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WHY WILL NORFOLK ISLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL NOT MAKE THE GHD REPORT 2017 AVAILABLE TO THE NORFOLK ISLAND COMMUNITY?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019



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The Preamble

Friday, May 10, 2019


Dear Editor,
I would like to share an email sent this week to the members of the Norfolk Island Regional Council and I suppose for the historical record. Thank you, Rick Kleiner.
***
8 May, 2019 Norfolk Island Regional Council


Dear Councillors,

Based on my dialogue with Asst. Minister Sussan Ley, I firmly believe where the Council left the matter of the Preamble to The Norfolk Island Act has rendered the reinstatement of even the essence of it in serious jeopardy. And only that Council which produced this situation can correct it, while it is still in office.

As you will recall, the significance of the Preamble resurfaced recently when it was revealed the Commonwealth deleted it in 2015 because it specifically recognised a people originally from Pitcairn Island living here. My first communication from Minister Ley on the subject of a replacement preamble was her email to me of 14 March, 2019, in which she states, “It is important for the whole of the community to be involved and look forward to seeing how the Norfolk Island Regional Council progresses this important work.” Subsequently, in an interview with the editor of the New South Wales newspaper, The Border Mail (4 April, 2019), in which she mentions me by name, she repeated her position: "I am now putting this idea forward to the local Norfolk Island Council, for them to then progress the drafting of a new introduction…". (Ms. Ley’s office has since informed me she is unavailable for further comment until after the upcoming Federal election.)

This emphasis on the locally-elected government resolving a politically charged issue can seem eminently fair and democratic until it’s realised it hinges on a related motion passed unanimously by the Council, all of you, two years ago. Coming in part on the heels of discovering the Australian Bureau of Statistics did not recognise Norfolk Islander as an ancestry in the 2016 Census, you attempted to reinstate the Preamble by first defining who is a Norfolk Islander and who are the Norfolk Island people. Then something went awry and you ended-up doing the Commonwealth’s work for them.

Taken from the Mayor’s “Keeping the Community Updated” article in The Norfolk Islander of 22 July, 2017: “Council requests the Mayor in consultation with the General Manager and the President of the Council of Elders to report back to Council by December 2017 how best Council can fulfil its advocacy role for the re-instatement of a Preamble to the Norfolk Island Act that addresses the concerns of the Norfolk Island people.” Buttressed by the cultural objectives of The Community Strategic Plan 2016-2026, which includes as an objective a diverse and inclusive community, the article continues: “In speaking to the motion I hope I made it clear that in using the term ‘Norfolk Island people’ I am also including people who, whilst they may not be descendants of the settlers from Pitcairn Island nevertheless they were born here or schooled here or who have lived here for the greater part of their lives or over several generations, all of whom call Norfolk Island their home.”

How can inclusion not be a worthy goal? Inclusion in a multi-cultural community is the only way to proceed or it results in second-class citizenry and continual resentment. But I notice in your motion “the” Preamble” is now “a” Preamble and the definition of the Norfolk Island people lacks
even the suggestion of a resident ethnic people. The wording might as well have been written by
the Commonwealth itself to replace what it had deleted. I’m certain this wasn’t your intention.

The process started then stalled. On 16 May, 2018, when noting the Council of Elders’objection to this circumstance, you voted to support the Mayor in further consultations with the community that “… allows for lodgement of submissions; recorded public hearings with available Councillors; and a community meeting”. So far as I know, none of this occurred and that is where the matter lies. However, although the initiative may be stalled, the problem is the motion still exists and will be the starting point whenever the Commonwealth wishes it to resume – without a reference to this place as a homeland. Unless the motion really does express your convictions, given the deliberate demographic change rapidly occurring in the electorate, the composition of the next Council or the one thereafter may well find it an opportune starting point to complete this rewrite.It was, after all, produced and approved by an elected body four-fifths of whom are themselves of Pitcairn Island descent. At that point, with I suspect the majority of you probably out of office, there will be no leverage with which to effectively argue otherwise. And history, at least on paper and soon enough in fact, will have changed.

I think it was Criticus in ancient times who observed that any attempt at assimilating Norfolk Island which didn't take into account the Pitcairn-ness of this place would be an ugly, prolonged and needlessly expensive fit. That sentiment needs to be fully resurrected for us all to move forward.Inclusion was never to come at the exclusion of a resident people and resolving that is the important unfinished work at hand. As it stands, the motion remains yours, passed before you or any of us were aware of the Commonwealth’s true objective regarding ethnicity on Norfolk. Please take ownership of this worrisome predicament and either correct it or withdraw the motion entirely while you still have the authority to do so.

