asking the consultant to tailor the report for the benefit of the department.

"I don't think these 17 versions of the report are about correcting grammar, I think they are about insisting that the consultant gives the department what it wants.

"It's a questionable practice, they should provide an explanation of this practices.

"Why is it necessary that a paid consultant should be re-writing a report at the behest of a department?"

A departmental spokesman said the drafting process is to ensure that the agreed terms of reference have been fully addressed in the report".

This story was found at: 

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/aps-department-orders-report-to-be-rewritten-16-times-20150415-1mki3m.html


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SELF-GOVERNMENT ON NORFOLK ISLAND



The Norfolk Island Government Ministers today reiterated the Norfolk Island Government’s position in relation to the legislation that is currently before the House of Representatives, that was introduced by Assistant Minister Briggs on 26 March 2015.


‘The Norfolk Island Government welcomes the introduction of the Australian Commonwealth social security and taxation systems including Medicare and PBS.  This has been a promise to the Norfolk Island community since 2010.  The Norfolk Island Government unreservedly rejects the proposal to remove self-government from the island and abolish the Legislative Assembly, the Norfolk Island community’s elected representative body’ the Hon. Lisle Snell, Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism said.


‘It must be acknowledged that whilst the Norfolk Island Government did agree to the extension of the Commonwealth’s social security and taxation systems on the island, it did so providing there was a net benefit to the Norfolk Island community and taking local circumstances into account.  The Australian Government needs to give more than just lip service to the fact that some Norfolk Islanders identify as being of Pitcairn-Norfolk descent and with that comes a distinct culture and traditions that must be respected and treasured’ the Hon. Robin Adams, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community services said.


‘In 2013 I requested a review to be undertaken by a working group to provide a comparison of the Norfolk Island social services benefits against those of the Commonwealth.  Awaiting, in good faith, for the time that the Norfolk Island and Commonwealth Governments would discuss and negotiate transition arrangements, regrettably that time has not come, despite repeated requests for this from Norfolk Island.  The working group aimed to ascertain where members of the Norfolk Island community may not be captured positively in the integration. Community members may find sections of this report helpful in formulating questions when meeting with Commonwealth Officers on island next week.  The basic report is available online and the most relevant information for individuals is on pages 5-9. 


http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf//reports/SS/’ Ms Adams said.


‘Norfolk Island deserves to maintain a level of self-government, they should be applauded on the efforts they have made to date which are significant for a jurisdiction of its size.  Our preferred model of self-government recognises that policy-makers in their own regions are the best positioned to understand the issues and needs of their own communities and are best placed to provide the most practical and appropriate solutions.  Our model acknowledges the need for reform while maintaining an appropriate input to policy. To appoint a handpicked, unelected interim Council that would shape the long term structure of island governance is absolutely unacceptable’ the Hon. Ron Ward, Minister for the Environment said.


‘It is extremely disappointing that the Commonwealth Government would not engage in any dialogue whatsoever with the Norfolk Island Government on its preferred model of self-government – a territory model of self-governance.  Under the Norfolk Island’s preferred model the Commonwealth systems of Medicare, PBS, social security and taxation would still be extended.  The key difference being that a meaningful governing body would still be representing the Norfolk Island community, not a Regional Council that will consider matters such as waste management, cats and dogs.  The lack of respect shown to the Norfolk Island Government, and by extension the Norfolk Island community, in this regard is extremely poor’ the Hon. Tim Sheridan, Minister for Finance said. 


Lisle D. Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

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NOTICE PAPER 10TH APRIL 2015



NORFOLK ISLAND

FOURTEENTH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

NOTICE PAPER NUMBER 25

wednesday 15 APRIL 2015

NORF’K AILEN

FORTIINTH LEJESLIETEW ‘SEMBLE

NOETIS PIEPA NAMBA 25

WENSDI 15 APRIL 2015

 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

 

1       KINGSTON AND ARTHURS VALE HISTORIC AREA (KAVHA) – REVIEW

         Resumption of debate (Mr Nobbs) from 25 June 2014 on the question – THAT the motion be agreed

 

2       REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

         Resumption of debate (Mr Buffett) from 18 March 2015 on the Report of the Impact of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee dated March 2015 in respect of its review of the Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2014 (random breath testing and blood alcohol level to 0.05)

 

3       TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014

TRAEFIK (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

Resumption of debate (Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward) from 17 December 2014 on the question – THAT the Bill be amended

 

4       STANDARD TIME BILL 2015

         STAENDAD TAIM BIL 2015

Resumption of debate (Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan) from 18 March 2015 on the question – THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

 

Sharyn Quintal

Deputy Clerk to the Legislative Assembly

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HON JAMIE BRIGGS MP, MISLEADING AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT



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COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENT PROPOSES TO ABOLISH THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLYOF NORFOLK ISLAND



The Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, introduced the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 in the House of Representative, Australian Parliament on Thursday, 26 March 2015.

The Bill and Explanatory Memorandum can be accessed online at:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5440

The Chief Minister, Hon Lisle Snell, MLA has expressed concern at the content of the Bill which will amend the Norfolk Island Act 1979 to remove the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island and replace it with an unelected five-member Advisory Council to transition Norfolk Island’s governance to a Regional Council which will not be elected until 2016.


“I wrote to Assistant Minister Briggs on 24 March 2015 urging him to withhold the introduction of the Bill into the Commonwealth Parliament; requesting that both our governments return to the negotiation table and advising him that a Referendum will be held to ascertain the views of the community.

On 26 March 2015, Minister Briggs introduced the amendment Bill into the Commonwealth Parliament without a referendum vote by Norfolk Islanders.

“Accordingly, I will be writing again to the Assistant Minister requesting him, amongst other things, to:

  1. Adjourn the debate on the Bill until the outcome of the Referendum;
  2. If the amendment Bill were to pass all levels of the Commonwealth Parliament and receive appropriate Royal Assent, urgently hold at that time an election for appointments to the interim Advisory Council so that the community has a democratic say in the persons who represent them on any such Advisory Council;
  3. Provide a breakdown of how the $136 million over four years will be expended and provide a commitment to produce all Treasury reports and analysis on the further funding to be required at the expiry of the 4 year period;
  4. Provide reassurance that assets of the Administration will remain in community ownership and will not be transferred to be assets of the Commonwealth leaving any Regional Council with only substantial liabilities or the previous Administration body politic at its commencement; and
  5. Provide a commitment in writing signed by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Federal Opposition of the Commonwealth that the Bill and the other legislative changes will NOT mean that Norfolk Island is no longer a Territory placed under the authority

of the Commonwealth by the Sovereign’s Order in Council of 1914 and will NOT be treated as though it is a part of New South Wales in breach of the Sovereign’s Order in Council which has not been revoked by the Sovereign of Australia.


“There are many issues still to be clarified with the Commonwealth.  This process will commence with the visit of the Commonwealth Officials next week,” the Chief Minister said.


Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

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POTENTIAL REMAINS FOR A MEDICINAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY FOR NORFOLK ISLAND



The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams, is pleased to let the community know that she anticipates receiving an application next week under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1927 from AusCann Group Holdings Pty Ltd  for a licence to import, export, plant, cultivate, tend or harvest and sell cannabis for the purpose of establishing a medicinal cannabis industry on Norfolk Island for export purposes.


“We are advised,” Minister Adams said, “that the representatives arriving from AusCann on Tuesday 31st March through to Friday 3 April 2015 are the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr Mal Washer; the Managing Director Mr Troy Langman and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for AusCann, Ms Elaine Darby.

“Dr Washer was a former liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1998 to 2013; is a past chair of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia; and was a general practitioner with degrees in medicine and surgery; Ms Darby, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry & Microbiology, and a Bachelor of Law, is currently project manager and investment director with Biological Ventures, an advisory firm in the bio-medical sector.

“Managing Director Mr Troy Langman needs no introduction to us on Norfolk and we look forward to welcoming him back,” the Minister said.

It is understood that the AusCann representatives are meeting with the Administrator, The Hon Gary Hardgrave to discuss their proposal.  This is seen as a very positive step forward in the process by the Norfolk Island Government with whom AusCann has also requested a meeting.  Minister Adams said, “I will be encouraging the AusCann team to talk to the community both in person and on radio if time allows during their visit.”

Readers will recall that the Legislative Assembly passed a motion at its September sitting last year acknowledging that there is potential for substantial and much needed economic benefits to accrue to the Norfolk Island community from the establishment of a medicinal cannabis industry on the Island and endorsed such consultation as is necessary to achieve this.  The House further acknowledged the health benefits attributed to medicinal cannabis in the treatment of many serious and debilitating diseases; recognised the overwhelming support expressed at the public meeting convened by the Norfolk Island Government on Thursday 21 August 2014 for the introduction of a medicinal cannabis industry on Norfolk Island; and acknowledged that Norfolk Island by its isolation provides a safe environment in which to establish a world's best practice model for the growing of medicinal cannabis which could then be replicated on  the mainland of Australia; including a local medicinal cannabis program on Norfolk Island with a view to export.

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

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COMMONWEALTH CASCADE JETTY ANNOUNCEMENT



The Norfolk Island Government welcomes the renewed commitment to the upgrade of the Commonwealth owned Cascade Jetty.


These works relate to the former RDAF4 $13 million project announced by former Labor Minister Catherine King in 2013 and subsequently re-offered conditionally to Norfolk Island as Community Development Grant 010 by the current Australian Government.


The commitment to repair this port asset is welcomed as an initial step toward improving port infrastructure and opening up new commercial prospects.

 

The Norfolk Island Government welcomes that the Commonwealth has chosen to action  recommendation 3 of the Joint Standing Committee report Same Country Different World.

“The Committee recommends that the Commonwealth Government assume responsibility for the Cascade and Kingston Pier upgrades and that the Commonwealth Government expedite the works in line with Australian standards and occupational health and safety requirements, as soon as practicable.”


The Commonwealth have accepted that further design work is needed.  The proposed re-design will allow for consideration of the extreme weather and oceanic conditions witnessed in recent weeks and should allow local stakeholders opportunity to have input into the new design.


The initiative to engage Worley Parsons to undertake this work is welcomed as this firm has a long association with Norfolk Island engineering projects.


Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

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FUTURE GOVERNANCE MODEL FOR NORFOLK ISLAND



The uncertainty within our community surrounding the future governance model for Norfolk Island continues.

As indicated previously I wrote to Assistant Minister Briggs on 13 February 2015 offering a collective way forward and seeking clarity on the timing of the Commonwealth’s decision making process. I followed that up with a request for the Assistant Minister to call me on that correspondence and to date the only contact has been through his office to my office indicating the Commonwealth will reply in full early this year.

I also raised this matter with the Administrator on his return to Norfolk Island who indicated that he was not in a position to clarify that either as it was a matter for the Commonwealth Government.

As I said in my media release issued on the 13/02/2015, “Time for the Commonwealth to show honesty, transparency and respect to this community is now.”

The call for a more transparent process was also raised at the Community Meetings held by the Norfolk Island government on 5th and 6th February 2015.

Accordingly, I will move the following motion in the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly on Wednesday 18th March 2015.

“Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism to move –

THAT this House, pursuant to section 5 of the Referendum Act 1964:

  1. RESOLVES to ascertain the opinion of the electors on the following specified question relating to the peace, order and good government of Norfolk Island, namely:

Should the people of Norfolk Island have the right to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development and be consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament?

            

YES                                  NO 

  1. REQUESTS the Speaker to direct a referendum on the above question”

While the Norfolk Island government does not oppose change it should only be introduced through the participation and endorsement of the people of Norfolk Island.

Lisle Snell                                                    

Chief Minister 

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MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE



The Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly met on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 to consider a Matter of Public Importance in relation to the announcement made by the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development by letter dated 19 March 2015, and in particular the advice that the Australian Government will amend the Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Cth) to transition the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly to a Norfolk Island Regional Council.

 

All Members spoke to the Matter of Public Importance.  Members’ statements will be available as soon as the Hansard of the meeting is published, and can be accessed on the website at http://norfolkisland.gov.nf/la/Hansard/


The Chief Minister, the Hon Lisle Snell, wrote on 24 March 2015 to the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development advising him of Tuesday’s meeting of the Legislative Assembly and urging him to withhold the introduction into the Commonwealth Parliament of the Bill to amend the Norfolk Island Act 1979 to abolish the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.  The Chief Minister has again requested that the Norfolk Island Government and Commonwealth Government return to the negotiation table as a matter of urgency.


In writing to Assistant Minister Briggs, the Chief Minister has again pointed out that the Norfolk Island Government has embraced the need for reform but there has never been any suggestion that that reform required the abolition of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly which is the democratically elected representative body of the Norfolk Island community.


The Chief Minister advised, “In my letter to Assistant Minister Briggs I reminded him that during his one and only visit to Norfolk Island he undertook to consult with Norfolk Island on the options for governance before providing a submission to the Federal Cabinet.

“I have drawn Minister Briggs’ attention to the March 2011 Norfolk Island Roadmap between the Commonwealth and Norfolk Island Government which set out the reform processes including governance reform leading to a modified self-government model. The Norfolk Island Government continues to await the courtesy of a response to its preferred model for territory self-governance.


“I have again urged the Commonwealth Government through Assistant Minister Briggs, to consider and adopt the Norfolk Island Government’s preferred model for territory self-governance and retain the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island as the most appropriate body to transition the Island into the Australian taxation and social welfare systems as agreed in 2010.  Such transition to the Australian taxation and social security systems to be on the basis that there will be a net benefit for Norfolk Island and its community and there is appropriate consideration of local circumstances,” the Chief Minister said.


During the formal sitting of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, 18 March 2015, the Legislative Assembly passed the following Motion requesting the Speaker to conduct a Referendum:

“That this House, pursuant to section 5 of the Referendum Act 1964:

  1. RESOLVES to ascertain the opinion of the electors on the following specified question relation to the peace, order and good government of Norfolk Island, namely:

Should the people of Norfolk Island have the right to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development and be consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament.     YES/NO.

      2.   REQUESTS the Speaker to direct a referendum on the above question.”

The date for the conduct of the Referendum is yet to be advised.

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

25 March 2015

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NORFOLK ISLAND FUEL PRICE REDUCED



The Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan, has advised that wholesale fuel prices will be reduced.

 

“As I advised in my Media Release on 27 February 2015, fuel prices have been re-assessed following receipt of all costs associated with the fuel received on 26 February.


“I am pleased to announce that, commencing with deliveries made from 20 March, 2015 the following wholesale bulk prices will apply:-

Petrol: $2.03 a reduction of $0.14 compared to the previous bulk price.

Diesel: $2.07 a reduction of $0.10 compared to the previous bulk price.

Jet-A1: $1.69 a reduction of $0.05 compared to the previous bulk price.


“The following factors influenced this reduction in wholesale pricing:-

  1. The purchase price of fuel in US Dollars was at an average of 14% below the purchase price of the previous shipment.
  2. The reduced purchase price was partially offset by a 12% reduction in the purchasing power of the Australian Dollar over the same period.
  3. As advised in the media release of 27 February, the additional cost of drummed fuel would be spread across the fuel from the tanker as well as the drummed fuel. This cost has added $0.06 to the wholesale price of each litre of fuel.

 

“As two previous tankers were unsuccessful in discharging fuel due to inclement sea conditions, considerable demurrage charges were incurred.


“On behalf of the Norfolk Island Government and community, I wish to express my most sincere thanks to the supplier, Exxonmobil, who absorbed some $329,000 in demurrage charges. As these charges equate to $0.18 per litre, without ExxonMobil’s generosity the wholesale price would have increased, rather than decreased.”


Electricity Tariff:

The $0.10 per litre reduction in wholesale diesel price is equivalent to a 3 cent per kWh reduction in costs.


The current Electricity Tariff of $0.71 per kWh, will be reduced to $0.68 per kWh for electricity consumed after 1 April, 2015.


Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance 

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COMMONWEALTH ANNOUNCES THE ABOLITION OF SELF GOVERNANCE ON NORFOLK ISLAND



Assistant Minister Briggs announced this week that the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly and Self Governance are to be abolished and to be replaced by a Regional Council model.

It was disappointing the Commonwealth has chosen not to embrace our preferred model of Territory Self Governance when the costing of that model was identified as less cost to the Australian taxpayer than the Regional Council model.

However, this announcement clears the uncertainty around the timing on the introduction of the Australian Health, Welfare and Taxation systems to Norfolk Island.

There are a number of issues that are still to be clarified in relation to the transitional Advisory Council; transition to the Australian Health, Welfare, Taxation systems and other matters that need to be addressed with the Commonwealth.

Accordingly, today the Norfolk Island Government met with the Administrator to raise a number of questions on the transitional processes and requested the Terms of Reference for the transitional Advisory Council, which would enable all members of the Norfolk Island community considering participation on that Council to fully understand the Council’s role in the transitional process.

The Legislative Assembly will meet on Tuesday of next week to discuss these issues and other relevant matters.

Lisle Snell                                                    

Chief Minister 

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MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF VANUATU



The Chief Minister has today written to the Vanuatu Prime Minister Mr Joe Natuman offering the Norfolk Island Government’s condolences and support to the people of Vanuatu on behalf of the people of Norfolk Island.


The stress and grief being suffered by the people of Vanuatu by Cyclone Pam must be indescribable and the people of Vanuatu are in the minds and hearts of their South Pacific brothers and sisters on Norfolk Island.


Residents on Norfolk Island who have family or friends on Vanuatu and have concerns about their welfare should first attempt to contact them directly. If they are unable to contact them they should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24- hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or within Australia on 1300 555 135

 

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister 

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NOTICE PAPER 13 MARCH



NORFOLK ISLAND

FOURTEENTH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

NOTICE PAPER NUMBER 23

wednesday 18 MARCH 2015

 

NORF’K AILEN

FORTIINTH LEJESLIETEW ‘SEMBLE

NOETIS PIEPA NAMBA 23

WENSDI 18 MAACH 2015

 

NOTICES       

 

1       CUSTOMS ACT 1913 - EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF CUSTOMS DUTY

Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan, to move -

THAT, under subsection 2B(4) of the Customs Act 1913, this House recommends to the Administrator that the goods specified in column 1 of the Schedule imported by the person specified in column 2, and on the conditions mentioned in column 2 of the Schedule, be exempted from duty.

SCHEDULE

Column 1                                                                    Column 2

Goods                                                                         Importer/conditions

 

Emergency Locator Beacons                                  Norfolk Island Fishing Association

-   amount of duty applicable $1,404.30                   Conditions: Nil

Life Vests                                                                   Lions Club of Norfolk Island

- amount of duty applicable $916.20                       Conditions: Community Use – Norfolk Island Wa’a Outrigger Club Inc

Christmas Cakes                                                       Lions Club of Norfolk Island

-  amount of duty applicable $215.56                      Conditions:  Nil

Coffee Machines                                                       Lions Club of Norfolk Island

-                                                                                                                                        - amount of duty applicable $544.00                       Conditions:  Nil

2       NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ACT 1985

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to move ¾

THAT this House, in accordance with sections 12 and 13 of the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985, resolve that ¾

Brett John Sanderson

who is not the Director, an Employee of the Enterprise or a Minister, be appointed by the Minister as a member of the Norfolk Island Hospital Advisory Board for a term of 12 months commencing on the date of gazettal of his appointment.

3       IMMIGRATION ACT 1980

AUTHORISATION OF APPLICATION FOR GENERAL ENTRY PERMIT

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to move -

THAT for the purpose of paragraph 17A(1)(e) of the Immigration Act 1980, this Legislative Assembly resolve that ¾

                                                            Deirdre Margaret Cristofaro; and

                                                            Lynne Catherine Duncanson

be authorised to make an application for a general entry permit under the Act.

 

4       NORFOLK ISLAND BROADCASTING ACT 2001

Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan, to move -

 

THAT in accordance with the provisions of subsection 10(6) of the Norfolk Island Broadcasting Act 2001, I give notice of my intention to issue a broadcasting licence as follows―

 

The proposed licensee is Seventh-day Adventist Church (Greater Sydney Conference) Ltd.  The reason for issuing the licence is to permit the licensee to conduct a Television Broadcasting facility called TVNI from premises at New Cascade Road.  The proposed licence will present a service providing, inter alia, documentary programs, public benefit advertising and movies to residents of, and visitors to, Norfolk Island as well as making available to audiences in Norfolk Island television programs offering entertainment, education and information in accordance with the objects of the Act.  The terms and conditions of the licence in addition to the statutory conditions applicable to all licensees will include a requirement that the broadcast be confined to the immediate Norfolk Island community at a strength sufficient for reception only by residents of Norfolk Island and that it must not interfere with the reception of any radio or television or telecommunications signals from other sources;

and –

THAT the Legislative Assembly resolve to approve the issue by the Minister for Finance of a broadcasting licence to Seventh-day Adventist Church (Greater Sydney Conference) Ltd for the purpose of conducting a television broadcasting station under the description TVNI station for the benefit of residents of, and visitors to, Norfolk Island; and subject to the conditions that the broadcast be only within the specified VHF Channel 10 broadcast frequency of 212.5 MHz at a strength sufficient for reception only within the territorial boundaries of Norfolk Island and that it must not interfere with the reception of any radio or television or telecommunication signals from other sources.

 

 

5       REFERENDUM ACT 1964 – REQUEST TO SPEAKER TO DIRECT A REFERENDUM

         Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, to move –

 

         THAT this House, pursuant to section 5 of the Referendum Act 1964:

 

  1. RESOLVES to ascertain the opinion of the electors on the following specified question relating to the peace, order and good government of Norfolk Island, namely:

 

Should the people of Norfolk Island have the right to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development and be consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament?

 

              

YES                                         NO 

 

2.   REQUESTS the Speaker to direct a referendum on the above question

 

 

6       STANDARD TIME BILL 2015

         STAENDAD TAIM BIL 2015

Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan, to present a Bill for an Act to change standard time for Norfolk Island

 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

1       KINGSTON AND ARTHURS VALE HISTORIC AREA (KAVHA) – REVIEW

         Resumption of debate (Mr Nobbs) from 25 June 2014 on the question – THAT the motion be agreed

 

 

 

 

2       TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014

TRAEFIK (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

Resumption of debate (Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward) from 15 October 2014 on the question – THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

 

3       COMMUNITY TITLE BILL 2015

         KOMYUUNETI TAITL BIL 2015

Resumption of debate (Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward) from 11 February 2015 on the question – THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

         Mr Ward to move detail stage amendments dated 13 March 2015                  

 

4       COMMUNITY TITLE (CONSEQUENTIAL PROVISIONS) BILL 2015

         KOMYUUNETI TAITL (KONSEKWENCHL CHIENJ) BIL 2015

         Resumption of debate (Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward) from 11 February 2015 on the question – THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle                                                                                                                                                               

5       MUNICIPAL RATES BILL 2015

         MYUUNESIPL RIET BIL 2015

Resumption of debate (Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward) from 11 February 2015 on the question – THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

       

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

60     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Did the Norfolk Island Government make submission to the draft R&S Muller Health Services Survey Report and Response to the Draft Health Services Plan Report and if not why, and; when will the final R&S Muller reports be released to the Norfolk Island Government?

61     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Will the Minister provide a definitive timeframe in relation to the development of a five year health services plan for the Norfolk Island community and; will the Minister confirm that both the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise Advisory Board and Director have provided written advice in response to the draft Nexus and R&S Muller reports?

62     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Will the Minister explain how the five year health services plan fits into the Norfolk Island Government’s Preferred Territory model of Government; which health services have been identified by the Norfolk Island Government as essential; how will these services be delivered and how will they be funded?

63     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Given that the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise operating theatre has been closed because it does not meet Australian Council on Health Standards (ACHS) standards for elective surgery; what is the Norfolk Island Government’s policy position in relation to the ongoing provision of elective surgical procedures at the local hospital and  if the policy is to re-open the theatre; how will the policy be funded?  

64     Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism -

         Will the Chief Minister table in tabular form the number of visitors who come to the Island annually as a result of marketing and promotion from the following areas:

  1. The annual Norfolk Island Government Tourist Bureau funding grant;
  2. Sporting clubs;
  3. Music events;
  4. Art and craft events; and
  5. Other areas not listed above?

65     Mr Nobbs to ask the Minister for Finance  

Is “NORFOLK POST” or the Norfolk Island Post Office a body for which the Administration of Norfolk Island is responsible for, and -

  1. If it is, why is it necessary for Postal Charges to New Zealand to “change in accordance with changes made by Australia Post” when Australia Post plays no part in the receipt or despatch of Norfolk Island’s mail to New Zealand?

  1. If “NORFOLK POST” or the Norfolk Island Post Office is a body for which the Administration of Norfolk Island is no longer responsible, and it is now simply an outpost of Australia Post, can the residents of Norfolk Island soon expect the local or on-Island rate to also be brought into line with that of Australia Post, which is soon expected to rise to $1.00?

  1. Are we also to expect the cessation of issues of Norfolk Island stamps?

  1. If the Administration of Norfolk Island still retains responsibility for “NORFOLK POST” or the Norfolk Island Post Office, is Norfolk Island’s Postal Service still part of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), or has this ‘linkage’ been removed? and

  1. If “NORFOLK POST” or the Norfolk Island Post Office is no longer ‘linked’, on what basis then is the differentiation payments for the imbalance of inward to outward mail arranged with Australia Post?

66     Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism -

Given that in February 2014 the Infrastructure and Business Development Committee provided 24 recommendations to the Norfolk Island Government supporting economic development and equality; will the Chief Minister list which recommendations have been actioned by his Government and provide a brief progress report on each item? 

67     Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism -

Given that the Norfolk Island Government Fact Sheets dated January 2015, state that the Norfolk Island community could be exempt from all GST and customs duty; will the Chief Minister explain how this will affect the delivery and funding of National and State level services including who will be responsible for funding and delivery of these services?

68     Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism -

What has the Chief Minister done to ensure that a roll-out of the taxation and social security system will be handled in a way that takes into account the damage that has already occurred to the economy and the concerns of the community?

69     Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism -

Given that the Australian Government made an election commitment in 2013 to integrate Norfolk Island into the mainland taxation and social security system and given that ongoing uncertainty is causing distress within the community; what is the Chief Minister doing to ensure that the Australia Government keeps its election promise?

70     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for the Environment -

Will the Minister table the ‘Dawson the Dog’ customs and quarantine project plan including all additional infrastructure plans and funding requirements, and where the expenditure of funds is allocated?

71     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for the Environment -

In relation to the recent public health incident at the Waste Management Centre; will the Minister outline exactly what “particular things” were overlooked, how they were dealt with and what measures have been put in place to ensure that they will not occur again?


72     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for the Environment -

Is it a fact that reduced staffing at the Waste Management Centre is the cause of the recent public health incident, and if so; what has the Minister done to ensure that the Administration has adequate funds to manage the Centre efficiently and effectively? 

73     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

Will the Minister explain who the Norfolk Island Central School Principal is ultimately responsible to here on the Island and within the NSW Department of Education and Communities?

74     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

Is it a fact that NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) teachers employed at the Norfolk Island Central School are not allowed to engage directly with the responsible Norfolk Island Government Minister in relation to their seconded role, and if so; will the Minister explain the reasoning behind the policy?

75     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

Will the Minister table the formal complaint procedure available to both NSW DEC seconded teachers and locally recruited teachers who wish to make a complaint in relation to the conduct of either the Principal or another member of the teaching staff?

76     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

Will the Minister outline the complaint process that can be used by parents of students at the Norfolk Island Central School in relation to the conduct and performance of teachers?

Gaye Evans

Clerk to the Legislative Assembly

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FUTURE GOVERNANCE MODEL FOR NORFOLK ISLAND



The uncertainty within our community surrounding the future governance model for Norfolk Island continues.

As indicated previously I wrote to Assistant Minister Briggs on 13 February 2015 offering a collective way forward and seeking clarity on the timing of the Commonwealth’s decision making process. I followed that up with a request for the Assistant Minister to call me on that correspondence and to date the only contact has been through his office to my office indicating the Commonwealth will reply in full early this year.

I also raised this matter with the Administrator on his return to Norfolk Island who indicated that he was not in a position to clarify that either as it was a matter for the Commonwealth Government.

As I said in my media release issued on the 13/02/2015, “Time for the Commonwealth to show honesty, transparency and respect to this community is now.”

The call for a more transparent process was also raised at the Community Meetings held by the Norfolk Island government on 5th and 6th February 2015.

Accordingly, I will move the following motion in the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly on Wednesday 18th March 2015.

“Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism to move –

THAT this House, pursuant to section 5 of the Referendum Act 1964:

  1. RESOLVES to ascertain the opinion of the electors on the following specified question relating to the peace, order and good government of Norfolk Island, namely:

Should the people of Norfolk Island have the right to freely determine their political status, their economic, social and cultural development and be consulted at referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament?

            

YES                                  NO 

  1. REQUESTS the Speaker to direct a referendum on the above question”

While the Norfolk Island government does not oppose change it should only be introduced through the participation and endorsement of the people of Norfolk Island.

Lisle Snell                                                    

Chief Minister

Date 13/03/2015

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OBSERVANCE OF COMMONWEALTH DAY



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JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR AND CHIEF MINISTER



Judicial Appointments for Norfolk Island

We are pleased to welcome the appointments of the Honourable Justice Anthony Besanko as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island and the Honourable Justice John Gilmour as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island.

The Honourable Justice Anthony Besanko has been a member of the Federal Court of Australia since 2006. He has been an Additional Judge of the Supreme Court of Australia Capital Territory since 2007 and was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island in 2013. Prior to that, he was a Judge in the Supreme Court of South Australia since 2001. He undertook appellate work and was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel in 1994. He was President of the South Australian Bar Association from 2000 to 2001.

The Honourable Justice John Gilmour has been a member of the Federal Court of Australia since 2006. He was born in Scotland and studied at the University of Dundee. He settled in Australia in 1976 and was admitted to the Western Australian Bar in that year (Queen’s Counsel since 1994).

We are indeed fortunate to have such highly qualified and distinguished Judges appointed to these important positions and look forward to welcoming them to Norfolk Island.

The Hon Gary Hardgrave                                           The Hon Lisle Snell
Administrator                                                           Chief Minister

10 March 2015

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NORFOLK ISLAND TO ADJUST TIME ZONE.



During the November 2014 sitting of the House the Minister for Finance indicated that he was going to bring to the House a Bill to adjust the time on Norfolk Island from +11:30 hours from Greenwich Mean Time to that of +11:00 hours. 


The intent of this change is that it would mean that the time on Norfolk Island will be approx. 3 minutes of its true solar time zone instead of being out by approx. 27 minutes, as it is now.


Representations have been made for the Government to adjust the time zone for Norfolk Island due to the difficulties that are experienced to end users of communications equipment, household and electronic devices that are reliant on time zone programming.  This adjustment will alleviate this problem.


The Minister has advised that at the 18 March 2015 sitting of the House, a Bill will be introduced to achieve this. 


This change will have some significant positives, in that Norfolk Island will be on the same standard time as New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands, and will be only 60 minutes ahead of the Australian east coast states. 


However, during the daylight saving periods in the Australian states (except Queensland) the time on Norfolk Island will be the same.  This has great benefits for businesses who do business with Australia, as it brings the two closer together. 


This will also mean that for 6 months of the year the time on Norfolk Island will actually reflect that of the eastern states, therefore television times will be that of Australia and not have to be adjusted.


It is intended that the change will commence on the 5th April 2015 (when Australian ceases day-light saving), if it is possible to gain the assent to the Bill from the Governor General prior to this period, if not then it will be a future date yet to be agreed upon.


The Minister looks forward to comment from the community on this time zone change and believes that there will be no negative impacts with the intended change.  Comments can be provided to ministers@assembly.gov.nf


Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance

2 March 2015 

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NORFOLK ISLAND FUEL SHORTAGE



The Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan has advised that he has revoked all prior directions under section 5 of the Fuel Emergency Act 2005, so the rationing ceased at 8.30am Thursday 26th February.


The Tanker Heracles discharged 560,000 litres of ULP, 500,000 litres of diesel and 190,000 litres of Jet A-1 fuel into the Ball Bay storage facility.  This will provide for the Islands requirements over the next 4 months.


The Minister spoke on Norfolk Island radio on Thursday morning to advise of the revocation, and in doing so thanked the personnel of Norfolk Energy and the Captain and crew of the Heracles for undertaking the discharge of fuel in conditions that may not have been ideal. 

The Minister understands that the discharge did have some problems but the expertise of the Captain and crew and that of the persons from Norfolk Energy averted any danger that could have arisen.


The Minister also thanked the community for their patience since the 28th January, when the rationing of fuel commenced, and the Administration personnel who had the responsibilities to obtain additional fuel supplies to ensure that the community had access to fuel. 


As advised the additional fuel costs for the imported drums of fuel will be spread evenly across the 125,000 litres of drummed fuel plus the 560,000 litres of fuel discharged from the tanker, this is necessary to enable the increase to be kept to a minimum.  The fuel prices will be re-assessed when the final cost of the tanker fuel is received.


The Minister has indicated that a report will be prepared by the Administration and that this report will be tabled in the House when received.


Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance

27 February 2015

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A FAIR GO FOR NORFOLK ISLAND


In a statement in last week’s local press I advised that as Minister with responsibility for cultural heritage and community services I had written on 7 February 2015 to the Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia.  A press release about the letter sent to the mainland press has generated offshore radio and print media attention, including in the UK. The letter to the Prime Minister reads:

7 February 2015

The Hon Tony Abbott MP

Prime Minister

Parliament House

Canberra

My dear Prime Minister,

 “A Fair Go” for Norfolk Island

This week we record the passing of a resident of Norfolk Island Dr Colleen McCullough Robinson AO whose funeral on Norfolk Island was attended by Senator Zed Seselja on behalf of the Australian Government.

 

“Our National Treasure”, the late Dr Colleen McCullough Robinson AO in her book “Life without the Boring Bits” included a story entitled “Portrait of a Colonial Overlord” in which Dr. McCullough Robinson describes Norfolk Island as a tiny place – “A mote in the vastness of the Pacific’s eye”. Dr McCullough Robinson writes of the removal by authority of Queen Victoria of the Pitcairn Islanders from Pitcairn Island to Norfolk Island in 1856.

Dr McCullough Robinson writes - “Norfolk Island became a homeland.  It was a place with a natural settlement of genetically unique people”, a people who “developed a language peculiarly their own, and two astonishing modern laws: the first, that all women were entitled to vote on an equal footing with men; and the second, that all children must be schooled”. They came, all 194, a self-governing community with their own language, laws, traditions and culture.

Dr McCullough Robinson further writes - “In 1993 the Norfolk Islanders of Pitcairn stock declared themselves indigenous to Norfolk Island as a homeland, and were accepted into the indigenous community at Geneva”. Subsequently, UNESCO recognised the official Norfolk Island language (Norf’k) as a full and distinct language in its own right, including it in the UNESCO Atlas of the Word’s Languages in Danger in 2008

Prime Minister, I am moved to write to you in my capacity of Minister with responsibility for culture and heritage in the Norfolk Island Government to express a deep disappointment at the apparent lack of understanding and acknowledgement by the Australian Government in their current deliberations on the future governance of Norfolk Island that this tiny ”mote in the vastness of the Pacific’s eye” continues today to be the homeland of the descendants of the original settlers who relocated to Norfolk Island from Pitcairn Island in June 1856.
  

The apparent lack of respect being shown to the people of Norfolk Island of Pitcairn descent is distressing to many here on the island who have voiced their deep concerns to me that yet again they are being threatened with the loss of self-government (as happened to the Pitcairn community on Norfolk Island in 1896) and a lack of a codified recognition of them as a people going forward. Under proposals now put forward by your government, they once again face the loss of self-government together with abolition of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly, democratic institutions which were hard-won in 1979.

I feel confident Prime Minister that you will understand the distress being experienced today, thirty five years later, when yet again there are moves being made to remove self government from the descendants of the settlers from Pitcairn Island and to replace the Island’s Parliament with a “local Government type body, such as a Norfolk Island Regional Council” (Refer Fact Sheet 2 December 2014 from the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development); with the consequent transfer of a considerable amount of power to the Administrator and Canberra Departmental staff, all unelected representatives, to govern important aspects of Norfolk Island.  It is understood that the Norfolk Island Government’s preferred territory model of self governance is not being considered in the reform process.

Prime Minister, it needs to be understood that Norfolk Island has a unique cultural heritage, which underlies the strength of our community resilience, our economy and, amongst others, is a major part of our tourism appeal. Any economic development strategy that disempowers our community heritage is a high risk gamble. To decide on our governance model therefore, without reference to an agreed economic development strategy, is fraught with danger of economic collapse.

Prime Minister, the Commonwealth took away our fishing rights some years ago and now seems unwilling to allow us to develop a medical cannabis industry on the Island as the basis of reinvigorating our economic base. What economic strategies does your government propose to replace this loss of sovereignty?

One relatively straightforward option would be to allow Norfolk Island to establish its own export fishing industry within a defined coastal zone equivalent to a limited Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). I note that the viability of the Falkland Islands has been greatly improved since it was allowed fishing access to its own EEZ. Prime Minister, I strongly believe that artificial restrictions such as the denial of an export fishing zone to Norfolk Island are the main hurdle to us achieving economic sustainability, not any failings of self governance. Since your government has a welcome focus on reducing red tape and unnecessary regulation, the greatest contribution you could make to our future viability would be to remove the barriers to innovation, free trade and investment which limit our ability to diversify and strengthen our economy.

Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Norfolk Island Parliament and the Chief Minister of the Norfolk Island Government last October delivered to the Australian Federal Parliament a petition from in excess of 700 residents and descendants of the original settlers of Pitcairn Island requesting that before any change to governance arrangements for Norfolk Island, established by the Norfolk Island Act 1979 of the Commonwealth, that the residents of Norfolk Island have the right to be provided the facts and consulted by referendum or plebiscite and have a democratic say on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before any proposed changes are voted on by the Federal Parliament. This message is consistent with the unanimous decision taken by the Norfolk Island Parliament on 20 August 2014 that before any change to Norfolk Island’s model of governance is made; the Norfolk Island community should be given an opportunity at referendum or plebiscite to express its views. 

Any referendum/plebiscite should have independent oversight to ensure an unbiased outcome and that an appropriate institution outside of Australia and Norfolk Island provide that independence to ensure that the culture, traditions, language and rights of the Pitcairn descendants on Norfolk Island are fully acknowledged and protected. I understand that this procedure was followed in Cocos Island, and to be consistent it should also apply to Norfolk Island.

Prime Minister, it would be highly regrettable if your government was to become the first since federation - and probably the first in the British Commonwealth - to abolish a democratically elected parliament, not because of failures of governance but instead because of a perceived need to strengthen the Norfolk Island economy. There is no logical or practical connection between economic sustainability and the removal of democracy.

Prime Minister we have reached an impasse in negotiations between the Commonwealth Government and the Norfolk Island Government and the way needs to be found as a matter of urgency to bring our two governments back to the negotiating table. In this regard I invite you to read the attached article “Norfolk Island and the Commonwealth of Australia: Bridging the Divide” published some months back in The Parliamentarian of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. 

I urge you Prime Minister to bring the foregoing concerns from the Norfolk Island community and in particular from the descendants of the original settlers from Pitcairn Island, to the attention of your Cabinet so that Norfolk Islanders can be assured of a “Fair Go for Norfolk Island”.

Please do not simply refer this letter to your Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development as has been done by you and other Members of the Australian Government when we have written on issues of concern because the Norfolk Island Government does not receive the courtesy of a substantive reply to its concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

The Hon Warren Truss MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Parliament House

Canberra

The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Leader of the Opposition

Parliament House

Canberra   ACT  2601

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NORFOLK ISLAND DESERVES AND EXPECTS MORE THAN A LOCAL COUNCIL GOVERNANCE MODEL



Norfolk Island deserves and expects more than a local council governance model

 

Gai Brodtmann the Federal Member for Canberra in an article published in the Canberra Times on 17/2/2015 applauded the recent recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee.  In which she supports the removal of self-governance and also made comments not based on facts, including that she was the Federal Representative for Norfolk Island.  In response I forward the following reply to the Canberra Times.

 

Gai Brodtmann, the Federal Member for Canberra on 17th February 2015 alluded to a

number of matters that lead to her ill-informed comments.


The total number of Norfolk Island’s population including visitors for the week ending 12/02/2015 was 2312 as against the total numbers of 1600 she was referring to.

Norfolk Island does have a current operating deficit like nearly all mainland government’s including the Commonwealth and ACT government in which Ms Brodtmann resides.

If having a deficit was the criteria for the removal of self-government, then why is she not arguing for all mainland governments running a deficit to be placed into the hands of an Administrator?


The Norfolk Island Government has on numerous times attempted to introduce diversity and new industries into the Norfolk Island’s economy, but has been frustrated by the Commonwealth at every turn. An example of this was the recent issuing of a licence by the Norfolk Island Minister for Culture Heritage and Community Services for the production of medicinal cannabis on Norfolk Island, which was overturned by a flick of the fingers by the Commonwealth.


Ms Brodtmann also suggests that there are no unemployment or healthcare benefits etc on Norfolk Island. This displays a total ignorance of the true facts in that pensions and benefits are afforded to the residents of Norfolk Island by the Norfolk Island Government. One would have thought that in her stated 10 visits to Norfolk Island she would have informed herself better about those matters.


She also overlooks the fact, that in 2010, Norfolk Island agreed to the extension of the Australian taxation and welfare systems into Norfolk Island, but to date despite constant efforts by the Norfolk Island Government, there has been no consultation on the transition process by the Commonwealth. 


Ms Brodtmann being a member of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories would have known that in recommending the removal of the Legislative Assembly in line with former Administrator Neil Pope’s submission that her Committee was operating outside of its terms of reference, and that her Committee did not allow the question of governance to be put by the Norfolk Island Government during the committee’s visit to Norfolk Island. However, her Committee allowed Neil Pope to do so during their last public hearing processes in Canberra and then refused a request from the Norfolk Island Government to make a public hearing submission in reply to Pope’s comments.


While some of the Island’s residents are enrolled in Ms Brodtman’s Federal Electorate it is not the only electorate in which Norfolk Islanders can vote in Federal elections. If she considers herself to be our federal representative she should not be supporting the outcomes of the Joint Standing Committee which was operating in such a biased manner and clearly outside of its terms of reference.


There is a need for change but the removal of the Legislative Assembly is not the answer.

The answer lies with the Commonwealth Government working jointly with the people of Norfolk Island and the Norfolk Island Government to reach an agreement on the way forward, before legislative change is introduced into the Federal Parliament.


The Norfolk Island Government is and continues to be committed to a joint process with the Commonwealth on that path.


Lisle Snell

Chief Minister 

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PETROL SUPPLIES UPDATE



The Minister for Finance has provided a further update on fuel supplies to Norfolk Island.


The Norfolk Guardian arrived at Norfolk Island in the evening of Wednesday 18th February carrying 24,800 litres of fuel. 


Once this fuel is unloaded from the Norfolk Guardian, fuel restrictions will remain in place.  All vouchers will only provide for $30 of fuel until the fuel being carried by the Southern Tiare (100,000 litres), which is due to depart Auckland Friday 20th February is discharged whereby $50 vouchers will be available. 


To facilitate vehicles for visitors who commence to arrive from Friday 20th February, hire vehicles are being supplied with limited fuel from Administration sources to enhance their visitation until the arrival of the Southern Tiare.


The projected time frame for the arrival of the next fuel tanker is 22-23 February and it will depend on sea conditions as to whether this fuel can be discharged.


It is anticipated that the additional cost (above the current wholesale price of $2.17 per litre) of the drummed fuel will be approx. $134,000 and it is intended that the recovery of this additional cost will be spread across the petrol on the fuel tanker.  It is anticipated based on current fuel costs that the increase will be approx. $0.20 per litre.


Rationing will continue until the fuel from the tanker is discharged and cleared for distribution.


Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance

20 February 2015 

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MOVING FORWARD



Recently the Norfolk Island Government conducted Community Meetings to discuss the matters of governance on Norfolk Island, economic develop for Norfolk Island, the GBEs and transition to the Australian Taxation, Medicare and Social Welfare systems.

Those meetings attended by over 220 residents overwhelmingly identified the necessity for more information to be provided to the Norfolk Island community.

To that extent I have written to Assistant Minister Briggs this week identifying that I plan to establish a taskforce to work in conjunction with him and departmental officers to reach a mutually agreed outcome on governance matters.

This would then enable both governments jointly to present those outcomes to the residents of Norfolk Island as a positive and united way of moving forward, and that we would make ourselves available to meet with him to peruse those matters as a priority.

The uncertainty surrounding the future governance of Norfolk Island by the Commonwealth’s lack of clarity on governance reform timing and details is detrimental to both business confidence and the Norfolk Island Government’s ability in knowing the ongoing status of any Legislation it may be considering to pass within the funding agreement requirements.

I also indicated to Assistance Minister Briggs if that offer is unable to be taken up by him, that the Commonwealth Government determines its position on the Norfolk Island governance model as a matter of priority and the timing of that process is made available to the Norfolk Island Government and community as soon as possible.

The uncertainty within our community is the product of the Commonwealth and this Government will not allow it to continue.

Time for the Commonwealth to show honesty, transparency and respect to this community is now.

Finally I would thank those members of the community, who were able to attend the recent community meetings.

Lisle Snell                                                     

Chief Minister

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PETROL SUPPLIES



The Minister for Finance has provided a further update on fuel supplies.


Due to tankers not being able to discharge, and a rush on petrol supplies, service stations are now out of petrol.


As advised in the Assembly meeting yesterday, Norfolk Energy has secured space for one week’s supply of drummed petrol to be shipped on the Norfolk Guardian which departs from Auckland on 13th February and is due at Norfolk Island 17-18th February.


 A further 3-4 weeks supply has been booked on the Southern Tiare which departs Auckland 18th February.


The next bulk tanker is scheduled to arrive at Norfolk Island 25-28 February, 2015.


Rationing will continue from the arrival of the petrol from the Norfolk Guardian until the next bulk tanker discharges.


Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance 

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UPDATE ON KAVHA MANAGEMENT PLAN


Statement by Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services Robin Adams at the sitting of the Legislative Assembly on 11 February 2015


Update on KAVHA Management Plan


“The Draft Plan, that will replace the 2008 KAVHA CMP, has now commenced its Public Exhibition phase.


“Professor Richard Mackay is back on island this week to facilitate the exhibition and conduct several workshops with principle stakeholder groups. An open community and separate tourism industry workshop are to be held later today at Governors Lodge.  Anyone interested in either of these forums is most welcome and encouraged to attend.


“I understand Richard spoke on the radio yesterday about this process and how people can make use of the opportunity to be part of the on island engagement this week.


“Hard copies of the Draft Plan are available to read at the Visitors Information Centre, Post Office, Public Library and KAVHA Office as well as online at www.kavha.gov.nf


“A survey has been uploaded to the KAVHA webpage to assist with the feedback process. Hard copies of the forms can be provided for those without computer access by calling the KAVHA Office on 23101.


“I urge everyone, especially visitors, to make use of this opportunity to contribute to this final stage of fine tuning the new heritage management plan. If you are happy with the Draft Plan please log onto the webpage and say that too.


“Mr Speaker I conclude by extending my sincere gratitude and compliments to Professor Mackay and his team for their outstanding work in delivering a professional and contemporary plan for the Norfolk Island and Australian governments, which has been a long and at times challenging exercise which has been undertaken with the utmost respect for the Norfolk Island community who have a long and passionate association with the place in multiple capacities and long may it be so.


“I also thank the KAVHA Management Board, Project Manager Anita French and the Project Review Group consisting of Jodie Quintal, Liz McCoy, Fred Howe, Kane Anderson, Brett Sanderson and Ron Nobbs for their extensive contribution to support the consultants deliver an excellent Draft Plan.”

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A FAIR GO FOR NORFOLK ISLAND


Statement by Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services Robin Adams at the sitting of the Legislative Assembly on 11 February 2015


“A Fair Go for Norfolk Island”


“Mr Speaker today the House acknowledged the passing last week of Dr Colleen McCullough Robinson AO and I wish to take the opportunity to record my personal thanks to Dr Col for her passion and drive to tell the story of the Pitcairn descendants to whom Norfolk Island today is their homeland.


“Dr Col’s passing is the catalyst for me as Minister with responsibility for cultural heritage in the Norfolk Island Government to write to Prime Minister Abbott this week bringing to his attention the urgent need for our two governments to bridge the current divide between us and to return to the negotiating table in order that there be “a fair go for Norfolk Island”. The letter has been copied to Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss (and the Cabinet Minister responsible for Infrastructure and Regional Development) and the Leader of the Opposition the Hon Bill Shorten


“Whilst the letter to Prime Minister Abbot will be published fully and more widely in due course, for the record today I will read in part from the letter including the first four paragraphs.  The letter is headed “A Fair Go for Norfolk Island”.


“The letter commences -

‘This week we record the passing of a resident of Norfolk Island Dr Colleen McCullough Robinson AO whose funeral on Norfolk Island was attended by Senator Zed Seselja on behalf of the Australian Government.

 

‘Our National Treasure”, the late Dr Colleen McCullough Robinson AO in her book “Life without the Boring Bits” included a story entitled “Portrait of a Colonial Overlord” in which Dr. McCullough Robinson describes Norfolk Island as a tiny place – “A mote in the vastness of the Pacific’s eye”. Dr McCullough Robinson writes of the removal by authority of Queen Victoria of the Pitcairn Islanders from Pitcairn Island to Norfolk Island in 1856.

‘Dr McCullough Robinson writes - “Norfolk Island became a homeland.  It was a place with a natural settlement of genetically unique people”, a people who “developed a language peculiarly their own, and two astonishing modern laws: the first, that all women were entitled to vote on an equal footing with men; and the second, that all children must be schooled”. They came, all 194, a self-governing community with their own language, laws, traditions and culture.


‘Dr McCullough Robinson further writes - “In 1993 the Norfolk Islanders of Pitcairn stock declared themselves indigenous to Norfolk Island as a homeland, and were accepted into the indigenous community at Geneva”. Subsequently, UNESCO recognised the official Norfolk Island language (Norf’k) as a full and distinct language in its own right, including it in the UNESCO Atlas of the Word’s Languages in Danger in 2008.’.”

Mr Speaker the letter goes on to encourage the Prime Minister to understand that Norfolk Island has a unique cultural heritage, which underlies the strength of our community resilience, our economy and, amongst others, is a major part of our tourism appeal; that any economic development strategy that disempowers our community heritage is a high risk gamble; and that to decide on our governance model without reference to an agreed economic development strategy, is fraught with danger of economic collapse.

The letter in its concluding paragraphs Mr Speaker draws to the Prime Minister’s attention that it would be most regrettable if his government was to become the first since federation - and probably the first in the British Commonwealth - to abolish a democratically elected parliament, not because of failures of governance but instead because of a perceived need to strengthen the Norfolk Island economy as there is no logical or practical connection between economic sustainability and the removal of democracy.”

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FRAMEWORK FOR THE FUTURE



The Norfolk Island Government has developed a draft Strategic Vision “Framework for the Future” that builds upon the extensive work of the government over the past two years.


“The Framework for the Future” identifies our core vision, values and principles that we as a government are committed to applying in all our deliberations and decisions.


The document has been developed to provide vision to whatever the model of governance is decided upon.


We are seeking community feedback over the next two weeks on the document.


A copy is available at the Post Office, Library, Telecom, Banks, Administration Finance Branch and on our government web site at:


http://norfolkisland.gov.nf/la/Media%20Releases/2015/2015_02_12_DRAFT

_Norfolk_Island_Government_Strategic_Vision_Framework_for_the_Future.pdf


 I would encourage community comment through the feedback sheet available at the above locations by placing in the box provided or by email to chiefofstaff@assembly.gov.nf or post to the Chief of Staff, Government of Norfolk Island, Kingston.


To facilitate further discussion, government members will also be available at Rawson Hall (Super Room) Saturday 21 February 9am to 11am


Lisle Snell

Chief Minister 

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SOLUTION FOR SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC OVERSUPPLY PROGRESS



The Minister for Finance, the Hon. Tim Sheridan has today announced the successful parties to be invited to take part in stage 2 of the electricity solution for solar PV oversupply. Stage 2 is a limited tender in which the successful parties will be required to submit more detailed solutions, pricing models, funding options and metering. This stage will be advertised in coming weeks.


Minister Sheridan advises that “The four parties successfully shortlisted are Hydro-Tasmania, Harelec Services, juwi ABB and ET Solar Australia.


These parties all offer vast and practical experiences and I thank them along with the unsuccessful parties for taking the time and effort to respond to the expression of interest and for their interest in assisting Norfolk Island to overcome the issues created by the oversupply of electricity from photovoltaic cells.”


“Stages 1 and 2 will continue to build on the outcomes of the very useful submissions, information and ideas generated during the community consultation and focus group phases.

I appreciate that there is no immediate answer, but as a Government we are certainly heading in the right direction and the tender phase is the next part of this process. To this end I would like to thank the community for their patience and the staff in the Public Service and Norfolk Island Electricity for their commitment and support to this project” said Minister Sheridan.


The Norfolk Island Administration received 12 submissions during the expression of interest phase which was undertaken by LocalBuy in Queensland to ensure relevant independent, technical and probity oversight.


The limited tender phase will commence in coming weeks with an announcement of preferred tenderer to occur in April. LocalBuy will continue to assist during this phase.


Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance 

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YOUR PARLIAMENT YOUR VOICE



My thanks to Mr. Rob Nisbet for regularly screening on TVNI the sitting of the Legislative Assembly held on 18 August 2004 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the inauguration of the Legislative Assembly in 1979.  This “walk down memory lane” is being well received.  This week we publish the Speech given by the Hon R.J. (Bob) Ellicott QC at the 25th Anniversary Sitting.


“The Hon Bob Ellicott QC


Mr. Speaker, Mr. Administrator, Chief Minister and my fellow guests Minister, Honourable Members and guests.  Thank you very much for inviting Colleen and myself back to Norfolk Island. I can only say that we feel very much at home. We were delighted to come and we just want to say a very sincere thank you to all of you.  I would also like to thank our friends, David and Margaret Buffett for the way they’ve cared for us and looked after us since we set foot on Norfolk Island a few days ago. 


People often ask me why did you leave politics or more particularly, what do you enjoy about politics, what did you get out of it?  I may have been a bit hyper active, I’m not sure but I got a tremendous amount out of politics. There were lots of things that happened whilst I was a Minister in various roles. I was Minister for Sport and I had the privilege of setting up the Australian Institute of Sport and as I listen to the Olympics I get great joy out of that.

Coming here to Norfolk Island and seeing what has happened has brought a similar feeling of pride in what you’ve been doing. It is absolutely clear that self Government has been a great success both the spirit of the island and the prosperity of the island are testimony to that fact, so congratulations on what you’ve done in the last twenty-five years. The process by which self Government came about was not overly big. It occupied several visits on my part to the island, but I had a group of people who were committed to it. You might remember Bill McCasker, the Senior Officer who came with me who was committed to the task of self Government.  He is now deceased. But we had that wonderful Administrator Des O’Leary.


Now he may have been one of Australia’s major spy’s at the time, but actually he was a wonderful person in himself. He had a great sense of humour but more than that he understood people but he had the capacity to handle a group of men as they were at that time and with a certain degree of seriousness, but at the same time humour, we set about the task and after those few visits we set the course for self Government in Norfolk Island.  It took discussion, deliberation, drafts and re-drafts.  We had Mr. Ewens the former Parliamentary Counsel helping us with the task; we drew heavily on the self Government of the Northern Territory. If you would like to compare the two Acts you will find a degree of similarity in relation to the establishment of a Westminster system in this place and in the end we came up with a solution that we thought was very suitable to the island.


I think it’s as well to mention the people who were concerned. Some of them are no longer with us but some of them are. Bill Blucher, you Mr. Speaker, Greg Quintal, Bruce Mackenzie, who is now deceased, Lisle Snell, Duncan McIntyre, Geoff Bennett and Brian Nunn who I understand is now deceased.  They were all people who were committed and it was immensely important the contribution they made.


I thought it might be a moment to reflect on the basic principles of self Government to as it were go back to the beginning and set down what those basic tenets were because they are pretty important.  At the very threshold was this proposition that under the Commonwealth Constitution the Commonwealth Parliament has plenary power for the Government of this Territory and that means not only that it regards this Territory as part of Australia but it has not only the power but it has the responsibility of the welfare of Norfolk Island.  


If there was some massive cyclone that descended on this island you would find the Australian Government and the rest of the Australian people here.  That is a basic proposition in self Government. The second one has already been mentioned and that is that the Pitcairners and their descendents have a very special relationship with this island. Now that special relationship with the land of Australia is shared by only a minor number of Australians.  The Aboriginal people, the Torres Straight Islanders, the people of Cocos Island, they all have special relationships with the land where they live. That is not so of all Australians. On the 24th June 1856 this place was set aside as a separate and distinct settlement and the laws and customs of the Pitcairners were to be preserved and maintained in this place and that’s basic to an understanding of self Government on Norfolk Island and your Chief Minister has just mentioned it. 


A third proposition that lay behind it was that over a long period successive Governments had allowed other people to come and live on this island and treat it as their home and they not only came from Australia but they came from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and other parts and they were allowed to stay here, invest here and live here and bring up their families here. That was an important part of self Government and they shared the island with those of Pitcairn descent.  The next principle that I think you readily recognize is that the Pitcairn heritage and culture has to be preserved. It is part of this island’s history, it is part of you and its obviously being done but it’s a basic plank of self Government. I went the other day to see cyclorama. It was an amazing experience to go back to the beginning and go through it and see what had happened.  I come onto another principle which is a little bit controversial I suspect and that is that all the people of responsible age who are committed to reside here whether of Pitcairn descent or not, they be entitled to vote and be elected to the Legislative Assembly. The Minister won’t mind me mentioning what is a jarring note but I think we have to acknowledge it. 


I have to say that was a basic plank of self Government in 1979. The recently applied Australian citizen requirements for voting and election to this Legislative Assembly are antipathetic to the fundamentals of Norfolk Island’s self Government. I can’t call something what it isn’t what it is or vice versa!  That seems to me to be clear.  It may have been that in Roman times Quis Romanus sum, or I am a Roman citizen, was a complete solution to being a free person in the Roman empire because the only alternative seemed to be slavery but Quis Australianus sum is not a complete answer to Norfolk Island’s self Government and there is a jarring note and we need to recognize it.  


I think that that’s enough said but I wanted to make the point and I couldn’t adequately describe all those things without referring to that. Something very important I wanted to mention is that you would notice that when self Government came you had proportional voting and the purpose of that was to underlie one fact and that was that this island can only operate by consensus.  Now I understand Mr Brown Chief Minister, calls himself the leader of the Opposition and there’s a sense of humour in that I’m sure because he probably knows and you probably know that at the end of the day you have to reach agreement around this table and I suspect that’s the basis upon which you all face the task. There can be no room for personal animosities or attitudes that are diverse except in so far as they relate to the best interest Norfolk Island. Unless they do well they have no part in what a small number of people are trying to do for a relatively small number of constituents out there and so far as that’s concerned whatever electoral system you choose, whether it’s first past the post or the present system you’ve got that comes from Illinois or where-ever it came from or whether you choose the Hare Clark system from Tasmania I say to you it doesn’t matter which, at the end of the day whoever sits around this table has to get to a decision by consensus and that was a basic platform of self Government. It’s also true to say that self Government was a process and the Chief Minister  has described that and it’s a great testimony to the willingness of the Australian parliament to evince confidence in the people of Norfolk Island  and in this Legislative Assembly. 


They are very constant and great enquirers into what people do. There are many Members and many senators who are interested in what is happening around the country and that includes Norfolk Island and they subjected you to considerable scrutiny. You will not always agree with them. They too think they are acting in the interests of Norfolk Island but they have in their wisdom in my view, increased your power and that power has been very significant. One thing that you might have thought was a right or a privilege, certainly you didn’t want it, we’ve got it, the Minister  and I have it, we have to live with it and that’s Commonwealth taxation. 


You’ve not been subjected to it and nor have you been subjected, if you see it as a subjection, nor have you the rights to social service or the requirements of deductions of superannuation and all the rest of it which are either shared or inflicted on other Australians but that came at a price and that price was to recognize something out of the Pitcairn heritage and that is that you would look after anybody in need and that was basic to self Government.  It wasn’t just a throw away line with a sense of emotion but that anybody who was in need in this place you would look after them.  Not in some patronizing sort of way but through some system would enable people to come with dignity and obtain benefits if they fell into need and that was an essential part of it.  We sang the Pitcairn anthem this morning and I’ve no need to read to you that centre verse, I was enhungered and you gave me meat, but it lies at the basis of that plank and it is one of the most important.  Mr. Speaker, thank you for inviting us. Thank you for allowing us to share this moment. It’s a great moment for Norfolk Island. It’s a great moment for me and I’m sure it’s a great moment for the Minister”


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

13 February 2015

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BEST WAY FORWARD FOR NORFOLK ISLAND



Chief Minister Lisle Snell said today, “The first community meeting was held on Thursday 5th February with approximately 110 residents attending the meeting  and was facilitated by Simon Millcock the former Economic Development Officer for both Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands when he was employed by the Australian Government. Simon was able to provide a brief background to the meetings of his personal and family experiences of living and working in the Indian Ocean Territories from late 2008 until September 2013. Simon had also been part of the pro-bono economic development capacity building workshops undertaken with the Norfolk Island community by Economic Development Australia in August 2012”.

The topics discussed during the meeting were:

  1. Private investment processes & Industry government partnerships
  2. Infrastructure and capital injection projects
  3. Government Business Enterprise management structures

Following discussion on those topics the meeting then moved onto discussions, two suggested outcomes from the meeting and these matters were resolved via a show of hands

Outcome 1: Economic Development Strategy

The meeting endorsed that the NIG in partnership with the community develop an agreed strategic economic plan that identifies the long term economic direction for Norfolk Island. And: That this strategy is to include both current industries/enterprises and future economic initiatives and performance measures by identifying and describes the partnership arrangements and actions between all levels of government, business and the community to deliver the strategic outcomes.

The meeting was divided on if the Australian Government should be part of this partnership with approximately 60% of those who raised their hands indicated that the Australian Government should not be and around 40% of those who raised their hands say that the Australian Government should be.

Outcome 2: Infrastructure

This meeting endorsed that the NIG should be able to negotiate with the Commonwealth Government to identify critical short and long term infrastructure projects for budget allocation and they should not be limited to the Joint Standing Committee recommendations but include such items as Airport, KAVHA and Hospital. And: Those negotiations to include the necessary infrastructure capital injection and management models as required for the Government Business Enterprise to be sustainable for delivering ongoing and future services to the needs of Norfolk Island.

This was a unanimous vote with approximately 80% of those attending voting for this and no one raised their hand against.

The second community meeting scheduled to be held on 6th February is too late for reporting on before the cut off for inclusion in this weekend’s edition of the Islander.

A full summary of the outcomes of both those community meetings will be next week’s Norfolk Online edition.

Lisle Snell                                                     

Chief Minister

Date 06/0/2015

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NOTICE PAPER



NORFOLK ISLAND

FOURTEENTH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

NOTICE PAPER NUMBER 22

wednesday 11 FEBRUARY 2015

 

NORF’K AILEN

FORTIINTH LEJESLIETEW ‘SEMBLE

NOETIS PIEPA NAMBA 22

WENSDI 11 FEBRI 2015

 

NOTICES       

 

1       NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ACT 1985

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to move -

 

THAT this House, in accordance with sections 12(1) and 13 of the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985, resolve that ¾

 

Candice Anne Snell

 

not being the Director, an employee of the Enterprise or a Minister be re-appointed by the Minister as a member of the Norfolk Island Hospital Advisory Board for a term of 3 years commencing on the date the notice of appointment is published in the Gazette.

 

2       NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ACT 1985

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services (Ms Adams) to move ¾

 

THAT this House, in accordance with section 12(1) of the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985, resolve that ¾

 

Rhonda Evelyn Griffiths

 

not being the Director, an employee of the Enterprise or a Minister be appointed by the Minister as a member of the Norfolk Island Hospital Advisory Board for a term of 12 months commencing on the date the notice of appointment is published in the Gazette.

 

3       NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ACT 1985

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services (Ms Adams) to move ¾

 

THAT this House, in accordance with section 12(1) of the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985, resolve that ¾

 

Gerard Marr, Chief Executive of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

 

not being the Director, an employee of the Enterprise or a Minister be appointed by the Minister as a member of the Norfolk Island Hospital Advisory Board for a term of 12 months commencing on the date the notice of appointment is published in the Gazette.

 

4       IMMIGRATION ACT 1980 - APPLICATION FOR GENERAL ENTRY PERMIT

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to move -

 

THAT for the purpose of paragraph 17A(1)(e) of the Immigration Act 1980, this Legislative Assembly resolve that -

 

Charlene Abria

 

be authorised to make an application for a general entry permit under the Act.

 

 

5       IMMIGRATION (AMENDMENT NO 2) BILL 2014

         IMEGRIESHAN (CHIENJEN 2) BIL 2014

         Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Immigration Act 1980

                                                                                                                       Debate adjourned

6       COMMUNITY TITLE BILL 2015

         KOMYUUNETI TAITL BIL 2015

         Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward to present a Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment, registration and administration of community title schemes, and for other purposes.

                                                                                                                       Debate adjourned

 

7       COMMUNITY TITLE (CONSEQUENTIAL PROVISIONS) BILL 2015

         KOMYUUNETI TAITL (KONSEKWENCHL CHIENJ) BIL 2015

         Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward to present a Bill for an Act consequential upon the making of the Community Title Act 2015, and for related purposes

                                                                                                                       Debate adjourned

 

ORDER OF THE DAY

 

2       LAND RATES BILL 2014

RIET FE LAEN BIL 2014

Resumption of debate (Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan) from 15 October 2014 on the question – THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle. Mr Sheridan to seek leave to withdraw the Bill

 

NOTICES CONTINUED

 

8       MUNICIPAL RATES BILL 2015

         MYUUNESIPL RIET BIL 2015

Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan, to present a Bill for an Act to provide for the levy of rates and charges on land and for related purposes.

                                                                                                                       Debate adjourned

ORDERS OF THE DAY

 

1       KINGSTON AND ARTHURS VALE HISTORIC AREA (KAVHA) – REVIEW

         Resumption of debate (Mr Nobbs) from 25 June 2014 on the question – THAT the motion be agreed

 

3       TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014

TRAEFIK (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

Resumption of debate (Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward) from 15 October 2014 on the question – THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

 

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

54     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister For Finance –

Will the Minister provide details on the Norfolk Island Government’s overall policy approach to fuel and electricity supply and the extent to which the policy has been or is proposed to be implemented?

55     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

Given that the Ball Bay bulk storage facility is proposed to be outsourced along with the other aspects of the fuel supply operation; will the Minister answer the following:

  1. What is the current condition status of the bulk storage facility,
  2. What are the current and ongoing costs associated with running and maintaining the storage facility,
    1. Is it a fact that the Norfolk Island Government builds into the wholesale price of fuel a component for the upkeep and    operation of the bulk storage facility, and;
  3. Is the land owned by the Commonwealth and if so; what are the ongoing associated costs?

56     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

Given the Minister’s previous statement that the Norfolk Island Administration only seeks to break even in its fuel supply role; will the Minister explain how the outsourcing of the bulk storage facility will have a positive effect on the price of fuel to the local consumer and if it has the reverse effect; will the Minister reject a new arrangement in relation to the storage facility?

57     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

What is the current cost per litre of diesel fuel used for electricity generation as reflected in the Norfolk Electricity budget and what is the methodology used to lower or raise the KW hour tariff in line with movements in the price of diesel?

58     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

What is the Norfolk Island Government’s plan for electricity generation; short, medium and long-term and what are the expected outcomes for house-holds and business including government business enterprise?

59     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

Will the Minister list the agreed recommendations arising from the Deloitte review of Government Business Enterprises and explain the agreed deliverables and expected outcomes from the current stage of the reform process? 

 

60     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Did the Norfolk Island Government make submission to the draft R&S Muller Health Services Survey Report and Response to the Draft Health Services Plan Report and if not why, and; when will the final R&S Muller reports be released to the Norfolk Island Government?

 

61     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Will the Minister provide a definitive timeframe in relation to the development of a five year health services plan for the Norfolk Island community and; will the Minister confirm that both the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise Advisory Board and Director have provided written advice in response to the draft Nexus and R&S Muller reports?

 

62     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Will the Minister explain how the five year health services plan fits into the Norfolk Island Government’s Preferred Territory model of Government; which health services have been identified by the Norfolk Island Government as essential; how will these services be delivered and how will they be funded?

 

63     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Given that the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise operating theatre has been closed because it does not meet Australian Council on Health Standards (ACHS) standards for elective surgery; what is the Norfolk Island Government’s policy position in relation to the ongoing provision of elective surgical procedures at the local hospital and if the policy is to re-open the theatre; how will the policy be funded?  

 

64     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Given that the development of consolidated health legislation as set out in the Nexus and Smyth Reports form part of the agreed joint funding agreement 2014-15; will the Minister inform the House which Government officer or department has been charged with undertaking the task and will the Minister provide a progress report that will give Members confidence that the June 2015 milestone deadline will be met?

 

65     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for the Environment –

         Given the Minister’s words in the House last December that he had asked the Chief Executive Officer to meet with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to find an agreeable way forward in relation to the Cascade and Kingston Pier upgrade project; will the Minister confirm that this meeting took place and brief Members on the outcome of the meeting and let the community know whether or not they should hold out hope that an economic development project will commence in 2015?

 

66     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for the Environment –

         Isn’t it a fact that the original Federal Grant funding for the pier upgrade project was approved with the understanding that the Norfolk Island Government was not a going concern and that future obligations in relation to the purchase of a crane and barges were unfunded and if so; what has caused the Norfolk Island Government to no longer trust the Commonwealth to remain committed to economic infrastructure development on the Island?

 

 

 

67     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for the Environment –

         Given the Norfolk Island Government’s new policy in relation to future rock supply; when will  essential exploratory drilling work at Cascade, Headstone and Jacob’s Rock commence and how much has been allowed for in the budget review process to undertake this work?

 

68     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

         Will the Minister outline the Government’s plan to repay the $11.4 million airport runway re-seal loan; fund the next reseal and fund currently unfunded depreciation worth approximately $44 million and; what timeframe is attached to the action plan?

 

69     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Environment –

         Given the Minister’s unilateral policy position on land rates stated at the last Sitting of the House; will he outline the alternate local revenue streams that have been examined by him and will he indicate whether or not sufficient revenue will be raised to deliver services in a way that upholds National standards particularly in the area of health, education, policing and community welfare? 

 

70     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

         Will the Minister provide answers in relation to the proposed municipal rates levy system:

  1.   Provide the reasons behind the development of the special rate levy system,
  2.   Describe how the benefit principle will be applied, and;
  3.   Explain why rural and agricultural land has been aggregated but residential land has not?

 

71     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

         Given that the Australian Government is not willing to fund the Norfolk Island Government’s preferred Territory model of government and given the Norfolk Island Government’s insistence to date that it is the best way forward; is the Norfolk Island Government proposing to fund its preferred model without Australian Government support?

 

72     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         Given the Norfolk Island Education Report 2014 recommendation that the Norfolk Island Government negotiate the extension and implementation of relevant Commonwealth and NSW legislation to support the provision of education to the Island and given the general support of Members; what has the Minister done to pursue the matter?

 

73     Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

         In relation to child protection and safe guards for local children attending the two pre-schools and Norfolk Island Central School; has the Minister developed a policy in relation to employees and volunteers who come into contact with children and young people and if so; what has the Minister done to assure herself that the policy has been implemented and is working effectively?

74       Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister –

         What has the Norfolk Island Government done since March 2013 to convince the Commonwealth that the Island has the political will and capacity to legislate, administer, manage and partially fund efficient, equitable, effective and transparent State level services now and into the future?

 

Gaye Evans

Clerk to the Legislative Assembly  

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SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL



Mr John Christian wrote to the local press on 31 January 2015 expressing a number of concerns about the operation of the Hospital and the services being provided (or not provided).  The concerns raised by Mr Christian are valid concerns not only of Mr Christian, but also by the Norfolk Island Government and members of the Norfolk Island community. 


“I trust the brief provided to me by the Director in response to Mr Christian’s letter is of some assistance to the community in understanding the current and ongoing difficulties that we are endeavouring to address to provide the community with the medical services that we would wish to see available in this small and isolated community”, Minister Adams said, “and I thank Mr Christian for publicly raising his concerns, concerns which were also raised at the community meeting held Thursday evening at Rawson Hall.”


THE NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ENTERPRISE

PO BOX 94

NORFOLK ISLAND 2899

Phone: 6723 22091

Facsimile: 6723 23245

Brief provided by the Hospital Director to Minister Adams on the issues raised by a member of the community in the local press on Saturday 31 January 2015

Mr Christian’s letter raised a number of points regarding the downgrading of services provided at the Norfolk Island Hospital. This brief is to address a number of those concerns and provide factual information for yourself and the community.


“Routine services such as surgery, colonoscopies, endoscopies, and obstetrics have ceased being performed at the Hospital under the auspices of accreditation” (Mr Christian)


Colonoscopies and endoscopies have ceased until such time as the operating theatre can be brought up to standard; a standard which is set by the ACHS (the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards) which undertook a survey of the Hospital in 2014. A considerable amount of electrical, building, and policy and procedure development is required to achieve accreditation of the theatre, including satisfying the requirement to provide positive and negative airflows in clean and dirty areas, appropriate clean to dirty flow through of instruments, linen etc and to provide appropriate storage for sterile stock. Electrical systems must be isolated and ceiling pendants installed to prevent electrical cords on the floors. Scavenging systems for anaesthetic gases must also be installed along with the installation of fume cabinets for the sterilisation of colonoscopies and endoscopes. The estimated cost of the upgrade is in excess of $500,000.00. The Hospital is committed to undertaking this work once resources and funding can be provided.


The Hospital has attempted at least for some years now to recruit a replacement GP/Surgeon/Obstetrician and a GP/Anaesthetist/Obstetrician. Recruitment strategies included advertising in the Weekend Australian, Australian Doctor Magazine, NZ Doctor Magazine, 6 Minutes Newsletter for Doctors, Medical Observer Magazine, Jobs4doctors.com.au; the Australian College of Rural and Remote medicine, NSW Rural Doctors Network, Medical Journal of Australia, Charterhouse Medical Recruitment, IMR Medical Recruitment and through Dr Ian Rewell from South East Sydney Local Health District.. In excess of $50,000.00 has been spent on this process with not one response from appropriately qualified Doctors.


Anecdotally we have been informed by a number of sources that the Doctors we were seeking, in particular GP/Surgeons/Obstetricians no longer exist. In fact, Dr McNamara was one of only 10 left in Australia who was still practicing. There are a large number of studies that identify the difficulties with recruitment of such doctors and the following are quotes from a number of those articles:


Maternity Care in General Practice, W E Brodribb, Medical Journal of Australia, 2013.

“10 years ago commenced the decline in GP led Obstetrics. In 2013, there were 481 GP/Obstetricians Australia wide, 142 less than in 2008 (Rural Health Workforce Survey). There has been a closure of 50 birthing services between 2006 and 2011 leading to a deskilling of GP’s in these areas.”


Leading the Rebirth of the Rural Obstetrician, Campbell, Brown, Simon, Young and Kinsmark, Medical Journal of Australia, 2014.

“Half of the existing GP/Obstetricians intended ceasing practice in the next 5-7 years (2003). Factors contributing include a rise in specialisation, centralisation of services, concerns regarding indemnity and litigation, rural workload and difficulty maintaining competence.”


Obstacles and solutions to maintenance of advanced procedural skills for rural and remote medical practitioners in Australia, Glazebrook and Harrison, Rural and Remote Health, 2006.


“A further barrier to the maintenance of advanced procedural skills relates to rising professional indemnity premiums and increased litigation. This factor has had a considerable impact on the entire medical profession in Australia. In rural areas the impact is heightened through older doctors choosing to retire rather than continuing to practice, doctors ceasing procedural work and a reduction in the complexity of rural based surgical services offered by visiting surgeons. A survey of procedural GP’s in NSW reported that rising costs of indemnity cover and a growing fear of litigation were to blame for doctors planning to cease advanced procedural work within the next 5 years.”


What to do about the problems caused by super specialisation in Medicine, Smith P, Australian Doctor, 2012 “Specialisation has gone too far, driven by the professions and supported by employers … while at the opposite end, the capacity of GP’s, generalists and support workers are not being sufficiently valued or managed.”        “We need a broader, and in the case of general practice and medicine, a deeper scope of practice. The idea is to equip a new generation of GP’s with skills in obstetrics, emergency medicine, anaesthetics and surgery after the previous generation was stripped of them through the combined efforts of the specialist colleges and the hospital system.”


“Since this happened I have spoken to two general practitioners who tell me they would have happily treated this injury and that it is crazy to fly to another country and wait 4 days for treatment.” (Mr Christian)


The injury that was suffered was a compound laceration (open exposure of the bones) to the toes of the right foot that needed surgical debridement by an Orthopaedic surgeon. The surgery that was undertaken was a removal of the terminal phalanges, or amputation at the last joint of the toe. This was required to be done under a general anaesthetic in an operating theatre by an Orthopaedic Surgeon. I am advised by the Hospital’s General Practitioners that it was necessary for the patient to be referred to Australia. Whilst it is correct that this may have been able to be treated here three years ago by Dr McNamara, the hospital no longer has a surgeon on its staff.


“I understand that currently 70 people are being referred off Island for treatment that would normally be performed at the NI Hospital.” (Mr Christian)

In 2009/2010 there were 215 patients referred off Island. 

In 2010/2011 there were 238 patients referred off Island.

In 2011/2012 there were 208 patients referred off Island.

In 2012/2013 there were 256 patients referred off Island

In 2013/2014 there were 312 patients referred off Island.

Dr McNamara departed in June, 2012 and as can be seen even when we had those services available a number of patients had to be referred off Island. Since that time we have been relying on Locum services and this possibly explains the increase in the latter half of 2012/2013 and 2013/2014. With an ageing population on Norfolk Island illnesses that cannot be treated here are becoming more prevalent including cancer and other chronic illnesses and we have certainly seen an increase in those who require referral off Island which could not have been treated here, even with the best surgical services.


“We were told three years ago that closer ties with the Australian medical system and POW would improve our health care.” (Mr Christian)


The Memorandum of Understanding between South East Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) and the Norfolk Island Hospital has certainly improved our health care as we are now able to refer our patients directly to SESLHD without the need to ring around to find an available bed or a hospital that will treat our patients. We have direct access to specialists and emergency departments through SESLHD and Prince of Wales, Sydney Children’s Network and St George hospitals in particular. We have also received a lot of assistance in accessing information and assistance with the Accreditation process, Infection control and Governance issues. We are also pleased to advise that we are able now to send our  X-rays and Ultrasounds away for reading and reporting in a short time frame.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

06 February 2015

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PETROL STOCKS TO BE RATIONED



The Hon Tim Sheridan, Minister for Finance, has confirmed the radio advice that there is a

need to ration petrol stocks.


“It is important to make it clear to the community that diesel fuel is not being rationed, only

petrol. The decision to introduce rationing from 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, 28 January 2015, was a necessary measure to ensure the limited stock of petrol is available to all users until supplies are replenished,” the Minister said.


The tanker has been unable to discharge since its arrival on Saturday 24 January, 2015 and, as the unfavourable weather is forecast to continue, and other islands are also low on petrol supplies, the tanker has sailed to service those islands.


The date of the return of the tanker is still being finalised.


A voucher system is now in place which allows a weekly ration of $50 for each registered

vehicle and $20 for each registered motor bike.


A new voucher will be available each Wednesday until rationing ceases.


Vouchers can be collected from:

  • Telecom between 9am and 4pm on business days; and
  • Visitors Information Centre between 8.30am and 3pmon weekends.

A voucher can only be used once. The voucher is to be given at the time you purchase the fuel and will be retained by the service station operator.


Service Stations also have the authority to provide fuel to:

  • hire cars so that visitors may fill the car within 24 hours of their departure, as required in their contract for hire; and
  • businesses who use fuel in the direct generation of income and are registered for GST for that purpose, such as registered fishing/tour charters and lawn-mowing contractors.

Mr Sheridan said, “If you do not need the petrol I urge you to please not fill-up to ensure

there is sufficient supplies until the return of the tanker.”


I take this opportunity to convey my thanks and appreciation to all those who are working

proactively to minimise the impact of this problem on Norfolk Island. I particularly wish to

thank the owners and the employees of ExxonMobil, Natjola, Burnt Pine Fuel, the Service Stations and the Administration for their co-operative efforts.


Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance

30 January 2015 

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YOUR PARLIAMENT YOUR VOICE



From time to time I have been asked as Minister with responsibility for cultural heritage in the Norfolk Island Government for information on how the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island works and as Speaker in the previous Assembly (the 13th) I published a regular blog post “Your Parliament Your Voice”. This week I have been asked whether the DVD of the Inaugural Sitting of the First Legislative Assembly which took place on 10 August 1979 could be made available on local TV and radio. We do have a copy of the DVD; however it is copyrighted and therefore it is necessary to get approval for it to be replayed.  Approval to do so has been requested.


However we do have a copy of the DVD produced in 2004 by Mr Chris Ciantar on the occasion of the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Inauguration of the Legislative Assembly in 1979 which was attended by the then Administrator, the Hon Grant Tambling; the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads in the Australian Government the Hon Jim Lloyd MP; and the Hon R J (Bob) Ellicott QC, the architect of self government for Norfolk Island when he was Federal Minister with responsibility for Norfolk Island affairs in 1979.


With the kind permission of Mr Rob Nisbet of TVNI, and of the film’s producer Mr Chris Ciantar, TVNI will be screening the 25th Anniversary Sitting of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island over the coming months on both channels on TVNI. 


Regrettably we do not have a DVD of the 30th Anniversary Sitting of the Legislative Assembly which was to have been attended by the then Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, AC and I know we will all recall our disappointment that Her Excellency’s aircraft was unable to land due to inclement weather.  However we proceeded with the ceremonial sitting and the then Administrator, the Hon Owen Walsh, read a speech on behalf of the Governor-General.


“I realised when I was asked about the DVD”, Minister Adams said, “That whilst the sittings are broadcast over the local radio only a handful of people on Norfolk Island would have actually ‘seen’ a live sitting of our Legislative Assembly. At this time when the people of Norfolk Island are being asked whether they wish to continue to have their own Parliament (the Legislative Assembly), and retain self government which was given to Norfolk Island in 1979, or revert to a local Council as proposed by the Commonwealth in its Factsheets circulated in December 2014, it is appropriate to provide this information to help to inform the community.”


In addition to the screening on TVNI of the 25th Anniversary sitting in 2004, our local radio will over the coming week take us on a trip down memory lane by re-broadcasting the speeches of:

  • The Hon R.J. Ellicott QC in 1979 and 2004;
  • The  Chief Minister Geoff Gardner, and the Hon. Jim Lloyd MP in 2004; and
  • Her Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia in 2009.

In addition the speeches will be published in the local media commencing this week with the speech of Her Excellency the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Speech of Her Excellency the Governor General of Australia on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the inauguration of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island held on 19 August 2009


Read by His Honour the Administrator Mr Owen Walsh.


“Her Excellency the Governor-General has asked me to read the message that she would have much preferred to deliver in person on this important historic occasion. Her Excellency’s message is as follows:


“I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit Norfolk Island to commemorate 30 years of self-government. I thank you for the opportunity to address this special sitting of the Legislative Assembly. Norfolk Island has a rich history, chequered in hope and despair, beauty and ugliness. I am speaking to you today in a building deeply ingrained with the lessons of the past and with the promise of the future. The stark contrasts of Norfolk Island provide such an opportunity for us; a chance to learn about ourselves, each other. A chance to work together to secure a future for the people of Norfolk Island – to ensure the lessons from history are not forgotten. I congratulate all past and present members of the Legislative Assembly. Each member of the Assembly has contributed their own time and effort in the interests of the Norfolk Island community. Your generosity is as important a reason for the 30th anniversary celebrations as the passage of the enabling legislation. Today, I also remember the loss of Ivens (Toon) Buffet who was killed while in office in 2004. I honour his memory and contribution to Norfolk Island.


“As Governor-General, I have had the opportunity to travel to many communities throughout Australia. I have spoken with the people who are responsible for those communities. I can see that every day, members of the Assembly must deal with the issues that are facing the community here. You, as policy makers, live side by side with the people affected by your policies. What a valuable opportunity that is, for you and the people you represent. It means that you can be held to account immediately for the decisions that you make. You are not buffered by living elsewhere in a different community. The decision that you make today will be raised with you tomorrow. Being part of a system with such direct representation has its own demands on you. It means that you must daily demonstrate the courage to make the right decisions. Not the decisions that will please your neighbour or the people you see in the supermarket. You must make the decisions that will benefit the community and future of Norfolk Island.


“I am reminded of the address made to the first Assembly by the Hon Bob Ellicott QC in 1979. Mr. Ellicott said: As individuals, be prepared to abandon your own pet theories; adopt as your test what appears to be reasonable in the interests of all the people. This is sage advice indeed. Mr. Ellicott also asked the Assembly to focus on decision-making by consensus. I realise that decision-making by consensus brings a certain burden. Those who speak must express their ideas clearly and honestly. Those who listen must do so openly. Alternatives and opportunities must be raised and considered. Consensus decision-making may take time. It may raise issues that are difficult or confronting. However, at the end of those discussions, there can be certainty, certainty that dialogue has been open; certainty that the best interests of the Norfolk Island community have been explored. I commend these ideals to you, as a central aspect of your self-government system. I am sure that you will agree that these ideals should be protected and valued.


“Norfolk Island has much to be protected and valued. The Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area will be assessed as part of Australia’s nomination of convict sites to the World Heritage List. I am excited that KAVHA has been included in the nomination. Our capacity to demonstrate our care for our heritage and environment will be showcased. It is an opportunity for many Australians to understand the important role Norfolk Island has played in Australia’s settlement and development. Norfolk Island’s small first European settlement was crucial to the survival of its sister settlement at Sydney Cove. I hope that KAVHA’s nomination will encourage many to visit Norfolk Island. Visitors will gain a better understanding of the many challenges faced by early settlers, on Norfolk Island. 


KAVHA’s nomination also acknowledges a significant, dark time in Australia’s convict history. We should not forget the ordeals experienced by the people sent here. Neither should we forget that KAVHA is the place where the Pitcairn Islanders found their new home. I can only imagine the mixed feelings of the Pitcairners on leaving their Island home. I can certainly imagine their delight in seeing this beautiful landscape five weeks later. The heritage, language and culture brought by the Pitcairners has been woven into the rich fabric of Norfolk Island life. It contributes to the Norfolk Island that we enjoy today. What a change is represented here - from the misery of a penal colony to the opportunities for a new life. This building represents a point of balance between Norfolk Island’s past and its future. The Assembly that uses it forms the heart of the Norfolk Island Government and community. 


Norfolk Island faces some significant challenges. It needs to be focused on, treasured and developed. I am struck by the words of Emily Dickinson “I held a jewel in my fingers, And went to sleep, The day was warm, and winds were prosy; I said: "It will keep. I woke and chid my honest fingers, -- The gem was gone; and now an amethyst remembrance is all I own.” Let us not risk the jewel that Norfolk Island represents.

 

“I invite you all to use this 30th Anniversary as a time to contemplate not only where Norfolk Island has come from. It is a time to look to the future, to ensure that Norfolk Island’s gift is available to the generations that follow us. I congratulate Norfolk Island for 30 years of self-government.” (Speech by Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC, the then Governor-General of Australia, on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary Sitting held on 19 August 2009 to commemorate the inauguration of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island)


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

30 January 2015

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GOVERNANCE MODEL COSTINGS



In my message to residents of 16 January 2015 I indicated that the Norfolk Island Government had proposed to the Commonwealth that our two governments work together to develop and cost alternative governance models for Norfolk Island.


As I indicated then that proposal was not accepted by the Commonwealth and consequently the Norfolk Island Government had conducted an independent evaluation and costing of its preferred governance model. 


As the Commonwealth has still yet to disclose any costing on its Regional Council model proposal and in the support of openness, transparency and accountability the Norfolk Island Government has decided to publically release that independent evaluation and costing on our preferred model which can be found at;


http://norfolkisland.gov.nf/la/RoadMapReformProcess/GovernanceModel/

2015_01_30-Governance_costing_report.pdf


As we as a community move to a critical stage in the discussion around the future governance arrangement for Norfolk Island the onus is on the Commonwealth to publically release the full costings of its Regional Council model proposal.


If that is not forthcoming the community has a right to question why not!

 

Lisle Snell                                                     

Chief Minister

Date 30/01/2015

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COMMUNITY MEETING DATES


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THE BEST WAY FORWARD FOR NORFOLK ISLAND


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NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENTS INFORMATION SHEETS






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CALL FOR PUBLICE COMMENT ON THE CURRENT PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE TRAFFIC LEGISLATION OF NORFOLK ISLAND





On 17 December 2015 the Legislative Assembly resolved -

That the TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014 / TRAEFIK (CHIENJEN)

BIL 2014 (the Bill) be referred to the Impact of Bills Committee

 

The Committee needs to know how you, the Norfolk Island community, feel about the proposed changes.

 

What are the main issues that the proposed legislation deals with?

 

The purpose of this Bill is to introduce an initial step towards bringing the road traffic laws of Norfolk Island more in line with accepted principles of safety applied in the Commonwealth.  The Bill seeks to make provision for random breath and oral fluid testing and to make some consequential amendments and corrections to the principal Act.

The Bill has 4 clauses and a Schedule.

Clauses 1-3 provide the usual short title, commencement and reference to the principal Act being amended.

Clause 4 provides for the principal Act to be amended by the Schedule.

The Schedule contains 5 items ¾

     Item 1 Replaces the existing definitions of “Commonwealth” and “Commonwealth entity” to reflect changes to Commonwealth legislation.

     Item 2 Corrects an incorrect subsection reference in section 8.

Item 2A brings the existing provisions of the principal Act into line with the terminology of the changes proposed and makes a correction in terminology.  Thus reference is now made throughout to “breath test” rather than “breath analysis”. “Blood test” is the expression used with respect to blood rather than “analysis”.

Item 3 inserts 6 new sections into the principal Act.  These are ¾

          Section 32A to provide a power to conduct random breath testing.  A police officer can request any person to take a breath test if the officer is satisfied that the person is or was driving a motor vehicle on a road or otherwise in a controlling position with respect to the vehicle or the driver.  Before a breath test is done a police officer may require a person to take a preliminary breath test to ascertain f there is any indication of alcohol in the person’s breath.  A police officer may require a person to stop a vehicle and if the driver does not do so an offence is committed.

          Section 32B provides that a person may be arrested if as a result of the testing the alcohol concentration exceeds those set out in the section.

          Section 32C provides for the conduct of random testing of oral fluids for prescribed illicit drugs.  The provision mirrors that for alcohol testing.

          Section 32D provides for the arrest of persons testing positively for illicit drugs and mirrors the provision for alcohol testing.

          Section 32 E makes provision for having oral fluid samples tested following the arrest of a person.

          Section 32F provides for the taking of a blood sample in order to determine the presence of illicit drugs.

Item 4 makes consequential changes to the regulation making power concerning alcohol and drug testing in section 56(9) of the principal Act.

It is important to the Committee that all members of the Norfolk Island community, who have made this Island their home, be given every opportunity to comment on this proposed piece of legislation.

 

The first public hearing will be held at 9.30 am on Thursday 29 January 2015 in the Assembly Chamber.

 

If you feel you would like to comment on the proposed TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014 there are a number of ways you can do this:

 

  1. Obtain a copy of the proposed legislation at no cost by contacting the Clerk or Secretary at the Legislative Assembly, either by phone on 22003 or by email on clerk@assembly.gov.nf. You can also access the Bill, the explanatory memorandum and the clause notes at www.info.gov.nf and click onto “Bills introduced into 14th Assembly”.

 

  1. Write a letter saying how you feel about it and send it to the Office of the Clerk, Old Military Barracks, Kingston.

 

  1. Make an appointment to come and talk with the Committee members by contacting the Clerk or Secretary at the Legislative Assembly, either by phone on 22003 or by email on clerk@assembly.gov.nf.   Appointments are essential.

 

The Committee urges members of the community to find out how they are affected by the proposed law and make their views known

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WHOLESALE FUEL PRICING



The Minister for Finance, Tim Sheridan has advised “I would like to make this statement to defuse a lot of inaccurate information that has flowed from the community in recent weeks ”.


Whilst it is true that world oil prices have dropped by in excess of 50%, and retail petrol prices in Australian cities are at their lowest in five years, the factors that influence Norfolk Island petrol prices are different to those in Australia.


Norfolk Island’s fuel is supplied by tanker every 4-5 months and that fuel has been purchased at a price 2-3 months prior to its arrival on Norfolk Island. The wholesale price remains unchanged until the next shipment is received. Changes to crude oil prices cannot make the fuel in the Ball Bay tanks any cheaper (or more expensive).


It is anticipated that the next fuel shipment due before the end of January, 2015 will be at a price that reflects the falling price of crude oil,  the exchange rate of the A$, and having been purchased  in the last quarter of 2014. Norfolk Energy pricing policy is for the operation to break-even so any reduction in costs will be reflected in the wholesale price. The wholesale price will be available in mid-February when all costs are known.


Minister Sheridan also wished to supply facts to assertions that the current wholesale petrol and diesel prices include a surcharge carried over from a previous fuel shortage. Minister Sheridan advised that:-

  1. The only petrol shortage in recent history, where drummed petrol was imported, was in February, 2012.
  2. The Wholesale price prior to the drummed petrol arriving was $1.94 per litre.
  3. The Wholesale price for the duration of the use of the 100,000 litres of drummed petrol was $2.25 per litre. (the additional $0.31 was cost recovery only).
  4. The Wholesale price of petrol from the tanker which arrived after the shortage was $2.04 per litre (based on an increase of $0.10 per litre in the supply price, compared to the previous bulk shipment).
  5. The Wholesale price of diesel remained unchanged at $1.97 per litre for the duration of the petrol shortage.
  6. The Wholesale price of diesel increased from $1.97 per litre to $2.03 per litre (based on an increase of $0.06 per litre in the supply price, compared to the previous bulk shipment). 

Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance 

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COMMUNITY LETTER FROM THE CHIEF MINISTER


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NORFOLK ISLAND’S FIRST QUARANTINE DETECTOR DOG DAWSON MAKES A HIT…




Dawson the quarantine detector dog arrived on Norfolk Island on the Tuesday the 6th January along with Michele Gauci of Australian Dog Training. Michele is training Dawson’s handlers Snow Tavener and Dean Fitzpatrick. The need for a quarantine detector dog has long been recognised and the efforts and generosity of the Australian Department of Agriculture in providing this outstanding highly trained dog is appreciated especially by those on the front line of Norfolk Island’s quarantine service.


Dawson now belongs to the Norfolk Island Administration and has begun working in the airport arrivals hall where he has made some hits on undeclared items at the airport. Dawson also met and screened passengers arriving from the cruise ship on Wednesday 14th January where he and his Norfolk livery were a big hit with many of the visitors. While popular, the highly visible message that Norfolk Island takes quarantine seriously could not be missed.


The handlers’ training will continue until the end of March and eventually Dawson’s deployment will be broadened to include cargo inspection.


Ron Ward
Minister for the Environment
16th January 2015



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2014/15 BUDGET UPDATE



The Government is pleased to release a community information update in relation to the appropriated 2014/15 Budget.

 

The purpose of the update is to allow members of the public to identify areas of spending as well as revenue across the Administration of Norfolk Island, as well as within KAVHA, The Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise and Norfolk Island Government Tourist Bureau. The document also provides information about municipal rating.

 

Minister Sheridan notes that this document is late in the Budget cycle however announces that ‘now this template has been developed, I plan to make this a regular part of the budget appropriation process by the Government.’

 

‘Clear and transparent reporting is a goal of all Governments and the Norfolk Island Government is no different. I would like to thank  staff within the Public Service for putting this document together which I  am pleased to provide to the community for their information’ Minister Sheridan  said. 

 

‘Should anyone have enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact the Assembly (22003) or   the Administration  (22001) ’, the Minister said.

 

To download a copy of the document it is available under ‘Public Broadcasts’ on the homepage of www.norfolkisland.gov.nf  or www.facebook.com/NorfolkIslandGovernment

 

 

Tim Sheridan                                                           

Minister for Finance                                      

19 December 2014

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COMMENCEMENT OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE NORFOLK ISLAND OMBUDSMAN













The Chief Minister of Norfolk Island, the Hon Lisle Snell MLA and The Administrator, His Honour, the Hon Gary Hardgrave are pleased to welcome the commencement of arrangements for the Norfolk Island Ombudsman.


An agreement has been signed by The Administrator on behalf of Norfolk Island and the Commonwealth of Australia, represented by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.


The Commonwealth Ombudsman, Mr Colin Neave said:

“With this new agreement to provide the Norfolk Island Ombudsman service, my office will be well placed to assist the Administration of Norfolk Island to operate with greater transparency and fairness for the whole community. We look forward to working constructively with the Administration and the community towards building confidence in the capacity of the Norfolk Island public sector to deliver services fairly and equitably to all.


I am pleased to see that the Administration continues to support the role of the Complaints Officer on Norfolk Island. ”


Mr. Snell expressed his appreciation for all the work done over a long period of time by the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island both present and past, the Legal Services Unit (LSU) of the Administration of Norfolk Island, and by the previous Governments of Norfolk Island, in pursuing the goal of establishing a proper Ombudsman system for Norfolk Island.


This role is vital for the speedy resolution of most complaints about public sector services on Norfolk Island and should continue to be the first option for anyone who has a complaint about those services.


The Ombudsman’s office is now open for business to the Norfolk Island community. They can be contacted through their website – www.nio.gov.au, email address – Norfolk.Island@ombudsman.gov.au, or telephone number – 1800 1354.

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister

His Honour the Hon. Gary Hardgrave

Administrator

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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS WEDNESDAY 17 DECEMBER





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AUSTRALIA'S CHRISTMAS PRESENT TO NORFOLK ISLAND


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REVIEW OF NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ENTERPRISES (GBES)



I have today, at the request of the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, The Hon. Jamie Briggs, released the Deloitte Access Economics report “Norfolk Island government business analysis – November 2014”.


As many in the community will know, this is the latest stage of work that has been undertaken since 2013 to assist both the Norfolk Island and Australian Governments assess sustainable business models for the delivery of key services on Norfolk Island, including electricity supply and telecommunications.

The Report has found that:

  • There is limited scope to privatise GBEs (due to the market size; unclear financial performance and lack of reliable data; prohibitive investment requirements; Government financial reliance on GBEs);
  • It is possible to introduce elements of competition or market pressure without completely selling off the business;
  • A simple management outsourcing arrangement could be the best option in the short term for business efficiency, while still retaining the Government’s revenue stream.


Australian Government funding has been committed as part of a suite of measures aimed at addressing Norfolk Island’s deficit and improving public sector efficiency and economic development.


The report is available through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/index.aspx.  It is also available on my website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/administrator/index.aspx.

The Deloitte Access Economics report will assist the Norfolk Island Government assess the operational efficiencies of its Government Business Enterprises and to support future decisions about how to structure and operate these businesses to ensure the community receives the best return.


Deloitte Access Economics to visit Norfolk Island early in 2015 for the next stage of work which will involve developing a cost of service, standardised governance structure and asset management information for each Government Business Enterprise in conjunction with the Administration of Norfolk Island.  I would to thank the senior officers of the Administration of Norfolk Island for their commitment of time and resources and the Norfolk Island Government for their cooperation with the this process.


His Honour the Hon. Gary Hardgrave
19 December 2014

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SOCIAL SERVICES AND TAX



Norfolk Island residents have been provided with a Fact Sheet dated December 14, headed Social Services and Tax provided by the Department of 

Infrastructure and Regional Development to each resident via the Office of the Administrator.&nbsp; The fact sheet states it is “general in nature 

based on how the arrangements operate on mainland Australia”.


“At recent discussions between His Honour the Administrator and Members of the Legislative Assembly on the recommendations of the Joint 

Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories we continued to stress the urgent need for taxation and social security officials 

to have a ‘shop front’ in Burnt Pine to be available to explain the operation of social services and taxation in Australia and how the extension of 

these systems to Norfolk Island will impact businesses and individuals”, Minister Adams said, “The urgency for this to occur was appreciated by 

His Honour who undertook to raise the matter with Assistant Minister Briggs.


“I have sought assurance from His Honour that the Fact Sheet is not intended to act as ‘the shop front’ for information; particularly as it was 

agreed by Norfolk Island in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth and Norfolk Island entered into in November 2010 

that entry into the Australian Taxation and Social Welfare systems was conditional on there being a net benefit to Norfolk Island and its community 

and there is appropriate consideration of local circumstances. Having access to a ‘shop front’ manned by taxation and social security officials will 

assist people to ascertain how entry into the Australian taxation and social welfare systems will impact on them,” Minister Adams said. “For example, 

answers could be provided to questions such as the following which I am currently receiving as Minister with responsibility for health and social services -


  1. Will persons in Norfolk Island who are over the age of 30 years being entitled to the benefit of Private Health Insurance Lifetime cover 
  2. taxation relief if they join a private health fund once the legislation is extended to Norfolk Island?

  3. Will Norfolk Island patients have to go on public hospital waiting lists in Australia for treatment if private health insurance is not extended 
  4. to Norfolk Island?

  5. The eligible age to apply for a pension on Norfolk Island is lower than that In Australia.  Will those people currently receiving social welfare 
  6. in Norfolk Island continue to be entitled to such payments under the Australian system?

  7. Who will be responsible for the costs of medical evacuations?

  8. Will persons already in receipt of social welfare continue to receive this payment without being re-assessed based on assets?
  9. Will persons who have tried to be self-funded retirees be entitled to put their savings into a superannuation account without the amount 
  10. being limited so that they can obtain the best taxation rate under superannuation?
  11. Issues around phasing in superannuation and its impact on business and market competiveness.

The issue of transitioning into the Australian taxation and social welfare systems remains on the agenda for discussion.  The concept of 

transitioning was first recommended by Dr James Fogarty in the Acil Tasman (March 2012) Commonwealth commissioned Economic Development 

Report in which 

Dr Fogarty recommended the development of a tiered strategy for reform, namely –


  • First phase – immediate measures to improve community welfare;

  • Second phase – built around the continued implementation of a microeconomic reform agenda to bring competition and transparency to
  •  the Norfolk Island economy; and
  • Third phase – involves the resolution of the long term taxation and funding arrangements for Norfolk Island.  This involves either the 
  • staged integration of Norfolk Island into the Australian tax system, or the development of an alternative mechanism for providing financial 
  • support to Norfolk Island.

These issues were raised by me by letter of 12 November 2013 to Assistant Minister Briggs and Health Minister Peter Dutton.  It will bring certainty 

to this community when a decision is taken on this tiered strategy approach.

We look forward to being advised that “shop front” will be in place in early January 2015.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

 

 

12 December 2014

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RESPONSE TO THE DRAFT HEALTH SERVICES PLAN



The Norfolk Island Government, together with the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise (NIHE) recently arranged for community consultation regarding two reports released  some time ago relating to the Norfolk Island Health Services System.  Those reports are –

  • The draft Health Services Plan by Nexus Management Consulting; and
  • The review of existing child and family support services on Norfolk Island (“The Calvert & Connolly Report”)

R&S Muller Enterprises have now provided a Report on both the community survey conducted prior to their undertaking the on island community consultation process and on the findings from the community consultation undertaken on the Draft Health Services Plan.  Both reports are published on www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/hospital/reports .


Community members who provided the facilitator Mr Sam Muller with their email contacts will receive an electronic copy of both the Reports direct from R&S Muller.


“The reports will now be considered by the Hospital Director and the NIHE Advisory Board who in turn will provide advice to the Norfolk Island Government on the next stage in the process of developing a 5 year health services plan for the Hospital taking into account the findings in these Reports”, the Minister said.


Please feel free to provide feedback to the Hospital Director Mr David McCowan by email to dmccowan@hospital.gov.nf; a copy of each of the Reports is also available at the Public library.

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

 

 

12 December 2014

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PROPOSED CASCADE JETTY UPGRADE



  • A new draft version of a funding agreement for the Cascade Jetty project was received by the Administration on the 9th December 2014. This values the project at 18 million dollars as it includes the requirement for the Administration of Norfolk Island to commit to funding the purchase of a 100 ton crane and three barges.
  • Under the draft agreement Administration of Norfolk Island would be committed to funding any cost over-runs – potentially millions of dollars. While the construction management of this project is well within the capacity of the Norfolk Island Administration, the Government of Norfolk Island is not in a position to underwrite any cost overruns on a Commonwealth vested asset.

  • Other designs and locations have been proposed by groups and individuals and as part of the Commonwealth public consultation processes into the JSC recommendations. The only fully designed port project is for the Cascade Jetty improvements as per the RDAF4 grant of $13million.

  • It is believed that upgrade of Cascade and Kingston jetties will not facilitate containerisation or reliable cruise ship processing – this will only be attained by constructing an enclosed harbour facility or at very least a west side port to complement existing Kingston and Cascade Jetties.

  • Although the Cascade Jetty upgrade is necessary, the current project was designed to fit the limits and conditions of the grant on offer at that time rather than as part of a properly prioritised ports strategy. The Cascade upgrade in whatever form it may ultimately take is one component.

  • Recommendation 3 of the Joint Standing Committee report ‘Norfolk Island, Same Country:       Different World’ reads:

“The committee recommends that the Commonwealth assume responsibility for the Cascade and Kingston pier upgrades and that the Commonwealth expedite the works in line with Australian standards and occupational health and safety requirements, as soon as practicable”

The Norfolk Island Government endorses this recommendation and would welcome a collaborative approach to developing and implementing a Norfolk Island port strategy. I have asked the Chief Executive Officer to meet with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development staff on island next week with the aim of finding an agreeable way forward.


Ron J. Ward

Minister for the Environment

12 December 2014

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NOTICE PAPER



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DRAFT HEALTH SERVICES SURVEY REPORT RECEIVED



The Norfolk Island Government, together with the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise (NIHE), acknowledged community concern regarding two reports released relating to the Norfolk Island Health Services system.  These reports are –

  • Draft Health Services Plan – Nexus Management Consulting (Nexus); and
  • Review of existing child and family support services on Norfolk Island – Gillian Calvert AO and Marie Connolly PhD (Calvert and Connolly)

The Nexus Report recognised there was little information regarding the status of health needs for Norfolk Island and that this was required to underpin any future health services planning.

The NIHE engaged R&S Muller Enterprises Pty Limited to undertake a community and stakeholder engagement process to inform health service needs to assist the NIHE and the Norfolk Island Government to develop a 5 years Health Services Plan for Norfolk Island.  This five year plan is to identify the healthcare needs of the Norfolk Island community now and into the future and to develop health strategies to provide for those needs.


Mrs Sam Muller visited Norfolk from 17 to 24 October. Prior to her visit a survey was developed in direct response to recommendations or comments made in the Nexus and Calvert and Connolly reports.  The survey covered community safety; substance abuse; sexual activity; mental health and barriers to accessing care. The number of valid surveys submitted was 335 representing 20.1% of the Norfolk Island population at that time and therefore considered statistically valid.


The NIHE and the Norfolk Island Government have now received the Draft Health Services Survey Report and the report of some 150 pages will be available early next week on www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/hospital/reports.


In addition, during the visit Mrs Muller undertook extensive community consultation and a report will shortly be provided summarising the findings from that consultation.


Community members who provided Ms Muller with their email contacts will receive an electronic copy of the Survey Report direct from R&S Muller.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

 

5 December 2014

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INTERPRETATION BY DEPARTMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVLEOPMENT OF RECOMMENDATIONS 1 AND 2 OF THE JSC REPORT “SAME COUNTRY: DIFFERENT WORLD




Residents will have now received a package of documents from the Administrator, the Hon Gary Hardgrave seeking submissions from the community on the information provided by 12 December 2014. 

 

We are advised that the package is not a definitive position of the Commonwealth, but an attempt to give form to Recommendations 1 and 2 of the recent JSC report “Same Country: Different World”.  The package includes:

 

  1. Letter dated 3 December 2014 from the Administrator;
  2. Factsheet 1, from the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, December 2014, ‘Social security and tax’; and
  3. Factsheet 2, from the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, December 2014, ‘A regional council model for Norfolk Island.’

 

The Norfolk Island Government acknowledges the release of this material as the first indicator of Commonwealth intent on financial and governance structures and notes the material is “general in nature” and many aspects are yet to be finalized.

 

The Chief Minister and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly continue to await a response to their letter to Assistant Minister Briggs of 21 November 2014 which proposes a united way forward to resolve the current Norfolk Island governance debate.  The text of the letter has previously been published.

 

The Chief Minister advises that he has today received a letter dated 17 November 2014 from Assistant Minister Briggs in which he refers to the consultation process to be undertaken by the Administrator; advising that “the consultation will consider new models of governance”.  The Norfolk Island Government is heartened that more than one model of governance is to be considered and awaits detail of those “other models”.

 

The Norfolk Island Government rejects the proposal to remove self-government and views the proposed model for a local government type body instead of the elected Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly as a retrograde step for democracy and efficiency in practical service delivery for Norfolk Island.

 

The Norfolk Island Government strongly objects to the Committee making recommendations in relation to governance which was clearly outside the Committee’s Terms of Reference.  There was overwhelming community rejection of Recommendations 1 and 2 at the public meeting held by the Administrator.

 

The Administrator’s reference in his letter to “new and transitional governance arrangements” ignores the outcome of community consultation.  The Norfolk Island Government rejects the proposal that an unelected advisory body be set up to manage the transition process from self-government to a Regional Council model and vigorously defends its role in the development of any reforms to the future model of government for Norfolk Island.  As the Island’s elected representative body the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island is the obvious and appropriate body to oversee any changes to governance going forward in partnership with the Commonwealth.  Norfolk Island is not a region of any State of Australia and cannot be classified as such.

 

The Norfolk Island Government also reiterates that the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding between the then Chief Minister and the then Commonwealth Minister provided that the Norfolk Island Government had agreed in broad terms to participate in the Australian taxation and social security systems on the basis that there would be a net benefit for Norfolk Island and its community and there is appropriate consideration of local circumstances.

 

The Norfolk Island Government has sought indicative costs to engage Mr James Fogarty of Acil Allen Pty Ltd (previously ACIL Tasman) to undertake a costing of the Norfolk Island Government’s Preferred Model of Territory Governance so that the Norfolk Island community and the Australian Parliament can compare the cost benefits of the Commonwealth proposed model with the Norfolk Island preferred model.

 

While there are positive measures in the package of material provided by the Administrator, the Norfolk Island Government urges members of the community to consider what functions and values need to be protected for the good of the Island and the community going forward? 

 

Have a say in your future and provide submissions to the Administrator.

 

When the Norfolk Island Government receives details from Assistant Minister Briggs as to the consultation process for the other models of governance, the Norfolk Island Government will convene a public meeting to help inform the community and to seek community input on these vital issues.

 

 

 

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

 

4 December 2014

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A BETTER WAY FORWARD



Today the Speaker the Hon David Buffett and I have written to Assistant Minister The Hon Jamie Briggs MP seeking a united way forward to resolving the current future Norfolk Island governance process.” The Chief Minister said.


A copy of the text of that letter is.

“Dear Minister

We are writing to you seeking your assistance and support for a united way forward to resolve the current Norfolk Island governance debate.

As you would agree, we need to develop a platform for moving forward that lifts that discussion to a level of trust and cooperation that will enable an outcome for change that is collectively agreed and jointly implemented.

Accordingly, we propose that, the Federal Government and the Norfolk Island Government agree on the following set of principles, process and timeline for moving forward.

Principles

  • Agree that the current governance model needs to be modified
  • Both parties agree to design a modified governance model(s), and that the model(s) be fully discussed with and costed by the Federal Department of Finance
  • That the model(s) need to:
    • Have a democratic elected representation
    • Provide the most efficient and cost efficient delivery of service 
    • Identify clearly the division of responsibilities between the Federal Government and the Norfolk Island model
  • There will be one final model that is recommended for adoption and implementation.

Process

  • Identification of the division of responsibilities between the Federal and Norfolk Island Governments
  • Evaluation of the most efficient and cost effective delivery of service of those functions identified as Norfolk Island Government and or Commonwealth Government responsibilities
  • Identification and development of governance model(s) that support that delivery of service
  •  Costing of the model(s) by the Federal department of Finance
  • Identification of an agreed governance model, arising from the above process.
  • Agreement on the Legislative amendments to facilitate the introduction of the agreed model

Timeline

  • Consideration of the following  timeline for the development of the final agreed model and the implementation of change
    • Now-  31 March 2015 for the identification and costing on the preferred model
    • 1 April 2015 –30 June 2015 implementation planning of the new governance model
    • 1 July  2015 – ongoing  implementation of the new governance model

We further propose that during the process to identify and agree on a model there will not be a recommendation to Federal Cabinet on a model outside of the above process and timelines.

An Essential factor in these suggestions is that the discussions on the principles and process are face to face with the relevant decision makers.”

We believe that only through a cooperative approach to reform will we be able to provide stable governance to Norfolk Island that will deliver long term sustainable economic growth.

We look forward to a positive response from the Assistant Minister to our Better Way Forward approach.

Lisle Snell                                                                 

Chief Minister

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NORFOLK ISLAND AIRPORT OPERATIONS



The Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan, MLA, who has ministerial responsibility for the Norfolk Island International Airport, today provided the following information with regard to legislation governing Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services to Norfolk Island.


In 2008, as a result of significant losses incurred by the Administration of Norfolk Island due to failure of aircraft operators over a number of years and to protect the Administration’s finances in respect of airport landing fees, the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island passed an amendment to the Airport Act 1991 to extend the Regulation making power to ensure that new airline operators would be required to lodge a security deposit with the Administration.


The Regulations, amongst other things, provide that every aircraft operator, other than an aircraft operator operating a scheduled passenger service on or before 31 December 2008, must before commencing a public passenger service, deposit with the Administration any security deposit applicable to that operator.  An aircraft operator shall not be permitted to land any aircraft on the airport until the operator’s obligations under the regulation been complied with to the satisfaction of the Commonwealth Minister.


The aircraft operator is the organization that is conducting the service and, if the aircraft is leased, may not necessarily be the holder of the Aircraft Operator’s Certificate.


The Minister for Finance encourages prospective RPT operators, indeed all those considering starting any type of business, to include the timely compliance with all applicable legislation as an integral part of their business plan.


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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GOVRENMENT TO PROTECT CRITICALLY ENDANGERED NORFOLK ISLAND PARROT


Faced with predation from introduced rats, cats, and nest competition from introduced birds, the Critically Endangered Norfolk Island Green Parrot is one of the world’s rarest birds.


“Although saved from the brink of extinction by urgent conservation action in the 1990s, critical action was neglected and we almost lost this species again” said Samantha Vine, Head of Conservation at BirdLife Australia.


“We had concerns that bird numbers where declining dramatically last year”, said Margaret Christian, of Norfolk Island Flora and Fauna Society. In response to concerns raised by locals, an alliance of groups including BirdLife Australia, The Nature Conservancy and Island Conservation commissioned a survey by parakeet expert Dr Luis Ortiz-Catedral. “The survey found the species had declined to the extent that only 11 breeding females were observed” said Dr Ray Nias, Director of Island Conservation’s Southwest Pacific Program.


The alliance warmly welcomed the announcement that the Australian Government will mobilise $300,000 to expand rat control on the Island.


The Australian Government’s Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews, made the announcement at the World Parks Congress in Sydney.


“The rat control will complement improved management – including predator-resistant nest sites – which has significantly boosted the Norfolk Island Green Parrot’s population in 2014” explained Margaret.


Community members in the rural Anson Bay area, adjoining the north-west boundary of the Norfolk Island National Park, have begun a program to co-ordinate their rat-baiting efforts. It is expected to reduce the impact on domestic food security, health and the cost of lost produce for commercial growers. “The increase in rat control will provide a benefit to the Anson Bay residents, who in turn will benefit the National Park by their control programs, as both should prevent repeat incursions to each area” continued Margaret. “There are another 6 endemic forest bird species and a range of breeding seabirds that will also benefit from control of rat numbers”.


Norfolk Island is a globally important Bird and Biodiversity area (IBA). BirdLife Australia launched a report at the World Parks Congress which identified Norfolk Island as one of five IBAs ‘in Danger’. Each of the IBAs in Danger provides habitat for species that could soon become extinct should the current threats continue.


However 4 of the 5 IBAs in Danger include National Parks. “National Parks and protected areas are critical for our threatened species” said Dr James Fitzsimons, Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Australia, “but we need to ensure there is sufficient and consistent funding of our protected areas to ensure they remain safe places”.

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QUESTIONS TO BE DISCUSSION AT THIS WEEKS PUBLIC MEETING


Here is the list of questions for the attendees at tomorrows meeting which will be held between 2pm and 5pm. For anyone that is unable to attend the Administrators Office will welcome anyt written submissions

Recommendation 3: The Commonwealth to take responsibility and expedite
upgrades of the Cascade and Kingston Piers. 

Is the current plan the best option?
To help ensure the right plan is in place, what are the key elements of such upgrades? 
What priorities should we set? (eg cargo containerisation, safe passenger handling, safe 
moorings for yachts and recreational fishers). 
Which Pier is the priority and why?
What about the road works leading into the Cascade Pier, what works are needed and why?
What capacity (like rock, human resources and machinery) is missing from the Island to 
deliver the upgrade – can we do the job ourselves?

Recommendation 4: The use of multipurpose barges for the loading of passenger 
and cargo on and off the Island. 

What role does the traditional Lighterage service have in the future? 
What new skills and equipment are needed to make such barges a viable infrastructure 
purchase? Where should they be stored?

Recommendation 5: A plan for public road transport infrastructure. 
What should be the priority roads and why? 
For instance should there be precincts of activity such as commercial, industrial, heritage, 
cultural and education. Should such precincts be linked by specific road and footpaths? 
What are the key elements needed on Norfolk Island’s road and footpath system?

Recommendation 6: The Commonwealth to appoint officers to strengthen the 
development of economic and human resource capacity. 

Officers from key Commonwealth Agencies such as Tourism Australia and Austrade to
provide support and advice to plan, define, develop, and promote diverse tourism products.
What should be the priorities of such officers?
What products are missing from the Tourism offering?

Recommendation 7: Assistance cottage industries on Norfolk Island. 
What new and existing industries should be targeted for growth? 
How do we ensure cultural and agricultural products are protected from exploitation?
Recommendation 8: The Commonwealth to take responsibility for bio security. 
The biodiversity of Norfolk Island and its status as a clean, green environment is under threat  from the Psyllid infestation. 
Has enough work been done to explain the situation and the strategy to eradicate it. 
What other pests should also be targeted to protect Norfolk Island’s unique bio diversity?

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NOTICE PAPER 19 SEPTEMBER


            

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Mr David E. Buffett AM MLA, has advised that the following  matters will be dealt with at the sitting of the Legislative Assembly to be held on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 10 am.

 

NOTICES

 

NORFOLK ISLAND

FOURTEENTH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

NOTICE PAPER NUMBER 20

wednesday 19 NOVEMBER 2014

 

NORF’K AILEN

FORTIINTH LEJESLIETEW ‘SEMBLE

NOETIS PIEPA NAMBA 20

WENSDI 19 NOEWEMBA 2014

 

NOTICES

 

1       CUSTOMS ACT 1913 - EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF CUSTOMS DUTY

Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan to move -

 

THAT, under subsection 2B(4) of the Customs Act 1913, this House recommends to the Administrator that the goods specified in column 1 of the Schedule imported by the person specified in column 2, and on the conditions mentioned in column 2 of the Schedule, be exempted from duty.

 

SCHEDULE

 

Column 1                                                            Column 2

Goods                                                                 Importer/conditions

 

Laser Grader Blade Control Equipment             Norfolk Island Bowling Club

         - amount of duty applicable $600.27                   Conditions:  Control equipment to be exported on completion of use

 

Uniform - Football Jerseys                                 Norfolk Mutineers Norfolk Island Rugby

- amount of duty applicable $609.84                   League Masters

                                                                           Conditions:  Nil

 

Basketball Tower                                               Daa Side fe Ucklun

- amount of duty applicable $234.14                   Conditions:  Nil

 

ORDER OF THE DAY

 

3       TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014

TRAEFIK (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

         Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward, to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Traffic Act 2010

 

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

 

30         Mr Nobbs to ask the Minister for Finance –

Will the Minister for Finance provide, for the public record, a simple table for each financial year since 1979 that lists -

  1. Year;
  2. Average number for resident population for the year;
  3. Total dollar value of expenditure from the Norfolk Island Government Public Account for the year;
  4. Total dollar value of expenditure at (c.) funded by Australian Government; and
  5. Total dollar value of expenditure at (c.) used to fund works on Commonwealth assets eg Roads, Reserves, Piers etc.

 

31     Mr Nobbs to ask the Minister for Finance –

Will the Minister for Finance provide, for the public record, an itemised list detailing the specific works the Norfolk Island Government has been required to do in exchange for annual payments received from the Australian Government under Funding Agreements?

32     Mr Nobbs to ask the Minister for Finance –

Will the Minister for Finance provide, for the public record, detail of expenditure reported to be spent by the Australian Government in emergency funding to Norfolk Island not covered in responses to questions 1 and 2 above. If the Minister does not have this information will he seek this from Minister Briggs department to qualify his claims in Australian media?

33     Mr Nobbs to ask the Minister for Finance –

Will the Minister for Finance establish a mechanism for accountability and local reporting of all federal funding claimed against Norfolk Island to provide Australian and Norfolk Island taxpayers information about where taxpayer resources are being allocated?

34     Mr Nobbs to ask the Minister for Finance –

Does the Minister for Finance consider Norfolk Islands quantum funding to maintain Commonwealth owned assets since 1979 grounds for a claim for reimbursement or offset against funding received since the RoadMap was signed in 2010. If not will the Minister advise why he supports introducing new taxes upon a financially stressed economy whilst we fund Australian Government obligations?

35     Mr Nobbs to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism –

In respect of significant activity being undertaken by the federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development on Norfolk Island’s future governance model will the Chief Minister -

  1. seek from the Administrator, for the public record, details of all personnel engaged within the Departments Norfolk Island team, their role and responsibilities, and a summary bio that identifies their respective qualifications and experience
  2. Put in place a mechanism to publicly update this information when new personnel are engaged within the Departments Norfolk Island team in any capacity

36         Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism –

Is it a fact that the Chief Minister met with a political lobbyist firm during his most recent visit to Canberra and if so –

  1. what was the purpose and outcome of the meeting;
  2. who paid the account; and
  3. is there an ongoing relationship with any external consultant?

 

37         Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism –

Will the Chief Minister table his Government’s strategic and/or economic plan and highlight the key elements which will lead to a sustainable future for the Island?

 

38         Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism –

Given the Government’s 2014/15 budget debate; will the Chief Minister list the identified constraints to business development and improving the economy and describe what the Government has been doing to remove and/or reduce local constraints?

 

39         Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism –

Is it a fact that the Norfolk Island Government’s Preferred Governance model is reliant on access to the Australian fiscal transfer payment system and a dividend collected from each of the Government Business Enterprises, and given recent comments made by Assistant Minister Briggs that Norfolk Island would not be entering the fiscal transfer payment system, and the draft Deloitte Report recommendations, how will the Preferred Governance model be funded?

 

40         Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

Will the Minister table in tabular form by category the number of people, resident or otherwise, who have obtained a Healthcare Levy exemption over the past twelve (12) month period and from those figures will the Minister inform the House how much has been paid out by the Healthcare Scheme in the same period?

 

41         Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism –

Will the Chief Minister describe in detail his comment that some funding agreement conditions will be “impossible to achieve”; outline what this means in dollar terms and explain where expenditure could be reduced in order to meet any budget shortfall?

 

42         Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

Given the tabling of the Education Report 2014 and the Administrator’s September 2014 letter to the Minister in relation to education and training on the Island; has there been any further discussion with the Australian Government on the matter, and if so, what was the outcome?

 

Gaye Evans

Clerk to the Legislative Assembly

 

Issued by the Office of the Clerk on 14 November 2014  

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NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE JSC REPORT













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NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT REJECTS THE REPEAL OF THE NORFOLK ACT 1979 (CTH)



“The Norfolk Island Government has today released its formal response to the Report of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories “Same country: different world.  The future of Norfolk Island”, the Chief Minister Lisle Snell said today.


The Norfolk Island Government contends that it was not appropriate for the Committee to broaden the Terms of Reference given to it by the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development to include governance matters in those terms of reference.


The Committee should have sought a review of its terms of reference from the Minister to include governance issues and the Norfolk Island Government and the community of Norfolk Island given an opportunity to provide submissions on governance.


As an amendment to the Terms of Reference was not sought, it was therefore not open for the Committee to make recommendations on governance reform and as such the “Governance: a new model” should not form a part of the Committee’s report.


“The Norfolk Island Government unreservedly rejects Recommendation 1 of the Report that calls for the repeal of the Norfolk Act 1979 (Cth)”, the Chief Minister said.


The Norfolk Island Government totally agrees with the Committee that “sound governance underpins any discussion of economic development” and certainly agrees that “certainty and confidence…..is a prerequisite for investor confidence and growth.”


However, the Norfolk Island Government disagrees in the strongest terms that the lack of certainty and confidence in Norfolk Island can be attributed to failure on the part of the Norfolk Island Government or the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly when little, if any, action has been taken by the Commonwealth since –

1)         the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on 25 November 2010 between the Commonwealth of Australia and Norfolk Island whereby Norfolk Island agreed to enter into the Australian Taxation and Social Welfare systems; and

2)         the signing of the Norfolk Island Road Map for reform on 2 March 2011 by the Commonwealth of Australia and Norfolk Island; a Road Map which was “developed in partnership between the two Governments and is subject to budget outcomes from both the Commonwealth and Norfolk.”.

The stated purpose of the Road Map being to describe the reforms needed to strengthen –

  • The Island’s economic diversity to provide a sustainable and growing economy;
  • The Island’s social cohesion and resilience
  • The Island’s unique heritage and environment.

A full copy of the Norfolk Island Government response to the Joint Standing Committee report is available on. www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/publicreports


Lisle Snell                                                                 

Chief Minister

Date 13/11/2014



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DEMOCRACY DENIED - CONSULTATION PROCESS FLAWED “YOU CAN CALL FOR A REFERENDUM UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME”



The Norfolk Island Government welcomed the meeting held last night organised by  the Norfolk Island Administrator, the Hon Gary Hardgrave which was the first public consultation conducted by an independent facilitator, Ms Vivien Twyford, to consider recommendations 1 and 2 of the Report by the Joint Standing Committee of the National Capital and External Territories – ‘Same country: different world.  The future of Norfolk Island’.

The meeting was well attended with an estimated 300 people attending.  The clear outcome from the meeting was a request for a referendum on the issue of governance and that the majority of those in attendance do not support the first recommendation of the Joint Standing Committee of the National Capital and the External Territories.  Recommendation 1 of the Report recommends the repeal of the Norfolk Act 1979 (Cth) which effectively removes the elected Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly and establish an unknown interim administration of non-elected Canberra public servants.

The most alarming outcome of the meeting was not the reference made that the 300 plus community members present do not represent the overall Norfolk Island Community, when Assistant Minister Briggs previously relied upon only 70 letters to inform his position that the Norfolk Island Act should be repealed, but the reference by the Administrator that “you can ask the referendum questions until the cows come home”.  This statement suggests that he will not support the request by members of the community for a democratic decision making process through referendum or plebescite.

It is clear but unfortunate that by making this statement the consultation process was flawed before it commenced.

As one member of the meeting clearly stated to the Administrator “I can vote to get rid of the Assembly but I don’t have a vote to get rid of you”. 

It is clear that the decision on the democratic rights of Norfolk Islanders will not be determined by them but by politicians in Canberra without any recourse available to the residents of Norfolk Island.

Nevertheless, the Norfolk Island Government encourages and urges all Norfolk Island residents to continue to attend the ‘consultative’ meetings to voice their views on the recommendations whether for or against.

In the meantime, the Norfolk Island Government urges the Commonwealth Government through the Office of the Administrator to provide facts and information on its proposed model of government so that the community can enter into informed debate on recommendation 1.

Lisle Snell                                                                 

Chief Minister

Date 13/11/2014

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NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT JOINS THE SOCIAL MEDIA SCENE


In a joint announcement, the Minister responsible for Telecommunications, the Hon. Tim Sheridan and the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, the Hon. Robin Adams are pleased to announce the launch of the Norfolk Island Government Facebook page.

“We are aware of how many people use Facebook daily and how strongly it is embedded into our culture and as a personal tool for networking and our new page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/NorfolkIslandGovernment ” said Minister Adams.

“Social media such as Facebook can offer the Government the ability to provide information, to seek feedback, promote events and programs, and proposals, and reach a wide audience in a very fast manner and adds to the existing communications tools available to us” said Minister Sheridan. 

“Whilst we are very excited by this step into the digital age, we have to appreciate that Facebook and other social media sites can be very demanding on staff time and we hope to manage the site carefully, so as not to get into detailed discussions on the page with the site administrators intending to refer enquiries to the correct areas within the Administration or the Assembly. We will therefore be taking small steps.  This Facebook page is not intended to replace the normal channels of communication, such as any complaints are to go through the normal complaints process, etcetera” Minister Adams said.


The Facebook page will not be fully monitored, moderated or responded to on a 24/7 basis with responses to postings aimed to be provided within 24 hours for a general enquiry. The pages will not generally be monitored on weekends. There are controls allowing the removal of certain content such as inappropriate, offensive or illegal material and also to block inappropriate users.


“We are pleased to be adding Facebook to our current communication tools to help inform our community and the general public and we invite people to like and follow the Facebook page” said Minister Sheridan.

Tim Sheridan                                                               Robin Adams                                     

Minister for Finance                                                 Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

7 November 2014

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NORFOLK ISLAND WEEDS HANDBOOK RELEASED


The Hon. Ron Ward, MLA is pleased to advise members of the community that an electronic version of the Norfolk Island Weeds Handbook is available on-line at the Norfolk Island Government’s website at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf under the link ‘Land Use & Environment’.

“The handbook is a guide to the 50 most significant weeds on Norfolk Island, being those weeds that are most likely to be encountered in Norfolk’s unique environment and in domestic and commercial gardens”, Minister Ward said.

The handbook brings together the knowledge gained from the Norfolk Island Quarantine weed surveys in 2013 and 2014. Though not intended to detail the entire range of local weeds, it presents a comprehensive list of 50 significant species as chosen by Brendan Lepschi, curator of the Australian National Herbarium.

Many scientists, Herbarium staff and specialists from the Australian National Herbarium and CSIRO undertook the field surveys. “These are leading weed researchers” Minister Ward said.

Plant specialists from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture compiled the handbook with locals, including Health and Quarantine Officer Neil Tavener, involved in reviewing the species selected.

Minister Ward advises that “the weeds survey was undertaken with funds and resources provided by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Australian Department of Agriculture, Plant Health Australia, Australian National Herbarium, the University of Queensland, the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, various consultants and with support from the Norfolk Island Government and Administration.”