Thank you,
Rick Kleiner

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Public notice from the Norfolk Island Chamber of Commerce, Inc

Friday, May 03, 2019


Dear Norfolk Island Residents

As some of you are not members of the Norfolk Island Chamber of Commerce, Inc Chamber is publishing the Terms of Reference for the Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC)2019 Norfolk Island Inquiry.

Though the Australian Government's Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development, Infrastructure and Cities (DIRDC) has in place a community engagement strategy, there has not been proper and full community notice and consultation.

The Chamber of Commerce now requests of DIRDC and the CGC, full and effective consultation with those directly affected.

 

https://www.cgc.gov.au/sites/default/files/norfolk_island_inquiry_2019_-_terms_of_reference.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0itsblejwS1RAQWBohKAruCM57PC9UY0qFVBcUOPM0jAsTAXJrdtyMVEQ


CGC will:

(3)  Determine the capacity of Norfolk Island to raise revenue from a comparable range of taxes and charges levied by state and local governments.

(4)  Determine the costs of infrastructure that would be required for the provision of state-type government services, local government services and support for legacy state-type government business enterprises at the range and levels provided in the states, assuming Norfolk Island has the average per capita infrastructure at the beginning of the financial year.

Norfolk Island Chamber of Commerce, Inc


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Re: Norfolk Island Hospital – Operating Theatre

Friday, May 03, 2019



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Norfolk Island Operating Theatre

Friday, May 03, 2019



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Hapkido Update

Wednesday, May 01, 2019


To all my current students unfortunately I have made a decision after 20 years of teaching Hapkido on Norfolk Island to close the club down.

I have enjoyed the last 20 years of passing on my knowledge of martial arts to the children, youth and adults of Norfolk Island. It has been an honour to teach, seeing people being empowered while  growing in confidence. To  share the physical and mental benefits that Martial arts gives while  passing on my passion.


However the new regime of increasing regulations on Norfolk Island has made it harder to operate a non profit sports club. It is sad that after 40 years of training in martial arts I now  have to be re certified every two years to teach, to meet insurance guidelines, that I have to obtain a blue card, that I have to be certified in first aid every year. All this raises the costs and investment in time for a sport that I was teaching for no profit.

I want to thank all my current and previous students and wish them well and I would also like to thank all those in this wonderful Norfolk Island community that have supported myself and the Norfolk Island Hapkido Club.


Thaenks f’ acklan and guud luuk orl awa.


John Christian

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It is a no brainer

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Dear Editor


Our friends from ThinkPlace have been sent on a mission by DIRDC to develop a framework for community consultation.


The answer is simple. Consultation should begin at the Ballot Box.


Allow the people of Norfolk Island to vote for their own government, and allow their elected representatives to make decisions on the matters that are currently handled (very badly) by DIRDC.


Problem solved. It is a no-brainer.


Yours etc

Mary Christian-Bailey

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The Norfolk Island Regional Council General Manager (Gm) Believes She Has The Right To Dictate Which Groups Are To Be Part Of Norfolk United Group (Nug)

Friday, March 22, 2019


THE NORFOLK ISLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL GENERAL MANAGER (GM) BELIEVES SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO DICTATE WHICH GROUPS ARE TO BE PART OF NORFOLK UNITED GROUP (NUG)


The GM declined to accept the NUG written invitation of 14 March 2019 (with copy to Mr Bruce Taylor) to the public meeting held on 18 March 2019 to discuss the crane/shipping and rock situation, without even the courtesy of a response to the invitation.   A email from the Mayor states:


“I have consulted with Councillors who are on island – Crs McCoy and Snell – and we are agreed that your  interests would be better served by seeking a meeting with the General Manager and Group Manager Services Mr Bruce Taylor in the first instance.  You will then get answers to your concerns first hand; answers that Councillors will not necessarily be able to provide to you when they are operational in nature.  The elected members gave instructions re the relief crane and the purchase of a new crane  through a recommendation  to the operational arm on 1 February 2019.  I have provided you with a copy of that recommendation and the media release titled Lighterage Report - and I understand Group Manager Services has given an undertaking to you to provide further information after discussion with the lessor of the relief crane.”