“Our appreciation extends to all of these agencies for their assistance and support in the development of such a high quality guide. I recommend to anyone with enquiries on weeds or interested in the Norfolk Island environment to use this handbook as a reference” Minister Ward said.

Though a number of the plants listed can be used for stock grazing or other useful purposes, the general definition of a weed is a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth – the effect being that in one setting it may be a useful plant, while somewhere else that same type of plant is clearly a weed.

Where a weed has been declared noxious there usually has been a prolific spread by seed or corms that make eradication or control difficult and expensive. Several of the listed weeds are on the Norfolk Island Noxious weeds list which can be accessed through the www.norfolkisland.gov.nf website.

Rob Ward

Minister for the Environment

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GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE REPORT


“The Government is continuing to develop its response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories Report on The Future of Norfolk Island. The Norfolk Island Government response is extensive and it is intended to seek clarification and comment on a number of contentious issues raised within the report.

“We are also participating in the consultative process currently undertaken by the Administrator in which we are continuing to put forward our preferred model of Territory self-governance” the Chief Minister Lisle Snell said today.

The Administrator has indicated the first of the community consultative forums will be held at 4pm on Wednesday 12th November at Rawson Hall.

“I would encourage all members of the community to attend and express their views on recommendations 1 and 2 of the JSC Report which recommends the repeal of the NI Act 1979 (Cth) and to establish an interim Administration” the Chief Minister said.

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

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VISIT TO CANBERRA BY THE NORFOLK ISLAND CHIEF MINISTER AND SPEAKER


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WELCOME TO THE WAKA HAUNUI




The Hon. Robin Adams MLA, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, welcomes the Waka Haunui and all who sail in her to Norfolk Island’s shores.

“As your pacific neighbour we join with you in your call for action in protecting the environment in harmony with our cultures.  We salute your courage and wish you God speed on your journey as the ancestors you spoke of in your message to us guide you across the seas to take the message of the Pacific Promise to the 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney” the Minister said.

A call for Global Action: The Mua Message:

  • Appreciate and value the global significance of our Pacific island space – in a climate-challenged planet, our hope lies in protecting and managing our large natural spaces that provide life sustaining ecosystem services.
  • We need extraordinary partnerships and commitments to sustain the Pacific islands for future generations and for the health of the planet.
  • Join us to protect and nurture our environment in harmony with our cultures. Nature, in turn, will help restore our planet – that is our Pacific Promise.

(extract from http://www.muavoyage.com)

Robin Adams                                                              

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

31 October 2014

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SEA BIRD CRISIS - PHILLIP ISLAND



Over the last 8-10 years there has been growing concern within the Norfolk Island community regarding the impacts of purple Swamphens (Porphyrio) on Phillip Island sea bird colonies. It is recognised that swamphens are one of a number of pressures being exerted, and that all long term management must be based upon a sound scientific basis.

A recent inspection visit to Phillip Island has confirmed there is a need for urgent action to avoid total destruction of the Phillip Island seabird colonies. The visit was in the company of Assistant Secretary Dr Judy West, Ornithologist consultant Mr Luis Ortez Catedral, Mr Derek Ball of the international conservation group Wildmob, and Park rangers Mr Joel Christian and Ms Cassandra Jones on the 28th October 2014. The crisis has also been worked through with Endangered Species Commissioner Mr Gregory Andrews who was able to accompany us to the Phillip Island landing.

The decline in seabird activity is stark for breeding season time of year, giving the impression of mid-winter when most species of seabirds have migrated.

Facts are:

  • At least five species of seabird have been severely  impacted:

Grey Ternlet - Procelsterna albivitta

Australasian Gannet - Morus serrator

Masked Booby - Sula dactylatra

Red Tailed Tropic Bird - Phaethon rubicaudra

Sooty Tern - Sterna fuscata

  • One species (Morus serrator) has been completely lost to the Phillip/Norfolk Island region.
  • One species (Sterna fuscata) has been progressively colonising the northern coastline of Norfolk Island as the decline on Phillip Island gathered pace.
  • Evidence of swamphens can be found across the length and width of Phillip Island.
  • Almost no other predators are present on Phillip Island. (One Kestrel - Falco cenchroides) seen resting on a rock. Seabirds have co-existed in the region with kestrels for decades with negligible effect.
  • The camera monitored Sooty Tern egg collection exclusion zone has fared no better than other parts of the island. In 2013 visitors to the island recorded greater swamphen activity in the exclusion zone, with the observation offered that reduced human presence was an advantage for the swamphens.

In light of these alarming facts I am proposing that there be a joint response effort between the Norfolk Island Government and National Park Management to address the increasing swamphen activity.

As Minister responsible I would be willing to issue permits under the Birds Protection Act 1913 to National Parks (who also have similar provisions under the EPBC Act) and to the Norfolk Island Administration to cull an agreed prescribed number of swamphen. This would enable National Park personnel to control the predators on Phillip Island, while the Norfolk Island Parks and Forestry Service can affect controls in the Kingston wetlands that are known to be prime breeding grounds for the swamphen.

This interim intervention would allow for any wider issue research that may be identified as necessary and flags responsible and proactive approach.

Swamphens are great waders and runners. When disturbed they much prefer to run or hide than to fly. However when pushed, they are strong fliers and can fly long distances if needed. Swamphens lack webbed feet, but are good swimmers and have good balance in water, on land or in trees. Swamphens are aggressive and will attack, particularly, the chicks of other species.

The culling of Swamphens on Great Barrier Island by the New Zealand Department of Conservation has been a major part of the programme to restore the population of little brown teal. Swamphens have good hearing and eyesight, and can be very challenging to hunt once they are wised up to hunting, often posting a sentry in a high position while the others feed.  However, in low light and/or high winds they are easier to approach.  Trapping would be done with a shortened version of the trip traps commonly used as cat traps.

It has also been reported that swamphens at Phillip Island are now severely impacting on the Carpobrotus glaucescens (commonly known as pigface or ice plant). This is of concern as Carpobrotus is a vital revegetation plant, one of the few that can cope with Phillip Island’s extreme conditions. This development is not surprising as the depleted seabird colonies are no longer able to provide the moisture the swamphens are seeking.

Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

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REFORM UPDATE


“I wish to update the Norfolk Island community on the Commonwealth’s desire to change the Governance of Norfolk Island”. Chief Minister Lisle Snell said today.

The community petition, the text of which is set out below, will be presented to the Australian House of Representatives and the Senate next week, and in addition we are seeking meetings with both Government and Opposition Members in Canberra.

“TO THE HONOURABLE THE SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

This petition of Norfolk Island residents and descendants of the original settlers of Pitcairn Island draws to the attention of the House the pending proposal to Cabinet to change governance arrangements on Norfolk Island. The Norfolk Island Chief Minister and the Minister for Finance left the meeting with the Assistant Minister, the Hon. Jamie Briggs MP, on 8 October 2014 with the view that the new model will not be the subject of community consultation before, or after, the Cabinet’s and Parliament’s decision on such changes.

We therefore ask the House to: Before voting on any Bill to change governance arrangements for Norfolk Island established by the Norfolk Island Act 1979 of the Commonwealth, that the residents of Norfolk Island have the right to be provided the facts and consulted at referendum or plebiscite and have a democratic say on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before any proposed changes are voted on by the House.”

The Speaker of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly, the Hon David Buffett, AM, MLA will be presenting to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Bronwyn Bishop, MP, the following Motion passed by the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly at its meeting on Wednesday, 15 October 2014:

“THAT this House

1.      Values the relationship that Norfolk Island has with the Commonwealth of Australia.

2.      Reaffirms its commitment to the Norfolk Island Government’s preferred model of territory self-governance. 3. Calls on the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia that before voting on any bill to change the governance arrangements for Norfolk Island established by the Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Commonwealth) that the residents of Norfolk Island

          (a) be provided with details and facts as to any proposed changes; and

          (b). be consulted to ensure a democratic and open and transparent say on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island.”

We have also now considered the Joint Standing Committee’s report tabled in the House of Representatives on Monday.  Let me say from the outset we do not oppose the direction of those recommendations on infrastructure investment and economic development, and we will be presenting that to the members of the Australian Parliament next week.

We do not support the removal of the Legislative Assembly.

However, we support meaningful community consultations and discussions on any future governance models. 

Finally, the recent comments by Assistant Minister Briggs that the infrastructure is of 3rd world standards is offensive and cannot go unanswered , to suggest  for example that our School, the airport and emergency facilities, the recent satellite receiving upgrade and our energy  production is 3rd world standards is wrong and offensive to this community and the staff who work within and maintain those facilities.

Can we do better about improvements to our infrastructure, of course we can, and the recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee are acknowledged.  But to require the removal of the Legislative Assembly as prerequisite of that is wrong. Do we run a budget deficit, yes we do at the moment since the Global Financial Crises that was not created by us. Does the Commonwealth run a budget deficit yes it does but is there a suggestion that the Federal Parliament should be abolished and replaced, no there is not such a suggestion. 

We are committed to work jointly with the Commonwealth on the implementation of agreed reform, but not with a process that imposes governance reform without proper and meaningful consultation.

Lisle Snell                                                                  

Chief Minister 

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LOSS OF DEMOCRACY ON NORFOLK ISLAND


“With the possibility of the Legislative Assembly being reduced to a Local Government Status what is actually meant by Loss of democracy on Norfolk Island”. Chief Minister Lisle Snell said today.

“Local governments do not pass legislation they pass by-laws and manage, for example:

  • Collection and management of garbage
  • Sewerage
  • Management of parks
  • Building regulation and permits
  • Pet control and licensing

You can make a judgment on the way they are performing at the local council election period and either support them or register your opposition through your vote.

State Governments do pass legislation and develop policies and manage, for example:

  • Health and health services
  • Education and policy
  • Power regulation and pricing
  • Policing and law and order policy and legislation
  • State roads
  • Payroll tax where it exists
  • Licencing of alcohol outlets and
  • Shopping and trading hours

Under a Norfolk Island Governance model that does not have a State Government equivalent level you cannot make a judgment on how the Administrator or the public servants are performing those functions.

This is what is meant by the LOSS OF DEMOCRACY ON NORFOLK ISLAND you lose the right to make that judgment on State Government functions. You don’t have a vote on that.

Some people might have you think this is not important, but it is a basic democratic right that I believe is important to understand that you will lose in a Local Government model.

It is not for me to explain or defend that, it is for the Administrator and the Federal Minister to do that.

 

The Administrator and the Assistant Minister should publically face the people of Norfolk Island and explain fully the changes being contemplated and how the potential loss of a State Government level vote is both democratic and fair.

The Norfolk Island Government’s preferred model for self-governance is as follows”. The Chief Minister said today.

1. Territory Institutions.

Current Territory institutions to remain.

Territory Executive comprising: an Administrator; and a Ministry elected from a Territory Parliament

Territory Legislative Assembly

Territory public service or Administration

Territory Courts and Tribunals

2. Territory Government responsibilities and functions

A. Norfolk Island Government to transfer federal functions to the Commonwealth in accordance with the process outlined in the Road Map

B. Norfolk Island Government to retain State and Local Government type functions

C. Funding for Norfolk Island Government’s delivery of public infrastructure and State and Local Government type functions shared with the Commonwealth, similar to other self-governing jurisdictions within the federal taxation system.

Lisle Snell                                                                  

Chief Minister

Date 17/10/2014

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TRAFFIC ACT AMENDMENTS


On the 15th October the Minister for the Environment, who has responsibility for road safety introduced a Bill to amend the Traffic Act 2010.

The Bill seeks to reduce the level at which sanctions are provided for driving under the influence of alcohol and to make provision for obtaining random tests for alcohol and drug use. The Bill proposes to reduce the principal acceptable level of alcohol from 0.08 to 0.05 grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood or its equivalent in 210 litres of breath.

BACKGROUND

While other road safety initiatives have been implemented, the introduction of random tests and reduction in the acceptable level of alcohol was not previously introduced due to Norfolk Island’s relatively low traffic density and low speed limits, along with an absence of alternative modes of transport.

The work of the Road Safety Committee, and the outcomes of the 2013 Road Safety Forum, confirm that there are a number of critical road safety issues facing the Norfolk Island community.

INFORMATION

  • There have been a range of road traffic incidents involving extremely high blood alcohol levels, and serious accidents that leave no doubt that increased control measures are needed to ensure the safety of other road users.

  • Both the Court of Petty Sessions and the Coroners Court have made comment in respect of the incidence of high range drink driving.

  • As Minister with responsibility for road safety I cannot ignore the statistics of extremely high alcohol levels on public record, nor can I ignore the need to provide our police force unambiguous laws that enable them to do their work effectively.

  • Serious alcohol and drug related accidents impact on insurance costs for every motorist.

  • The consequences of a serious crash are extreme – no amount of commercial activity justifies this trauma.

  • This Bill will be a source of angst for some but, as responsible Minister, I cannot ignore the risks to individuals or the risk of litigation following a serious drink or drug related accident.
  • Whilst I recognise that such laws will have an impact on some members of the community due to public transport not being readily available; such  inconvenience is considered acceptable if it reduces the risks of extreme injury or worse  to every road user and all in the vicinity of alcohol or drug impaired drivers

16th October, 2014

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LOSS OF DEMOCRACY ON NORFOLK ISLAND


The Norfolk Island Government was shocked yesterday by Assistant Minister Briggs and the Federal Government’s refusal to enter into discussions for the implementation of the Norfolk Island preferred model of self-government which has been on hold for the last four years. 


Minister Briggs indicated that a cabinet paper was with the Prime Minister as a prelude to a full cabinet decision which would not include our recommendations.


It is clear the Federal Government intends to remove the current Norfolk Island Self Governance and take away the voting rights of Norfolk Islanders in that process.


They intend to do this without any meaningful consultation with the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly and the Norfolk Island Community.


The Federal Government’s new model as indicated by Assistant Minister Briggs clearly does not include state level responsibilities such as education and health  functions which is currently the case on Norfolk Island, and will result in more power to the Administrator and Canberra departmental staff.  


“I believe the Federal Government intends to impose on Norfolk Island a slightly modified Christmas Island model, which has proven to be dysfunctional, inoperable and does not allow for community representation and input above that of Local Government status as clearly identified by the recent Administrator of Christmas Island”. The Chief Minister said.


That model will add more cost to the Australian Taxpayer and downgrades the self-governance of Norfolk Island to local Government status, thereby removing the democratic rights that was provided by the Commonwealth in 1979 with the formation of the Norfolk Island Act


“I will be reporting back to the full Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly on Wednesday next week on these proposed changes and then we will engage the community on the way forward” The Chief Minister said today.


It is the wish of the Norfolk Island community that Norfolk Island returns to full economic sustainability and not be a liability to the Australian taxpayer.


Lisle Snell                                                                  

Chief Minister 

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NOTICE PAPER


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KAVHA BOARD SECRETARIAT REQUIRED TO VACATE NO. 11 QUALITY ROW


The KAVHA Board Secretariat has been relocated to the Royal Engineers Cottage following “the eviction” by the Administrator of the Norfolk Island Administration and the KAVHA Board Secretariat from No. 11 Quality Row notwithstanding that the KAVHA Board comprises Commonwealth Government and Norfolk Island representatives which jointly manage and fund the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA), Norfolk Island.


“There has been a breach of faith by the Commonwealth in the arbitrary decision of the Administrator for the KAVHA Board Secretariat to give vacant possession of No. 11, Quality Row.

“As Minister with responsibility for KAVHA in the Norfolk Island Government, I am very concerned at this stance taken by the Administrator” Minister Adams said, “ and I am further concerned that the Administrator in his letter to the Chief Minister of 3 October 2014 when stating that “the Commonwealth has no further plans to alter arrangements in other buildings within the Australian Convict Heritage Site at Kingston”, the Administrator does so with the proviso “though we reserve the right to do so”.


“I have written to the Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Warren Truss MP, and to the Minister for the Environment the Hon Greg Hunt MP seeking their intervention in resolving this impasse in the best interests of all stakeholders in KAVHA” the Minister said.


In writing to these senior Ministers Minister Adams has spoken of the value of the longstanding joint partnership arrangement with the Commonwealth Government in our shared management and funding of the KAVHA which was reinforced in 2008 when our two governments were successful in reassuring the Norfolk Island community that our desire to inscribe KAVHA on the World Heritage register was a desirable action.


“However I believe”, Minister Adams said, “in light of recent events in KAVHA the community can be excused for its wariness in 1998 when at referendum on the question ‘Do you wish the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area of Norfolk Island to be nominated for World Heritage Listing?’ there was a resounding “NO” response (626 against, 276 in favour).”


“Our governments were only able to achieve the significant shift in opposition in 2010 because of the governments of the day and their KAVHA Board and respective Department representative’s demonstrated good will and a genuine desire to work together in the interests of the Site which is highly significant to both governments and the people that our governments represent”, the Minister said.


“I look forward to commonsense prevailing in this matter”, Minister Adams said, “and to the return as promptly as possible of No. 11 Quality Row as the Hub for the KAVHA Board Secretariat, the KAVHA Site Manager (yet to be appointed by the Norfolk Island Administration), and the newly appointed Commonwealth Heritage Manager in which we all work together cooperatively for the overall good of the Site going forward into the future”.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

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FUNDING AGREEMENT 2014/2015 AND THE NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT’S PREFERRED MODEL FOR TERRITORY SELF GOVERNANCE


The Chief Minister said today, “The Norfolk Island Government has instructed the Chief Executive Officer to sign the Funding Agreement 2014/15 between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Administration of Norfolk Island on behalf of the Norfolk Island Government” to assist in the provision of essential services, eg health, education and police.

While the Norfolk Island Government still has a number of concerns with parts of the Funding Agreement, and with the deadline of 9 October 2014 to sign the Funding Agreement imposed by the Commonwealth “the Norfolk Island Government has a responsibility not to place the Norfolk Island community in a position of further reducing services and additional employment cuts that would be necessary if the agreement was not signed”, the Chief Minister said.

The Norfolk Island Government has written to Minister Briggs indicating that the Norfolk Island Government has instructed the Chief Executive Officer to sign the Funding Agreement 2014/15 in its presented form and with conditions that have been identified as difficult, inappropriate or impossible to achieve.

The Chief Minister advised, “The Minister for Finance and I, together with the Chief of Staff and Chief Executive Officer are meeting with Minister Briggs on Wednesday 8 October where we intend to raise again the ongoing uncertainty in the Norfolk Island community and the need to finalise the Norfolk Island Government’s preferred model for Territory Self-Governance and Norfolk Island’s fiscal relationship with the Commonwealth.”


The results of the Household and Business Income and Expenditure Survey has reinforced the urgency to stimulate the Norfolk Island economy and the need for an agreed way forward with the Commonwealth to achieve long term sustainability and it is hoped that this meeting will be a positive step forward.

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

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NUMBER 11 QUALITY ROW


There is currently concern and speculation within the community concerning the current use of No11 Quality Row.

“Accordingly it is necessary for the Norfolk Island Government to indicate the current position to allay those concerns”, the Chief Minister said today.

The ongoing use of No11 Quality Row by the KAVHA secretariat has been subject to a demand from the Administrator for the Administration to vacate No11 by Close of Business on the 9th of October 2014.

The Norfolk Island Government has again written to the Administrator this afternoon seeking further explanation and clarification on his correspondence received today.

“The Norfolk Island Government has proposed a cooperative approach to this matter and we are hopeful that a joint resolution that is both fair and reasonable to Norfolk Island Government and the Commonwealth can be reached”, the Chief Minister said.   

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

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IMMIGRATION ACT AMENDMENT


Robin Adams MLA Minister for Cultural Heritage & Community Services is pleased to be able to update the community on the progress that is being made to correct the unintended consequences that occurred after amendments were made to the Immigration Act in May 2013.

The Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly has presented and passed a Bill to take into account those persons affected by those changes, thereby allowing them to apply for residency which the amendment in May 2013 precluded them from doing so.

The Bill has received assent today.

The Norfolk Island Immigration Services will contact those that were affected by those changes to advise them of the change and the options that are now available as a result of the changes.

Whilst there are a number of persons affected by the May 2013 amendment every endeavour will be made to have this process carried out as quickly as possible.

  

The proposed changes will allow a considerable passage of time for those persons that were affected by the May 2013 changes to regularize their immigration status in accordance with the changes provided for in these amendments.

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

 

2 October 2014

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COUNCIL OF ELDERS SEEKS COMMUNITY INPUT


The Council of Elders has received the following letters and attachment from the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Robin Adams.  The Council would welcome input from members of the community.  You can speak to any of the Elders (Ken Christian, Mera Martin, David (Dids) Evans, Edie Christian, Shane McCoy, Edith Christian, Robyn Butterfield, Ross Quintal, Joe Adams, Helen Dowling, Colleen Crane, Greg Quintal Snr, Gaye Evans, Jan Nobbs or Roy Nobbs) or write or email elders@assembly.gov.nf












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REPORT OF THE EDUCATION REVIEW NORFOLK ISLAND



From the Office of the Minister with responsibility for education in the Norfolk Island Government

Report of the Education Review Norfolk Island

At the sitting of the Assembly on Wednesday Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams, tabled the Report of the Education Review Norfolk Island.  “This review”, Minister Adams said, “has been undertaken over the past 12 months by a very dedicated Education Review Working Group headed by Mrs Ward MLA as Chair and as my Executive Officer.  I extend my sincere thanks to all who have participated in this very important initiative; in particular Mrs Ward who has been very ably assisted by Mrs Trish Magri in the compilation of the final report.”

“The working group was established in October 2013”, Minister Adams said, “And its purpose was to enquire into, report and make recommendations in relation to the provision of education in Norfolk Island.  The review was carried out in three stages; Stage One examined the Memorandum of Understanding on education between the Commonwealth Government and Norfolk Island Government dated April 1988; the Memorandum of Understanding on Teacher Staffing ato Norfolk Island Central School between the NSW Department of Education and Training and the Norfolk Island Government date May 2008; and the Education Act 1981 (NI) and Education Regulations; which include provisions relating to Bursaries and Scholarships.” 

“This extensive report can be accessed on the Government’s website 

http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/info/Education/Education%20Review%202014%20-%20September_14.pdf.” 

Minister Adams said, “and the next step in the process is for Members of the Legislative Assembly to work through the eighteen substantive recommendations in the Report over the coming months”.

New Memorandum of Understanding on Teacher Staffing at Norfolk Island Central School between the NSW Department of Education and Communities and the Norfolk Island Government

Minister Adams advises that a new Memorandum of Understanding (the new MOU) between the Administration of Norfolk Island and the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities on Teacher Staffing of the Norfolk Island Central School was signed recently.  The new MOU replaces the 2008 MOU.  

As part of the Education Review process the Working Group last February recommended to the Minister  that the 2008 MOU no longer be used in its current form and that the Minister as soon as possible enter into dialogue with the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) Director of Staffing. 

“The new MOU”, Minister Adams said “is the result of extensive discussion between the NSW DEC and the Norfolk Island Government and I am pleased to advise that on Thursday afternoon DEC staff at the Norfolk Island Central School were each provided with a copy of the new MOU and the contents of the MOU explained to them via a videoconference link up with Mr Peter Johnson, Executive Director People and Services with the NSW Department of Education and Communities”. 

The new MOU can be accessed on the Government’s website at http://ww.norfolkisland.gov.nf/info/education

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

 

19 September 2014

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ROADS PROGRAMME 2014-15


The Minister with responsibility for roads, the Hon Ron Ward, has advised that the Roads Programme for the 2014-2015 financial year has been adopted. The roads program has been a budget commitment of the Government with the funds dedicated to road maintenance increased from $112,000 in 2013/14 to $500,000 in 2014/15.

The Government has made this commitment to assist road users and to inject funds into the local economy.

For the information of the community the following is the proposed roads programme with the indicative monthly break down which may be subject to factors including the weather:

October/November     -        Sealing of Hibiscus Drive as an interim measure to overcome current problems experienced by road users.  It is noted that a future upgrade of the road may be required along with the installation of improved electricity and telecom infrastructure;

December/January       –       Hemus Road;

February/March           -        Part of Anson Bay Road;

April/May/June                    -  Taylors Road from the Village to Channer’s Corner.

Road patching will be ongoing throughout the financial year.

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NOTICE PAPER



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AUSTRALIAN CONVICT HERITAGE SITE (KAVHA) CAPITAL WORKS PROJECT AN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE


                                                                               
The Administrator, the Hon Gary Hardgrave, and the Norfolk Island Minister with responsibility for roads, the Hon Ron Ward MLA, announce that the work to erect a new safety barrier along Country Road near the Watermill Dam will commence the week of Monday, 22 September 2014.

 

The project is being funded by the Australian Government as part of Australian Convict Heritage Site (KAVHA) Capital Funding Program in 2013-2014.

 

The project will replace the timber fence with a steel crash barrier and the works, to be undertaken by the Administration Works Team with the assistance of one of the KAVHA Team members, are expected to take three weeks depending on weather conditions.

 

Traffic flow will be one way south bound on Country Road for the duration of the works between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and all north bound traffic will need to use an alternate route

 

Motorists and pedestrians are advised to take care during this period and to follow any directions or road signs to ensure their safety and the safety of the workers and other road users.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Hardgrave                                                                                                Ron Ward

His Honour The Administrator                                                                  Minister for the Environment

 

12 September 2014

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NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ANALYSIS


The Norfolk Island government and Legislative Assembly members have received a briefing from Deloitte on their draft analysis of Norfolk Island’s government business enterprises.

Chief Minister Lisle Snell said today, “The briefing presented by Robert Southern and Todd McInnes from Deloitte was informative, unbiased and presented the government with a draft framework for developing a review of the government’s business enterprises”.

The Norfolk Island Government and Legislative Assembly members have the ability to forward comments on to Deloitte in the lead up to the release of their final report in about 4 weeks.

The Norfolk Island Government looks forward to the release of their final report and working constructively with the Federal Government in the progressing the direction of that report into more effective utilisation of our government business enterprises” Chief Minister Lisle Snell said.

It is imperative the Federal Government and the Norfolk Island Government work in unison to ensure the most effective implementation of Deloitte’s report, which presents the Norfolk Island government with the opportunity to examine the operations of its government business enterprises against the solid analysis the Deloitte’s report provides.

“I congratulate the Federal Government on the commissioning of the report and look forward to working closely with the Federal Government when the final report is released” Chief Minister Lisle Snell said. 


Lisle Snell                                                                  

Chief Minister

Date 05/09/2014

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DELOITTE DRAFT REVIEW OF NORFOLK ISLAND BUSINESS ENTERPRISES


Chief Minister Lisle Snell said today, “The release of the anticipated Deloitte’s draft report of Norfolk Island Business Enterprises has been provided to the Norfolk Island Government.”

The Government and Legislative Assembly Members will review the draft 355 page report including a 59 page summary.

“The Government is committed to ensuring the most effective structure and operation of our Business Enterprises to achieve the best outcome for Norfolk Island and looks forward to having discussions with Deloitte on their draft report. “The Chief Minister said.

The report is important as to how we move forward in terms of the operation of the Government Business Enterprises, accordingly the government has requested the proposed meeting with Deloitte’s suggested for 3 and 4 September be moved to the 10th and 11th of the following week.

“This would enable a more detailed analysis of Deloitte’s draft report which we only received today to be carried out. “The Chief Minister said.

.

Lisle Snell                                                                  

Chief Minister 

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SUPPLY OF BULK FUEL


As indicated in the Government Gazette of 22nd August 2014, it is the intent of the Norfolk Island Government to exit the bulk fuel business.

The government became involved in the importation, storage and distribution of unleaded petrol, diesel and Jet-A1 fuel when Mobil pulled out of Norfolk Island. Since October, 2007 the supply of fuel has been carried out under a contract by a third party supplier, as has the on-island distribution and aircraft refueling operations.

In the past seven years the Government has invested in excess of $1.5 million in maintaining the Ball Bay facility as a compliant high-level fuel storage and distribution facility.

Improvements have been made in that time, such as a new truck loading station and changing the storage tank configuration which has reduced the frequency of tankers from over 4 per years to less than 3 each year.

Minister Sheridan said “It is now an opportune time for the Government to move out of the bulk fuel business with both the supply and the distribution contracts expiring. The importation, storage and distribution of fuel will be returned to the private sector.”

In October 2007 the Government’s fuel pricing policy was to break-even in the fuel operation. That policy continues today.

In the future the Government will continue to collect the applicable taxes and charges, namely:-

  • the 20 cent per litre on fuel used on the road, under the Fuel Levy Act 1987,
  • GST , under the Goods and Services Tax Act 2007, and
  • 10% Import Duty on fuel, under the Customs Act 1913.

“In the future the Government’s involvement in fuel will only extend to purchasing the diesel required for electricity generation, and the diesel and petrol required to operate government-owned plant and equipment”, Minister Sheridan said.

There were two notices appearing in the Government Gazette last Friday.

  1. The first being a Request for Tender No. 14/14. This RFT is for the supply of petrol and diesel to the Government.
  2. The second being an Expression of Interest No. 15/14. This EOI is for the sub-lease of the Ball Bay facility, allowing the new supplier of fuel to Norfolk Island to have access to a bulk storage facility. This sub-lease will be for three years, the period until current Crown Lease expires and will require the lessee to maintain the facility to the current standard.

Minister Sheridan  expressed the Government’s thanks and appreciation to those who have assisted over the past seven years;

the fuel supplier – Natjola Pty Ltd;

the distributors – initially Martins Agencies Ltd  followed by Burnt Pine Fuel Pty Ltd;

the contractors who have supplied goods and services to maintain the Ball Bay facility;

and the Administration employees in all areas of Norfolk Energy’s operations.

The RFT and EOI were advertised in the Government Gazette on Friday 22nd August, 2014. RFT and EOI documentation are available on http://www.info.gov.nf/tenders/OpenTenders/ .

Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance 

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MUNICIPAL RATING


The community will be aware that the introduction of municipal rates for Norfolk Island is a condition of funding for the grant provided by the Commonwealth Government for the Cascade Jetty upgrade and part of milestones to be met in Funding Agreements with the Commonwealth.


The Norfolk Island Government subject to passing legislation will be issuing a municipal rates notice to all Norfolk Island land owners in 2014/15. For those of you who are new to the concept of municipal rates, a rate is a contribution that each ratepayer makes towards the Government’s cost of providing community services and facilities. 

Rates payments will be utilised to fund the everyday maintenance of sporting grounds, parks and gardens, libraries, museums and radio and television broadcasting as well as supporting our education, hospital and tourism activities.

Minister Sheridan said, “The Norfolk Island Government has been working to develop a rating strategy, a new rating Act with Regulations, to establish rates models and to develop the supporting documents and software that will be necessary. It is expected at this stage that the first rates notice will be issued around February 2015”. 

The first notice will be based on a system of levies. In 2015/16 the rates notices issued to property owners will then be based on property valuations as typically occur elsewhere.

When determining how much each property owner will have to pay, the Government will use a differential system, in which all land will be categorised according to its land use and/or demand for or benefit from the Government’s services. A municipal rates system can not simply be a flat charge payable equally by all land owners.

In 2014/15, the Government anticipates raising a total of $250,000 through the new rates regime. In subsequent years, this amount will increase as agreed with the Commonwealth Government.

Whilst the legislation is still being finalised, there will be opportunities for pensioners to receive discounts and for ratepayers who experience hardship. “Further details will continue to be released for information and guidance purposes and a public meeting will be held in the future to clarify matters further”.

The Rates Strategy and draft model are still available on the Government website at 

http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/reports/Municipal%20Rates/ and “I would encourage anyone who hasn’t read this information to do so” Minister Sheridan said.

Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance 

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ELECTRICITY – COMMUNITY CONSULTATION AND EXPRESSION OF INTEREST


Minter Sheridan said today, “I am pleased to at last release a copy of the Working Group report and associated attachments following the community consultation into electricity pricing and storage solutions undertaken earlier this year.

I would encourage anyone interested in electricity to spend time looking at the information available and to see the many comments, ideas and suggestions that were obtained through the surveys, the focus groups, displays in the shopping mall and through general communications”.

These documents are now available on the Government website at: http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/reports/Electricity%20Working%20Group%20Report%20&%20Attachments/

The community consultation process has been a very valuable exercise for the Norfolk Island Government and has enabled a very complex expression of interest document to be prepared to assist to find solutions to the surplus electricity generated daily at the power house.

The adoption of alternative pricing methods is still being finalised and allowances have been made in the 2014/15 Norfolk Island Budget to obtain smart power meters. These meters will provide improved data exchange and also allow adjustments to time of day charging if necessary.

“The expression of interest will be issued this Friday with the documents available from Saturday. Due to the size and nature of this contract, the Government has engaged LocalBuy of Queensland to assist with the expression of interest process. This adds greater probity, security and confidentiality to the process”.  Minister Sheridan said.  The EOI documents for persons who may be interested in submitting a proposal can be found at www.lgtenderbox.com.au .

Timothy Sheridan

Minister for Finance

Date 27 August 2014

                                                                                               

Contact

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PUBLIC MEETING ON MEDICINAL CANNABIS


The public meeting yesterday was extremely well attended with over 120 Island residents taking the opportunity to hear and have input on the question of the possible introduction of a Medicinal Cannabis industry on Norfolk Island.


Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services Robin Adams said “The community response to the meeting was a clear endorsement of the Government’s actions in trying to secure that industry for Norfolk Island.”


The meeting gave the opportunity for residents to be briefed on the proposal by Tascann CEO Troy Langman on the benefits to the Island in both economic and employment terms. Together with outlining Tascann’s commitment to working with the Norfolk Island Government and the Australian Government to resolve issues surrounding the Administrator’s decision to cancel the conditional licence that was granted to Tascann.


“The feedback, questions and comments from the residents at the meeting was a clear indication the residents want the Norfolk Island Government to work with both Tascann and the Australian Government to ensure all barriers to granting of a licence to Tascann for the cultivation of Medicinal Cannabis on Norfolk Island are addressed and overcome”. Said Minister Adams.


“The Norfolk Island Government is committed to working tirelessly with both Tascann and the Australian government to achieve a positive outcome for Norfolk Island for the introduction of Medical Cannabis industry on Norfolk Island.”


Minister Adams extends her sincere thanks to meeting Chair Geoff Gardner for chairing the meeting in an exemplary manner, “Mr Gardner, a former Chief Minister in the Norfolk Island Government,  also brought to the meeting his broad background knowledge of the 1998 industrial hemp industry initiative together with his background in horticulture”, the Minister said


Minister Adams also expresses her thanks to Mr Andre Nobbs. “Mr Nobbs, a former Chief Minister in the Norfolk Island Government and current CEO of the Oceania Economic Development Corporation, provided invaluable technical assistance with setting up the public meeting and ensuring it ran as smoothly as it did.”


The Norfolk Island Government expresses it’s thanks to the residents for attending the meeting and looks forward to a positive outcome on this Industry for the Island.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

 

22 August 2014

 

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SITTING OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON WEDNESDAY 20 August 2014



The Office of the Clerk has advised that the following matters were dealt with at the sitting of the Fourteenth Legislative Assembly held on Wednesday 20 August 2014 at 10 am:

 

NORFOLK ISLAND

FOURTEENTH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

WEDNESDAY 20 AUGUST 2014

 

NORF’K AILEN

DIISEM MENETS LARNEN WATHING HAEPN

INAA

FORTIINTH LEJESLIETEW ‘SEMBLE

WEDNESDAY 20 ORGAS 2014

 

 

1          The Legislative Assembly met at 10.01 am, and the Speaker, Hon David Buffett AM MLA, took the Chair and read Prayers

 

2          CONDOLENCES

Mr Evans recorded the passing of –

 

STEPHEN HOLDER CHRISTIAN

 

As a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased all Members stood in silence

 

3          QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE (10.03-10.41 AM)

 

4          ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Responses were provided to:

76  Mr Porter asked the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

Will the Minister inform the House –

  1. How many GEP applications have been lodged in the last 12 months;
  2. How many have been declined;
  3. How many of those declined have appealed; and
  4. How many are under review.

77  Mrs Ward asked the Chief Minister –

Given that Section 31A (4) of the Tourist Accommodation Act 1984 states that the Minister shall appoint, by instrument in writing published in the Gazette, a person for the purposes of grading registered tourist accommodation houses, will the Chief Minister advise the House on the following:

1.   When was the last appointment made,

2.   When does that appointment expire,

3.   When was the last grading carried out and what was the cost,

4.   Was the cost recovered from accommodation houses; and,

5.   What is the Government's policy on future grading?

78  Mrs Ward asked the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

Will the Minister provide to the House the reason for the KAVHA Crank Mill and Officers' Bath being closed to the public and how long will they be closed for?

79  Mrs Ward asked the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

Given the Minister’s public statement that the approach concerning the production of medicinal cannabinoids in Norfolk Island was made in only early July, how can the Minister justify the speed with which a licence was granted when, the controversial nature of the cannabis and cannabinoids subject has resulted in a debate which is not yet settled?

80  Mrs Ward asked the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

Is it a fact that neither the Infrastructure and Business Development Committee nor the Administration of Norfolk Island produced a white paper 

which focused the government’s attention on the pros and cons of the medicinal cannabinoids proposal?

81  Mrs Ward asked the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

If a white paper was not produced how and to what extent did the Minister evaluate the evidence surrounding cannabis and cannabinoids and what evaluations weighed most heavily in favour of the Minister’s decision to grant a production licence?


82  Mrs Ward asked the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

In the interests of satisfying the community that the Minister has fully and properly informed herself will the Minister table for public examination all documents considered by the Norfolk Island Government prior to a production license being granted?

1)     Paper tabled:         Ms Adam: Letter from Administrator dated 30 July 2014

2)     Paper tabled:         Ms Adam: Letter to Administrator dated 1 August 2014

3)     Paper tabled:         Ms Adam: Medical Cannabis Producer Licence dated 4 August 2014

            83  Mrs Ward asked the Minister for the Environment

      Will the Minister provide to the House the number of planning development applications which have been lodged and granted over the past 

year in comparison to the previous five years?

4)     Paper tabled:         Mr Ward: Development Applications from 2009-2014

84  Mrs Ward asked the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

Is it a fact that the holder of a temporary entry permit is ineligible to buy a Norfolk Island business?

85  Mrs Ward asked the Chief Minster

Is it a fact that the Chief Minister wrote to the Hon. Jamie Briggs MP on March 25, 2014 requesting that State level services be delivered to the 

Island in a way similar to Christmas Island, and if so; will the Chief Minister explain what he meant by that?

86  Mrs Ward asked the Minister for Finance

      Will the Minister provide an update on the implementation of changes to the electricity pricing system as proposed in the 2014-15 budget 

session

 

Speaker resumed chair at 10.46 am

 

5          PRESENTATION OF PAPERS

            The following papers were presented:

 

5)     Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams – Centre for International Economics – Economic Impact Assessment  - and 

moved –

 

THAT the House take note of the paper

6)     Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams – Letter from Administrator giving Federal’s Minister’s Response

Debate ensued

Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

7)         Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – Customs Duty Exemptions

8)         Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – Bookmakers and Betting Exchange Act 1998 – Licence

9)               Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – Bookmakers and Betting Exchange Act 1998 – Report of Gaming Authority June 2014

10)            Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – Gaming Act 1998 – Report of Gaming Authority June 2014

11)            Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – Virements June 2014

12)            Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – Revenue Fund Financial Indicators for April 2014

13)            Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – NIGTB Budget Item breakdowns

14)            Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – NIHE Budget Item breakdowns

15)            Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan –  - Revenue Fund Financial Indicators for                    May 2014

16)       Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan –  - Revenue Fund Financial Indicators for June 2014

 

6          STATEMENTS OF AN OFFICIAL NATURE

The following statements were made –

1)               Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams – Immigration (Amendment No 2) Act 2014 / Imegrieshan 

(Chienjen 2) Bil 2014 – not to be presented at this Sitting

17) Paper tabled: Ms Adams – Immigration Legislative Review Committee (ILR) First Report

18) Paper tabled: Ms Adams – ILR Committee Terms of Reference

                        Mrs Ward moved –

 

THAT the Statement be noted

Debate ensued

Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

2)               Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – Attendance at the 2014 Australasian Casino and Gaming Regulators Conference September 

2014 

3)               Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan – Attendance at the ‘Centenary of the First World War Service for the Commonwealth’ at 

Glasgow Cathedral 4 August 2014

19) Paper tabled: Mr Sheridan – Order of Service

4)               Mrs Ward – Education Review

            Ms Adams moved –

 

THAT the Statement be noted

Debate ensued

Question put and agreed to on the voices

5)     Chief Minister, Mr Snell – Quota’s 35th Anniversary

6)     Chief Minister, Mr Snell – White Oaks

7)     Chief Minister, Mr Snell – Attendance at XXth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland

 

NOTICES

 

7          IMMIGRATION ACT 1980 - AUTHORISATION OF APPLICATION FOR GENERAL ENTRY PERMIT

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, moved:

 

THAT for the purpose of paragraph 17A(1)(e) of the Immigration Act 1980, this Legislative Assembly resolve that ¾

 

Glenn Zerby; and

Sandhya Patel

 

be authorised to make an application for a general entry permit under the Act.

Debate ensued

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

8          CUSTOMS ACT 1913 - EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF CUSTOMS DUTY

            Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan, pursuant to notice moved –

 

THAT, under subsection 2B(4) of the Customs Act 1913, this House recommends to the Administrator that the goods specified in column 1 

of the Schedule imported by the person specified in column 2, and on the conditions mentioned in column 2 of the Schedule, be exempted 

from duty.

 

                                                SCHEDULE

Column 1                                                         Column 2

Goods                                                              Importer/conditions

 

Pool Table                                                       DAA Side for Ucklun (Youth Centre)

- amount of duty applicable $256.57                   Conditions: Nil

 

Trampoline                                                       DAA Side for Ucklun (Youth Centre)

- amount of duty applicable $297.67                   Conditions: Nil

Debate ensued

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

9          REFERENDUM ACT 1964

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services (Robin Adams) pursuant to notice, moved –

 

THAT this House –

 

  1. Notes that as a consequence of the commencement of the Territories Law Reform Act on 10 December 2010 –

 

a)     the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly and the Norfolk Island Government lost substantial control over its financial affairs; and

 

b)     laws passed by the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly became in all cases subject to the approval of Australian authorities thereby 

effectively diminishing the self-governing status of Norfolk Island;

 

  1. Notes that the Commonwealth Minister with responsibility for Norfolk Island under the Norfolk Island Act 1979 is examining the most appropriate governance model for Norfolk Island to be considered by the Australian Cabinet later this year;

 

  1. Being of the opinion that before any change to Norfolk Island’s model of governance is made, the Norfolk Island community should be given an 
  2. opportunity at referendum or plebiscite to express its views;

 

4          Directs the Speaker, pursuant to section 5 of the Referendum Act 1964, to  immediately commence the process to ascertain the 

opinion of the electors on the following questions relating to the peace, order and good government of Norfolk Island, namely -

 

“1. Do you agree that the Norfolk Island community should be given the opportunity to have a vote in a referendum or plebiscite on 

the future model of government for Norfolk Island?


                                          YES                             NO  

 

  1. Do you agree that the referendum or plebiscite should be conducted by an independent authority unrelated to Norfolk Island or to Australia?





                                    YES                             NO    

 

20) Papers tabled: Ms Adams – Articles from “The Parliamentarian” from 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2014

            Debate ensued

 

Deputy  Speaker Nobbs took the chair at 11.42 am

 

SUSPENSION OF SITTING

The Deputy Speaker suspended the sitting of the House at 1.05 pm

 

RESUMPTION OF SITTING

The Speaker took the Chair and resumed the sitting at 2.30 pm

 

            Debate continued on Referendum motion

            Mr Ward moved –

 

THAT clause 3 of the motion be amended by deleting the word ‘being’ and inserting ‘is’ and deleting the word ‘should’ and inserting ‘shall’ and 

clause 4 of the motion be deleted

 

Debate ensued

Question – That the amendment be agreed to – put and agreed to on the voices

Question – That the motion as amended be agreed to – put and agreed to on the voices

 

10        MOTION BY LEAVE

NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ACT 1985 – RE-APPOINTMENT OF MEMBER TO ADVISORY BOARD

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services (Ms Adams) by leave, moved -

 

THAT this House, in accordance with section 12 of the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985, resolve that ¾

 

Gerard Marr, Chief Executive of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

 

be re-appointed by the Minister as the representative member of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District on the Norfolk Island 

Hospital Advisory Board for the term  commencing on the date of gazettal of this appointment until 24 December 2014.

Debate ensued

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

11        REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014

REJISTRIESHAN 'BERTH, DETH EN MAERIJ (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

            Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, presented a Bill for an Act to provide for the noting of gender reassignment in the 

register of births and to remove Schedules and for related purposes and moved –

 

THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

21) Paper tabled:  Mr Snell tabled the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill

           

Debate ensued

            Mr Snell moved –

 

THAT debate be adjourned and the resumption of debate made an

Order of the Day for a subsequent day of sitting

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

12        PUBLIC SERVICE BILL 2014

PABLIK SERWES BIL 2014

            Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, presented a Bill for an Act Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, to present a 

Bill for an Act to regulate the administration of the public service of Norfolk Island, to repeal the Public Sector Management Act 2000 and for 

related purposes and moved –

 

THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

22) Paper tabled:  Mr Snell tabled the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill

           

Debate ensued

            Mr Snell moved –

 

THAT debate be adjourned and the resumption of debate made an

Order of the Day for a subsequent day of sitting

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

13        PROVIDENT ACCOUNT (AMENDMENT) ACT 2014

            PROEVEDENT AKAUNT (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Mr Snell, presented a Bill for an Act to amend the Provident Account Act 1958 and moved –

 

THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

 

23) Paper tabled:  Mr Snell tabled the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill

           

Debate ensued

            Mr Snell moved –

 

THAT debate be adjourned and the resumption of debate made an

Order of the Day for a subsequent day of sitting

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

 

14        MESSAGES FROM THE OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR - MESSAGE NO. 14 – “PUBLIC SERVICE BILL 2013.

Resumption of debate (Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams) from 25 June 2014 on the question – THAT 

the Message be noted

Debate ensued

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

15        INFRASTRUCTURE AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (IBDC) – GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS

Resumption of debate (Mrs Ward) from 16 July 2014 on the question – THAT the Paper be noted

Debate ensued

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

16        INTRODUCTION OF LAND RATING SYSTEM

Resumption of debate (Mr Nobbs) from 16 July 2014 on the question – THAT the motion be agreed

Debate ensued

            Mr Nobbs moved –

 

THAT debate be adjourned and the resumption of debate made an

Order of the Day for a subsequent day of sitting

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

17        LAND ADMINISTRATION FEES (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014

LAEN ADMINESTRIESHAN FII (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

Resumption of debate (Minister for the Environment, Mr Ward on behalf of the Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan) from 16 July 2014 on the question 

– THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

            Debate ensued

            Question put

            Bill agreed to in principle on the voices

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage

Mr Sheridan moved –

THAT the Bill be agreed to

Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

 

 

18        FIXING OF NEXT SITTING DAY

            Mr Evans moved –

 

            THAT the House at its rising adjourn until Wednesday 17 September 2014 at 10 am

 

            Question put and agreed to on the voices

 

19        ADJOURNMENT

            Mr Nobbs moved –

 

THAT the House do now adjourn

 

Debate ensued with Mr Snell, and Mr Nobbs participating

Question put and agreed to on the voices

AND THEN the House at 3.52 pm adjourned until Wednesday 17 September 2014 at 10.00 am

 

 

 

Gaye Evans

Clerk to the Legislative Assembly

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT: All Members were present

 

To read the Notice Paper, Programme, Minutes of Proceedings and legislation tabled in the House go to www.info.gov.nf. Issued from the Office of the 

Clerk

 

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NORFOLK ISLAND EDUCATION REVIEW


In October 2013, the Minister for Education, the Hon. Robin Adams MLA announced the establishment of an Education Review Working Group.   The principal objective of the working group was to examine the regulatory framework and identify the current level of services being provided in relation to education and training on the Island and to examine how Norfolk Island residents may gain equivalent access to relevant services and programs which are available to the broader Australian community

It is important to note that the Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Cth) created a unique self-governing arrangement which left the Island without the application of most Australian law, services and programs.  The Australian Education Act 2013 (Cth) does not apply to Norfolk Island and as a result Commonwealth funding opportunities which are available to other schools in Australia are not available to the Island
As Chair and on behalf of the Review Working Group I am pleased to make available to the community the Draft Education Review Report. 

The Draft Report is now on display at the school's front office and the public library until the 30th of August 2014. 

It is also available at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf  under Public Broadcasts or Education.   

Members of the community who are interested in current and future education and workforce skill development are encouraged to read, absorb and provide comment to me; mward@assembly.gov.nf or any other working group member.  

Additional time may be made available on request.  All feedback will be gratefully received and considered.  It is hoped that the Final Report will be tabled at the September Sitting of the NILA.

Melissa Ward MLA.

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MEDICINAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY FOR NORFOLK ISLAND


The Norfolk Island community will be aware that on Thursday, 14 August 2014, the Administrator, the Hon Gary Hardgrave exercised his authority under section 13 of the Norfolk Island Dangerous Drugs Act 1927 and cancelled the conditional licence issued by the Minister with responsibility for health, Robin Adams, to Tasman Health Cannabinoids (N.I.) Pty Limited (Tascann) on 4 August 2014.


“The Norfolk Island Government has expressed its extreme disappointment to the Administrator both in writing and in person this morning when all Ministers met with him at our regular fortnightly meeting”, Minister Adams said.


“For the information of the community” Minister Adams said, “as a courtesy I met with the Administrator some weeks ago in the company of my Chief of Staff, Crown Counsel and the Chief Executive Officer (NIA), to apprise the Administrator of the Tascann application for a license under section 7A of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1927.  At that time I offered the Administrator and his staff the opportunity to meet with the principals of Tascann who were then on Island so that he could acquaint himself with the initiative first hand.


“It is most regrettable that an economic initiative with the capacity to generate substantial income and employment for this community over time has needed to be put on hold”, the Minister said, “but I give the community the assurance of both myself and my ministerial colleagues that we will continue to work with the Commonwealth Government to achieve what we trust can be a satisfactory outcome that a further licence can be issued to Tascann.  Some of the concerns raised by the Administrator include the need for wider community consultation and consultation with federal law enforcement and health authorities, together with consideration of international treaties on cannabis.  The Norfolk Island Government has committed to undertake further consultation,” the Minister said.

 

The Norfolk Island Government has convened a public meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, 21 August 2014 at Rawson Hall at which Ministers of the Norfolk Island Government and Principals of Tascann, who will be on Island, will be present to answer any questions the community may have.  At the request of the Norfolk Island Government the meeting will be chaired by a previous Chief Minister, Mr Geoffrey Gardner.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

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NOTICE PAPER





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NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT WELCOMES NEW CHIEF OF STAFF



The Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, the Hon Lisle Snell, has advised that Mr David Price has been appointed as the Chief of Staff to the Norfolk Island Government for a period of three years commencing Monday, 18 August 2014.


“Mr Price has a Bachelor of Business from the University of Tasmania and brings to Norfolk Island significant political experience.  His most recent appointment was as Advisor to Senator Thorp in Tasmania; he has been a former Chief of Staff and was head of the Caucus Committee and Support Training Unit in Canberra.

 

“During the period 2000-2001, Mr Price was the Chief Executive Officer of the Shire of Christmas Island assisting reform within the Shire.  Mr Price’s experience in the political arena will be beneficial to the Norfolk Island Government and we look forward to working with him.


“Members of the community will, I am in no doubt, join me in welcoming Mr Price to Norfolk Island”, the Chief Minister said.

 

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

15 August 2014

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NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT - HOUSEHOLD and BUSINESS INCOME and EXPENDITURE SURVEY 2014


These surveys were conducted during the week of 23rd July 2014, with most collections complete by the 26th July.


After collections on the 26th July, 752 household surveys and 241 business surveys were checked and readied for data entry. 


Contracted data entry personnel advise that most business surveys and about 35% of household surveys have been entered to date.  There are some business surveys still outstanding.


It is anticipated that data entry will be completed within the next week. Analysis of the data and preparation of appropriate income and expenditure reports will be completed before the end of August, allowing for the final report to be distributed in early September.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who participated by completing a survey.  The information will give all of us a more informed view of the state of households and businesses in Norfolk Island.


Bruce Taylor (Statistician for the Norfolk Island Government) 

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PRIVACY DATA COLLECTION BY THE ADMINISTRATION



The Administration of Norfolk Island is in the process of updating their Finance and Land Registry name and address details.


To that end a letter has been sent to all persons who have a registered interest in land to clarify that the owners contact details held by the Administration are correct. In those instances where the contact details are different or don’t correspond there is an opportunity for the owner to correct this by returning the information to a secure box provided at the Post Office by the 1st September 2014.


The collection of this data is to comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth).


Further information can be obtained by contacting the Registry office on 23691 or on 22001 extension 4.


Jon Gibbons

Chief Executive Officer

 

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY








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JOHN STANHOPE LETTER TO THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE



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RESPONSE TO SUBMISSION BY FORMER ADMINISTRATOR


Following publication of the Submission by Mr Neil Pope, former Administrator of Norfolk Island, to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories Inquiry into Economic Development in Norfolk Island, the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, the Hon Robin Adams acting on behalf of the Norfolk Island Government in the absence of the Chief Minister has written to Assistant Minister Jamie Briggs and provided yet again, a copy of the Preferred Model for Territory Self Governance. Minister Adams gave an undertaking to the community when speaking on VL2NI last Tuesday to publish a copy of the Norfolk Island Government’s letter to Minister Briggs expressing its concern at comments made by Mr Pope to the Joint Standing Committee. A copy of that letter follows.

The Norfolk Island Government has again sought a meeting with Assistant Minister Briggs to discuss all outstanding issues and in particular Norfolk Island’s preferred model for territory self-governance having regard to evidence given to the Committee by the Department and the former Administrator and their recommendations as to future governance for Norfolk Island.


It was reassuring that the Department’s Supplementary Submission to the Inquiry reaffirmed Assistant Minister Brigg’s undertaking to the Norfolk Island Government that he will consult Norfolk Island on future governance issues as follows: 

“Issue: Norfolk Island proposed models of self-governance 

Norfolk view: the Australian Government has not provided comments on the Norfolk Island preferred models of self-governance (dating back to July 2011 and May 2013) and this is hindering investment in Norfolk Island.

Department comment: The Australian Government is considering reforms to governance arrangements as part of its deliberations on the election commitment to extend federal taxation and social security to Norfolk Island. The Community of Norfolk Island has been given the opportunity by the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, The Hon Jamie Briggs MP to express its views on future governance of Norfolk Island to the Australian Government. Assistant Minister Briggs has also committed to further consultations with Norfolk Island on these issues.”

The Norfolk Island Government would be pleased to receive a copy of any submission provided by Members of the community to Assistant Minister Briggs in response to his request for views on future governance for Norfolk Island. This information will assist the Norfolk Island Government when considering the options presented to it by Assistant Minister Briggs.

The Preferred Model for Territory Self-Governance which was adopted by the 13th Legislative Assembly in July 2011; re-affirmed by the 14th Legislative Assembly in May 2013 and published again in March 2014 is repeated below.

“NORFOLK ISLAND GOVERNMENT’S PREFERRED MODEL FOR TERRITORY SELF GOVERNANCE

1. Territory Institutions
Current Territory institutions to remain.

Territory Executive comprising an Administrator and Ministry elected from a
Territory Parliament;
Territory Legislative Assembly;
Territory public service or Administration;
Territory Courts and Tribunals:

2. Territory Government responsibilities and functions

A. Norfolk Island Government to transfer to the Commonwealth any
federal functions in accordance with the process outlined in the Road
Map.

Noting the Norfolk Island Government’s preference is to defer removal of local
permit controls on residents pending review of the efficacy of land and planning
controls in achieving the same population management outcomes in the Territory
context. A local permit regime can coexist with the federal immigration regime
when extended to Norfolk Island.

B. Norfolk Island Government to retain State and Local Government type
functions.

C. Funding for Norfolk Island Government’s delivery of public infrastructure and State and Local Government type functions to be shared with the Commonwealth, similar to other self governing jurisdictions within the federal taxation system.”

Robin Adams
Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services
25 July 2014
CONTACT:

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MINISTER ADAMS RESPONSES TO NEIL POPE SUBMISSION



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COMMUNITY TITLE BILL 2014 HAVE YOU HAD YOUR SAY!


The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Ron Ward reminds the community that the time for comment on the exposure draft of the Community Title Bill will conclude on Thursday, 31 July 2014.


The following documents were tabled in the Legislative Assembly on 21 May 2014 and can be accessed on line at www.info.gov.nf under the heading Legislative Assembly/Exposure Drafts of Bills.

  • Exposure Draft Community Title Bill 2014; and
  • Explanatory Memorandum relating to the Bill.

Comments should be addressed to Hon Ron Ward, MLA, Minister for the Environment, Legislative Assembly, Norfolk Island or email rjward@assembly.gov.nf or achiefofstaff@assembly.gov.nf

Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

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LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLE MEETING





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HOUSEHOLD and BUSINESS INCOME and EXPENDITURE SURVEYS 2014


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COMPARISON OF EDUCATION SERVICES


The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams MLA, provided the  community last week with the results of the comparison of Health Services between the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise and Christmas Island. This week Minister Adams has released a comparison of education services.

“The Principal has prepared a report as part of a milestone commitment under the June 2013 Funding Agreement between the Commonwealth and the Norfolk Island Administration”, the
Minister said. “This milestone required that the Norfolk Island education budget be benchmarked against equivalent services in New South Wales to identify appropriate service levels, against specific staffing levels, to ensure benchmarks are not eroded or where greater than NSW standards, appropriate savings measures can be applied. The benchmarking was to be with a small rural community of similar size and population and Bowraville Central School and Lightning Ridge Central School in NSW were chosen. I provide this report to the community so that they can acknowledge the excellent results achieved at our local school”, the Minister said.

“I extend my thanks to the Principal and all of the Norfolk Island Central School staff for the
outcomes they achieve with the students at our School and the dedication that they show to their work”, Minister Adams said.

The Norfolk Island Road Map (March 2012) provides that the Commonwealth and Norfolk Island Governments agree to work together to consider ways to provide facilities and opportunities for excellent education outcomes on the Island for future employment; and to investigate the expansion of educational opportunities for tertiary and vocational education. A review on the provision of education to the Island commenced in October 2013 under the chairmanship of Mrs. Melissa Ward MLA. The Education Review Working Group Report will assist the Norfolk Island Government with its considerations.

Robin Adams
Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services
10 July 2014

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CHIEF MINISTER TO ATTEND COMMONWEALTH GAMES


I have been requested to give an update to the community in relation to the Commonwealth Games Team and my attendance at those Games.


Members of the community will, I am in no doubt, join me in congratulating all those athletes who have been selected to represent Norfolk Island at the 20th Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow from 23 July to 4 August 2014.


Norfolk Island will be represented in Badminton, Lawn Bowls Squash, Clay Target and Pistol Shooting, and will have a team of 33 athletes and officials.  The team will be accompanied by other supporters from the Island and Brentt Adams is the accredited media for Norfolk Island.  It is fitting that the Games are being held in Scotland this year as it was in Edinburgh Scotland that Norfolk Island was admitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation in its own right in 1986.


As Chief Minister I was pleased to receive an invitation from the Norfolk Island Amateur Sports and Commonwealth Games Association to attend the Games and although no funding was available to assist with travel costs, I accepted the invitation and I will attend and meet my own travel costs. The cost of my accommodation in Scotland will be provided by the host country.  Games passes and other benefits may be provided to me during my visit.


I look forward to attending the Games and giving support to our athletes.  During the period of my absence from Norfolk Island I will be undertaking official duties and will attend a conference and function organised by the Scottish Parliament Commonwealth Games Diplomacy and Dignitary Management Team. 


In addition, I received an invitation of Her Majesty’s Government and the Lord Provost of Glasgow to attend the First World War Commonwealth Commemorative Event to be held on 4 August 2014, however, as I will leave Scotland to return to Norfolk Island prior to this event, the Hon Tim Sheridan will represent Norfolk Island.  It is anticipated that 1400 people will attend the service including members of the Armed Forces, the British Legion, faith groups and organisations representing your people.  Tim’s attendance at the event is fitting as he will be a participant in the Games and is a returned serviceman.

 

 

 

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

11 July 2014

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SURVEYS of HOUSEHOLD and BUSINESS INCOME and EXPENDITURE 2014


The Funding Agreement for the Territory of Norfolk Island requires the Norfolk Island Government to undertake Income and Expenditure surveys for households and businesses across Norfolk Island.

 

The information gained will assist the Norfolk Island Government to know more about the island’s economy, and evaluate the island’s cost of living.  The information will also assist the Norfolk Island and Commonwealth Governments to better understand the capacity to raise money to fund the delivery of services in Norfolk Island.

 

What is a household?  A household is a domestic group living and eating together.  A person living alone is also a household.  Someone who lives with a family and provides food for himself / herself constitutes a separate household.  Someone who is working offshore but provides financial assistance to their family on NI is considered part of a household.  A survey must be completed by each household.

 

What is a business?  Any person(s) carrying on business on NI must complete a survey.  Businesses would include:

-            Those registered for GST in NI.

-            Those that sell goods online, or at local markets, or from home roadside stalls, to the public.

-            Those that sell a service (lawn mowing, cleaning, maintenance, gardening, etc) for remuneration to customers on NI.  

-            Those that supply or provide a professional service (legal, accounting, IT, etc) for remuneration to customers on NI and offshore.

-            Those that receive royalties (or similar remuneration) for services, products, Intellectual Property (IP) etc.

 

There are several instances in NI where multiple businesses are owned by a single person, or a parent business entity.  It is permissible to submit a single completed survey for all businesses rather than complete a survey for each business.

 

In those instances where a business is owned by multiple people, only one survey should be completed for that business.  Please think about who is best to complete the survey and let the survey officer know who that person is when they deliver to your household.

 

How will privacy of information be ensured?  There are several important points about privacy of information provided for these surveys.

-            The Census and Statistics Act 1961 provides that the information cannot be seen by anyone other than Survey staff.

-            Each staff member, including the Statistician, Survey Supervisor and Field Collectors, is legally bound to maintain confidentiality. 

-            There is no requirement in the survey to provide names of people or businesses. 

-            Once the surveys have been readied for data entry by the Survey Supervisor, it will not be possible to link a completed survey back to any person or business.

-            MLAs in NI, Administration of NI employees, and representatives of the Commonwealth, will not be able to read through the completed surveys.  They will only be able to read aggregated results, not individual surveys.

-            Persons employed to do data entry will not be the same people who delivered and collected surveys.

 

What are the key dates for the surveys?  The surveys will be delivered to households by Field Collectors between the 17th and 19th July 2014. The household survey must be completed on the evening of the 23rd July 2014 for all persons in the household who are 15 years of age and older.  Business surveys must be completed by the 23rd July 2014 using information available for the financial year to 30th June 2014.  Completed surveys will be collected between the 24th and 26th July 2014.

 

What can I do now?   It will help if you start collecting weekly or annual data
(for each person in the household 15 years and over) now for:

-            Wages and / or salaries

-            Business, professional or farm income

-            Income from Workers Compensation

-            Income from interest, dividends, rent, royalties, profits from sales, pension, superannuation, gratuities, gifts etc

-            Total household assets – property, cash, retirement funds, own business, shares etc held in Norfolk Island and elsewhere

-            Home loan repayments

-            Costs of electricity/gas, personal loan repayments, credit card payments, medical insurance, motor vehicle (fuel, registration, CTP etc), childcare, telephone and Internet, cigarettes, alcohol, entertainment, dining out, food and clothing, financial support for others on- and off-island

 

Business information required for the financial year 2013-14 will include:

-            Income

-            Expenses – wages and salaries, employer contributions to superannuation, Workers Comp costs, purchases, insurance premiums, rent and leasing costs for land/buildings, interest expenses, depreciation, intellectual property rents or royalties, GST, other expenses, capital spend

-            Estimates of business equity: assets (cash-on-hand, receivables, inventory, plant and equipment), less liabilities (payables, debt)

 

What if I need help completing the surveys?  The Field Collectors can help you to complete the surveys.  Also, if you are vision impaired or unable to write for example, ask the Field Collector for assistance.

 

Where can I find more information about the survey?  Visit the NI Government website at
http://www.info.gov.nf/nia/MediaRelease/ for past media releases.

 

If your household or business has not received a survey form by the evening of 19 July 2014, or you have questions about the survey, please contact Wally Beadman, Survey Field Supervisor on 50394 or by email surveysupervisor@admin.gov.nf.

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NORFOLK ISLAND MUNICIPAL RATING IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY


The focus of the Norfolk Island Municipal Rating Implementation Strategy 2014/15 - 
2017/18 (referred to as the Municipal Rating Strategy) is to determine the methods to 
be used by the Norfolk Island Government to rate property owners in the Island 
commencing 2014/15 for a period of four years. 
 
The Municipal Rating Strategy has been developed with input from the Land 
Valuation and Property Tax Working Group and Norfolk Island Members of the 
Legislative Assembly. 
 
In introducing a Municipal Rating Strategy it is noted that the Norfolk Island 
Government needs to regularly evaluate its rating system to ensure it satisfies its 
legislative objectives as well as ratepayer satisfaction. The Norfolk Island 
Government has prepared and adopted this Municipal Rating Strategy to assist in 
guiding both the Commonwealth and the community in its understanding of rating 
concepts and decisions relevant to Norfolk Island. 
 
The amount of rates to be collected by the Norfolk Island Government depends 
initially upon the requirements as set by the 2013/14 Funding Agreement and then in 
later years upon considered decisions of the Government. These decisions are made 
by establishing the quantity and quality of services that are to be provided and the 
amount that can be recovered from other revenue sources. The amount of rates 
collected will represent the difference between the total expenses budget 
appropriated by the Norfolk Island Government to fund its service delivery programs, 
maintain assets and to service and redeem debt, and the total revenue from all other 
sources. In effect, the rates component will represent the balancing figure between 
total expenses and the income received from all other revenue sources. 
 
The Norfolk Island Government acknowledges that the property rate process does 
not recognise that some individual ratepayers may be “asset rich and income poor”. 
While income tax and goods and services taxes are more reflective of ability to pay, it 
is not possible to expect a rating system based on valuation to easily or practically 
cope with aspects of the ability to pay as experienced by individual households and 
businesses. Given this, Norfolk Island Government will provide an alternative rating 
system to that based upon valuations as well as flexible payment options to any 
ratepayer experiencing genuine hardship. 



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COMPARISON OF HEALTH SERVICES NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ENTERPRISE/INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORIES HEALTH SERVICES (CHRISTMAS ISLAND)


The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams MLA, explained today that the Director of the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise recently completed a funding agreement milestone requirement; which was to benchmark the Norfolk Island Hospital Health Service against  the Indian Ocean Territories Health Service.


“I would like to provide the benchmarking report to the community for them to be proud of the health services that Norfolk Island offers, especially considering the small operating annual budget of  our Hospital Enterprise”, Minister Adams said.


“I take this opportunity to thank the Director, all of the Norfolk Island Hospital staff including visiting  specialists and allied health professionals for the excellent work that they undertake and provide to  the community everyday”, Minister Adams said.

“The Norfolk Island Government continues to have preliminary discussions with the Commonwealth  on the October 2013 Norfolk Island draft Health Service Plan prepared by Nexus Management Consulting. I will keep the community updated on the discussions as they progress”, Minister Adams  said.


Robin Adams
Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

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NORFOLK ISLAND HOUSEHOLD and BUSINESS INCOME and EXPENDITURE SURVEYS


What are the surveys?   The Funding Agreement for the Territory of Norfolk Island requires the Norfolk Island Government to complete surveys for Household Income and Expenditure, and Business Income and Expenditure Survey – across Norfolk Island.


Every household will be delivered a survey for completion on the night of 23 July 2014.  Business owners must complete a survey for their businesses by the 23 July 2014 and should use best available information for the financial year ending 30 June 2014.


Why is this important?   The survey results will provide the Norfolk Island Government with better data to size the Norfolk Island economy, better evaluate the island’s cost of living, and comply with a key condition under the Funding Agreement with the Commonwealth.  The data obtained will also assist governments to better understand the capacity in Norfolk Island to raise revenue to fund the priorities of government.


Is Survey information private and confidential?  Yes.  All information collected is strictly private and confidential.  The Census and Statistics Act 1961 provides that the information cannot be seen by anyone other than Survey staff.  Each staff member, including the Statistician, Survey Supervisor and Field Collectors, is legally bound to maintain confidentiality.  There is no requirement in the survey to provide names of people or businesses.  Once the surveys have been readied for data entry, it will not be possible to link a completed survey back to any person or business.


Is the Survey compulsory?   Yes.  The Survey is compulsory and is authorised by the Census and Statistic Act 1961.  Every person 15 years or over in each household on the 23 July 2014 must be included on a survey form.  Information for businesses that operated in Norfolk Island during the financial year ending 30 June 2014 must be included in a survey.


How will the Survey be conducted?  Survey Field Collectors will have an identification card and will deliver survey forms to households and for businesses between 17 July 2014 and 19 July 2014.  If there is no one home at the time the survey will be left at the premises, for example under the door.  Households will be required to complete the Survey form on the 23 July 2014.   Business surveys must also be completed by 23 July 2014.  From 24 July 2014 Field Collectors will collect the completed Surveys sealed in the envelopes provided.  If you are not at home at collection time please leave the envelope where the Collector can easily find it.


What can I do now?   For the household survey, you should start collecting information (for each person in the household 15 years and over) that will be needed to complete the survey using weekly or annual data for:

-          Wages and / or salaries

-          Business, professional or farm income

-          Income from Workers Compensation

-          Income from interest, dividends, rent, royalties, profits from sales, pension, superannuation, gratuities, gifts etc

-          Total household assets – property, cash, retirement funds, shares etc held in Norfolk Island and elsewhere

-          Home loan repayments

-          Costs of electricity/gas, personal loan repayments, credit card payments, medical insurance, motor vehicle (fuel, registration, CTP etc), childcare, telephone and Internet, cigarettes, alcohol, entertainment, dining out, food and clothing, financial support for others on- and off-island

 

Business information required for the financial year 2014-15 will include:

-          Income

-          Expenses – wages and salaries, employer contributions to superannuation, Workers Comp costs, purchases, insurance premiums, rent and leasing costs for land/buildings, interest expenses, depreciation, intellectual property rents or royalties, GST, other expenses, capital spend

-          Estimates of business equity: assets (cash-on-hand, receivables, inventory, plant and equipment), less liabilities (payables, debt)

 

For more information call Wally Beadman, Survey Field Supervisor, on 50394 or by email surveysupervisor@admin.gov.nf.

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SURVEYS of HOUSEHOLD BUSINESS INCOME and EXPENDITURE


The Funding Agreement for the Territory of Norfolk Island requires the Norfolk Island Government to undertake Income and Expenditure surveys for households and businesses across Norfolk Island.


The information gained will assist the Norfolk Island Government to know more about the island’s economy, and evaluate the island’s cost of living.  The information will also assist the Norfolk Island and Commonwealth Governments to better understand the capacity to raise money to fund the delivery of services in Norfolk Island.


The Census and Statistics Act 1961 requires that all households and businesses complete a survey.


The Household Survey is to be completed on the evening of 23 July 2014 and must include all members of the household over 15 years of age.


The Business Survey is to be completed by the 23 July 2014 using business information for the financial year ending 30 June 2014.


A Q and A sheet about these surveys is available in this week’s media. 


Survey Field Collectors will be delivering survey forms to households between the 17 July 2014 and 19 July 2014.


If your household or business has not received a survey form by the evening of 19 July 2014, or you have questions about the survey, please contact Wally Beadman, Survey Field Supervisor on 50394 or by email surveysupervisor@admin.gov.nf.  

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EXPRESSION OF INTEREST - APPOINTMENT OF VALUER - GENERAL FOR NORFOLK ISLAND



THE ADMINISTRATION OF NORFOLK ISLAND

 

            Expression of Interest – Appointment of Valuer-General for Norfolk Island

The Administration of Norfolk Island is seeking to appoint a person to the role of Valuer-General for the island. The appointment will be for a period of 5 years with an option for appointment for another 5 years.


The appointment is made under the Land Valuation Act 2012 and the position description and details about how to lodge an expression of interest is available at the Administration of Norfolk Island website at  www.norfolkisland.gov.nf


A draft contract of service containing the position criteria, detail as to how to respond to an expression of interest, evaluation criteria, a draft copy of the contract of engagement and a copy of the Land Valuation Act 2012 is available at the Administration of Norfolk Island web site.


Written expressions of interest close at 4.30pm on Friday 25 July 2014 and should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Administration of Norfolk Island, Kingston, Norfolk Island 2899 or emailed to registry@admin.gov.nf  and marked ‘Expression of Interest – Appointment of Valuer-General for Norfolk Island’


                                                                                    Jon Gibbons

                                                                                    Chief Executive Officer

                                                                                    Administration of Norfolk Island

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GREETINGS FOR TYNWALD DAY


On Saturday 5th July the Isle of Man celebrates its National Day, Tynwald Day. In recognition of the special relationship that Norfolk Island shares with the Isle of Man and the Cultural Agreement between these two Islands, the Hon Ron Nobbs, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assemlby, sent the following letter to the Hon Clare Christian, President of the Isle of Man -                             

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COMPARISON OF SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ENTERPRISE HEALTH SERVICE AND TEH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORIES HEALTH SERVICE (CHRISTMAS ISLAND)








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HEALTHCARE UPDATE


The Hon Robin Adams, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, wants to remind Healthcare members that the Healthcare Office cannot accept applications for
Exemption or Suspension after 30 June 2014 for the current quarter.

In addition, Minister Adams advised that changes to the Healthcare Regulations were made today at Executive Council. “The change was to clarify the procedure for members making
any claims for reimbursement of medical costs in a financial year; that members must lodge their claim with the Manager of Healthcare by 30 September following the end of that
financial year. That is, for those members making a claim this financial year, 2013/2014, the claim must be received by 30 September 2014” the Minister said.


“The change above occurs whilst the Norfolk Island Government continues to seek from the
Commonwealth a concrete timeframe for the extension of Medicare to the island” the
Minister said.

Robin Adams
Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services
Date 27 June 2014

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CHIEF MINISTERS UPDATE


The Hon Lisle Snell, Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, today received a letter from the Hon Jamie Briggs, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.


“I thank Minister Briggs for his prompt response and note that he is providing a copy to the Norfolk Island community. To give context to Minister Briggs’ letter received by me today, I
herewith provide to the Norfolk Island community the Norfolk Island Government’s letter to Minister Briggs dated 25 June 2014. The community will recall that I read into Hansard, at the
11 June 2014 formal sitting of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly, the letter received from Minister Briggs dated 5 June, articulating the Commonwealth’s additional requirements to secure Commonwealth funding, and also my 11 June response.

“The Hansard extract was published in the Norfolk Islander on 14 June 2014 and is also
available online at http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/legislativeassembly/hansard.html” Mr Snell
said.

I also provide a copy of the letter to Minister Briggs of 12 June 2014, written by the Hon Tim
Sheridan, Minister for Finance, on the advice of the Commonwealth Financial Officer.

Lisle D. Snell
Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism
Date 27 June 2014

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CONGRATULATIONS NORFOLK ISLAND



Trip Advisor has recently announced its major 2014 Travellers’ Choice Awards that Norfolk
Island has won this year which include -.
     · Norfolk Island being ranked No. 7 in the top 10 South Pacific Islands;
     · Fletchers Mutiny Cyclorama is ranked No. 5 in the Top 10 Landmarks in Australia and
      No. 6 in the top 25 Landmarks in the South Pacific;
     · Emily Bay – No. 24 in the Top 25 Beaches in Australia.

The following have been ranked No. 1 on Norfolk Island –
     · Paradise Hotel & Resort – No. 1 Hotel Accommodation
     · Endeavour Lodge – No. 1 Specialty Accommodation
     · Café Tempo – No. 1 Café
     · Norfolk Blue – No. 1 Restaurant.

“Trip Advisor is the world’s number one source for consumer driven feedback on travel with
millions of travellers rating destinations, attractions, accommodation and restaurants every
day. This online version of ‘word of mouth’ advertising connects to a huge audience and plays a significant role in the marketing of Norfolk Island.

“For Norfolk Island to receive this level of recognition in the Trip Advisor Travellers Choice
Awards for 2014 is a fantastic endorsement of the wonderful tourism product we have on
island. To rate so high in such a competitive industry also highlights what a unique and quality

experience Norfolk Island offers travellers. It is great to see our visitors enjoying our Island
and sharing their positive experiences online” Mr Glen Buffett, General Manager of Norfolk
Island Government Tourist Bureau said.

“I offer my congratulations to the recipients of these awards for their efforts on behalf of
Norfolk Island which further promotes our wonderful destination” Mr Snell said.

Lisle D. Snell
Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism
Date 27 June 2014

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STATEMENT - HON LISLE SNELL, MLA CHIEF MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR TOURISM - FAREWELL TO ADMINISTRATOR


Mr Speaker


As this is the last occasion upon which we will sit during the term of current Administrator of Norfolk Island, the Hon Neil Pope Administrator, I take this opportunity on behalf of us all here and the community of Norfolk Island to extend to the Administrator and Mrs Jen Pope I sincere thanks for their contribution to the community of Norfolk Island.  Neil’s term as Administrator will conclude on 30 June 2014.  Neil’s term as Administrator commenced on 1 April 2012.


Mr Speaker, Members will recall that at the time of his appointment as the 36th Administrator of Norfolk Island by the Governor-General of Australia we were advised that Neil has had a distinguished career as a local government officer and member of the Parliament of Victoria from 1982 to 1992.


Neil was the Labor member for Monbulk in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1982 to 1992. He was the Victorian Minister for Labour from 1988 to 1992, Minister for Youth Affairs from 1988 to 1991 and Minister for School Education from January to October in 1992.

Immediately prior to his appointment, Neil was Managing Director of Neil Pope and Associates, a Human Resources and Employment Relations consultancy practice that has consulted to many of the top 200 companies in Australia and to all three tiers of government across most States of Australia.


When the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Hon. Simon Crean announced the appointment of Neil as Administrator of Norfolk Island he said “Mr Pope’s long and impressive career in state and local government, together with his recent management consultancy experience will greatly assist in overseeing the implementation of the reform process.  An important role for the new Administrator will be to continue to foster active community engagement in the reform agenda by providing opportunities for all residents and stakeholders.”


Mr Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution made to this community by both Neil and Jen in allowing their home, Government House, to be open to visitors and for the financial contribution to the community groups during their time in Government House, a staggering $32,000 last financial year.  In addition, to Jen, thank you for your tireless efforts in assisting community groups as their Patron and for your initiative and drive in establishing new community groups, particularly Natin.


To both Neil and Jen we wish you god speed as you return to your family and friends in Australia.  We trust that Norfolk Island will hold a special place in your memories and we look forward to welcoming you back.


Thank you, Mr Speaker

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EXOTIC PEST ALERT: POTATO-TOMATO PSYLLID ERADICATION PLAN


BACKGROUND

Tomato/ Potato psyllids have now been confirmed at six Norfolk Island localities in low numbers. As this pest and associated agricultural disease pose such threat to our fresh produce supply and food security, an island wide Psyllid eradication project is being developed and possible project funding details are currently being worked through. The associated liberibacter bacteria have been identified at three locations.


This pest insect and the bacterial disease pose a massive threat to our food security, our capacity to produce healthy fresh produce, and poses a biosecurity risk to our regional neighbours not already affected by these pests.

NEXT STEPS

  • Since the emergence of this issue most growers and many others have indicated a strong support for an eradication effort. Eradication can only succeed with community support. The acceptance of government appointed officers or other external agents onto private land can be confronting for some. This project will only be progressed if there is strong community support for it to do so.
  • An eradication project has been developed, costed and was included in the Norfolk Island Government’s 2014 -2015 annual supply budget. However the budget was only able to partially cover the projected costs and we are currently working through the consequences of this partial supply.
  • The New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture has been extremely helpful and forthcoming with information including providing links that have revealed several more potential host species.
  • For an eradication project of this scale to be effective it is crucial that:

  1. There is community recognition of the problem and acceptance of the eradication effort, and that all growers are willing to work with the eradication team to achieve a rapid and effective response. Many Norfolk gardens are in secluded settings that could easily be missed if owners are not forthcoming. Unchecked gardens amount to causing failure of the eradication attempt. There will also be a need for growers to take various crop management actions to aid the eradication attempt.

  1. All possible measures are taken to minimise transportation of produce and related agricultural materials. Preventive measures will need to be taken to ensure tractors and other farm machinery are adequately cleaned prior to movement between properties.

  1. That household waste containing vegetable material is properly disposed of to avoid contamination of farms and gardens.

  1. While growers are the initial and primary observers, all gardens and likely host plants need to be thoroughly inspected by those who have the knowledge and reference materials to rely on.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

As growers take advantage of the wetter months to revive their gardens, and as potato crops derived from recent consignments of imported seed potatoes develop, it is highly likely there will be more affected gardens identified. Growers need to be on the alert for symptoms. It is asked that all commercial and home growers view the psyllids material held at the Quarantine office and regularly inspect their crops, particularly Tomato, Capsicum, Potato and sweet potato (Kumara). The psyllids (adults and young) can be difficult to find and identify, so please have your gardens checked by those who have the knowledge and reference materials to rely on.


Any concerns should be referred to Quarantine officer Mr Neil (Snowy) Tavener) in the first instance.


The Norfolk Island Quarantine Office continues to progress the survey field work and data collection to determine distribution of the psyllids and the bacteria.

If suspected infestations are found it is better to refer the infestation for coordinated control rather than individuals taking 
a range of control measures that could limit success of island wide control effort. There is no cost to land holders for inspection 
or control works instigated by the Administration.

 

All queries regarding the psyllids and the risks they pose to local agricultural production should be directed to the Health and Quarantine Office on phone 22609 during their business hours.


Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

26th June 2014

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COMMUNITY TITLE BILL 2014 - HAVE YOUR SAY


The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Ron Ward tabled the following documents in the Legislative Assembly on 21 May 2014:

  • Exposure Draft Community Title Bill 2014; and
  • Explanatory Memorandum relating to the Bill.

These documents represent a further step towards the introduction of community title and strata title into Norfolk Island. 

 

The community will recall that in 2012, during the term of the 13th Legislative Assembly, the University of New South Wales was retained to prepare a White Paper on the introduction of strata title in Norfolk Island.  


The White Paper was prepared by Professor Peter Butt and Senior Lecturer, Cathy Sherry, both of whom are highly regarded Australian property lawyers with a particular interest in strata title issues.   The White Paper was tabled in the House by the Hon Tim Sheridan in April 2012.


In September 2013 this Government issued a Position Paper in response to the numerous recommendations set out in the White Paper.   The Government’s position was broadly in agreement with most, if not all of the White Paper recommendations.


The Exposure Draft Community Title Bill 2014 has been developed for public review and comment.  The Explanatory Memorandum provides a fairly comprehensive outline of the operation of the Bill.   Also included is a comparison of White Paper recommendations, the Norfolk Island Government Position Paper responses and references and commentary as to the implementation of the recommendations within the Bill.


The introduction of community title legislation will require amendments to other legislation, the introduction of regulations and, of particular importance, variation of the Norfolk Island Plan made under the Planning Act 2002.  The changes to the Norfolk Island Plan needed for community title purposes will be considered in the context of the statutory review of the Plan due to be completed in early 2015.


The Minister continues to seek public comment on any issues or concerns arising out of the Exposure Draft which can be accessed on line at www.info.gov.nf  under the headings Legislative Assembly/Exposure Drafts of Bills.


Please note that the time for you to have your say on the draft Bill will close on Thursday, 31 July 2014.  Comments should be addressed to Hon Ron Ward, MLA, Minister for the Environment, Legislative Assembly, Norfolk Island or email rjward@assembly.gov.nf or achiefofstaff@assembly.gov.nf


Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

26 June 2014

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MUNICIPAL RATING STRATEGY


Hon. Tim Sheridan, the Minister for Finance would like to provide the community with an update on the proposed introduction of municipal rates on Norfolk Island.


The Norfolk Island Government is required under the Funding Agreement with the Commonwealth to develop a municipal rating strategy and the implementation of municipal rates was linked to the grant funding for the Cascade Pier project by Minister Briggs in February 2014.


 “A municipal rating strategy has been developed that provides for a model unique to Norfolk Island.  The model is a levy system in which income raised is more directly focused on the provision of government services. The Norfolk Island Government considers a levy system to be more equitable than land valuation in Norfolk Island.


“Furthermore, the Norfolk Island Government acknowledges that some residents have a close affiliation with their traditional land and trusts that this model will help with the implementation of such a new system to the island as a whole acknowledging that many residents are asset rich and pocket poor”, the Minister said.


 “The Commonwealth was provided with the Strategy on 4 June 2014 to allow their assessment of the Strategy during the month of June, at this stage the Government has not been provided with formal feedback.    Once a model has been agreed by the Commonwealth it is my intention to hold a community public meeting to discuss municipal rates in more detail and to allow the community to have input before the draft municipal rating legislation is finalised” the Minister said.


The Norfolk Island Government continues to suggest a phasing in period and have worked on the target of raising an additional $1 million in revenue which was detailed in the 2013-14 Funding Agreement.  The phasing in period we have suggested is 25% in the first year, 50% in year two, 75% in year three and 100% in year four.  This would mean, based on the model put to the Commonwealth, that a household with only one residential property would pay a total of $94.29 in year one, and $377.15 in year four ”, the Minister said.


Minister Sheridan reminds the community that municipal rates will unfortunately not replace current user charges such as water assurance, waste management and fuel levy but are designed to fund areas such as Public places/cemetery, Environment and planning, as well as Tourism related activities.


The delay in progressing this milestone is as a result of the difficulty Norfolk Island has had in securing a qualified valuer able to conduct such a vast land valuation service on the Island.  Delays continue in securing an appointment of a Valuer-General, which is required under the Land Valuation Act 2012.  The role of the Valuer-General includes the appointment of valuers and to deal with objections and valuation appeals and also maintains the valuation roll.  The Valuer-General must be appointed prior to any valuation based system being implemented.


Minister Briggs in his letter of 5 June 2014, to the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, again states that he also wants a land tax regime introduced on Norfolk Island in addition to municipal rates.  The Norfolk Island Government will be discussing this requirement with Minister Briggs further, as modelling is yet to be undertaken on a possible land tax for the Island, and the Norfolk Island Government is apprehensive about imposing any further imposts on the community without the results of the soon to be conducted Household and Business Survey’s which will assist both governments in determining the community’s ability to pay.


“A considerable amount of work has been undertaken by the public service on this strategy and I thank them for their hard work and commitment in what was a difficult challenge”, Mr Sheridan said.


The Municipal Rating Strategy and Rating Model can be viewed at 

http://www.info.gov.nf/reports/Municipal%20Rates/  


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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CHIEF MINISTER WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF NEW ADMINISTRATOR


The Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, the Hon Lisle Snell, advised today that he has received advice from the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, that the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia has appointed the Hon Gary Hardgrave as Administrator of Norfolk Island commencing 1 July 2014.


“On behalf of the Government of Norfolk Island and the community of Norfolk Island, I welcome this announcement and we look forward to welcoming Mr and Mrs Hardgrave to Norfolk Island.