As a follow up to the public meeting, the NUG scheduled a meeting with the GM for 21 March 2019 to address important questions from the community around the unacceptable crane/shipping debacle and the rock situation.


A day prior to the meeting on 20 March 2018, NUG made it very clear in writing that it did not accept the written conditions laid out by the GM regarding the maximum number, organisational representation and composition of the NUG group that was planning to meet with her. The NUG informed the GM of seven proposed attendee names, plus the possibility of 2 or 3 more to be added.


When a group of 8 representatives showed up for the scheduled meeting, the GM refused in a rude and discourteous manner to meet with them, as she stated that her conditions were not met for the maximum number and the specific organisations to be represented by the NUG delegation. Clearly, the conditions dictated to by the GM were more important to her than actually using the opportunity to address the community issues.


NUG now publicly requests the General Manager to urgently explain in writing her inappropriate behaviour and attitude towards members of the public because it is not acceptable.


NUG would like to remind the General Manager and Councillors of the following extracts from the Norfolk Island Regional Council – Code of Conducted adopted 6 July 2016, Resolution 6/16, as follows:

Introduction:  Councillors, administrators, members of staff of council, independent conduct reviewers, members of council committees including a conduct review committee and delegates of the council must comply with the applicable provisions of council’s code of conduct in carrying out their functions as council officials. It is the personal responsibility of council officials to comply with the standards in the code and regularly review their personal circumstances with this in mind.


Failure by a member of staff to comply with council’s code of conduct may give rise to disciplinary action.


General conduct

You must not conduct yourself in carrying out your functions in a manner that is likely to bring the council or holders of civic office into disrepute. Specifically, you must not act in a way that:

a) contravenes the Act, associated regulations, council’s relevant administrative requirements and policies

b) is detrimental to the pursuit of the charter of a council

c) is improper or unethical

d) is an abuse of power or otherwise amounts to misconduct

e) causes, comprises or involves intimidation, harassment or verbal abuse

f) causes, comprises or involves discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment in relation to employment

g) causes, comprises or involves prejudice in the provision of a service to the community. (Schedule 6A)

3.2 You must act lawfully, honestly and exercise a reasonable degree of care and diligence in carrying out your functions under the Act or any other Act. (section 439)

3.3 You must treat others with respect at all times.


Norfolk United Group

21 March 2019

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Community Meeting

Friday, March 22, 2019


NORFOLK UNITED GROUP (NUG) WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU TO THE NORFOLK COMMUNITY FOR COMING TO THE PUBLIC MEETING ON MONDAY NIGHT AND ASKING QUESTIONS OF THE MAYOR, COUNCILLOR SNELL AND COUNCILLOR MCCOY.  NUG THANKS COUNCILLORS FOR ATTENDING.


THERE WERE MANY POSITIVE AND URGENT ANSWERS REQUIRED TO QUESTIONS ASKED WHICH WERE TO BE THEN DISCUSSED WITH THE GENERAL MANAGER AND NIRC STAFF.  UNFORTUNATELY THE GENERAL MANAGER DECIDED WHO SHE THOUGHT WAS TO BE PART OF THE NUG GROUP SO THE MEETING WITH HER DID NOT TAKE PLACE.


NUG IS FOLLOWING THIS SERIOUS MATTER UP URGENTLY WITH COUNCILLORS AND WILL UPDATE YOU ALL AFTER A MEETING WITH COUNCILLORS.


THANK YOU ALL FOR THE DONATION OF PAYING FOR THE VENUE - THE $300.00 PAYMENT WAS RAISED.

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Inappropriate Behaviour by the General Manager

Friday, March 22, 2019


Dear Mayor and Councillors,


As outlined to you all in previous email correspondence from the Norfolk United Group, the level of inappropriate behaviour and unprofessional actions displayed by the General Manager, Norfolk Island Regional Council, Ms Lotta Jackson, today towards members of the Norfolk United Group raises questions of her Code of Conduct and her ability to maturely, intelligently and rationally work, consult and collaborate with the more diverse and self-regulated community groups on Norfolk Island.


Therefore, on behalf of Chamber members, I wish to request a meeting next week with each of you and the Chamber Committee to discuss the seriousness of the General Manager's behaviour and actions today; as no community group based on volunteers with local membership (residents) should be subjected to such blatant rudeness and disrespect.  


It would be appreciated if you would confirm a meeting date and time by return email as soon as possible.


Kind regards,

Cherri Buffett

President

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