“I take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to our outgoing Administrator, the Hon Neil Pope, who will conclude his term as Administrator on 30 June 2014, for the significant role that he has played in assisting Norfolk Island to obtain financial assistance from the Commonwealth Government.  The Norfolk Island Government also extends to Mrs Pope, our heartfelt thanks for the significant contribution made by her to the many community groups she has assisted and/or been instrumental in their establishment.  In particular we acknowledge the considerable sums raised for this community through their preparedness to allow access by visitors to Government House.


“On behalf of us all, I wish Neil and Jen, godspeed as they embark on their next phase in life and I whilst I know that they are pleased to be returning to be with family and friends, I am sure that Norfolk Island will hold a special place in their memories”, Mr Snell said.


Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

18 June 2014

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HON RON WARD, MLA MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE


I endorse the comments of the Chief Minister and support the timeframe outlined by Minister Sheridan.  The apparent lack of co-ordination between Minister Brigg’s office and his supporting Department is of concern – as is the apparent lack of recognition that residents here are paying beyond their sustainable capacity now.  There is no way this government can raise the revenue take from this dwindling population.  Any raising of taxes will only hasten the decline of our population and our economy.  In the last few days we have seen more substantial business closures – apart from the personal anguish of these closures, these are businesses that will no longer be contributing to the Norfolk economy.  As I have said previously, Norfolk Island has funded three levels of government supported by one fickle industry.  We have not had the benefit of a mining boom such as that mainland Australia enjoyed – and even they have experienced decline.  It is time for respectful dialogue between the parties and the time for us to move forward in a positive way, and I look forward to these negotiations that our Chief Minister has referred to.  Thank you Mr Speaker.

 

Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

 

11 June 2014

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MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE HON LISLE SNELL, CHIEF MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR TOURISM


Mr Speaker

It is regrettable that the Norfolk Island Government finds itself in this position today. 


The Legislative Assembly made the decision to meet today for the sole purpose to allow the Minister for Finance to present the Appropriation Bill 2014-2015 to authorize expenditure from the public account for the period ending on 30 June 2015.


It is appropriate that the Minister made his Statement as a Matter of Public Importance so that the listening public can understand the situation as to why an Appropriation Bill is not being presented today.


Mr Speaker

The Norfolk Island Government sought assistance from the Commonwealth Government to fund its deficit budget for the 2014-2015 financial year and we were all extremely pleased that the Federal Budget included funding in the sum of $7.5m together with other financial assistance to Norfolk Island.


As the Minister for Finance has said, I issued a Media Release on 14 May 2014, the day after the Federal Budget announcement, acknowledging the announcement and as a result of this the Administration commenced preparation of the budget for the new financial year believing there was certainty in the funding to be provided by the Commonwealth.


It is regrettable that only this morning the Minister for Finance received a letter from the Administrator seeking more information before he is prepared to recommend the Appropriation Bill 2014-15.


The draft Schedules to the Funding Agreement were only provided on the evening of Tuesday, 3 June 2014 for negotiations to commence the next day, that is Wednesday afternoon, the 4 June 2014 and in the morning of Thursday, 5 June 2014.  The negotiations were conducted between officers of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Administrator and the Acting Official Secretary with the Chief Executive Officer, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and the Acting Chief of Staff.


Mr Speaker,

At the time of the negotiations the Norfolk Island officers were not aware that a letter had been written to me by the Hon Jamie Briggs, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.  The letter was hand delivered to me on Friday, 6 June 2014 by the Administrator.  The letter articulates the Federal Minister’s expectations of the Norfolk Island Government.


It is important for me to point out and to stress that this letter arrived after the discussions which were held the previous two days between Commonwealth Department officers and Norfolk Island Administration officers.  Therefore, the letter containing the Federal Minister’s expectations was not available and therefore not considered during the officer level discussions.


Mr Speaker

There are a number of complex issues to be addressed by the Administration and the Norfolk Island Government in the letter and I have written to Minister Briggs seeking an urgent meeting in Norfolk Island with him to discuss and resolve the commitments by both governments.


I table a copy of the letter from Assistant Minister Briggs dated 5 June 2014 and the Norfolk Island Government’s response dated today.  For the listening public I will read them into Hansard


Letter addressed to the Honourable Lisle Snell MLA, Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Government of Norfolk Island, Old Military Barracks, Kingston, Norfolk Island.


“Dear Chief Minister, thank you for your letter of 14 May 2014 regarding the Australian Government’s 2014-15 budget announcement of a further package of support for Norfolk Island.  This package of support is being provided as a short term measure while the Australian Government considers its broader election commitment to integrate Norfolk Island into the Australian Taxation and Social Services Systems.  Prior to entering into a funding agreement, I would like to take the opportunity to articulate for the Norfolk Island Government my expectations which underpin the Commonwealth’s continued support.  These expectations extend to all aspects of the Norfolk Island Government, Administration, Health Enterprise, Tourist Bureau all their operational and administrative arms and Government Business Enterprises, which I will collectively refer to in this letter as “the Norfolk Island Government”.  Commonwealth funding will be contingent upon a number of higher level commitments by the Norfolk Island Government to reduce its deficit position through the implementation of stronger expenditure controls consistent with Australian National Audit (ANAO) recommendations; enhanced revenue raising and strengthened revenue collection systems; as well as a continued commitment to implement in a timely manner broader reforms which are preconditions to tax and social services integration.  I would also expect an accelerated program of Immigration, healthcare and Public Sector reform.  Public sector reform must include all Norfolk Island Government employees, not just those of the Administration.


These commitments are:

  • The Australian Government, through officials from my Department and including the Commonwealth Financial Officer based on-Island, will formally agree the Norfolk Island annual Budget, and subsequent Budget updates and/or changes, prior to relevant Appropriation Bills being considered by the Legislative Assembly.  Once agreed the document will be publically released to the broader Norfolk Island community.  Any subsequent changes to the budget must be agreed in advance by the Australian Government, and any new or unbudgeted expenditure must be fully offset.  These offsets must be genuine savings and not deferrals of expenditure or liabilities into future years;
  • Implementation of an annual 2.5 percent efficiency dividend to be applied to expenditure across the board commencing in 2014-15 and applied perpetually across the out years, using 2013-14 as the base year.  These must be genuine savings and not deferrals of expenditure or liabilities into future years and any further pay rises for Norfolk Island Government employees must be met from within the reduced annual budget.
  • Financial reporting against the agreed budget and including all Norfolk Island Government activities (including the Hospital Enterprise) must be provided on a monthly basis to my Department within five business days after the month close date;
  • The Norfolk Island government will introduce municipal rates and land tax regimes within the first quarter of this agreement;
  • Community Title legislation will be introduced during 2014-15;
  • Essential services, including external funding arrangements in the areas of Health, Education, Policing Utilities and Transport are to be the first calls on Australian Government funding provided, with any shortfall to be guaranteed by the Norfolk Island Government;
  • The Norfolk Island Government will, early in 2014-15, finalise its Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Federal Police to support policing to a standard consistent with mainland jurisdictions.  This would include the implementation of Road Safety practices and policies consistent with mainland standards and introduction of appropriate legislation, including for example, to allow drug and alcohol testing;
  • A commitment to reduce all further barriers to immigration within the first quarter of this agreement including the treatment of foreign nationals in a way consistent with the Migration Act 1958 (Cth);
  • Introduction of legislation, agreed in advance with the Commonwealth and within the first Quarter of this funding agreement for Public Sector Reform;
  • Immediate action to address the mandatory high and extreme findings from the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards accreditation review process;
  • The key recommendations of the 2013 Nexus Management Consulting Health Services Plan review must be implemented within the life of this funding agreement;
  • Capital works projects for the Incinerator and the Cascade Jetty are to be progressed as a priority to ensure funding conditions are met and the projects are brought to finalisation;
  • A new model for the governance and funding arrangements for the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area will form a schedule to the Emergency Funding Agreement; and
  • Full implementation by the end of March 2015 of the agreed recommendations arising from the current Deloittes review of Government Business enterprises.

I am mindful of your previous comments on the milestones in the current 2013-14 funding agreement.  Your agreement to the measures outlined above will allow for the 2014-15 funding agreement to be streamlined considerably.


Officials of my Department are happy to discuss any aspect of this letter to you.  To that extent, the relevant contact in my Department is Ms Robyn Fleming on +61 2 6274 7446 or Robyn.Flemming@infrastructure.gov.au , Yours sincerely, kind regards, Jamie Briggs, 5th June, 2014.


Mr Speaker, I read into Hansard my response of today.  To the “Honourable Jamie Briggs, MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Parliament House Canberra, ACT 2601. Dear Minister, 2014-15 Federal Budget Support Package for Norfolk Island.   I refer to the visit to Norfolk Island last week of Ms Robyn Fleming and Mr Paul McInnes of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development during which they met with Officers of the Administration of Norfolk Island and the Acting Chief of Staff to consider the first cut draft of the proposed Schedule to the Template Funding Agreement which was not received until the evening of Tuesday, 3 June 2014.


I also acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 5 June 2014, given to me by hand by the Administrator, the Hon Neil Pope, on 6 June 2014 after the initial funding agreement negotiations conducted between our officers on Wednesday afternoon, 4 June 2014 and Thursday morning, 5 June 2014.  As a result, they were unaware of the content of your letter and it was not able to be considered during the discussions.


Your letter contains a number of complex issues to be addressed by the Administration and the Norfolk Island Government and we seek an urgent meeting with you to discuss and resolve them.


It was intended that the Norfolk Island Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan, MLA would present the Appropriation Bill 2014-2015 at the sitting of the Legislative Assembly on 11 June 2014.


The Administrator has advised that he cannot recommend the proposal of the Appropriation Bill 2014-2015 to authorize the expenditure from the public account for the period ending June 2015 as it is reliant on the $7.5 million announced in the Federal Budget.

Following the release of the Federal Budget and the Media Release “Norfolk Island and the Federal Budget” issued by the Administrator, I also issued a Media Release on 14 May 2014 which contained, amongst other things, the following statement:


“The provision of these funds will enable the Norfolk Island Government to continue to fund essential services in the 2014/2015 financial year and will now assist the Administration of Norfolk Island to prepare its Annual Budget with certainty.”


The Administration of Norfolk Island was tasked with preparing a budget for the Territory of Norfolk Island based on the Federal Government’s announcement and advice that it would meet the Norfolk Island Government deficit of $7.4 million.


It was disturbing to be told that no Appropriation can be proposed without first signing the Funding Agreement, a Funding Agreement which is at this stage only a Template and Schedules which are in the early stages of negotiation and require clarity around what the expectations are.  The Norfolk Island Government is concerned about the content of your letter and the additional requirements (outside of the draft Funding Agreement) which the Norfolk Island Government may not be able to comply with.  The Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan, along with all the elected Members of the Legislative Assembly, is very concerned in regards to the requirement to commit to implement an annual 2.5 percent efficiency dividend “across the board”.  The Norfolk Island Government seeks urgent clarification as to what is actually required in relation to the 2.5% efficiency dividend “across the board” and in particular whether this includes education, policing, the hospital, social welfare etc. 


The Minister for Finance has also expressed concerns in regard to the impacts on the private sector economy, a sector which is desperate for assistance, assistance that the Norfolk Island Government has not been able to provide over the past 4 years during the period of financial assistance from the Commonwealth and these additional requirements he fears will further impact and cause further uncertainty within this sector.  Minister, on behalf of the Norfolk Island Government, the Members of the Legislative Assembly and the people of Norfolk Island, I request that our two governments return to the negotiation table with a view to resolving all the outstanding issues committed to by the Commonwealth Government and the Norfolk Island Government to give certainty as to future governance of Norfolk Island.


At your meeting in February 2014 with Members of the Legislative Assembly you indicated a clear willingness to hold regular video conference/teleconferences, with the Norfolk Island Government, seeing this as a worthwhile means of ongoing dialogue between our two governments.  It is unfortunate that we have been unable to settle times for that dialogue to commence.  Accordingly, I write to propose to you that you return to the Island at your earliest convenience to have frank and open discussions – government to government – on a way forward for Norfolk Island which ensures that the path down which Norfolk Island is travelling into the future is one which has as its prime objective to become sustainable, which is the goal of both our governments.

You will appreciate that there are a number of difficulties in allowing our public servants to negotiate agreements which require government level decisions.

I look forward to early receipt of advice that you will return to Norfolk Island to discuss all the outstanding commitments.

In the meantime and depending on the outcome of the funding agreement, the Minister for Finance will seek to present a Supply Bill seeking supply for three months only if the funding agreement is not signed by the 25th June 2014, to facilitate further discussions to take place.  Yours sincerely, Lisle Snell, Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, cc to the Hon. Neil Pope, Administrator, Ministers of the Norfolk Island Government, Members of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly, the CEO of the Administration of Norfolk Island.”

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

11 June 2014

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HON. ROBIN ADAMS, MLA MINISTER FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES DEBATE ON MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE


On 14 May this year the Administrator issued a press release advising that Norfolk Island was to receive in excess of $10 million in a variety of measures.&nbsp; These funds were provided in recognition of the serious economic problems Norfolk Island is facing and the need for support and certainty.&nbsp; The funding, the Administrator said, will provide support for the continued delivery of essential services on Norfolk Island in the short term; and that the Australian Government will continue to work with the Norfolk Island Government to enhance Norfolk Island’s economic sustainability.&nbsp; The provision of these funds, the Administrator said, will be tied to reform milestones, which the Australian Government will negotiate with the Norfolk Island Government in the coming months – and, I repeat – in the coming months. &nbsp;In responding to the Administrator’s announcement that same day, the Chief Minister, the Hon Lisle Snell, when expressing sincere thanks to Assistant Minister Briggs, to Departmental Officers and to the Administrator for their efforts in securing this vital funding, advised the Norfolk Island community that these funds will enable the Norfolk Island Government to continue to fund essential services in the 2014/2015 financial year and will now assist the Administration to prepare its Annual Budget with certainty – I repeat – with certainty.


Acknowledging that the essential funding would come tied to reform milestones, the Chief Minister at the time requested that the Norfolk Island government and the Norfolk Island Administration receive an advance copy of the funding agreement so that due consideration can be given as to whether we have the resources to meet the milestone timeframes and to enable appropriate negotiation in this respect.


Mr Speaker we have heard this morning that the Administrator is not prepared to issue a message under the Norfolk Island Act for the Appropriation Bill to be introduced into the Legislative Assembly today until he is provided with evidence of certain requirements having been met, or will be met before the Bill is passed and returned to His Honour for assent.  That is the Administrator’s prerogative.  However, let the record show that despite the Norfolk Island Government having requested it receive an advance copy of the funding agreement, and the Administrator in his press release indicating that negotiations on the funding agreement milestones would take place in the coming months, regrettably that has turned out not to be the case. The Funding Agreement template and schedules were not received until last Tuesday with further milestone requirements being placed on the table by Minister Briggs as late as last Friday morning with an expectation that signing of the Funding Agreement was a prerequisite to a message being provided by the Administrator under section 25 of the Norfolk Island Act 1979.  The Chief Minister has tabled and read into Hansard the letter from Assistant Minister Briggs.


Mr Speaker when standing for election to the 14th Assembly I made it quite clear that I strongly supported a return of the Commonwealth and Norfolk Island Governments to the negotiation table.


Mr Speaker that time has surely arrived and the Norfolk Island Government in responding today to the letter from Minister Briggs is proposing, as the Chief Minister just read, that Minister Briggs return to the Island at his earliest convenience to have frank and open discussions – government to government – with a view to resolving all the outstanding issues committed to by the Commonwealth Government and the Norfolk Island Governments since November 2010 to give certainty as to future governance of Norfolk Island, a future which ensures that the path down which Norfolk Island is travelling is one which has as its prime objective to cease to be a contingent liability on the Commonwealth of Australia which surely is the goal of both our governments.


Members will recall and the Chief Minister has already referred to this in the letter that has been tabled today and read into Hansard from the Norfolk Island Government to Minister Briggs, that when Minister Briggs sat around this table with all of us in February 2014 Minister Briggs indicated a clear willingness to hold regular videoconference/teleconferences, with the Norfolk Island Government, seeing this as a worthwhile means of ongoing dialogue between our two governments.  Regrettably, It is unfortunate that we have been unable to settle times for that dialogue to commence. A return visit by Minister Briggs will commence that dialogue; long overdue dialogue, and obviate the current unpalatable difficulty where Norfolk Island public servants are being required to negotiate funding agreements which require decisions of both our governments and/or of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.


Thank you Mr Speaker.

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

11 June 2014

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MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE


The Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan, MLA, on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 sought approval in accordance with Standing Order 81 of the Standing Orders for the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly to propose a Matter of Public Importance in relation to the Appropriation Bill 2014-2015 to authorize expenditure from the Public Accounts for the period ending on 30 June 2015.

 

The Speaker determined that it was in order and read the request from the Minister for Finance to the House.  The Speaker advised that the proposed discussions must be supported by three Members, including the proposer, rising in their places as indicating approval.

 

All Members of the Legislative Assembly rose in their place to indicate their approval to the Minister proceeding with his Matter of Public Importance statement.

 

The Statement made by the Minister for Finance follows.  Statements were also made by the Chief Minister, the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, the Minister for the Environment and Members of the Legislative Assembly.

 

STATEMENT

 

Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 81, I presented to you a written statement of a Matter of Public Importance which you have just read to the House.


Honourable Members, it was my intention to present the Appropriation Bill 2014-2015 to authorise expenditure from the Public Account for the period ending on 30 June 2015 and a letter requesting a Message was provided to the Administrator on the 6th June 2014.


The public service has in good faith prepared the annual budget based on the announcement by the Commonwealth of Australia on 13th May 2014 that it would fund the Norfolk Island Government budget deficit in the sum of $7.5m.


A further breakdown of the financial assistance to be provided by the Commonwealth Government in the Federal Budget was provided to the Norfolk Island community by His Honour the Administrator in a media release.  The Chief Minister also acknowledged the announcement in his media release dated 14th May 2014.


Honourable Members, we all know that funding support is tied to Funding Agreements and the need for the Norfolk Island Government to meet milestones in these Funding Agreements. However, I have been advised that despite the funds being “for emergency funding support to ensure the Norfolk Island Government can meet its budget deficit and is in a position to deliver essential services”, the budget cannot be presented containing the allocated funds from the Commonwealth until the Funding Agreement is agreed and signed.  The Administrator has advised that he is not prepared to issue the required Message in accordance with section 25 of the Norfolk Island Act 1979 recommending to the House that an enactment for the expenditure of monies be considered by this House.  By letter to me some 45 minutes ago, and Mr Speaker I would like to read that letter into the House.  It's addressed to myself the Honourable Tim Sheridan and it says "Dear Tim, thank you for your letter of 6th June 2014 concerning the Norfolk Island Government's Appropriation Bill 2014-2015.  As you are aware Commonwealth funding will make up a significant component of the Norfolk Island Government's budget for 2014-15.  However the Funding Agreement for this support has yet to be finalised and negotiations between officials are ongoing.  


I am aware that in previous years the Norfolk Island Government has proposed an initial Appropriation for the first quarter or half of the financial year pending the finalisation of a Funding Agreement with the Commonwealth.  I understand that this approach was discussed with officers from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development last week.  I would appreciate your advice on why the Norfolk Island Government has now decided to pursue an Appropriation for the full financial year without having finalised the terms of Commonwealth support.  The Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development the Honourable Jamie Briggs MP, wrote to the Chief Minister on 5th June 2014 setting his expectations for the Norfolk Island Government in order to receive Commonwealth support.  Specifically, Minister Briggs stated that "the budget was to be agreed with the Commonwealth before the end of the financial year and that it was to include measures to identify efficiencies across expenditure and measures to increase the generation of revenue.  These requirements are in addition to those included in the Part 2 of the Commonwealth Finance Minister's (Norfolk Island ) Orders 2011 relating to the preparation of an Annual Budget.  Before agreeing to recommend the Appropriation Bill 2014-15, I ask that you provide me with evidence that these requirements have been met, or will be met before the Bill is passed and returned to me for assent.  Finally, your letter identifies a preference to introduce the Appropriation Bill 2014-15 in the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly on the 11th June 2014.  While I appreciate your desire to settle the budget promptly, the  issues I have identified above are vital to controlling the Norfolk Island Government's budget deficit.  Please provide me with a revised timeframe for passing the Bill, once these issues have been addressed.  Yours Sincerely, Neil Pope, Administrator." 


Mr Speaker, It is important Honourable Members that I point out to you and to the Norfolk Island community that the draft proposed Funding Agreement and the Schedules thereto were only provided late on the evening of Tuesday 3rd June after the arrival of Officials of the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.


Administration officers met with the Departmental officers last Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning to consider the proposed draft Schedules to the new Funding Agreement and negotiated reporting periods and sought clarification of some of the matters contained therein.  The Departmental officers departed on Friday last and will prepare a further draft based on these discussions.  The actual terms of the Funding Agreement which are now based on the new template from the Australian Government Solicitor is yet to be fully discussed as the latest information from the Department has not as yet been inserted into the template or the optional clauses removed.


The draft Funding Agreement seeks the agreement of the Norfolk Island Government to pass legislation addressing a number of issues, however, legislation is a parliamentary process and a matter for this House as a whole, not just the four elected Members holding Ministerial portfolios.  Whilst the previous Government in the 13th Legislative Assembly and indeed this Government in June last year authorised the Chief Executive Officer to sign Funding Agreements containing requirements for changes to legislation and/or new legislation, this was and is not appropriate and made commitments which could not necessarily be guaranteed to be met by this House.


The Administration officers, who are uncomfortable with this scenario, have pointed this out to the Departmental officers, the Administrator and the Official Secretary that these sections of the Funding Agreement are not something that can be agreed as they require agreement of the whole Legislative Assembly and may be interpreted as undue interference with the parliamentary process of this House.


Mr Speaker, the comments made in relation to the Funding Agreement are important but are an aside to this Matter of Public Importance and that is the inability to present an Appropriation Bill to this House for expenditure of public monies during the FY 2014-2015.

Members, when the Chief Minister acknowledged the announcement of the allocation of funds for Norfolk Island, he said in his media release that “the provision of these funds will enable the Norfolk Island Government to continue to fund essential services in the 2014-2015 financial year and will now assist the Administration of Norfolk Island to prepare its Annual Budget with certainty”.  This certainty no longer exists.


The Administration and the Norfolk Island Government prepared the 2014-2015 budget in good faith that there was certainty following this announcement and now we have been advised that there is no certainty that the funds will be provided.


Members, as the Minister for Finance I am at a loss as to what the Norfolk Island Government is to do.  We have sought and the Commonwealth has committed to the extension of taxation, social services, Medicare and pharmaceutical benefits to Norfolk Island but four years on going down the path of the Roadmap, the position is not any clearer and the Commonwealth still has not met its commitment given to you, Mr Speaker, when as Chief Minister you signed the Memorandum of Understanding and the NI Roadmap likewise, signed in good faith when the Norfolk Island Government sought assistance and the Commonwealth agreed to provide certain services.  It is unfortunate that the Commonwealth has not been able to meet its commitments.


Mr Speaker, the Norfolk Island Government has continued to seek an agreement from the Commonwealth to the model of governance so as to remove the uncertainty for the community as to what the future holds for them and in an attempt to attract new business investment.


Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister has received a letter last Friday from the Hon Jamie Briggs MP, Assistant Minster for Infrastructure and Regional Development, which sets out his expectations to be met by the Norfolk Island Government which underpin the requirements for the Commonwealth’s continued support.  This letter places further requirements (outside of the draft Funding Agreement) on the Norfolk Island Government and we are now required to have a 2.5% efficiency dividend each year “across the board” using the 2013-2014 financial year as the base year and applied perpetually across the out years.  This means that based upon the total budget for the 2013-14 year with a 2.5% efficiency dividend imposed on my estimates this would mean a reduction of $4.4m to balance the proposed budget in 2014-2015.  Honourable Members this simply cannot be achieved if we wish to continue to provide the services to this community that we currently provide and to improve our rundown infrastructure requirements.  This 2.5% efficiency dividend is to be based upon a period where there has been no additional monies available for capital purchases and infrastructure needs, which in turn means that future services will need to be reduced or removed to fund any requirements above recurrent expenditure.  It also has to be applied to expenditure across the board commencing in 2014-2015 of which could have serious effect on the ability for the Norfolk Island Government to fully fund its health, education, policing and social services obligations.  For example, a 2.5% efficiency dividend applied to the area of Education would see a reduction of $85,980 for the next financial year, which means that teachers numbers are reduced or the recurrent expenditure of $400,000 is reduced by this amount. 


Mr Speaker, the draft Funding Agreement also requires the Norfolk Island Government to raise a further $1m from increased fees and charges commencing in July 2015, such as motor vehicle registration, introduction of education fees etc. and the expectation is that these are to mirror the fees and charges collected by other States and Councils in Australia.  Members, until we have the results of the Household and Business Surveys yet to be conducted we do not know the community’s ability to pay such increases. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that this would be an unacceptable imposte on this community and is acknowledged in the ‘Update of the Financial Capacity of Norfolk Island 2011’ completed by the Commonwealths Grants Commission where as part of their findings they say  that ‘economic conditions on the Island have weakened, notably tourism – the main industry – has contracted.  This has weakened the capacity of the Island to raise revenue’.  Mr Speaker, it is also noted that the Norfolk Island Gross Revenue has reduced from $149m in 2009-2010 to $111m in 2012-2013, an approximate 25% reduction, with further falls expected this financial year, currently at $92m.  These two factors alone indicate a lesser ability for the Norfolk Island community to pay further taxes.


Mr Speaker, another factor that will delay the process of the budget is Assistant Minister Briggs’ requirement for the Norfolk Island Government budget to be formally agreed by the Australian Government, through officials from his department, including the Commonwealth Finance Officer located on Island, prior to the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly considering the budget in the House.


Therefore, Honourable Members I have no alternative but to seek to delay the introduction of an Appropriation Bill until later this month.  This will allow a period for consultation and negotiation of the proposed funding agreement and to consider Minister Briggs’ requirements so that the Australian Government, through the Administrator, may finally agree to recommend a 12 month Appropriation Bill to this House.  This is my preference.  If this is not achievable it may be necessary for a shorter term budget being presented to the House. It is envisaged that this House will meet again in two weeks time so that the necessary work can be completed and seek an agreement from the Australian Government and recommendation of the Administrator for the appropriation of public monies for the period ending 30 June 2015.


Mr Speaker, in the meantime, the Norfolk Island Government has written to Assistant Minister Briggs responding to his letter to the Chief Minster of 5 June 2014 which outlines his expectations from the Norfolk Island Government and raising the Norfolk Island Government’s concerns and ability to fulfil his requirements and to seek an urgent meeting with him to address both our governments’ commitments.”

 

Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

12 June 2014

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THE ISLE OF MAN ACKNOWLEDGES BOUNTY DAY



The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Hon David Buffett AM, on Anniversary (Bounty) Day again this year, acknowledged the special arrangements made under the Cultural Agreement, signed between the Isle of Man and Norfolk Island in 2011.


President of Tynwald, The Hon Clare Christian, provide the above photo showing the Norfolk Island flag flying outside the Isle of Man Chambers to mark their link with Norfolk Island.

Ms Christian also provided a message to Norfolk Island from the Isle of Man, which was read at the Anniversary (Bounty) Day Picnic on Monday, 9 June 2014.  The message accompanies this media release.


The community will recall that The Hon Clare Christian, accompanied with her sister, travelled to Norfolk Island for our Anniversary (Bounty) Day celebrations last year.


I look forward to acknowledging and providing good wishes to the Isle of Man for Tynwald Day on 5 July this year. 


David E. Buffett

Speaker

11 June 2014



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NOTICE PAPER


The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Hon David Buffett AM MLA, has advised that the following matters will be dealt with at the sitting of the Legislative Assembly to be held on Wednesday,
11 June 2014 at 10 am.

 

NORFOLK ISLAND

FOURTEENTH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

NOTICE PAPER NUMBER 17

wednesday 11 JUNE 2014

 

NORF’K AILEN

FORTIINTH LEJESLIETEW ‘SEMBLE

NOETIS PIEPA NAMBA 17

WENSDI 11 JUUN 2014

 

 

NOTICES

 

1          INFRASTRUCTURE AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

Mr Nobbs to move -

 

THAT this House agree that the fourth Quarterly Report of the Infrastructure and Business Development Committee tabled on 21 May 2014 be passed to the Norfolk Island Government for its progression. 

 

 

ORDER OF THE DAY

 

1          KINGSTON AND ARTHURS VALE HISTORIC AREA (KAVHA) – REVIEW

Resumption of debate (Mr Nobbs) from 19 February 2014 on the question – THAT the motion be agreed to – Detail stage amendments foreshadowed by Minister Adams

 

2          IMMIGRATION (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014

IMAGRIESHAN (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

Resumption of debate (Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams) from 21 May 2014 on the question – THAT the Bill be agreed to in principle

 

 

 

 

Sharyn Quintal

Acting Clerk to the Legislative Assembly

Issued by the Office of the Clerk on 6 June 2014

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EXOTIC PEST ALERT: POTATO-TOMATO PSYLLID ERADICATION PLAN UPDATE 4


BACKGROUND

Tomato /Potato psyllids have been confirmed at five Norfolk Island localities in low numbers. As this pest and associated agricultural disease pose such a threat to our fresh produce supply and food security, an island wide Psyllid eradication project is being developed and possible project funding details are currently being worked through. The associated liberibacter bacteria have been identified at two locations.


This pest insect and the bacterial disease pose a massive threat to our food security, our capacity to produce healthy fresh produce, and poses a biosecurity risk to our regional neighbours not already affected by these pests.

NEXT STEPS

  • Since the emergence of this issue most growers and many others have indicated a strong support for an eradication effort. Eradication can only succeed with community support. The acceptance of government appointed officers or other external agents onto private land can be confronting for some people. The project will only be progressed if there is strong community support for it to do so.
  • Organisers would be taking every possible measure to minimise intrusion and disruption to landholders 
  • For an eradication project of this scale to be effective it is crucial that:

  1. There is community recognition of the problem and acceptance of the eradication effort.
  2. All possible measures are taken to minimise transportation of produce and related agricultural materials.
  3. That household waste containing vegetable material be properly disposed of to avoid contamination of farms and gardens.
  4. All gardens and likely host plants be thoroughly inspected by those who have the knowledge and reference materials to rely on.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Commercial farmers and home gardeners are requested to view the psyllids material held at the Quarantine office and regularly inspect their crops, particularly Tomato, Capsicum, Potato and sweet potato (Kumara). The psyllids (adults and young) can be difficult to find and identify, so please have your gardens checked by those who have the knowledge and reference materials to rely on.   Any concerns should be referred to Quarantine officer Mr Neil (Snowy) Tavener) in the first instance.


The Norfolk Island Quarantine Office continues to progress the survey field work and data collection to determine distribution of the psyllids and the bacteria. If suspected infestations are found it is better to refer the infestation for coordinated control rather than individuals taking a range of control measures that could limit success of island wide control effort. There is no cost to land holders for inspection or control works instigated by the Administration.


All queries regarding the psyllids and the risks they pose to local agricultural production should be directed to the Health and Quarantine Office on phone 22609 during their business hours.


Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

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FUEL RATIONING HAS CEASED


The Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan, has advised that following the successful discharge of fuel from the fuel tanker on Thursday, 22 May, 2014, Executive Council met on Friday, 23 May 2014 to revoke the fuel emergency.


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the community, the service station proprietors, the fuel providers and distributors for their co-operation and patience during the period of rationing,” the Minister said.

 

 

Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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EXPOSURE DRAFT TABLED COMMUNITY TITLE BILL 2014


The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Ron Ward tabled the following documents in the Legislative Assembly on 21 May 2014:

  • Exposure Draft Community Title Bill 2014; and
  • Explanatory Memorandum relating to the Bill.

These documents represent a further step towards the introduction of community titles and strata titles into Norfolk Island.  


The community will recall that in 2012, during the term of the 13th Legislative Assembly, the University of New South Wales was retained to prepare a White Paper on the introduction of strata title in Norfolk Island.  


The White Paper was prepared by Professor Peter Butt and Senior Lecturer, Cathy Sherry, both of whom are highly regarded Australian property lawyers with a particular interest in strata title issues.   The White Paper was table in the House by the Hon Tim Sheridan in April 2012.


In September 2013 this Government issued a Position Paper in response to the numerous recommendations set out in the White Paper.   The Government’s position was broadly in agreement with most, if not all of the White Paper recommendations.


Subsequently the Exposure Draft Community Title Bill 2014 has been developed for public review and comment.   The Bill has been drafted using South Australian legislation as a model with modifications to reflect Norfolk Island’s circumstances as well as the recommendations set out in the White Paper.


The Explanatory Memorandum provides a fairly comprehensive outline of the operation of the Bill.   Also included is a comparison of White Paper recommendations, the Norfolk Island Government Position Paper responses and references and commentary as to the implementation of the recommendations within the Bill.


Mr Ward advised that ihe hopes to table at the June sitting of the Legislative Assembly, the Exposure Draft Community Title Regulations together with details of any consequential amendments that will likely be necessary to –

  • the Planning Act 2002;
  • the Norfolk Island Plan;
  • the Land Titles Act 1996;
  • and other related enactments.

The Exposure Community Title Bill 2014 and the supporting explanatory memorandum are lengthy documents, and they do as yet represent a concluded Norfolk Island Government position on the issues arising in relation to community title Public comment is now sought on any issues or concerns arising out of the Exposure Draft which can be accessed on line at www.info.gov.nf  under the headings Legislative Assembly/Exposure Drafts of Bills.


In the meantime, the Exposure Draft and explanatory memorandum will be provided to the Commonwealth for comment and the public service will continue its ongoing review of the legislation and necessary consequential amendments.  

 

 

 

Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

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INTERNAL REVIEW OF IMMIGRATION ACT 1980


The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams, has sought an internal review of issues relating to the Immigration Act 1980 and unforeseen consequences of the Immigration (Amendment No. 2) Act 2012.

 

The Review Group has been requested to particularly address the lack of transitional provisions for those persons who held a General Entry Permit but were not either an Australian or New Zealand citizen at the time of the commencement of the Amendment Act and who are now affected by the provisions of section 33A which provides:


“A person who is not entitled to reside permanently in Australia must not claim, and the Minister cannot grant to such a person, residency under this Part.”


“The first report of the Review Group will be provided to me in June 2014 following which I will discuss their recommendations with the Members of the Legislative Assembly and if necessary, I will propose amendments to the Act.


“I take this opportunity to thank the Members of the Review Group for undertaking this complex task,” the Minister said.

 

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

and Community Services

 

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EXOTIC PEST ALERT: POTATO-TOMATO PSYLLID


Update on the potato-tomato psyllids situation to keep the community of Norfolk Island informed. 

BACKGROUND

  • Tomato /Potato psyllids have been confirmed at three Norfolk Island localities in low numbers.
  • The associated liberibacter bacteria have been identified at two locations.
  • Delimiting Survey and data collection processes have been established with the assistance of an Australian Government Department of Agriculture officer working with the Norfolk Island Quarantine Service. Delimiting commenced in known affected areas, and survey work is continuing in high risk areas.

NEXT STEPS

  • The Norfolk Island Quarantine Office is continuing to progress the survey field work and data collection to determine distribution of the psyllids and the bacteria.
  • The Psyllid working group comprising Mr Stephen Clay, A/Official Secretary, Dr Glynn Maynard of the Department of Agriculture, Mr Neil Tavener, Quarantine Officer and Mr Matt Biggs, community representative and myself met this week to consider options of control or eradication and to develop an urgent strategy to respond to this major threat to our agriculture, food supply and public health.  More information will be provided when details are confirmed.
  • Commercial farmers and home gardeners are requested to view the psyllids material held at the Quarantine office and regularly inspect their crops, particularly Tomato, Capsicum, Potato and sweet potato (Kumara). The psyllids (adults and young) can be difficult to find and identify, so please have your gardens checked by those who have the knowledge and reference materials to rely on.

Any concerns should be referred to Quarantine Officer Mr Neil (Snowy) Tavener) in the first instance.

  • Department of Agriculture officers and relevant specialists will be continuing their various Pest and Diseases Survey roles and will be on alert for the psyllids as they conduct their regular survey work.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • A poster which provides a ready reference on the psyllids. is available for viewing at the Quarantine office or on-line at:

                http://www.info.gov.nf/adminforms/health_Quarantine/Psyllid_Alert_Poster.jpg

  • The community is requested to contact the Quarantine Officer if suspected infestations are found to ensure there is a coordinated control rather than individuals taking a range of control measures that could limit success of island wide control effort.
  • There is no cost to the land holder for inspection or control works instigated by the Administration.
  • All queries regarding the psyllids and the risks they pose to local agricultural production should be directed to the Health and Quarantine Office on phone 22609 during their business hours.

Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

Please 'contact us' for more information.

FUEL STOCKS UPDATE


The Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan, has advised that the fuel tanker is expected into Norfolk Island on the evening of Saturday, 17 May 2014.

“I am pleased to advise that 43,000 litres of Jet fuel and 30,000 litres of petrol arrived on the Norfolk Guardian on Thursday, 15 May 2014 to ensure ongoing fuel supply to the Island until the tanker arrives and fuel can be discharged.

“Fuel rationing will continue until confirmation is received that the fuel has been discharged from the tanker,” Mr Sheridan said.

 

 


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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EXOTIC PEST ALERT: POTATO-TOMATO PSYLLID UPDATE 2


This is an update on the potato-tomato psyllid situation to keep the community of Norfolk Island informed.

 

BACKGROUND

 

  • Tomato /Potato psyllids have been confirmed at two Norfolk Island localities in low numbers.
  • Delimiting survey and data collection processes have been established by an Australian Government Department of Agriculture officer working with the Norfolk Island Quarantine Service. Delimiting commenced in known affected areas, and has now extended to potential high risk areas. The Norfolk Island Quarantine Office is continuing to progress the survey work and reports no new infestations have been detected since the previous update.

 

NEXT STEPS

 

  • Island-wide surveys will continue to determine distribution of the psyllids.
  • The results of the surveys will inform decisions with regards to whether eradication is feasible or whether other measures need to be put in place.
  • Commercial farmers and home gardeners are requested to view the psyllids material held at the Quarantine office and regularly inspect their crops, particularly Tomato, Capsicum, Potato and sweet potato (Kumara). Any concerns should be referred to Quarantine Officer, Mr Neil (Snowy) Tavener), in the first instance.
  • Department of Agriculture officers and relevant seconded specialists will be continuing their Pest and Diseases Survey roles and will be on alert for the psyllids as they conduct their regular survey work.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

  • A poster which provides a ready reference on the psyllids is available for viewing at the Quarantine Office or on line at:

                http://www.info.gov.nf/adminforms/health_Quarantine/Psyllid_Alert_Poster.jpg

  • The community is requested to contact the Quarantine Officer if suspected infestations are found to ensure there is a coordinated control rather than individuals taking a range of control measures that could limit success of the island wide control effort.
  • There is no cost to the land holder for inspection or control works instigated by the Administration.
  • All queries regarding the psyllids and the risks they pose to local agricultural production should be directed to the Health and Quarantine Office on phone 22609 during business hours.

 

 

 

Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

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NOTICE PAPER


The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Hon David Buffett AM MLA, has advised that the following matters will be dealt with at the sitting 
of the Legislative Assembly to be held on Wednesday,
21 May 2014 at 10 am.

 

NORFOLK ISLAND

FOURTEENTH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

NOTICE PAPER NUMBER 14

wednesday 21 MAY 2014

 

NORF’K AILEN

FORTIINTH LEJESLIETEW ‘SEMBLE

NOETIS PIEPA NAMBA 14

WENSDI 21 MIEH 2014

 

NOTICES

 

1          NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ACT 1985

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to move -

            THAT this House, in accordance with section 12A of the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985, resolve that ¾

Kim Olesen, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services

from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

            be appointed by the Minister as a deputy to the representative member of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District on the Norfolk 

Island Hospital Advisory Board for a term of 12 months commencing on the date of gazettal of this appointment.

 

2          CUSTOMS ACT 1913 - EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF CUSTOMS DUTY

Minister for Finance, Mr Sheridan to move -

THAT, under subsection 2B(4) of the Customs Act 1913, this House recommends to the Administrator that the goods specified in 

column 1 of the Schedule imported by the person specified in column 2, and on the conditions mentioned in column 2 of the 

Schedule, be exempted from duty -

SCHEDULE

Column 1                                                                   Column 2

Goods                                                                        Importer/conditions

 

Goods purchased for Norfolk Island                     Norfolk Island Amateur Sports &

Commonwealth Games Team to give to               Commonwealth Games Association

fellow competitors                                                    Conditions: Nil

- amount of duty applicable $367.20

 

12 x 6 man outrigger canoes                                   Norfolk Island Wa’a Outrigger Club

 Inc

- amount of duty applicable $22,032.00                  Conditions: During the period of 3 

years

after importation the canoes (a) may only

be used for the purposes of the Norfolk

Island Wa’a Outrigger Club Inc;

and (b) may not be re-exported from

Norfolk Island.

3          IMMIGRATION (AMENDMENT) BILL 2014

IMAGRIESHAN (CHIENJEN) BIL 2014

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Ms Adams, to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Immigration Act 1980.

 

QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

 

60        Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism -

            What comfort can be given to the community that the Commonwealth funded Cascade Pier project is not lost given that a condition 

for Minister Briggs agreeing to the project proceeding is the development of a progressive rates implementation strategy for the Island?

 

61        Mrs Ward to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism -–

            Will the Chief Minister provide to the House a list of apprenticeships, traineeships and related youth programs which are currently

 funded by the Norfolk Island Government?

 

62        Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services –

            Will the Minister provide to the House the documented staff recruitment processes used by the management of the Norfolk Island 

Hospital Enterprise and include the process used by the ‘Panel’ in the recent recruitment of the Director?

 

63        Mrs Ward to ask the Minister for Finance –

            Given that the Electricity Working Group Report has been received by the Government; will a restructured electricity pricing regime 

be implemented by July 1, 2014?

 

Gaye Evans

Clerk to the Legislative Assembly

Issued by the Office of the Clerk on 21 May 2014

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AUSTRALIAN BUDGET PROVIDES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR NORFOLK ISLAND


The Chief Minister, the Hon Lisle Snell, is pleased to advise that following the release of the Australian Federal Budget for the 2014-2015 financial year, advice has been received from the Administrator that the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has been provided the following funds for Norfolk Island:


  • $7.5 million for financial assistance to fund the projected budget deficit;
  • $2 million for ongoing governance reforms; and
  • funds to underwrite the air services to Norfolk Island.  The amount provided to underwrite the air services is not for publication as negotiations with the service provider are commercial-in confidence.

The provision of these funds will enable the Norfolk Island Government to continue to fund essential services in the 2014/2015 financial year and will now assist the Administration of Norfolk Island to prepare its Annual Budget with certainty.


“The Norfolk Island Government has written to the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, to express its sincere thanks to him, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Administrator, the Hon Neil Pope for their efforts in assisting Norfolk Island to secure this vital funding that will help to meet the costs of next financial year’s forecast budget deficit of $7.4 million.


“There will be a Funding Agreement to outline the milestones to be met to receive the essential service funding and I have requested that the Norfolk Island Government and Administration of Norfolk Island (ANI) receive an advance copy of the Agreement so that due consideration can be given as to whether we have the resources to meet the milestone timeframes and to enable appropriate negotiation in this respect,” the Chief Minister said.


Further details in relation to the Federal Budget for Norfolk Island are contained within the Media Release issued by the Administrator of Norfolk Island.


Lisle Snell

Chief Minister 

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ASSESSMENT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ENTERPRISES CONTINUES


The Hon Tim Sheridan, Minister for Finance has provided the following update on the assessment of the Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) which commenced in October 2013.


“Representatives of Deloitte Access Economics (Deloittes) returned to the Island this week to continue the review of the Government’s Business Enterprises (GBEs).


“In October 2013, Deloittes came to the Island to develop a framework for assessing the merits of alternate management and service delivery options for the GBEs,” the Minister said.

The process has now evolved to the next stage where the framework will be applied to 19 identified GBEs. In considering the best operational structure for each GBE the assessment process will have regard to the over-arching objectives and goals of each entity and an assessment of the current performance, key drivers and its outlook for the next 3-5 years.


The framework does not focus solely on privatisation rather it will be used to consider all opportunities for adjustment to ensure that the GBEs operate effectively and are sustainable while delivering essential services and provide a return to Norfolk Island.  It is anticipated that the final report will be provided to the Government in late June 2014 and will recommend practical and implementable outcomes.


The Administration of Norfolk Island will be providing extensive legal, financial and structural information to Deloittes and has asked that all managers and staff actively participate in the process as necessary.


“The Government looks forward to the outcome of this significant undertaking and the release of the report and recommendations,” Mr Sheridan said.


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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EXOTIC PEST ALERT: POTATO-TOMATO PSYLLID UPDATE 1


This is an update on the potato-tomato psyllid situation to keep the community of Norfolk Island informed.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED?

 

  • Survey design has been decided and materials have been acquired
  • An Australian Government Department of Agriculture officer has arrived to assist with the implementation of the delimiting survey and will be working with officers of the Administration of Norfolk Island over the weekend.
  • The delimiting survey has commenced in known affected areas to delimit infestation with a particular concentration around two areas where the psyllids have been found.

 

NEXT STEPS

  • Over the next week or so there will be the implementation of broader Island-wide surveys to determine distribution of the psyllid.
  • The results of the surveys will inform decisions with regards to whether eradication is feasible or whether other measures need to be put in place.
  • Norfolk Island Quarantine Survey officers will be returning Norfolk Island to continue routine survey activities, however they will also be involved in the potato-tomato psyllid efforts where needed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

  • A poster is available for viewing at the Quarantine office which provides a quick reference with regards to the psyllid.

 

  • All queries regarding the psyllid and the risks it poses to local agricultural production should be directed to the Health and Quarantine Office on phone 22609 during their normal business hours.

 

Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

1 May 2014

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EXOTIC PEST ALERT: POTATO-TOMATO PSYLLID


The Island-wide Norfolk Island Quarantine Survey has recently trapped a new potentially serious exotic plant pest, the Potato Tomato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) on a single property in the Middlegate/Shortridge area.


WHAT IS IT?

The potato-tomato psyllid (pronounced 'sillid') is about 2-3 millimetres long, with clear wings and a yellow-blackish body with white markings. They jump when disturbed, so the first sign of their presence may be small, waxy white beads on affected plants. Eggs are yellow, oval and stand on stalks, usually on the edges of leaves.


WHICH PLANTS DOES IT ATTACK?

Potato-tomato psyllid attacks tomato, potato, sweet potato, kumera, capsicum and chilli plants. 


WHAT DOES IT DO?

Potato-tomato psyllids affect plants directly and by spreading a bacterial disease. Both can cause serious damage to home and commercial production.


Feeding by the insects reduces crop yields and the quality of fruit or vegetables. 


Psyllids are also vectors for a bacterium called Candidatus solanacearum, which causes 'zebra chip' in potatoes and 'psyllid yellows' in tomatoes. Zebra chip stunts potato, sweet potato and kumera plants and kills them prematurely; tubers are small and distorted, with discoloured flesh. Psyllids yellows causes leaves to yellow and then die; tomato and capsicum fruit are smaller and may be misshapen.


It's important to note that these diseases have NOT been found on Norfolk Island, but in every other part of the world where this psyllid has appeared, the disease has appeared shortly thereafter.


WHERE IS IT, AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

To date potato-tomato psyllid has only been found at one location in the Middlegate area. Arrangements have been put in place to minimise risk of inadvertent relocation to other areas, and to determine the extent of its presence.


The pest is native to Central America but has spread to many countries. It has not been recorded on mainland Australia but is established in New Zealand. It's possible that it has made its way to Norfolk on infested fruit or plant material from NZ.


This insect pest and its associated diseases would severely impact local production of tomatoes, potatoes, kumera, capsicums and chillies and would impact potential export markets of local produce.


WHAT'S BEING DONE ABOUT IT?

The Norfolk Island Government is asking all commercial and individual growers across the island to monitor their gardens and crops for any signs of the psyllid, tomato yellows and zebra chip and to report any suspicious finds to the quarantine office on phone 22609.  

Growers in the Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Shortridge, Middlegate areas through to Cascade are particularly asked to check all current and recently rested farm or garden areas for signs of the psyllid, and to make these areas available for expert monitoring. Growers are also urged to minimise the transfer of plant material between areas - for example to burn or compost vegetation on site rather than disposing elsewhere. As well as taking care to disinfest clothing prior to leaving infested areas.


WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The Australian and Norfolk Island governments are co-ordinating a joint monitoring effort to determine the extent and intensity of the incursion: this will inform decisions about control or eradication.


Psyllids are less active in cooler weather and do not lay their eggs until spring, so there is a valuable window of opportunity to control or eradicate the pest before it becomes widely established.


Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

24 April 2014

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PETROL STOCKS TO BE RATIONED


The Hon Tim Sheridan, Minister for Finance, has confirmed his radio advice that there is a need to ration petrol stocks and that Jet fuel is also affected until the fuel tanker returns, expected to be mid-May 2014.

 

 “It is important to make it clear to the community that diesel fuel is not being rationed, only petrol.  The decision to introduce rationing at 9:00 a.m., on Wednesday, 23 April 2014, was a necessary measure to ensure petrol is available to all users until supplies are replenished,” the Minister said.

 

The shortage has arisen due to a problem with the unloading of the fuel tanker last week and to inclement sea conditions. The tanker has returned to its base port and is currently scheduled to return in mid-May.

 

To understand the need to institute rationing, the Minister advised that on Tuesday, 22 April 2014, based on normal usage it was estimated that there was 3.6 weeks of petrol in stock.  There was evidence of panic-buying on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning and if this had been allowed to continue the available petrol stocks would have been exhausted within two weeks.

 

A voucher system is now in place which allows a weekly ration of $50 for each registered vehicle and $20 for each registered motor bike.  A new voucher will be available each Wednesday until rationing ceases.

 

Vouchers can be collected from:

 

  • Telecom between 9am and 6pm on business days; and
  • Visitors Information Centre between 8.30am and 3pm on weekends.

 

A voucher can only be used once.  The voucher is to be given in exchange for the fuel you purchase and will be retained by the service station operator.

 

Service Stations also have the authority to provide fuel to:

 

  • hire cars so that visitors may fill the car within 24 hours of their departure, as required in their contract for hire; and
  • businesses who use fuel in the direct generation of income and are registered for GST for that purpose, such as registered fishing/tour charters and lawn-mowing contractors.

 

Mr Sheridan said, “If you do not need the petrol I urge you to please not fill-up to ensure there is sufficient supplies until the return of the tanker.”

 

In relation to the low stocks of Jet fuel, every effort is being made to maintain passenger numbers on each flight. The requirement for aircraft to carry additional fuel may result in reduced freight capacity when passenger numbers are high.  

 

“I am pleased to advise that 10,000 litres of Jet fuel was flown in on Wednesday evening by Air New Zealand, to be used to refuel their aircraft in the coming days. This procedure may be repeated if required.

 

“86 drums of Jet fuel are on the Norfolk Guardian due to arrive Thursday, 1 May 2014 and plans are also underway for a second shipment of Jet fuel and petrol in mid-May. Although the tanker is due to return in mid-May the Jet fuel is not available until after certification which can take up to ten days.

 

“I take this opportunity to convey my thanks and appreciation to all those who have worked proactively to minimise the impact of this problem on Norfolk Island.  I particularly wish to thank the owners and the employees of ExxonMobil, Natjola, Air New Zealand, Burnt Pine Fuel, the Service Stations and the Administration for their co-operative efforts over the past week.

 

“I also wish to thank the majority of the public for their understanding and co-operation at this time.  Staff issuing vouchers or supplying petrol at service stations are doing a splendid job under difficult circumstances,” the Minister said.

 

 

 

Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

24 April 2014

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HEALTHCARE REBATES TO ALIGN WITH MEDICARE SCHEDULE FEE


The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams, has advised that the Legislative Assembly recently passed an amendment to the Healthcare Act 1989 limiting the refund of overseas medical costs to the maximum prescribed benefit payable under the Medicare Benefits Schedule of the Commonwealth for the particular medical service received.

Notification of the commencement of the changes to the Healthcare Act 1989 will be published in the Norfolk Island Government GazetteAll overseas treatment after that date will be paid at the Medicare Schedule Fee.

“The result of this change means:

  • Healthcare members opting to receive overseas treatment outside the New South Wales Public system could be required to pay more towards the cost of their treatment; and
  • There will be equity in how members of the Healthcare scheme are treated.  Norfolk Island social service recipients already only receive the medicare schedule fee for services provided.

“Charges for medical services incurred prior to the commencement date will not be affected by this change,” the Minister said.

For any further information on this or any other Healthcare matters please contact the Healthcare Manager Gary Dowling on 24272 or call in to the Healthcare Office in New Cascade Road.

 

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

and Community Services

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NEW HIGH SPEED INTERNET NETWORK FOR NORFOLK


The Minister for Finance and Minister with responsibility for Norfolk Telecom, the Hon Tim Sheridan, MLA, is pleased to announce that the Norfolk Island Government has secured a new telecommunications internet carrier to bring high speed broadband to Norfolk Island.

 

“The new carrier is O3b Networks.  O3b is a new kind of satellite system.  It is a constellation of smaller satellites that orbit the earth at 8,000km so the roundtrip delay is just a quarter that of a traditional satellite. Because these satellites are smaller and lighter, they are less expensive to build and launch and the cost of the services are more affordable.

‘Norfolk Island’s remote location means that communication either has to come from satellite or fibre cable.

“As Minister with responsibility for telecommunications I am looking forward to a positive partnership with O3b moving forward.  The O3b network will offer residents and visitors a new experience in the way business is conducted on Norfolk Island.  Improved telecommunications will also create excellent conditions for economic development.  I thank the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development for allowing Norfolk Island to finalise an agreement with O3b,” the Minister said.

Mr Sheridan advised that, “Currently all of the Island’s telephone and data traffic are routed to New Zealand by geo-stationary satellite. Because these traditional satellites orbit at 36,000km above the earth, there is an inherent delay for the signal to go up to the satellite and back down to the ground which results in slow response for the users.  Traditional satellites are also very large and expensive to launch so the cost of the satellite services are very high, even for a small amount of bandwidth.  The telecommunication services currently being provided by Telecom New Zealand International will continue until the O3b network is operational.”

When asked for his comment on the new carrier, the Manager of Norfolk Telecom, Kim Davies, said “We are delighted with the agreement.  The migration to O3b for our internet traffic will allow Norfolk Telecom to significantly increase its bandwidth thus improving our data rates, and internet speed and reduce internet delay times to its customers.


 “For the technically minded, test results show that the satellite latency will improve from the current 750m/secs down to 110 m/secs. This coupled with an increase in bandwidth in the first year from 20 to 50 Meg will allow closer to real time applications to be used for the first time, such as e-commerce, internet gaming, video on demand and e-learning.  O3b will revolutionise the internet for the people of Norfolk Island especially in the business community and in particular will allow our students to enjoy high speed access to e-learning for education.”


As a matter of interest, the Cook Islands recently launched O3b services.  With the new service, Cook Islanders experienced a 10 fold increase in capacity and much faster download speeds.  Jules Maher, CEO of Telecom Cook Islands said “Our customers are not only experiencing faster internet speeds but now also have an endless choice of multi-media telecommunications services at their fingertips.  I have already had reports from those experiencing instantaneous downloads, smooth YouTube clips, streaming live sport, movies, clear and crisp video calling and ultra-fast fast browsing for the first time ever. The fibre-like speed has been mind-blowing. O3b’s ‘fibre from the sky’ is a reality for us here in the Cook Islands.”

Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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HEALTH SERVICES UPDATE


Assistant Minister, the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, recently wrote to the Minister with responsibility for health in the Norfolk Island Government (NIG), Ms Robin Adams, advising that there is no longer a necessity to have a Commonwealth representative on the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise (NIHE) Advisory Board whilst confirming “that the Australian Government remains committed to working to improve health services on Norfolk Island and to ensure that those services reflect the needs of the community.”


“I am heartened”, Minister Adams said, “That the Commonwealth acknowledges that health services should reflect the needs of the community.


“For the Norfolk Island Government to reform the delivery of health services in a sustainable way, commitment from the community is not simply required, it is essential.”


Minister Adams in responding to Minister Briggs, acknowledged that both the Australian Government and the Norfolk Island Government are aware of the complexity of the challenges being faced in the provision of viable health services on Norfolk Island and that to progress recommendations from the reviews, including transition to a new model, the Norfolk Island Government holds the strong view that a thorough community engagement process is required.  The draft Health Services Plan prepared by Nexus Consulting, by their own admission, does not purport to be a detailed services plan; as they had significant resourcing and timing constraints that precluded a more comprehensive consultation process with the Norfolk Island community.


“I have sought the agreement of Minister Briggs to engage an independent and appropriately qualified facilitator to undertake the required comprehensive consultation with the community to identify its health needs, now and into the future.&nbsp; Following this community engagement the Interim Report by Dr Tim Smyth in relation to health and related legislation can be finalised,” the Minister said.

 

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

 and Community Services

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CHIEF MINISTER'S UPDATE


Audit Report Tabled in Federal Parliament

 

On Thursday, 27 March 2014, the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development tabled the Australian National Audit Office audit of the financial statements of the Norfolk Island Administration.  When tabling the audit report the Minister made a Statement on Norfolk Island.  Minister Brigg’s statement can be viewed online at:

http://www.info.gov.nf/news/misc_docs/270314-


Minister Briggs stated that he was impressed with the level of responses he has received to date from his letter to residents seeking views on how best to deliver essential services and the best governance model for the future.  Mr Briggs said that the responses would help frame the Commonwealth Government’s policy direction.  “I urge those in the community who have made representations/submissions to Minister Briggs to provide copies to the Norfolk Island Government.  It is important that we are aware of the comments and views being submitted to Minister Briggs so that when the options are presented by the Commonwealth Government for consultation with the Norfolk Island Government, the Government can ensure your views are reflected in those negotiations,” the Chief Minister said.

New Inquiry into economic development on Norfolk Island

The Norfolk Island Government has received advice that on 25 March 2014 the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, The Hon Jamie Briggs MP, asked the Joint Standing Committee to inquire into and report on the opportunities for economic development on Norfolk Island. 

“I welcome this inquiry and the Norfolk Island Government encourages the community to take full advantage of this opportunity to submit ideas to the Committee and have input. This is a valuable opportunity to have discussions with the Committee on the recommendations contained in the March 2012 Commonwealth Funded “Norfolk Island Economic Development Report” by Acil Tasman,” .the Chief Minister said. 

The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by 17 April 2014.   The Terms of Reference and details as to how to prepare a submission can be found online at:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_

of_Representatives_Committees?url=ncet/index.htm

Members of the Committee to visit Norfolk Island 28-30 April 2014 are:

Mr Simpkins MP (Chair),

Senator Brown (Deputy Chair)

Senator Back,

Senator Lundy,

Ms Brodtmann MP

Mr Vasta, MP

Ms Griggs MP

Mr Scott MP.

They will be accompanied by the Committee Secretary, Dr Alison Clegg, and Inquiry Secretary.

The Program for the visit is being prepared by the Office of the Administrator.

Funding Agreement

The Administration of Norfolk Island has been advised that the Commonwealth will make a part-payment of $525,000 for the second quarter under the June 2013 Funding Agreement.  The Administration continues to work with the Government to meet the deliverables under the Agreement.

Some of the second quarter funding has been retained by the Department as a result of the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise not meeting ANAO requirements and the Administration has been requested to assist the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise to meet those requirements.

The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams, who has responsibility for the Hospital, has advised that the new Hospital Director will be tasked to ensure that Commonwealth requirements are met.

The Chief Minister calls for a united, co-operative approach

“Despite our ongoing financial difficulties we still have services to provide, and projects to manage.

 “The Chief Executive Officer of the Administration of Norfolk Island, Jon Gibbons, has only been in office for five months but I am pleased to say he ‘hit the ground running’.  Mr Gibbons has been tasked to work with the Government on key organisational reforms for the Administration, including but not limited to the following.  All these tasks have equal importance to the organisation and to the community ,” the Chief Minister said.

“Mr Gibbons is to ensure compliance with all statutory requirements and Funding Agreement milestones to improve the short and long term financial position of the Administration of Norfolk Island (ANI).  A first step has been the establishment of an audit committee to assist and establish processes to address Australian National Audit Office recommendations.

“In terms of management of the ANI, the first goal is to review the current organisational structure and develop a structure that will establish clear reporting relationships across the organisation.  Better reporting will improve service delivery within the organisation and to the community through improved team work established through co-operative workplace relations based on consultation and communication and fostering trust where the contributions of all staff and feedback is constructively provided and welcomed.  I am pleased to advise that the CEO has already issued four internal staff newsletters keeping the organisation fully informed across the broad range of issues,” the Chief Minister said.

A review of the employment terms and conditions of all employees including overtime, airfare entitlements and ongoing or fixed term employment arrangements is being undertaken and consideration is to be given to the consolidation and centralisation of all similar functional areas across the board to reduce costs and increase efficiencies and effectiveness.  There will also be a review of the Administration’s vehicle fleet and usage with a view to identifying savings.

Key infrastructure projects including RDAF3 (high temperature incinerator) and RDAF4(Cascade pier extension) now known as Community Development Grants are to be progressed having regard to timeframes for completion.  

Other key items relate to the importance of establishing good, co-operative and consultative  communications with the Cabinet, Members of the Legislative Assembly, and the Office of the Administrator to build strong workable relationships to help achieve the business of the Government and just as importantly strong communications with the wider community and the Commonwealth Government.

“These are all significant goals especially at a time when both human and financial resources are limited, revenue is down and expenditure increasing.  Success will depend on a recognition of these limitations and will depend greatly on team work and good co-operative partnerships being developed.

“The CEO has the full support of the Norfolk Island Government and we acknowledge the significant volume of work already undertaken by him and the entire public service in these challenging times.  I urge all members of staff, Members of the Legislative Assembly and the community to work closely with Mr Gibbons to help achieve the best outcomes for Norfolk Island,” the Chief Minister said. 

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister 

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NORFOLK ISLAND HOSPITAL ENTERPRISE UPDATE ON ACCREDITATION PROCESS


The Minister with responsibility for the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise, Robin Adams, has advised that, “The Norfolk Island Hospital welcomed this past week Sandy Thomson, Dr. Jock Murray and Janine Holland, our ACHS (Australian Council on Healthcare Standards) accreditation survey team. The surveyors conducted an organisation wide survey and assessment of the Norfolk Island Hospital, its structures, systems, governance, practice and patient care in all areas.  The survey assessment commenced on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 and was conducted over a full 3 days.


“Achieving accreditation will open up opportunities for the Norfolk Island Hospital to improve health services on the island for our community as well as allow the Norfolk Island Hospital to participate in the wider Australian health systems and support networks. It is now mandatory for all Australian Hospitals to go through and achieve accreditation.  Accreditation is an extensive and rigorous process with very specific and prescriptive standards to meet.


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the QI Co-ordinator, Maria Christian and all the staff at the hospital for their efforts over the last 12 months to meet these standards, but there is still a lot of work to do and a set timeframe in which to do it. The community may see many changes and alterations to services at the Norfolk Island Hospital, particularly in the next few months, as progress towards achieving accreditation continues,” the Minister said.

 

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

 and Community Services

 

21 March 2014

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CASCADE PIER PROJECT


The Minister for the Environment, Hon Ron Ward, at the sitting of Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly on 19 March 2013 tabled and read into Hansard a letter to the Hon Jamie Briggs, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development from the Chief Minister, Hon Lisle Snell and was in relation to the funding for the Cascade Pier Upgrade Project.

Minister Ward spoke to the letter, “This project has attracted mixed opinion in the community since its inception.  Many people have openly questioned whether this is the priority area in which to commence our port upgrade, others question the chosen design as to whether it will withstand extreme weather events.

“Mr Speaker, I am not a civil engineer and can not guarantee the design is adequate to every test, but there are times when we need to trust the skills of those who are qualified in such matters and ensure that all reasonable guarantees are built into the construction contract.

“The project had already been scoped and designed when this Assembly took office.  Projects of this scale are not on offer here every day.  If this project grant was of sufficient scale to substantially construct a west side port this would have been the priority from the outset.

“The project should be a lifeline for contractors, sub-contractors and those who secure employment on the project.  There should also be a moderate flow on through the island’s economy.

“When finished we have an improved jetty and potentially a greater percentage of successful shipping movements.  There will be consequential issues like should we sell off our interests in the GBEs to fund barges or a bigger crane, and how do we envisage supporting infrastructure to handle containerisation.”

The Minister also said that opportunities will still need to be sought to develop a west side port.

As this has been a highly debated topic in the community, the letter to Minister Briggs is reproduced below.

Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment




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HOSPITAL DIRECTOR APPOINTED


The Minister with responsibility for the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985, Robin Adams, has advised that following a recruitment process she has received a recommendation from the Norfolk Island Hospital Advisory Board recommending that Mr David McCowan be appointed as the Hospital Director.


The Minister has accepted the recommendation of the Advisory Board and advised that it is intended that Mr McCowan will commence at the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise on 31 March 2014.  In the meantime, Mr Rees Walden has been appointed Acting Director during the absence of the Deputy Director.


 “I welcome the recommendation.  The community will be aware that Mr McCowan has previously held the position of Hospital Director and was, together with the previous Minister, Hon Tim Sheridan, instrumental in commencing the accreditation process for the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise (NIHE) and securing the Memorandum of Understanding between the NIHE and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.


“I take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Director, Mrs Helen Dowling and Mr Walden for assisting pending completion of the recruitment process,” the Minister said.


The primary purpose of the Director’s position is to ensure delivery of an integrated, contemporary and effective health service to residents and visitors of Norfolk Island by providing strong leadership and senior management to the workforce and Advisory Board while overseeing the day to day operations of the NIHE.


The essential criteria, amongst other things, requires the Director to have broad clinical and operational hospital administration management experience at a senior level within a remote community or a similar healthcare environment, including extensive knowledge of surgical, medical and patient management processes, nursing, medical and allied health workforce management practices.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

 and Community Services

 

20 March 2014

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NORFOLK ISLAND CULTURAL STRATEGIC PLAN 2014-2018


The Minister with portfolio responsibility for cultural heritage in the Norfolk Island Government, Robin Adams, tabled the Norfolk Island Cultural Strategic Plan 2014-2018 which has been endorsed by and formally presented to Minister Adams by the Council of Elders on 18 March 2014 and moved – 

 “THAT, having noted the Cultural Vision, the Critical Success Factors and the Action Plan contained within the Norfolk Island Cultural Strategic Plan 2014 - 2018 prepared for and endorsed by the Norfolk Island Council of Elders and tabled by the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services (the Minister), this House supports the Minister engaging with the Commonwealth, the Council of Elders and other key community stakeholders re progression of this overarching cultural strategy for Norfolk Island.”&nbsp;&nbsp; Minister Adams adjourned debate on the motion to give all Members the opportunity to gain an in depth understanding of the aims and aspirations contained in the Strategic Plan. In speaking to the motion Minister Adams said, “Norfolk Island comprises a wonderful tapestry of people; a global community made up of people who have left their homelands around the globe to make Norfolk Island their home.&nbsp; 

They have come from Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, Europe, the UK, Canada, America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other places too many to name here today. And then of course there are the people born and raised here, also making Norfolk Island their homeland. Many have stayed for the long haul, in some cases for nearly all their lives; others have come, stayed short letl and departed.&nbsp; And Norfolk Island has welcomed them all.” Minister Adams went on to say, “However, the fact remains that Norfolk Island is first and foremost the homeland of the descendants of the settlers from Pitcairn Island who in 1856 were moved as a community by the authority of Queen Victoria from Pitcairn Island to Norfolk Island; they came as a fully self governing ethnic community with its own laws, language, culture and traditions. “I am confident that each and every member around this table agrees that the special relationship of the said descendants with Norfolk Island, and their desire to preserve their traditions and culture, should be recognised.” 

 Minister Adams said that the tabling of this historic document is a first and valuable step in achieving the recognition of the special relationship of the said descendants with Norfolk, and their desire to preserve their traditions and culture; that the plan gives credibility and recognition of Norfolk Island’s culture; gives stakeholders a cultural perspective from which to make decisions; and will crystallise the thinking of people about what is Norfolk’s culture and what we need to protect. The Cultural Strategic Plan contains the following Cultural Vision: “The Norfolk Island community is enriched by having a unique culture.  

Our vision is a future picture of Norfolk Island where residents are connected to their history, their culture and share and protect their cultural identity, experiences and stories” Minister Adams tabled correspondence exchanged between former Federal Minister Simon Crean and the Council of Elders in 2012 wherein Minister Crean confirmed “The Australian Government…continues to support objectives that are consistent with the council’s aims of preserving, protecting and promoting Norfolk Island’s heritage.  The Government recognises the importance of such groups such as yours in maintaining the Island’s important heritage for future generations.” Further Minister Crean advised “I have asked my Department to consult with the Norfolk Island Government regarding your proposal of a cultural officer for the island.  

I also acknowledge your determination that future agreements between both governments should continue our joint commitment to the preservation of the island’s traditions and cultural heritage.” Minister Adams paid tribute to the group of people who, with a common desire of ensuring the ongoing robustness of Norf’k culture and language, came together regularly over many months to produce the Norfolk Island Cultural Strategic Plan for the Council of Elders as well as for the Norfolk Island Community and future generations.  

They are Louise Tavener, Patricia Magri, Terence Grube, Mary Christian-Bailey, Archie Bigg, Andre Nobbs, Donald Christian-Reynolds and Albert Buffett – who were assisted with input from the Council of Elders, the Pitcairn Descendants, the Community Arts Society, CDANI, Norfolk Island Museums, Norfolk Island Administration, Norfolk Island Tourism, KAVHA, Norfolk Island Central School and many other Norfolk Island individuals. Minister Adams acknowledged that the Strategic Plan is too lengthy to try and do it full justice at the sitting and undertook to make it available electronically in the near future and for it to be published over a period of weeks in the Norfolk Islander and Norfolk Online. 

 Debate on the motion will resume on 16 April 2014. Robin Adams Minister for Cultural Heritage  and Community Services   20 March 2014

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PREFERRED MODEL OF SELF GOVERNMENT



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CHIEF MINISTERS UPDATE


The Chief Minister, Hon Lisle Snell, today provided an update on a number of matters and the
following is provided as an overview.

Funding Agreement Milestones
“We have been advised that we are to receive $250,000 being the first instalment of the $1 million quarter one (July-September 2013) milestone payment, the Norfolk Island Administration continues to work on the outstanding milestones to ensure that the full payment will be achieved later in the financial year. It is important that the Norfolk Island Government and Administration continue to work in close partnership with the Commonwealth to achieve the milestones outlined in the June 2013
Funding Agreement. It is recognised that the milestones are lengthy and complex and it is important that the funds are received as they contribute to funding essential services.

The Norfolk Island Government is committed to meaningful reform and whilst it has been difficult to complete the milestones in the given time period, for a number of reasons which have all been expressed to the Commonwealth, work continues to achieve all milestones. We have experienced some difficulty with milestone requirements changing from the original document and discussions have been held with the Commonwealth to rectify this. The Administrator plays an important role in the funding agreement process and we look forward to working with him to achieve the outstanding milestones. The importance of a more structured and targeted approach for the next funding agreement has been identified with the Commonwealth, to hopefully identify fewer, more measureable milestones to be included. This takes into consideration the island’s resources and will allow the quality of each deliverable to be at a higher standard, which is important in times of reform”, the Chief
Minister said.

Communication protocol with the Commonwealth
“In light of recent experience where an important letter from Hon Jamie Briggs, Assistant Minister, for Infrastructure and Regional Development had a lengthy delay in delivery to me, I have written to the Minister providing a recommended change in the suggested communication protocol previously agreed in December of last year. In essence, a simple addition to ensure that advance copies of letters between our two governments are emailed prior to the original being despatched by air mail. I have also written to the Administrator and thanked him for providing me with a copy of the delayed letter when he was able”, the Chief Minister said. 

Forecasted Additional Budget Deficit of $1.6 million
“As part of the budget review process, Minister Sheridan has asked the Administration of Norfolk Island, the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise, Norfolk Island Police Force, Norfolk Island Central School and the Norfolk Island Government Tourist Bureau to review budgets including expenditure and revenue forecasts to 30 June 2014 and identify savings and opportunities as soon as possible. The review is continuing at this stage and we will advise more details in due course,” the Chief Minister said.

RDAF 3 – High Temperature Incinerator
“I offer thanks to the Administration staff involved in successfully completing the first milestone in the RDAF3 project. The original RDAF3 project included the purchase of both a High Temperature Incinerator and a briquette press, a variation to the funding agreement will be sought to exclude the briquette press from the project due to the detailed and independently prepared cost estimates having identified significant increases in incinerator costs due to foreign exchange rates, freight increases and manufacturing costs. The next significant dates for this project are 30 June 2014, where all development and planning approvals need to be in place, followed by ensuring that a request for tender process is completed to ensure that the incinerator is delivered by 2 November 2014”, the Chief
Minister advised.

New Chief Executive Officer at South East Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD)
“We have been advised that after foreshadowing his retirement, Mr Terry Clout has now resigned and Mr Gerry Marr is the new Chief Executive Officer at SESLHD. We thank Mr Clout for his contribution to Norfolk Island, especially for the work he did to ensure that the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise has a successful Memorandum of Understanding with SESLHD and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network to create clear medical pathways for referred patients. We wish him well in his retirement. Whilst Minister Adams is in Sydney she will be meeting with Mr Marr”, the Chief Minister said.

Administration of Norfolk Island Accounts
“Accounts issued by the Administration of Norfolk Island can be paid by instalments for any account holder that is experiencing financial difficulty. This arrangement was created to provide a period of grace for the account holder before the debt recovery process is initiated. To organise an Instalment Payment Agreement you can contact the Accounts Branch in Kingston in person or telephone 23701. The Instalment Payment Agreements are over a three month period and payments can be made in three equal monthly payments, five equal fortnightly payments or ten equal weekly payments. Similar arrangements are available for Telecom Accounts by contacting their office in New Cascade Road or by telephoning 0100,” the Chief Minister advised.



Lisle Snell
Chief Minister
7 March, 2014

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CHIEF MINISTER'S UPDATE


The Chief Minister, the Hon Lisle Snell, advised that he has received a letter from the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP responding to numerous correspondence from the Norfolk Island Government dated back to November 2013.  Despite the letter being dated 12 February 2014 it was not forwarded to the Chief Minister until Tuesday, 25 February 2014 by the Administrator.


The Chief Minister advised that neither he nor his ministerial colleagues mentioned in the letter received it.


The Chief Minister said, “The delay in receiving Minister Briggs’ letter is disappointing and I will be writing to Minister Briggs to seek to improve the communication protocol”.

 

 “As the letter from Minister Briggs contains such important issues for Norfolk Island, I have requested The Norfolk Islander and Norfolk Online to publish the letter and the attachment”, the Chief Minister said.


Lisle D. Snell
Chief Minister







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STATEMENT - VISIT OF HON JAMIE BRIGGS, MP ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT - CHIEF MINISTER


Thank you Mr Speaker.   I’d like to make a brief statement arising from the recent visit to Norfolk Island of the Honourable Jamie Briggs, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.


Minister Briggs arrived on Friday 14 February 2014 and departed on Saturday 15 February 2014.   Minister Briggs was accompanied by Mr Nick Maher, Chief of Staff, Mr David Colmer, Adviser and Ms Robyn Fleming, Executive Director, Local Government and Territories Division, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.


On Friday afternoon the Minister met with members of the Norfolk Island Government at a meeting held in the Office of the Administrator. The Norfolk Island Government had previously provided Minister Briggs with its Position Paper detailing critical issues that the Norfolk Island Government sees as requiring immediate resolution.   I table a copy of that Position Paper now Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker to clarify a misunderstanding in the community, it was initially proposed that this meeting be a working dinner, however it was considered more practical and appropriate to have the meeting in an office setting as the matters for discussion are of critical importance.  The meeting was therefore changed to an afternoon meeting in the Office of the Administrator; no further dinner invitation was extended.


Mr Speaker, the discussions with the Minister at that meeting were wide-ranging, useful and cordial.


At a reception at Government House that evening the Minister had the opportunity to meet with members of the Norfolk Island community.


Minister Briggs met with all 9 members of the Legislative Assembly on the morning of Saturday, 15 February 2014 and I believe the discussions were well received by Members.

Mr Speaker, the following are a number of outcomes from the Minister’s visit–

  1. The Minister will be submitting an options paper to the Prime Minister and subsequently for Federal Cabinet approval regarding the future governance and fiscal arrangements for Norfolk Island.   The Minister confirmed that he would be consulting with the Norfolk Island Government and the Norfolk Island community on the options.   This is heartening news and I will be writing to the Minister to reiterate our readiness to engage, at the earliest opportunity, in the consultation process.   The Minister is already aware of the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly’s preference to continue with a model of self-governance.
  2. The Minister understood the vital importance of strengthening the Norfolk Island economy and recognised great opportunity for growth in our tourism industry.   In writing to the Minister I will stress that we, the people and Government of Norfolk Island, obviously welcome any assistance and advice that the Federal Government might be able to provide to stimulate and grow the Norfolk Island economy and the tourism industry. 

As outlined in our Position Paper to the Minister, we will be providing an options paper to present to the Commonwealth in the near future to seek support to establish an Economic Development function on Norfolk Island.

The Minister undertook to provide assistance to hopefully provide Norfolk Island with access to Commonwealth infrastructure grants for which it is currently ineligible, including road funding grants.

  1. The Minister indicated that considerable administrative and other work remained to be undertaken by both the Commonwealth and Norfolk Island Governments to facilitate the introduction of the Commonwealth taxation and social welfare benefits systems.   We understand that a report of the Australian National Audit Office has been prepared to identify the systems and legislative changes, if any, in this regard.   The report is still to be tabled in the Federal Parliament, and we are yet to receive a copy. In writing to the Minister I will reiterate Norfolk Island’s readiness to engage in this process as soon as the report is received.  Minister Briggs advised that entry into the Commonwealth taxation and social service systems would not be possible within the next 12 months and as such the current Funding Agreement arrangements will continue for the next financial year.

Mr Speaker, as you know, this path of reform has been protracted, many in the community are disappointed with the lack of progress and the continuing uncertainty.  I urge the community to stay strong as we work towards rebuilding our economy and providing a suitable safety net for those suffering hardship.  My Government is committed to building a strong Norfolk Island and working in a co-operative partnership with the Commonwealth Government, and in this regard we look forward to the promised consultation with the Commonwealth.


Mr Speaker, as I have already stated publicly, I thank Minister Briggs for taking the time out of his busy schedule to familiarise himself firsthand with Norfolk Island and the needs of our community. I thank him for his commitment to Norfolk Island and the Norfolk Island Government looks forward to working with him to achieve the best outcomes for Norfolk Island.


Thank you Mr Speaker.


19 February 2014

Lisle D. Snell

Chief Minister

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LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY REINSTATES NORFOLK ISLAND LANGUAGE IN THE TITLES TO LEGISLATION


The Minister with responsibility for cultural heritage in the Norfolk Island Government, Robin Adams, on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 introduced two Bills into the Legislative Assembly, both of which had the long and short title written in both English and Norf’k.  Minister Adams said “I compliment Assembly Members for having taken the decision to re-instate this earlier practice which recognises the importance of protecting the Norfolk Island language”.


The Bills introduced on 19 February 2014 are - the Child Welfare (Amendment) Bill 2014 – Luken Aut fe Letl Salan (Chienjen) Bil 2014 – which is a Bill for an Act to amend the Child Welfare Act 2009 – Wan Bil fe Wan Aekt fe chaienj aa Luken Aut Fe Letl Salan Aekt 2009; and the Healthcare (Amendment) Bill 2014 – Helthkeya (Chienjen) Bil 2014 – A Bill for an Act to amend the Healthcare Act 1989 - Wan Bil fe wan Aekt fe chaienj aa Helthkeya Aekt 1989.


“I particularly compliment the Infrastructure and Business Development Committee of this Assembly which in its Third Quarterly Report tabled in the Assembly yesterday recommended that the Government develop a specific policy related to the protection, preservation and dissemination of the Island’s culture” Minister Adams said.  The Committee Chair, Mr Ron Nobbs MLA, read from the report “Cultural identity is an essential component of the Norfolk Island community and is of particular value to tourism.  Any programs or facilities which aid in the promotion, teaching and display of the island culture should be encouraged.” 


“The Commonwealth and Norfolk Island Governments in the Introduction to the Norfolk Island Road Map (March 2011) recognises the special relationship of the descendants of the original 1856 settlers with Norfolk Island and their desire to preserve their traditions and culture. This reflects part of the Preamble to the Norfolk Island Act 1979”, the Minister added.


“Whilst maintaining and promoting our culture, heritage and traditions has always been a significant concern of most Governments, there appears that no specific policy has been adopted although draft policies have, in the past, been developed. I was very pleased to advise that at the March sitting I will be tabling the Norfolk Island Cultural Strategic Plan 2014 to 2018 prepared for and endorsed by the Norfolk Island Council of Elders”

 

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

 and Community Services

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NO SUPPORT FOR NORFOLK ISLAND COMMERCIAL FISHING INDUSTRY


The Hon Ron Ward, Minister for the Environment has advised that he has received a letter from Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture advising that there is no support for Norfolk Island to establish a local commercial fishing industry.  The letter from Senator Colbeck was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, 19 February 2014.


“At the meeting I had with the Hon Greg Hunt, MP, Minister for the Environment in October 2013, I raised the desire of Norfolk Island to foster new industries to reduce reliance on tourism and to increase the Island’s revenue base and the desire of the Norfolk Island Fishing Association to develop a Norfolk Island Commercial Fishing Industry”, the Minister said.


As a result of those discussions, Minister Hunt referred the matter to Senator Colbeck.  Senator Colbeck has advised that “the AFMA Commission decided against the development of a commercial inshore Norfolk Island fishery, due to cost and sustainability concerns.”  In addition, he advised that AFMA sought advice from the then Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and Regional Australia, and “there were concerns about the sustainability of the target species, red throat emperor (locally called trumpeter)” based on research showing a decline in catch rates of this species.


Other concerns raised to support the decision not to allow the establishment of a local commercial fishing industry in Norfolk Island include the management costs of a commercial fishery being high compared to the likely gross value of production; the costs involved in the accreditation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 would be high compared to the likely gross value of production and that there is limited infrastructure necessary to support a commercial fishery and the cost of building the infrastructure (harbour facilities) would be high.  In addition, the compliance and regulation of such a commercial fishery would be difficult given the geographic isolation of Norfolk Island.


The response from Senator Colbeck’s has been copied to the Norfolk Island Fishing Association as it has been a long standing desire by some members of the Norfolk Island Fishing Association to establish a commercial fishing industry for Norfolk Island.


Ron Ward

Minister for the Environment

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INCREASE IN HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL EVACUATION LEVY PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION


On Wednesday, 19 February 2014, the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams, as Minister with responsibility for health moved a motion to increase the healthcare and medical evacuation levies; introduced the Healthcare (Amendment) Bill 2014 and sought leave to move a motion to commence the process to further amend the Healthcare Act 1989 and the Healthcare Levy Act 1990.


The healthcare levy will be increased to $220 and the medical evacuation levy to $80 commencing 1 March 2014.  The Minister said when moving this motion “I am not a believer of imposing taxes on a hurting community.  I know that this community is hurting.  However on the other hand responsible government is about protecting the community and ensuring that the Healthcare Scheme can provide the necessary services to the Norfolk Island community.”


Following the passage of this motion, the Minister presented the Healthcare (Amendment) Bill 2013. The Bill is intended to ensure that reimbursement of medical expenses not exceed the maximum prescribed benefit payable under the Medicare Benefits Schedule of the Commonwealth for that particular service.  While this limitation does not apply to services provided by the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise, it does apply to all other services whether provided in Norfolk Island or in the Commonwealth or other place outside Norfolk Island and whether provided as a referral by the hospital medical staff or as a self-referral.


The Minister advised that “this amendment will not extend to claims for charges for medical services incurred prior to the commencement of the amendment or for claims for charges for medical services referred for treatment off shore from Norfolk Island where those medical services have commenced and are being received and the eligible person is continuing to receive those referred medical services at the commencement of the amendment.  The limitation made by the amendment will, however apply, for example, to persons who have subsequently completed a course of treatment but a condition reappears and a new referral is made.”


In addition, the Minister sought leave of the Legislative Assembly to move the following Motion to further amend the Healthcare Act 1989 and the Healthcare Levy Act 1990:

“THAT this House requests the responsible Minister to:

1.         present as soon as practicable and preferably no later than the May 2014 sitting of the House a Bill to amend the Healthcare Act 1989 and the Healthcare Levy Act 1990 to address the following issues:

(a.)  equity issues arising from the regressive nature of the healthcare levy and it providing a disproportionate burden on lower income households;

(b.) improvement of current processes for assessing applications for exemption from liability to pay the levy, including if appropriate powers of compelling production of relevant information by third parties;

(c.)  improvement of current collection processes for the levy, including if appropriate mandatory imposition of interest charges on outstanding levies;

(d.) insert a definition of “respite care” to make it clear that a person accommodated in the hospital for the purpose of respite care is not entitled to medical benefits in respect of that accommodation and care  but will be entitled to reimbursement of other medical services

(e.)  include “respite care” in the list of services that are excluded from the meaning of “free medical services”;

(f.)  expand the definition of ‘evacuation costs’ in the Definitions Schedule of the Healthcare Act 1989 so that a member can be evacuated for urgent medical treatment not available on Norfolk Island and/or whose life is at risk if not so evacuated;

(g.)  amend Section 19A of the Healthcare Act 1989 in relation to hospitalisation costs for long term care patients

(h)  amend the Healthcare Levy Act 1990 to exclude persons from cover who have not applied to become members of the Healthcare Scheme

2.         actively pursue the possibility of reintroducing reinsurance for the Healthcare Scheme; and

3.         follow up recommendations of the Milliman Inc. Review of the Healthcare Scheme and the Workers Compensation Scheme for the Administration of Norfolk Island.


“I invite comment and submissions from the community in relation to the above issues to enable me to meet the timeframes imposed by the Motion for the introduction of the amending Bill”, the Minister said.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

 and Community Services

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NORFOLK ISLAND RATED IN TOP TEN SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS


The Hon. Lisle Snell, Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, was pleased to share the good news this week that Norfolk Island was included in TripAdvisor’s 10 top islands in the South Pacific.


“TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Awards ranks the island’s based on the reviews and opinions that are uploaded on the popular travel website.  We are honoured to have been recognised in this list by the visitors that have come to our island home”, the Chief Minister said.


“It’s the diversity in nature, history and activities on Norfolk Island that makes it so unique”, said Glen Buffett, General Manager of Norfolk Island Tourism. “As a Pacific Island destination, we’re constantly surprising visitors with the myriad of options available to them – from spectacular beaches, World Heritage historic areas to explore, nature walks and pristine golf course, to seasonal, island grown fresh food from our many restaurants and cafes. There’s so much more to Norfolk Island and it’s great to see travellers sharing their positive experiences online”.


“This financial year to date has seen a growth of 9% on visitor numbers to Norfolk Island from last year, and I continue to encourage all tourism stakeholders to continue to work together to obtain further growth”,  Mr Snell said.


Lisle D. Snell
Chief Minister

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HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL SERVICES PROVIDED BY SOUTH EASTERN SYDNEY LOCAL HEALTH DISTRICT


The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, Robin Adams, has been advised that there may be some in the community who are not aware that an arrangement is in place with the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District to enable Norfolk Island residents to access hospital and ancillary health services in New South Wales.  The charge for these services is as per the New South Wales Health Schedule of Fees and Charges as it applies to Norfolk Island residents.


The Minister advised that “the Memorandum of Understanding between the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise and the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), has resulted in a much smoother passage for Norfolk Island residents seeking overseas medical treatment to obtain such services through the SESLHD.  It has also provided a much better line of communication between Norfolk Island Health Administrators and the SESLHD which takes unnecessary worry away from the patient.”


SESLHD covers urban and suburban communities including Norfolk Island and manages eight public hospitals, one public nursing home, 28 Child and Family Centres, 12 Community Centres, 9 Oral Health Clinics, providing prevention, early intervention, community-based treatment, palliative care and rehabilitation services.


“I have discussed with the Medical Superintendent of the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise the need for all medical practitioners to be aware of the services provided by the SESLHD to ensure that patients are referred to the facilities which will reduce the costs not only to healthcare but also to the individual”, Ms Adams said.


Further information can be obtained from the Healthcare Manager, Mr Gary Dowling on telephone 24271 or by email gdowling@admin.gov.nf,


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

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ADMINISTRATOR’S TERM EXTENDED


The Chief Minister, the Hon Lisle Snell, today advised that he has received formal notification that the Governor-General of Australia has extended the appointment of the Hon Neil Pope as Administrator of Norfolk Island until 30 June 2014.


“I am sure members of the community will join the Norfolk Island Government in welcoming this good news and we look forward to continuing to work with the Administrator and the Commonwealth Government to achieve the best outcome for Norfolk Island under the Roadmap.”


“I am aware that many community groups will be pleased with this extension having regard to the contribution being made in the community by Mrs Jen Pope and the funds raised through their preparedness to allow access by visitors to Government House”, Mr Snell said.


Chief Minister

Lisle Snell

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COMMUNITY LAW AND ORDER SURVEY SUMMARY RELEASED


The Chief Minister, Hon Lisle Snell, again thanks for the community members who completed the Law and Order Survey during the period 9 – 18 December 2013.


A brief summary of some results was released on 10 January 2014.  “I would like to advise the community that the summary of responses to the survey questions has been compiled and the report is available on www.info.gov.nf under the heading of Police” the Chief Minister said.


“The review into Policing and related matters on Norfolk Island continues and I look forward to providing details in due course” Mr Snell said.


Hard copies of the summary can be obtained from the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly.


Lisle Snell                                                                  

Chief Minister 

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NOTICE PAPER



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INCREASE IN NORFOLK ISLAND HEALTH SERVICE CHARGES


The Hon Robin Adams, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, advised today that the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise (NIHE) will need to increase its health service charges commencing 1 February 2014. This decision has been taken in consultation with the NIHE Advisory Board


“I indicated on radio last week, Tuesday, 7 January 2014 that the Norfolk Island Government has no alternative but to increase the health service charges at the Norfolk Island Hospital”, the Minister said.


Under the Norfolk Island Hospital Act 1985 health services provided by the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise are to be provided at the true economic cost of the services.  There has been some reluctance to increase the fees having regard to the economic circumstances of the community and an increase in the fees and charges has been deferred for some three years, the last increase being in May 2011.


Ms Adams advised that “In order for the Norfolk Island Hospital to continue to provide the services the community now expects, an increase in the fees is necessary.  I am pleased, however, to advise that the incentive discounts for early payment for services will remain, that is,

  • 8% for payment in full at time of service; or
  • 5% for payment in full by those who pay monthly on statement.”

The fees will increase by 3.5% across the board for all services and the Instrument and Schedule specifying the fees is published in the Norfolk Island Government Gazette of 17 January 2014.


“On 12 November 2013 I wrote a joint letter to the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, MP and followed this up again on 3 January 2014 through the Office of the Administrator seeking an urgent meeting to discuss, amongst other things, the undertaking by the Commonwealth in the September 2011 Funding Agreement in relation to the ‘implementation plan for access to Commonwealth benefits schemes, including Social Security and Medicare by the Commonwealth’ and access to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. I am yet to receive a response but I will continue to press the Commonwealth Government, through the Office of the Administrator, for a positive response”, the Minister said.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

 and Community Services

15 January 2014

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LAW AND ORDER SURVEY –– ANALYSIS


The Chief Minister, the Hon Lisle Snell, has advised that an analysis of the Law and Order Survey has been undertaken and has provided the following summary of some of the results.  More information will be provided when available.

“I take this opportunity to thank the members of the community who took this opportunity to have a say by completing the Survey and to Ron Nobbs, MLA for having carriage of the Survey and particularly, Sarlu LeCren for her painstaking work in preparing the Survey and collating and uploading the responses to be analysed using the web based SurveyMonkey”, Mr Snell said. 

There were 396 responses to the survey.  92% of those who responded have lived on Norfolk Island for more than 5 years, 50% were older than 55 years, 51% were females, 65% were in the category of married/partner and 74% do not have children in their care who are 18 years of age or younger.

On questions related to community safety, 93% stated they feel physically safe, 85% consider their house and other personal property are safe whilst 68% advised the islands crime rate was not of concern to them.

In relation to co-operation etc with Police, 52% felt the community adequately co-operates with Police, 57% responded they had previously assisted Police, 86% advised they were prepared to assist or co-operate with Police, 68% felt there were areas or issues which needed addressing  whilst 54% stated the community should have a greater input into Policing issues.


71% of respondents felt it important for Norfolk Island to have its own Police Force, 77% favoured continued sourcing of fully trained officers from offshore, 78% agreed appropriately trained local “special” police should be employed, 53% agreed local “specials” be employed fulltime, 78% felt police were adequately equipped and 62% favour local “specials” undertaking primarily a role of community liaison, public education etc..


In relation to firearms 82% felt the mandatory requirement for police to wear firearms at all times is inappropriate whilst 63% felt that permitting the Officer in Charge of Police to decide when firearms should be worn as more appropriate.


The question in relation to the community having more say in policing the island was supported by 60% of respondents; 63% agreed to the need for a distinct and specific policy on policing; 65% supported the creation of an independent body to investigate complaints against Police;73% believe the composition of the Police Force should be seconded fulltime offshore officers plus local part trained “special” officers.


Chief Minister
Lisle Snell

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MINISTER FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES PORTFOLIO UPDATE


The Hon Robin Adams, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, advised today that over the coming weeks and months she will be providing the community with an update on current issues within her portfolios both in the written media and on radio.


“I look forward to working with the community over the next twelve months and take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to you all for a successful 2014”, the Minister said.


Minister Adams advised “I will be working to achieve a number of goals in my areas of responsibility. My immediate focus areas include -:


  1. continuing to seek through the Office of the Administrator, an opportunity to meet with relevant Commonwealth Ministers to progress with the Commonwealth Government the agreement to extend the Australian Medicare system and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to Norfolk Island;

  1. continuing to seek through the Office of the Administrator to progress with the relevant Commonwealth Ministers the review of the governance arrangements for the World Heritage listed Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area;

  1. finalising the education review undertaken by the working group chaired by Mrs Ward, MLA and enter into discussion with the NSW Department of Education and Communities on a new Memorandum of Understanding with that Department on staffing of the Norfolk Island Central School going forward into the future;

  1. undertaking a review of immigration legislation as a result of the amendments made in May 2013 which have had unintended consequences;

  1. continuing to consult with the community and the new Hospital Director, when appointed, on the provision of hospital and allied health services in Norfolk Island; and

  1. working with the Norfolk Island Council of Elders on how best we can preserve and promote Norfolk Island’s Culture, Heritage and Traditions into the future”.

“I have written to Commonwealth Ministers who have portfolio responsibility for Medicare, PBS and KAVHA and have sought assistance from The Administrator, the Hon Neil Pope, to facilitate meetings with the responsible Ministers to progress undertakings by the Commonwealth set out under the Road Map and subsequent Funding Agreements in relation to these issues”, the Minister added.


The Minister concluded by saying “I urge members of the community to contact me if they wish to discuss any issues within my areas of responsibility and I look forward to being able to provide the community with positive updates as they occur”.


Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

 and Community Services

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ELECTRICITY WORKING GROUP UPDATE


Hon. Tim Sheridan, the Minister for Finance and Minister with responsibility for Electricity, provided the following update of the Electricity Working Group (EWG) today.


“As I have previously advised, I have extended the timeframe for feedback on Norfolk Island Electricity matters to 13 January 2014.  Two focus groups are scheduled for Friday, 10 January and Monday, 13 January 2014, both commencing at 8.45am.  I thank the community members who have already put their names forward to participate in these groups, and for those still wanting to participate please contact the EWG to register”, the Minister said.


“The EWG continues to process the feedback received to date and looks forward to providing different models to the upcoming focus groups.  After 13 January 2014 all feedback received will be reviewed, analysed and reported upon.  Once this has been completed, the information will be available to the Norfolk Island community”, Mr Sheridan said.


The Minister advised, “It is intended to move towards a long term goal of less reliance on diesel generated power and more reliance on renewable energy options including smart meters and battery storage for excess electricity.  It is important that all consumers of electricity contribute towards the cost of generation, infrastructure and maintenance of the power grid. The aim of the community consultation process is to enable the Administration to make recommendations to me to progress a workable resolution for the current problems faced by excess photovoltaic generated power and achieve the long term goals”.


The EWG can be contacted via ewg@admin.gov.nf.  The EWG information to date is available on www.info.gov.nf under the heading “Community Consultation”.


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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CASCADE LANDING FACILITY UPGRADE


The Hon Lisle Snell, Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism acknowledged and welcomed advice from the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss, MP and the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Jamie Briggs, MP, that the funding approved under RDAF4 for Norfolk Island Port Facilities Upgrade – Stage 2 project will be funded from the Coalition Government’s new Community Developments Grants programme and the Commonwealth Government will provide up to $13 million for the project.


Minister Truss advised that “The funding will be subject to confirmation that the project can continue according to the scope and other arrangements agreed prior to the election.  A signed Funding Agreement will be required prior to the provision of funding and subject to the agreement being completed within six months.”


In addition, Assistant Minister Briggs letter advised that “eligibility and selection criteria specified in the Community Development Grants Guidelines” must be satisfied including “confirmation of the scope and costs of the project, that these represent value for money and that the project can be completed within the allocated timeframes.”


In his letter Assistant Minister Briggs advised, amongst other things, that funding for this project is conditional on the Norfolk Island Government reaffirming commitment to engaging constructively on the reform agenda and commitment to implement the measures intended to increase the Norfolk Island Government’s revenue base and specifically, Minister Briggs said “that consistent with the funding agreement, the Government implement appropriate land tax and municipal rates regimes from 1 July 2014.”


As requested I have again reaffirmed the Norfolk Island Government’s commitment to the reform process and I have sought clarification from Minister Briggs that there is not a  requirement to impose both land tax and municipal rates. 


“Completion of this project would be a significant step in improving Norfolk Island’s landing facility infrastructure and hopefully will facilitate economic growth through future introduction of better cargo handling facilities and increased cruise ship tourism,” the Chief Minister said.


Mr Snell advised, “I have written to both Minister Truss and Minister Briggs thanking them for their government’s intention to proceed with funding this project and have advised that the Norfolk Island Administration will commence work to confirm the scope of the project and relevant requirements.”


Chief Minister

Lisle Snell

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ELECTRICITY WORKING GROUP Community Consultation Extended


The Minister for Finance and Minister with responsibility for Norfolk Island Electricity, the Hon Tim Sheridan, MLA, advised today that “Community consultation regarding electricity pricing has commenced and I am pleased that so many have contacted the Electricity Working Group (EWG) to provide feedback, either at the stall in the Norfolk Mall last Friday, via email or by paper submission.”

 

As a result of the community consultation and the responses received to date “I have decided to extend the timeframe for feedback to Monday, 13 January 2014 and to allow more focus groups to be held in the New Year.  In the meantime, the EWG are considering the responses already received,” the Minister said.

 

Representatives of the EWG also gave a presentation to Members of the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday this week which demonstrated that this is a complex issue with no easy solutions.


Mr Sheridan said, “I urge all interested members of the community to participate constructively in this process and I take this opportunity to thank those who have already contributed.”


If you wish to participate in a focus group, or require any further information please contact ewg@admin.gov.nf.  More information will be made available progressively on line at info.gov.nf

 

Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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COMMUNITY LAW AND ORDER SURVEY


The Hon Lisle Snell, Chief Minister and Minister with responsibility for policing and justice advised, “I would like to update the community on the Law and Order Survey and I take this opportunity to again urge everyone in the community to complete a survey form either online or in hard copy”.


Mr Snell said, “I understand that some people have experienced difficulty accessing the survey online and were uncertain where additional hard copies can be obtained”.


“The survey is on the Norfolk Island Government site www.info.gov.nf under the heading ‘Police’ and hard copies have been placed in each post box.  Additional hard copies can be obtained from the collection points at the Post Office and Foodland”, Mr Snell said.


Completed surveys will be accepted up to and including Wednesday, 18 December 2013 at three collection points – Post Office, Foodland or the School Library.


Mr Snell advised that “survey forms are being completed and collected, however, a cursory look at the surveys received to date indicate that those in the 18-36 age bracket are not particularly well represented.  I urge those in the community in this age bracket to have their input”.


I also take this opportunity to reassure those in the community who think that the results will be ignored, that this is not the case.  This survey has been initiated by government with the aim to gain community input and your views are important.  This is the community’s chance to contribute to the review currently being undertaken”.


Please note that the survey period will not be extended beyond Wednesday, 18 December 2013.


Chief Minister

Lisle Snell

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LIVE AND INVEST IN NORFOLK ISLAND


The Hon Robin Adams, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, advised today that a web page has been created which will assist potential new residents and investors to access relevant information about Norfolk Island as a place to live and invest.

“This new web presence will be a useful resource for people to access information to help them understand the recent changes to the Immigration Act 1980”, the Minister said.


“The web page can be viewed at www.norfolkisland.com.au/about-norfolk/live-and-invest 

and the promotional material on the site can be downloaded.  


I encourage all local businesses to ‘spread the word’ by creating a link to the new web page on their business websites”, Ms Adams said.


An advertisement will be appearing in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph and Brisbane Sunday Mail this weekend and new advertisements will be published in these papers on 12 January and 16 February 2014..


“The Norfolk Island Government and Administration continue to work on a promotion strategy to attract new residents and investors to the island in line with the Norfolk Island Government ‘Sustainable Growth Strategy’. On behalf of the Norfolk Island Government I extend appreciation to the Commonwealth Government for the significant financial contribution provided towards this promotion strategy” the Minister said.


Any enquiries can be directed to investmentenquiries@admin.gov.nf or by telephone 22001 ext 4.

 

Robin Adams

Minister for Cultural Heritage

 and Community Services

13 December 2013

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NORFOLK ISLAND’S TELEVISION SERVICES SWITCHED FROM ANALOGUE TO VAST DIGITAL


The Minister for Finance with responsibility for telecommunications and broadcasting, the Hon Tim Sheridan, MLA, made a statement in the formal sitting of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 relating to the upgrade of Norfolk Island’s television services.


The Minister said “Yesterday (10 December 2013) the VAST (Viewer Access Satellite Television) service was provided to the community of Norfolk Island.  The analogue signal has been switched off and the digital service platform of VAST has taken over all of the services”.


The switch from analogue to digital will provide a big improvement in the television reception and clarity.  There are now 16 free to air television channels and 12 radio channels to choose from.


“I have been informed that the switchover went without any major problems and that by now the community should be able to access this new VAST platform.  I would like to thank the crew from Norfolk Telecom and Gary Summerscales for the work that they have done over the past month to ensure that TV services would continue without interruption”, Mr Sheridan said.


Mr Sheridan advised that “four of the original digital settings, ABC1, Channel 7, SBS1 and ABC3 will continue to be broadcast to enable those persons who have not yet converted their equipment to still have access to some television services.  This has been done as a lot of businesses are awaiting receipt of set-top boxes to enable conversion to the VAST platform.  The old analogue TV service has now been completely discontinued”.


If any members of the public are having difficulties in accessing this new service, advice can be obtained from their service provider or by contacting Norfolk Telecom who are only to willing to provide advice and assistance if necessary.


In concluding his statement, the Minister said, “I trust that the community enjoys the early Christmas present provided by Norfolk Telecom and Gary Summerscales”.


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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ELECTRICITY WORKING GROUP COMMUNITY CONSULTATION


Hon Tim Sheridan, Minister for Finance and Minister with responsibility for Norfolk Island Electricity, advised today that “following a great deal of work done by the Electricity Working Group (EWG) they are now at a point where broader community consultation can be effectively carried out. I know the community is interested in this process and constructive engagement from the community is welcome”.


The EWG has been working through the complexities of the increasing costs of fuel; the lack of funds for infrastructure replacement; the need for storage solutions for excess PV and a considered approach to identifying the various elements of service delivered to consumers. This has been followed by some complex modelling; resolving issues and concerns and ensuring that a variety of scenarios are considered. “This has proven to be a challenge and I thank the working group for their commitment and dedication for what is a large task”, the Minister said.


Seven key groups of stakeholders have been identified:

  • All Members of the Legislative Assembly.
  • Organisations representing business owners who have an interest in the financial viability of their members.
  • Organisations and community members with an interest in environmental matters, green power, alternative energy options, etc.
  • Electrical contractors, fuel suppliers and others involved in the electricity supply chain.
  • Electricity consumers who have PV panels installed and who are benefiting from the KwH they make.
  • Electricity consumers who do not have PV panels installed.
  • Government and Administration and others involved in ensuring the ongoing financial viability of Norfolk Island Electricity and the Norfolk Island Administration.

The planned format for community consultation includes the following:

  • Issue of information pack to Members of the Legislative Assembly, Wednesday 11 December 2013.
  • Several small focus groups, Thursday 12 December 2013.
  • A public stall at the Norfolk Mall, Friday,13 December 2013 from 9 am to 12 noon.
  • Additional focus groups in the week commencing 16 December 2013.
  • A formal submission template for completion and return to the EWG. Copies of the information pack will be available at the public stall to take away.
  • Copies of the information pack and submission template will be available on line at info.gov.nf from Thursday 12 December 2013 or by emailing ewg@admin.gov.nf.

“I urge community members to provide input into this important issue and to read the information pack and complete a submission.  Submissions should be returned to the EWG by 29 December 2013. The outcome of the consultations will be considered in the EWG’s final recommendations to me”, the Minister said.


If you wish to participate in a focus group, or require any further information please contact ewg@admin.gov.nf.


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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NOTICE PAPER




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REMINDER - ANALOGUE SWITCHOVER TO DIGITAL ON 10 DECEMBER 2013


The Hon Tim Sheridan, Minister for Finance reminds all residents that the digital television conversion will take place on 10 December 2013.


“Norfolk Island residents will be able to access 16 free-to-air digital television channels from the switchover date but this change will mean that the analogue television transmission will be turned off” said Minister Sheridan.


“All members of the community need to be aware that they will require a set top box or digital TV.  A more expensive VAST satellite decoder box and dish is only required if their place of residence is in a signal black spot on the Island” said Minister Sheridan.


Minister Sheridan said “funds totalling $16,000 have been approved to enable the new digital signals to be broadcast locally following the switch-off of the analogue signals”.


All residents will need to rescan their TVs and set top boxes on 10 December and ensure that the country of origin is set to Australia in the menu.  If a password is required a simple default 0000 should suffice.  Some loss of picture may occur in the days leading up to the conversion as our technical people make adjustments ready for the big switchover, so we do apologise in advance.


Residents can test the compatibility of their new or existing televisions or set-top boxes by performing a scan of the channels and a test channel will appear on digital-ready items.


“Residents should note however, that to get the digital signal on switch-over day, they will also need to perform a re-scan on 10 December” said Mr Sheridan.


The new VAST programs will only be 1/2 hour later during Australian daylight saving time in the eastern states including Central 7 and Imparja.


Minister Sheridan reminds all residents “to get ready to make the switch on 10 December”.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Mr Kim Davies, Manager Norfolk Telecom on telephone 22244, mobile 50600 or email to info@telecom.gov.nf.

 

Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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LAW AND ORDER SURVEY –– SOME FACTS


It has been suggested that the Law and Order Survey should be accompanied by supporting information to enable the community to respond to the survey based on facts.


The following facts are provided to assist completion of the survey form, not to influence the outcome of the survey.


The Survey questions have been grouped and if seen as appropriate, some facts provided. If you have any further questions please contact me on 22003 or Allen Bataille on 22001 ext 112 or email ikey@admin.gov.nf.


Questions 1 to 5 – This information is extremely important. It does not identify you.


Questions 6 to 14 –We would like your personal rating on - how safe is our island?


Questions 15 and 16 – These questions relate to costs of policing to the community.  It is necessary therefore to provide actual costs. The Norfolk Island Police Force (NIPF) maintain a 24 hour per day response capability and the cost plus backup for this service should be considered in the total cost which includes salaries, allowances, operational and equipment. The total cost is funded on the basis of 30% contribution by the Commonwealth to cover its responsibilities under Australian laws extended to the island and Commonwealth property whilst the remaining 70% is paid by Norfolk Island.


The following costs are from the Norfolk Island Government financial statements for 2012/13 and budget 2013/14:

NIPF (70% of total cost)        2012/13 - $744,832           $2013/14 - $832.900

 

Question 17 – Neighbourhood Watch is a successful community based crime prevention program aimed at protecting property and personal safety. It is not aimed at establishing vigilante groups but is simply an organised reporting mechanism utilising those who live in a neighbourhood and who are likely to be more aware of unusual activities in their area.


Question 18 to 20 – It should be noted, Courts are independent and thus the questions are aimed at the process not individual cases.  We ask for your personal opinion on the process which is established by laws set by the community through the Legislative Assembly.


Questions 21 to 33 – The Government is currently undertaking a review of policing on Norfolk Island. The review is not looking at individual issues or persons but is looking at such things as policing administration, processes and procedures, staffing structure and current costs. Primarily it is looking at the existing policing policy and what is required in the future.

The current staffing structure of the NIPF provides an establishment of three seconded from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) being a Sergeant and two constables and three locally appointed members (“Specials”); one full time and two part time positions.


The entity is called the NIPF but the recruitment procedures, remuneration and employment arrangements currently vary.  AFP seconded officers are appointed by the AFP Commissioner; their remuneration and allowances are set by the AFP in Canberra and they are responsible to and report to the AFP.  The “Specials” are recruited by the Norfolk Island Administration (the Administration), their remuneration, with limited allowance, is established under Administration processes and they are appointed by the Administrator.  Both the AFP officers and “Specials” are sworn in by a local Justice of the Peace and they are responsible and report to the AFP Officer in Charge of Police on island.


The Norfolk Island Police Act 1931 (the Act) provides for the Police Force of the Territory of Norfolk Island and the need to review the Act and policing services generally has resulted in the need for the Law and Order Survey. The Act provides that the Commonwealth Minister may from time to time appoint such constables, sergeants and officers of police as he thinks necessary, in a manner he determines, and on such terms and conditions as to remuneration and otherwise as he thinks proper.  The Act provides that the Administrator may, “at any time and on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit, appoint, or authorise the appointment of, such special constables as are in his opinion necessary or expedient to be appointed”. There is no reference in the Act to the Norfolk Island Administration, Norfolk Island Government or the Norfolk Island Minister with responsibility for policing. 


There is also a Memorandum of Understanding 1993 (MoU), between the Admininistration and the Commonwealth of Australia (Commonwealth), concerning the provision of services to the Administration of Norfolk Island by the Australian Federal Police.  The MoU states the AFP shall provide a Principal Police Officer and 2 others members of the AFP but such deployment is to be preceded by consultation between the AFP Commissioner and the Norfolk Island Minister with responsibility for policing.  Under the MoU, the Commonwealth retains control over employment conditions and salary levels of AFP members. There is no reference to employment of “Specials” or the Norfolk Island Police Act 1931 in the MoU.


The MoU requires Norfolk Island to fund 70% of the total cost of the NIPF for each financial year and that the total cost of the Services is to be agreed between the Norfolk Island Minister and the Commissioner by 30 June each year.  The MoU also provides that an annual review be undertaken by the Commissioner and the Norfolk Island Minister and at such other times by the Commonwealth Minister responsible for the AFP, the Administrator, and the Norfolk Island Minister. The Commonwealth Minister, the Administrator and the Norfolk Island Minister are responsible for resolution of disputes.   It appears from a search of the Administration’s records that there has not been a review previously undertaken.

 

Question 34 to 43 – These questions refer to a possible Policy on ‘Policing Norfolk Island’. There is currently no such distinct Policy. It appears that a number of “policies” and “orders” have been adopted over the years including the AFP Commissioner’s Orders.

Please do not hesitate to seek clarification of any of the above.

1)    This is your opportunity to have a say;

2)    We need your participation; and

3)    Your comments will be taken into account.

Chief Minister


Lisle Snell

5 December  2013 

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PROPOSED LAW AND ORDER SURVEY – THE REASONS AND PROCESS


A community survey into Law and Order, is due to commence on Monday, 9 December 2013.  The survey is seeking further input into the Norfolk Island Government’s review of policing services and related issues.


The survey is confidential and anonymous with a deadline for completion by Wednesday, 18 December 2013. It would be appreciated if only one survey form per person is completed.


To facilitate the process, the survey can be completed online at www.info.gov.nf or alternatively survey forms will be placed in every mail box, and will be available from the public library, school library, Norfolk Telecom, Post Office and the Legislative Assembly.  If you require assistance to complete the survey please contact Mr Allen Bataille either by email on ikey@admin.gov.nf or telephone 22001 ext 112 or 23691.


Completed survey forms can be placed in collection bins which will be at the Post Office, the school and at Foodland. The collection bins will be cleared daily between 9 and 18 December 2013.


The Community Law and Order Survey is to provide all community members, over 13 years of age, with an opportunity to participate in the review of Norfolk Island policing and related matters by answering a number of simple questions and to make meaningful comment.


Policing is a very important component of life in Norfolk Island.  As a consequence it is essential that we provide the best service possible and therefore a review is being undertaken particularly of the Police Act 1931 and the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Administration of Norfolk Island relating to the provision of police services by the Australian Federal Police, which although provides for periodic reviews such reviews have not occurred.


The proposed Law and Order Survey provides an opportunity for members of the community to have a say and provide input to guide the decision makers when finalising the review and determining future law and order services for Norfolk Island.


Please take this survey seriously your input is important.


Chief Minister

Lisle Snell

29 November  2013 

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DRAFT HEALTH SERVICES PLAN FOR NORFOLK ISLAND


The Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, the Hon Robin Adams, tabled at the sitting of the House on 13 November 2013 the Draft Health Services Plan for Norfolk Island prepared by Nexus Management Consulting, a firm engaged by the Director of the Norfolk Island Hospital, Ms Julie Morrison, in collaboration with the Chief Executive of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. 


The Health Services Plan prepared by Nexus Management Consulting was funded by the Commonwealth Government under a funding agreement between the Commonwealth and the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise signed earlier this year. The Draft Plan may be accessed on www.info.gov.nf under the heading of Hospital.  Copies can be made available electronically by contacting the Secretary to the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise on sbuffett@hospital.gov.nf.


In tabling the report Minister Adams called on the community to read the Draft Health Services Plan which summarises, in the Consultant’s view, the key issues with health services provision on the island; sets out a plan for a new health service model; discusses implementation and governance arrangements for the health service plan and lists the Consultant’s recommendations on this health services plan. 


In urging the community on Wednesday to read the Draft Health Services Plan, Minister Adams made it quite clear that the decision as to whether or not the suggestion in the Plan that “the health service on the Island needs to be radically recast … by formally closing beds and shifting the focus to primary care and aged care” is a decision that should be taken with meaningful consultation with the Norfolk Island community as the Plan needs to be a community endorsed Health Services Plan.


Minister Adams has consistently expressed the view that the Commonwealth funded Review of Existing Child & Family Support Services on Norfolk Island undertaken by Gillian Calvert and Marie Connolly and the Review of Norfolk Island Health Legislation provided by Dr Tim Smyth provided earlier this year should not be considered until the Health Services Plan for Norfolk Island was received.  “With these three reviews now completed, consultation with the community can commence.  I see this as an important step in the process as the community are key stakeholders”, Minister Adams said.


“I plan to hold a community consultation process in the near future and will advise details in due course”, the Minister said.


To start the consultation process Minister Adams said she looks to SWAG (the Social Welfare Action Group) and the Norfolk Island Hospital Advisory Board, who will consult with hospital staff, to take a proactive role in providing to the Norfolk Island Government their views on the Draft Health Services Plan in the first instance.


Robin Adams                                                             

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

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STATEMENT- PUBLIC SECTOR REMUNERATION TRIBUNAL ACT 1992


Mr Speaker, in accordance with subsection 4(2) of the Public Sector Remuneration Tribunal Act 1992 I table the Public Sector Remuneration Tribunal Determination No. 1 of 2012 and the Reasons for Determination by the Public Sector Remuneration Tribunal, The Hon Kevin Edmund Lindgren Am, QC.


This Determination is the result of an Application by the Norfolk Island Public Service Association made on 9 November 2012 and amended on 15 July 2013 for a general wage adjustment to the wages payable to certain classes of public sector employees.


In addition, Mr Speaker, in accordance with subsection 4(1) of the Act 1992 I have established that the Chief Executive Officer of the Administration of Norfolk Island, as the employer affected by the Determination, has received a copy and I am advised that the Determination is now available online.


The Determination provides under paragraphs 8(1)(a) and (b) of the Act that a general adjustment is to be made to the wages payable to public sector employees up to and including “Executive Officers Level 1” in respect of the period from the beginning of the first pay period which commenced on or after 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015 in an amount equal to 7.0% of the base salary wage for each salary classification level covered by the Determination.  In addition, Mr Speaker, the Remuneration Tribunal determined that each party, that is, the Public Service Association of Norfolk Island and The Administration of Norfolk Island has liberty to apply to the Tribunal in relation to the implementation of the Determination if any difficulty should arise.


In addressing the matters to be taken into account set out in section 9 of the Act, and in particular the “economic conditions in the Norfolk Island community”, the Remuneration Tribunal said, and I quote


“I accept that there has been a significant increase in the cost of living on Norfolk Island since the last Determination of the Tribunal took effect in 2008. The evidence establishing this was referred to earlier.  In ordinary circumstances, this would give rise to a general increase in the remuneration payable to public sector employees.  The increased cost of living is the most important factor in the case pointing to such an increase.”


Further, the Remuneration Tribunal found that “While the funding of an increase will deprive the Administration of Norfolk Island of funds that might have gone to serve other ends, it cannot be safely concluded that the net effect on the Island’s economy will be bad.  At least the benefits of increased local consumer spending must be weighed against the loss of funds to the Administration of Norfolk Island.”


In reaching his conclusion the Remuneration Tribunal found, amongst other things and I quote “… taking into account the increased cost of living since the last Determination in 2008, the Administration of Norfolk Island’s diminished capacity to pay, and the unacceptable burden that would be imposed on the Administration of Norfolk Island if an increase were to be granted for the full period between the effective date of the last Determination in 2008 and the date of the lodgement of the present one on 9 November 2012, I think that there should be an increase of 7.0% in respect of the period from the beginning of the first pay period which commenced on or after 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015.  Very broadly this has the public sector employees sharing equally with the Administration of Norfolk Island the burden of the Island’s financial misfortunes.”


Mr Speaker, the amount of 7% is considerably lower than the amount sought in the application by the Public Service Association which was 5% each year over a five-year period from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2013.  The percentage increase amounts to approximately $11,385 payable per fortnight.


Members have discussed the effect of this Determination and the likely impact on the budget for the balance of this financial year and the Chief Executive Officer was tasked to advise the Government on the budget impacts.


Mr Speaker, I am pleased to advise that the increase can be funded from savings identified in the salary allocation in the budget for the financial year 2013/2014 and from postponing the filling of vacant positions such as the Principal Advisor to Government; Manager, Land Use and Environment and Legal Counsel.


Mr Speaker, under the Act the Determination is a disallowable instrument and a motion to disallow must be put before the house before the expiration of 65 days.


Mr Speaker, last night at 10.30pm a letter was received from the Federal Minister The Hon Jamie Briggs by email from his Department.  I table a copy of that letter.  I quote the relevant section of that letter now “The Norfolk Island Administrator had previously made appropriation for a wage increase of 3% plus $10 per week for the financial year, 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.  In light of current budgetary conditions, any further wage increases should not be agreed to”. 


Mr Speaker, the CEO consulted the Commonwealth Finance Officer and she has advised in writing, and I quote: “I have had a discussion with the Department, and we agree that FA General Condition clause 6 won’t apply in this case, as you are not “entering into a new arrangement”.  The Department was always aware of the pending determination and the 2013/14 budget made a provision for an outcome, even though the final outcome was more than the budgeted amount.  General condition clause 11 – “contain staff budgets to current numbers and funding”, will apply as the Determination increases salary expenses over the 13/14 budget.  To satisfy this condition, it would be appreciated if you could prepare a memorandum to explain how the Administration will fund the salary increase without having an impact on the overall forecast year end result”.


I understand that the CEO has provided the CFO with the information she has sought.


Mr Speaker under the Act I am required to table the determination and it can be disallowed within the 65 days mentioned above.  Therefore based on the advice from the CFO the NIA is working towards meeting the determination in the next pay period commencing 21 November 2013.


Mr Speaker, in light of the letter from the Federal Minister I will be working closely with the CEO and the Commonwealth to resolve any issue that the Federal Minister may have.


 

Thank you

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister

 

13 November 2013

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NOTICE PAPER



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POSITIVE OUTCOMES FOR NORFOLK ISLAND



The Hon Ron Ward, Minister for the Environment and the Hon Robin Adams, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, met on Thursday, 24 October 2013 with the Federal Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt on a number of cross-portfolio matters including:

 

Waste Management;

Commonwealth Marine Reserve (Norfolk Island);

Forestry Zone; and

Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area (KAVHA).

 

Ministers Ward and Adams said “The meeting was very productive and we were very grateful to Minister Hunt for meeting with us so early in his term as Minister for the Environment and for his readiness to assist Norfolk Island to resolve a number of issues”.

 

Minister Hunt promised to seek advice from his department on these issues. He also noted that a senior Parks Australia officer is on Norfolk Island this week to look at Marine and National Park management issues and would report to him on options for future management of these matters.

 

In respect to the World Heritage listed KAVHA, Minister Adams outlined a number of actions that will directly support achieving the governance and management reforms for the site included in the Norfolk Island Roadmap (2011) which were reaffirmed in a statement in the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly on 10 April 2013.

 

Minister Hunt offered to speak to his colleague, the Hon Jamie Briggs, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, about environment and heritage issues on Norfolk Island.  In this respect, Minister Adams was able to advise that the Administrator, the Hon Neil Pope, has recently raised issues relating to KAVHA with Minister Briggs.


At the conclusion of the meeting an invitation was extended on behalf of the Norfolk Island Government for Minister Hunt and his advisers to visit Norfolk Island again, as the Norfolk Island Government would welcome the opportunity to return the courtesy and respect shown by Minister Hunt.


The Norfolk Island Government takes this opportunity to extend its appreciation for  the funding to be provided by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development of $485,000 for capital projects for KAVHA announced by the Administrator on 24 October 2013.


Ron Ward                                                                          Robin Adams

Minister for the Environment                                  Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services

 

5   November 2013

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ASSESSMENT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ENTERPRISES



The Australian Government committed $0.3 million in the 2012-13 Budget to assist the Norfolk Island Government in assessing options for operation of the Government Business Enterprises (GBEs).  This proposal addresses one of the recommendations of the Norfolk Island Economic Development Report by ACIL Tasman commissioned by the Department.

Deloitte Access Economics (Deloittes) has been engaged by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to develop a framework for assessing the merits of alternate management and service delivery options for Norfolk Island’s GBEs.


The Minister for Finance, the Hon Tim Sheridan, MLA, today advised that representatives of Deloitte Access Economics arrived in Norfolk Island on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 to have initial discussions with the Office of the Administrator, the Administration and the Norfolk Island Government Ministers and to conduct site visits and meet with GBE Managers to get a better understanding of the scope and scale of the various GBEs.


Deloittes have prepared and presented a draft GBE Analysis Framework to enable consideration by the parties before it is finalised.  Once the framework is finalised, it will enable the Norfolk Island Government to enter in information about each of its GBEs in order to get a better understanding of how each is performing. From this process, business improvements may be identified, service delivery levels can be established, and necessary levels of investment will be identified that will sustain and improve the GBE.


Minister Sheridan said “the Government sees the framework as being part of a standard business improvement process. It will allow the Government to gain an improved understanding of the GBEs and which of these can be considered as fully functioning GBEs, which are true government operations and which are very small scale or have inbuilt community service obligations. Many of these GBEs have been built up over time using the resourcefulness that Norfolk Islanders are known for and provide essential and meaningful services to our community. Assessing how each is performing is the object of the framework. This is just good business sense”.


”The framework has been designed by Deloittes and we need to ensure that it is sensible, workable and practical to enable the evaluation of alternative options for the delivery and operations of the GBEs. The final approach adopted will depend on factors such as size, scope and composition of the GBEs as well as the specific commercial, financial, regulatory, social and policy considerations of each. I look forward to being able to report to the community on future outcomes of the GBE process in the near future”, the Minister said.


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance

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MIGRATION FROM ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL TELEVISION


The Hon Tim Sheridan, Minister for Finance is pleased to announce that the digital television conversion will take place on 10 December 2013 for all Norfolk Island residents.


Minister Sheridan said, ”As a result of problems experienced in obtaining the necessary parts from the UK to enable the transmission of the four missing ABC channels and in light of the change from the current analogue Aurora television transmission services to VAST digital services on 10 December, 2013, funds totalling $16,000 have been approved to rectify both issues at once.”


This will mean that residents will be able to access the full range of free-to-air television with the availability of 16 channels from 10 December this year. This change will mean that the analogue television transmission will no longer be able to be broadcast from Mt Pitt after 10 December.


The new channels will be digital transmissions and will require a set top box or digital TV. Once residents receive the new digital signals, they will see channel numbering in the same format as in Australia for example Seven as 7 and ABC news 24 as 24. The electronic program guide should work with 90% of TVs and set top boxes, and is very useful for setting up a recorder to record programs.


Minister Sheridan said “The new VAST programs will only be ½ hour later during the summer daylight saving time in the eastern states including Central 7 and Imparja and our visitors will be able to watch the same programs as they increasingly expect when on holiday.”


“With the changes that we are undertaking to the transmission site on Mt Pitt, the viewing public won’t need to purchase an expensive VAST satellite decoder box and dish as they may have seen advertised on TV, costing between $1000 and $1500. This will only be required if their place of residence is in a signal black spot on the Island. Otherwise a simple set top box or a digital television is all that will be needed. We are hopeful that many residents already have these in their homes or businesses.”


“Members of the community need to be aware that they will need a set top box or a digital television to receive the signals when the analogue service is turned off on 10 December. Some people may not be ready for the conversion, but  we are hoping that by getting this message out into the community early, residents will have time to ensure that problems are minimised.”

 

Minister Sheridan commented that “We need to move forward with digital TV and really from a cost advantage the sooner the better. We are currently in a good position to capitalise on the price and technical advances of modern VAST compliant transmission equipment. Unfortunately, some of the TVs or set top boxes may not show a picture because the picture streams are in MPEG4 and not the older MPEG2 format. But the majority of people will only need to rescan their TV’s and set top boxes on 10 December and ensure that the country of origin is set to Australia in the menu. If a password is required a simple default 0000 should suffice.”


“Some loss of picture may occur in the days leading up to the conversion as our technical people make adjustments ready for the big switchover so we do apologise in advance”


“With digital television, most people will appreciate the better picture quality and programming” said Minister Sheridan.


Further information can be obtained by contacting Mr Kim Davies, Manager, Norfolk Telecom on telephone 22244 or mobile 50600 or email to info@telecom.gov.nf.


Tim Sheridan

Minister for Finance


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LIQUOR BOND DISCOUNT POLICY


The Hon. Tim Sheridan, Minister for Finance, is pleased to announce that the Liquor Bond Discount Policy has been reviewed.


In the past, a discount by way of a mark-up of only 20%, was offered on the import of bulk wine with an invoice value in excess of $20,000 for a single shipment.  The change to the current policy, which is now effective, has reduced the invoice value to now be in excess of $5,000 for a single shipment.


“By reducing the required invoice value from $20,000 to $5,000 for a single shipment we hope to not only encourage new investment in the island in this area, but also assist current businesses in these difficult times” the Minister said.


Most readers will be aware of the longstanding traveller discount for purchases upon the production of a valid air ticket, where a traveller is entitled to a one-off purchase of a maximum of three litres of imported spirits or liqueurs at the Liquor Bond at a discount of 30% of the retail price. 


“The traveller discount is still in place and remains unchanged, it encourages travellers to purchase their liquor requirements on island, rather than at duty free stores at other destinations” the Minister said.


The final discount component of the policy is still being reviewed and stands unchanged at this time.  Therefore, the discount of 7% of the retail price given on a single purchase over $1,000 from the Liquor Bond (a few products do not attract the discount), is still in place.

For more details, the Liquor Bond Discount Policy can be downloaded at www.info.gov.nf under the heading of “Liquor”.


Tim Sheridan                                                                       

Minister for Finance

25 October 2013

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ROAD SAFETY FORUM


On behalf of the Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Ron Ward, the Chief Minister, Hon. Lisle Snell opened the Road Safety Forum on Wednesday evening.  The forum was held to outline some of the aims and objectives of the Road Safety Committee.


The Australian Government, through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, has provided $25,000 for a Norfolk Island road safety strategy.  The strategy is funded under the Norfolk Island Community Initiative, a one-off measure which provided $200,000 in July 2013 for some 19 projects offering clear public benefit for the community, in the areas of family and community wellbeing, economic initiatives, environment, health, education, culture and history.


“The Road Safety Committee are co-ordinating the formation of a road safety strategy and the public forum was an opportunity for community members to contribute their ideas, concerns and views to be included in the strategy” the Chief Minister said.


“At the forum I undertook to provide the 2013-2014 budgeted figure for Roads, in response to questions and suggestions raised on the condition of our roads here on Norfolk Island.  The budgeted allocation for 2013-2014 is $497,000.  Included within this amount is the provision for wages of $170,000.  It should be recognised that staff employed in the Roads Department are also deployed in other areas as required, for example, when the ship is unloading.  The remaining $325,000 is recurrent expenditure in the roads maintenance programme.  The road works programme is partly funded from the .20c per litre fuel levy, expected to raise $330,000 this financial year”, the Chief Minister said.


 “Many people have contributed to the road safety project so far, unfortunately too numerous to mention all.  However the Norfolk Island Government would like to thank and acknowledge everyone for their contribution and extend appreciation to the Commonwealth for the funding received for this important project, with thanks to His Honour the Administrator and Ginny Maidment for their support.  Thanks is also extended to Mr Ian Faulks, a qualified individual with a Norfolk connection, who has assisted immensely with a strategic overview of the campaign. Thanks also to the OIC of Police and the St. John’s Ambulance, especially Peter Davidson for his commitment to this project.  Our appreciation also to George Smith at the radio station for recording the proceedings and to Helen Pedel and Jason Ellem for their excellent role as impartial facilitators of the forum” the Chief Minister said.


An information sheet and questionnaire are available at the Police Station, Post Office and Registry for those persons who would like to obtain further details of the road safety initiative and who would like to provide written comment.  Further enquiries can be made to the Officer in Charge of Police on phone 22222 or the Registrar, Allen Bataille, on phone 23691.  More information will be provided by the Road Safety Committee as the project progresses.

 

 

Lisle Snell

Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism

 

25 October 2013

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NORFOLK ISLAND ACHIEVES ANOTHER CENTENARY


In the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, 16 October 2013, the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, the Hon Robin Adams, announced that 1 July 2014 Norfolk Island will have reached another Centenary.  The Centenary of Norfolk Island being placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia.