Office of the Administrator


Changes to Support Norfolk Island Regional Council Elections



Changes have recently been made to the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) (NI) to facilitate the Norfolk Island Regional Council (the Council) election in 2020. These changes largely deal with technical and administrative matters and they will not affect the experience of voters and their participation in elections.

The first legislative change allows the Council to decide how elections are run in 2020 and beyond. The second clarifies the responsibility for the various election activities and requirements. The third change ensures personal information is handled by authorised persons only for the purpose of running the election. The final change is the replacement of references to NSW laws that do not operate in Norfolk Island with the relevant Norfolk Island laws.

A factsheet about the legislative changes is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities’ website at www.infrastructure.gov.au/ni-legislation.

 

The Norfolk Island Applied Laws Ordinance 2016, outlining the changes to the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) (NI), will be published on the Federal Register of Legislation website at www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2016L00729.

Ends.

Eric Hutchinson

December 2018

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Remembrance Day 2018



Firstly may I acknowledge all those ex-service personnel here this morning.

Remembrance Day has a special significance in 2018.

Sunday, 11 November 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War (1914–18).

In summary and from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra:

One hundred years ago, on 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after four years of continuous warfare. With their armies retreating and close to collapse, German leaders signed an Armistice, bringing to an end the First World War. From the summer of 1918, the five divisions of the Australian Corps had been at the forefront of the allied advance to victory. Beginning with their stunning success at the battle of Hamel in July, they helped to turn the tide of the war at Amiens in August, followed by the capture of Mont St Quentin and Pèronne, and the breaching of German defences at the Hindenburg Line in September. By early October the exhausted Australians were withdrawn from battle. They had achieved a fighting reputation out of proportion to their numbers, but victory had come at a heavy cost. They suffered almost 65,000 casualties during 1918, including more than 14,000 dead.

------------------------------------
In the four years of the war more than 330,000 Australians had served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them had died. The social effects of these losses cast a long shadow over the postwar decades.

No events divided, changed and ultimately defined us than those which bring us together today.

Every nation has its story and more than any other this is our nation’s story.

The role that Australia played in 1918 had such a significant impact on international affairs, perhaps more so than at any other time in our history.

The 11th of November 1918 was a long time coming. In October of 1917 in the quagmire of Passchendaele, Australian troops, that included Ivens Satterfield “Pullis’ Nobbs from Norfolk Island, sustained 38,000 casualties in just 8 weeks.

35 were killed for every metre of ground taken. In the March of 2018 the Germans took it all back in just 3 days.

So many stories from the darkest of times for a fledgling nation:

The school in the French town of Villers-Bretonneux remembers. The playground to this day bears words imploring the local children to, N’oublions j’amais l’Australie (Never Forget Australia).

One of those they unknowingly thanked was again Pullis Nobbs

In the words of Sergeant Walter Downing of the 57th Battalion ….houses burning in the town threw a sinister light…..it was past midnight. Men muttered, “It’s ANZAC Day”….there was nothing to do but go straight forward and die hard. ------And they did.

In defending a German advance on the town of Amiens, the Australian troops went forward, many into the face of machine guns.

Again Downing wrote “The yelling rose high and passed to the 58th and 60th battalions. Baying like hell-hounds, they charged.”

They attacked the Germans with bayonets and grenades that wreaked bloody havoc. Days later Downing wrote ……. The killing went on, I was mad….I had
blood all over my rifle, bayonet and hands…… we had avenged Fromelles….

Years later again he wrote: The Australians had killed and killed …..The evil pyre in the town flickered and showed to their killers the white faces of the Germans
lurking in shell holes, or flinging away their arms and trying to escape, only to be stabbed or shot down.

As one German officer wrote: The Australians were magnificent. Nothing seemed to stop them. When our fire was heaviest, they just disappeared in shell holes and came up as soon as it slackened.

Three days after the Amiens offensive British Field Marshall Douglas Haig in thanking the Australian divisional commanders at Villers-Bretonneux, is reported to have said, with tears rolling down his cheeks – “You do not know what the Australians and Canadians have done for the British Empire in these days”.

June 1918 saw John Monash promoted to Lieutenant General and in command of the Australian Corps. With brilliance and the attention to detail of the engineer he was, he would go on to lead our nation’s five divisions to a series of stunning victories. – Yet like others war sickened him. Writing after Passchendaele, “I am heartily sick of the whole war business. Its horror, ghastly inefficiency, impossible cruelty and misery have always appalled me.”

In July of the same year Monash would lead a combined Australian and American force for the first time in history under the command of an Australian General, tasked to regain the village of Hamel captured by the Germans in their March offensive.

The significance of Monash’s role was not lost on the Australian troops, but testament to the brilliance of the man he chose the 4th of July – American Independence Day to fight.

To reinforce his capacity also as an administrator, the victory he had planned to take 90 minutes was complete in 93 minutes.

Further victories were achieved at Mont St Quentin and Peronne: Where eight Victoria Crosses were awarded to Australians, the greatest for any single
operation. 

Pullis Nobbs’ battalion had seen active service from Passchendaele in 1917 to Villers-Bretteneux and Perrone in 1918. What a far cry from the peaceful farming life he must have had on Norfolk Island up until January 1916. He returned to Norfolk Island and died in April 1975 in his 78th year.

The Hindenburg Line was broken in late September of 1918 and the capture of Montbrehain on the 5th of October was the last battle fought by these war wearied and exhausted diggers.

A world away in Palestine, victory came on the 31st of October when the Turks signed an armistice.

In Europe on the Western Front, the guns fell silent with the signing of the Armistice on the 11th of November 1918 – One hundred years to the day.

Victory came with 62,000 Australians dead. Over the following decade another 60,000 would die. And for many returning soldiers another war was about to
begin, in the words of one such soldier: The war will never let us go you know. It will come back at all sorts of times.

You finish up enlisting twice – once for the war and once for the nightmares. The role Australia played in Europe in 1918 was quite extraordinary. If ANZAC
cove in 1915 united a nation, 1918 on the Western Front defined a nation. But it came at a terrible cost for many families.

Were that I could find the words, so once again I turn to Charles Bean… Australia’s official war correspondent Charles Bean wrote: “It is over. The
enormous effort of the men – yes, and women and children…. Is finished…. Australia will settle down to carve out her new and splendid future… we are free to be happy again. Sixty thousand Australians bought us this happiness with their lives.

Twenty years later Bean again, “What these men did, nothing can alter now. The good and the bad; the greatness and the smallness of their story; it rises, it
always rises, above the mists of ages…. A monument to great hearted men and for their nation a possession forever.”

Today we honour the memory of:
 Those who did not return
 Those who returned home, but with broken limbs, broken minds and
broken spirits
 The families who have lost loved ones
 Those who continue to serve in our nations name and on our behalf

From us, those who remain, who live and love and on behalf of those who will
follow us….

We salute you.
We remain forever in your debt.
We will remember them
Lest We Forget.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island

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Administrator’s 2019 Young Endeavour Youth Scheme Expressions of Interest


Expressions of Interest are sought from young people aged 16 to 23 with an interest in participating in the 2019 Young Endeavour Youth Scheme.

This sponsorship will enable one young person ordinarily resident on Norfolk Island to participate in a sail training voyage aboard the Young Endeavour.

The Young Endeavour experience is not a leisurely cruise.  It is a unique, challenging  and inspirational experience at sea, which seeks to increase self awareness; develop confidence, teamwork and leadership skills; and build on community responsibility. 


The Young Endeavour is a 44m-long tall ship purpose-built for sail training, with modern technology and world –standard safety navigation equipment. You live ‘between decks’ in a close community with other youth crew from diverse places and backgrounds across Australia. Further information on the Young Endeavour and its voyages is available at: http://www.youngendeavour.gov.au/


The Administrator’s sponsorship  will cover the cost of a berth on the Young Endeavour and assistance with insurance, airline travel to and from Norfolk Island, and accommodation, if required.

It is envisaged the successful candidate will take part in the Young Endeavour’s voyage departing from Brisbane on 22 July 2019 and returning to Sydney on 01 August 2019. 

To be eligible you must meet the below selection criteria:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • ordinarily live on Norfolk Island
  • be 16 - 23 years old on the day of departure of the voyage
  • be able to swim 50 metres
  • weigh less than 120kg and be in good health
  • not have previously sailed aboard the Young Endeavour.

If you are aged under 18, your parent or guardian must give permission for you to participate in the voyage.  And for safety reasons, there are certain medical conditions which may preclude participation in the voyage. Offers are provisional until confirmed by Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, including completion of its health questionnaire.

Expressions of Interest  will be assessed by a panel, together with the Administrator.

Further information and application forms are available from the Office of the Administrator during business hours.

Completed EOI forms must be lodged with the Office of the Administrator Office before close of business on Tuesday 8 January 2019.


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AWARDS ON AUSTRALIA DAY 2019



Nominations are sought for the Administrator’s 2019 Norfolk Island Australia Day Awards.

The Administrator’s Norfolk Island Australia Day Awards recognise those people in the Norfolk Island community whose service and contributions have made a significant difference to the community or a significant section of the community.  They also recognise significant achievement by members of our community.

Nominations are sought for awards in the following categories:

The Citizen of the Year Award

The Young Citizen of the Year Award

The Achievement Award

The Sports Award

The Junior Sports Award

The Citizen and Young Citizen Awards recognise outstanding contributions to the Norfolk Island community.  The Young Citizen Award is for persons up to 25 years of age as at 26 January 2019.  The Citizen Award is for persons over that age.

The Sports Awards, in the same age categories, recognise:

Outstanding ability or participation

Achievement in a particular competition

The Achievement Award recognises significant achievement for which no other avenue of public acknowledgement exists.

Nominations for these awards should be submitted to the Office of the Administrator in a sealed envelope marked “Australia Day Award Nomination”.   Each nomination should include:

  • the nominator’s details;
  • the category in which the nomination is made;
  • an outline of how the nominee has made a significant contribution to our community or a significant achievement;
  • examples that show how the nominee has gone above and beyond what could reasonably be expected of someone in a similar position;  and
  • two written references in support of the nomination.

All nominations are strictly confidential.  The person being nominated should not be advised of their nomination or approached for information.

Nominations will be considered by a community panel.   The Administrator will announce the Australia Day Awards at Government House on Australia Day January 2019.


Lodgement of nominations must be received by the Office of the Administrator by close of business, Wednesday 12 December 2018.

For further information contact the Office of the Administrator on phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator

October 2018

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Norfolk Island Regional Council election in 2020


Changes to the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) (NI) are being made to facilitate the Norfolk Island Regional Council (Council) election in 2020.

These changes will deal with issues such as:

  • enabling the Council to choose how the election in 2020 and future elections should be run
  • clarifying responsibilities for the various election activities
  • making sure personal information is collected, used and shared by authorised people and organisations for the purpose of running the election
  • replacing references to NSW laws that do not operate in Norfolk Island with references to relevant Norfolk Island laws.

If you would like more information, a fact sheet is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities’ Legislation Updates webpage (www.infrastructure.gov.au/ni-legislation).

If you have any questions or comments about the proposed changes, please contact my Office on telephone 22152 or e-mail Office.Administrator@infrastructure.gov.au

Eric Hutchinson     

November 2018

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Traineeship with Department of Agriculture and Biosecurity



I would also like to congratulate the Department of Agriculture and Biosecurity for again offering a Traineeship position to a suitable applicant here on Norfolk Island for next year. It really is a wonderful opportunity and as I am also aware a number of students finishing their Year 12 studies are planning to spend next year on the island, I would encourage anyone of these young adults with an interest in this area to consider applying. No doubt it will be very competitive, but it is worth the effort for the right person.
Eric Hutchinson

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Cruise Ship unable to disembark



I like many other residents, and certainly the business community of Norfolk Island, was disappointed that the cruise ship Pacific Explorer was unable to disembark passengers last Sunday. A number of local people have contacted my office in the past week believing that whilst the preferred port for disembarkation of passengers may have been Cascade, in fact on Sunday it was Kingston that would have been a more suitable place to unload passengers, given the prevailing wind from the North East.

Ultimately the decision to unload or not unload passengers is the responsibility of the Captain of the ship, something which I believe most could well appreciate. Similarly I am informed that part of the decision not to use Kingston was due to the low tide scheduled for late morning. The risk of damage to the ship’s tenders was considered too great and unfortunately the ship sailed on to her next destination. Not being at all qualified to pass judgement or even to offer an opinion on such matters, it nevertheless seems, albeit to an untrained observer, somewhat perplexing given disembarkation usually commences much earlier in the morning and embarkation later in the afternoon.

Regardless of the reasons, it highlights the importance of the new passenger barges funded by the Australian Government that are nearing completion, and in fact are due to undergo their first sea trials in a matter of weeks. This is exciting for a number of reasons, not least of all it will significantly reduce the perceived risk a ship’s captain must consider when using his own tenders, therefore dramatically increasing the likelihood of the ship disembarking passengers here on Norfolk Island. This as most would appreciate has a broad benefit to the islands economy immediately, but importantly also in the future given the high number of those who book a holiday later on to Norfolk Island as a result of the experience they had when cruising.

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Planning Act changes to support Norfolk Island’s growth and sustainability


The Administrator of Norfolk Island, Mr Eric Hutchinson

Norfolk Island Regional Council


The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities and the Council have been working together for some time to address barriers to the construction of important public infrastructure on Norfolk Island.

In response to a request from the Council, changes have been made to the Planning Act 2002 (NI) to support Norfolk Island’s growth and sustainability.

The main change is a new approval process for significant developments such as recreation centres, waste management facilities and roads.

Under the new process, projects will need to demonstrate that they will benefit the Norfolk Island community. They must also fit in with other plans for Norfolk Island including the Community Strategic Plan and Council’s Operational Plan.

Feedback during community consultation about the changes indicated you wanted more say in local planning decisions.

The community will be able to make submissions on any significant development proposal. Councillors will also have an active role and help decide which projects go through the new process.

During the approval process, the Commonwealth Minister responsible for Norfolk Island or their delegate will consider these submissions and can set conditions on the development to address any concerns.

To make sure the new process is working, and it meets Norfolk Island’s needs, it will be reviewed after two years.    


More information about the changes can be found on the Department’s website at

http://regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/governance/legislation-updates.aspx

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Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee Communique September 2018


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Daylight Saving from 2019


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Government House Charity 'Open Days'


FOR PERIOD JULY 2018 to JUNE 2019

 

Norfolk Island’s historic Government House - built in 1829 and handsomely restored - is generally not open to the public. However, on a number of occasions each year, its formal rooms are open for the afternoon - 1.00 pm to 3.30 pm - for public inspection.

This is to allow opportunities for people to visit and gain an appreciation of Government House’s place in the rich history of Norfolk Island as well as to raise funds for Norfolk Island’s volunteer charity and service organisations.

The Government House Open Day program is subject to the possibility that scheduled Open Days may be cancelled or changed at short notice because of operational requirements or bad weather such as when it is wet or windy. Visitors must be advised of this fact.

The Government House Open Day Program will be reviewed at the end of the 2019/2020 financial year.

The program for community organisations which will benefit from the entry charge of $15 per adult (children under 15 years of age, and accompanied by an adult, are free) is as follows:-

Wednesday 15th August 2018                                                     NI Hospital Auxiliary

Wednesday 12th September 2018                                              Girl Guides/Youth Ministry

Wednesday 26th September 2018                                             NI Quota Club  (Rescheduled from 11 July)

Wednesday 10th October  2018                                                   Care Norfolk

Wednesday 14th November 2018                                               Mental Health/Mens Shed

Wednesday 5th December 2018                                                                NI Red Cross

Wednesday 23rd January 2019                                                   Royal A & H Society

Wednesday 6th February 2019                                                   NISEDU

Tuesday 5th March 2019                                                               NI RSL Auxiliary

Wednesday 24th April 2019                                                         St Johns Ambulance                                       

Wednesday 22nd May 2019                                                         Boomerang Bags Norfolk Island

Wednesday 5th June 2019                                                            Banyan Park1

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Administrator’s Update



Modern Awards

Firstly may I take this opportunity to congratulate the Norfolk Island Chamber of Commerce for the proactive and practical way in which they have supported the local business community, in the lead up to the 1st of July 2018 as employers and employees transition into the new world of Modern Awards.


It is a big change, but as expected and it comes as no surprise to learn the overwhelming majority of employers want to and will do the right thing by their employees under these new arrangements. Naturally some employers are well advanced and prepared, others still have some work to do, but the point being is that help is at hand for those that need it.


The Chamber organised meetings with representatives from the NSW Business Chamber and advice was provided to help employers restructure their businesses in order to minimise the impacts of these changes. In addition the feedback they receive from local businesses in the coming months may in time lead to advocacy to the Fair Work Commission about any specific impacts of these changes on the Norfolk Island economy. In addition to the Chambers positive initiatives, representatives from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) were on the island again this week holding one on one meetings with employers.


My message to the FWO is to make sure that the support for the employers and employees here on Norfolk Island is ongoing and does not just become directions to a website after July the 1st. This as I said earlier is a big change and support is justified and should be easily accessible.


Freight Roundtable

Thank you to the business representatives, Norfolk Island Regional Investment Officer Jan Johnston (RIO), NIRC representatives, DIRDC representatives and facilitator Kerry Grace from the Mid North Coast RDA for their attendance at a freight roundtable I hosted last week.


By way of an update, all those in attendance agreed to participate in a ‘process’,  that aims to bring all the necessary information and data together to build a prospectus.  Such a document will articulate the freight task here on Norfolk Island, in order to attract prospective operators. The community will have a chance to provide input during this process.


There is no silver bullet here, other than by doing this work described above, collectively growing the economy and supporting local business to grow, in particular those that are focussed on producing value added products that might have export market potential. I firmly believe those people are here on Norfolk Island and part of my job and that of the RIO is to find ways of supporting these entrepreneurs to expand their enterprises. If we do this they will employ more local Norfolk Islanders and importantly grow ‘Brand Norfolk Island’.


As Walt Disney described ‘a brand is a thousand small gestures’, therefore the more ways in which we can positively raise the profile of Norfolk Island, in addition to the new revenue generated, the dividend that will flow can benefit everyone.


Eric Hutchinson

21 June 2018

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Administrators Update


This week I am hosting three very important events, either organised and driven by the community, or in response to community-initiated success.


On Tuesday morning I will be hosting a breakfast meeting at Government House to support the work of the Women’s Advocacy Group Norfolk Island (WAGNI) who have partnered with the Wesley Mission to deliver a financial literacy program “In Charge of My Money” to Norfolk Island's women and girls.


This is important because understanding how to budget is the first step towards achieving financial security. This program will empower women and girls to make better financial decisions and increase their ability to start making their money work for them.


Later that day, I’ll be hosting a Freight Round Table at my Office. This forum will bring together a cross-section of the Norfolk Island business community to start developing a strategy to improve air freight services. Kerry Grace, Director of Regional Development, RDA Mid North Coast, will facilitate the meeting, supported by Jan Johnson, Norfolk Island’s Regional Investment Officer.


If there has been one issue that has been raised constantly with me over many months it is freight. My strong belief is that long term, any ‘sustainable’ solution must involve a commercially viable private sector service. Yes, there are challenges in achieving this, such as how we build a bigger product base that could be back-loaded freight from Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island Regional Council can play a role in this with e-waste, but potential must also exist for ‘value-added’ agricultural products. It is so encouraging for me to hear from local people, the ideas they have for expanding production of some of the amazing food products available here. The ‘tyranny of distance’ will inevitably demand that exports be essentially low volume and high value, but I can envisage a day when Norfolk Island food products are commanding premium prices in Sydney delicatessens.


Finally, and now that the dust has settled a little, I have invited the members of the very successful Norfolk Island Commonwealth Games Team along with representatives of the Island’s various sporting clubs to a function at Government House on Thursday.


This is a chance to reflect on both the individual success of the Men’s Triples Bowls Team, but more broadly recognise the contribution so many individuals and clubs make to this community. For me it was something of a revelation when first arriving on Norfolk Island to see the variety of different sporting and social clubs that are active on the island. As many would perhaps appreciate, often being part of a club is less about the sport itself and more about the social networking and companionship that being part of such an entity provides.


These are perhaps good examples of where the community is driving change in response to community need and as Administrator it is most appropriate for me to do whatever I can to provide my support.


Obviously my role as Administrator is primarily to represent the Australian Government here on Norfolk Island. But, as a part of your community, I can also be an advocate for and on behalf of Norfolk Island for your many positive initiatives such as those listed above.

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Bounty Day 2018


To those families who are participating in the Bounty Day re-enactment of the 1856 landing on Norfolk Island on Friday the 8th of June, a welcoming invitation is extended to visit Government House gardens on returning from the Cemetery to All Saints Church. Light refreshments will be available, as was the case last year.

It was a former Administrator over 50 years ago who invited the community to utilise the grounds of Government House for judging of the costumes. As the current Administrator, I warmly extend the same invitation to the community for next year’s event.

I am most grateful to have been invited to join the local community for lunch in the Compound and look forward to celebrating this most significant day for many people of Pitcairn descent on Norfolk Island again this year.

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator

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Administrator’s address to the Dawn Service



Mayor of the Norfolk Island Regional Council Ms Robin Adams and Councillors, President of the Norfolk Island RSL Sub-Branch Mr Warren Finch and Committee, Veterans and serving members of the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you to the RSL for the opportunity to speak this morning. I also had the privilege of giving this address 12 months ago, but having only recently arrived on Norfolk Island I was unprepared for the poignancy of the scene behind me.

The evocative image of Norfolk Island’s very own “lone pine” across the bay stimulates the imagination and with little effort one can be transported, metaphorically at least to the beaches of Gallipoli 103 years ago today. I failed to mention this last year but have now had redemption.

Indeed images of the Pine trees of Norfolk Island must oft have been a pleasant distraction for the 81 men from Norfolk Island who have served in both the defence forces of Australia and New Zealand over the past 103 years.

So close your eyes for a moment if you will….

Imagine yourself as a tradesman from Queensland, a clerk from Melbourne, a labourer from Tasmania, or a farmer from Norfolk Island, more likely than not leaving home for the first time in your life, now sitting on a ship under orders of silence off the Turkish coast.

We might all ponder; what would I have felt and done? In that silence before the dawn, would I have been waiting for the long night to end, to be able to get on with the task, or would I have sat and prayed, hoping the first light might never come.

Sadly post the ‘war to end all wars’ we trusted that by the grace of God and because of the sacrifice of these selfless men, future generations would never again be asked to answer such questions. Tragically this was not the case, as many of those veterans with us here this morning can attest.

Today across our nations we pause to remember, things we might normally try to forget. We aren’t here today to mourn a defeat, or to honour a success. The names on the memorials across two nations, including 17 men who served in World War 1 from Norfolk Island, are in large measure just names, intangible now to younger people who never knew them.

But the essence of what they stood for lives on, and it is, surely what matters most: Being that, a generation of young Australians and New Zealanders rallied to serve their countries when their countries called and so it was, they were faithful even unto death. For this alone we should remember them!

We could do well to ponder, what would today be like if not for the valour and sacrifice shown by these brave men. They enlisted for adventure, yes, but fought for their mates, for their country and for their King, but more significantly for the ideal that as peoples and as a fledgling nation we should be free.

I doubt that we would be here this morning and at ten thousand other similar locations, if the values for which we all innately aspire, (even in our sometimes mundane lives), or for what we believe our nation represents were not also the hallmarks of a generation that served so valiantly 103 years before.

Australia’s official war historian Charles Bean’s account of a digger arriving at the front of the trenches before the assault on Lone Pine perhaps captures these ideals and values best:

“Jim here?”
A voice from the fire step, “Yeah right here Bill”.
“Do you chaps mind movin’ up a piece?” asked the first voice.
“Him and me are mates – and we’re goin’ over together”.

The Gallipoli campaign was a military failure, but those who survived the initial landing along with their reinforcements went on to be some of the most effective fighting forces in WW1. After 8 months of battling steep cliffs defended by brave Turkish soldiers armed with machine guns, and surviving the ravages of disease and dysentery, having been successfully evacuated from Gallipoli, many went on to fight with distinction in other theatres of World War 1. Success was achieved in the Middle East and in Europe, finally resulting in an Allied victory in November of 1918.

The descendants of the first ANZACS continued to serve with distinction in WW2, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Along with those men and women who have served our nations in peace keeping forces around the globe, all have kept faith with the values and ideals of those original ANZACS; for which we rightly give thanks.

Most of us have never served and will thankfully never experience the tragedy and horror of war. But we are better off because of those who have served and we can learn so much from their example. The challenges they faced and overcame make it a little easier than it would otherwise be, for us to face our daily challenges.

That is really the reason why we are here today, to acknowledge their sacrifice and what they have done for us, understanding if we are also prepared to strive enough for the right things; what they can continue to do for us…

They were tested and were not found wanting. They displayed a sense of duty, of selflessness, of real moral courage and persevered in the face of unimaginable horrors. These are the marks of character many of us would hope we and our children might display – the markers of decent human beings perhaps?

So once again to the Pine tree across the bay and the beautiful symbol of Norfolk Island it remains, just as it did 103 years ago for the men who left these shores to serve.

Norfolk Island musician Rick Robertson captured this when he wrote his haunting song ‘The Pine Trees Waved Goodbye’, which finishes with the lines:

Gallipoli’s Lone Pine,
Greeted them with dread,
Of the seventeen that volunteered,
Eight were wounded and six were dead.

So,
Off to War they went,
To Gallipoli they were sent,
The Pine Trees waved goodbye,
They were too young,
Too Young, to die.

Lest We Forget

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Reflections on the last 12 months



I commenced my term on Norfolk Island on 2 April 2017 and can hardly believe it’s been over a year already, so I thought it would be timely for me to provide an update to the community reflecting on my past 12 months here on the Island.


From day one in this role I have endeavoured to engage as broadly as possible with the community, both in an official capacity and through conversations with business owners, community organisations and clubs I have been involved with. My approach as Administrator has been to have an ‘open door’ for community members seeking information or providing suggestions or feedback in relation to the changed governance arrangements on Norfolk Island since 2015.


I recognise that this has been a most challenging time for many on Norfolk Island, indeed change is never a comfortable or a simple process. My door remains open and as difficult as it may be to come forward, where members of the community have questions or constructive suggestions, I encourage you to do so and welcome your input.


This is a community with so much capacity and as I learned very quickly upon my arrival a community with resilience and strength, certainly characteristics needed when living in such an isolated part of the world. People who call Norfolk Island home are justifiably proud of the resourcefulness that remains an integral part of the Norfolk Island ‘character’.


It is my firm belief that by harnessing the intrinsic capacity contained within the Norfolk Island community, in partnership with the Norfolk Island Regional Council and, where appropriate, accessing the resources of the Australian Government, anything is possible. The future is indeed a very positive one for this community.

Clubs and volunteer associations are more often than not the measure of the vibrancy of small regional communities. The participation in volunteering, sporting clubs and other community organisations on Norfolk Island is extraordinary, as is the breadth of different clubs and associations, within which the community can participate.


In my own case I have been an active member of the Norfolk Island Golf Club, the Squash Club, the Triathlon Club and more recently the Norfolk Amateur Theatrical Society. I also try to attend meetings of both the Lions and Rotary Clubs of Norfolk Island.


At Government House I have had the privilege to host a number of community functions, be they in honour of visiting dignitaries, providing support for new economic initiatives or to mark significant days on the local or national calendar. Most recently I hosted a community reception for Air Chathams and hope to see them establish a direct service between Norfolk Island and New Zealand soon.


Perhaps one of my most memorable functions was presiding over an Australian Citizenship Ceremony in the middle of last year. Five new citizens took their oath of allegiance to the nation they have chosen to call home. For them and for me this was a most humbling and moving experience, one I shall never forget. From time to time it would do us all well to reflect on truly how fortunate we are to call ourselves Australians, when compared to so many other nationalities around the globe.


Congratulations to all those who represented Norfolk Island in the Commonwealth Games held on the Gold Coast. To the competitors and officials I say very well done! Your personal achievements are significant and special mention must go to Ryan Dixon, Phil Jones and Haydn Evans for their bronze medal performance. Personally, the highlight has been seeing the genuine pride with which the community shared in your participation and success. It was truly wonderful to see.


Looking forward

Over the coming months, you will notice additional upgrades to infrastructure for essential services, including Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) and the Norfolk Island Central School. There will be a full update on these in a future edition the Norfolk Islander soon.


You will also notice more work being done in KAVHA, including repairs to Cemetery Road and stabilisation of the New Military Barracks Officers Mess verandah. The Department and the KAVHA Advisory committee has recognised the need to keep the community better informed about activities at KAVHA and to increase community involvement in the site. You will therefore be hearing from me more regularly on this, as Chair of the Committee, throughout the year.


From 1 July 2018, modern awards will take effect on Norfolk Island. I hope that all participants in the group and one-on-one sessions run by the Fair Work Ombudsman this week found them useful and informative. This is a significant change for many businesses on Norfolk Island. I will be asking the Department of Jobs and Small Business and the Fair Work Ombudsman to provide further information to both employers and employees about what these changes mean and to closely monitor the impacts.


As most of you would be aware, the application of the majority of NSW laws to Norfolk Island is currently suspended. I can confirm this general suspension of the NSW laws will continue for the foreseeable future to ensure there is adequate time for consideration, consultation and discussion with the Norfolk Island community about any changes.


This week we welcomed Jan Johnson, the new Regional Investment Officer for Norfolk Island. Jan is employed through the RDA Mid North Coast, a very experienced regional development organisation, who also supports Lord Howe Island. She will be tapping into the national Regional Development Australia network to support local businesses, the Norfolk Island Regional Council and the community to attract both public and private investment. Jan’s role will build on the work already undertaken by the Hindle Enterprise Group, and I would like to acknowledge and thank them for their contribution towards setting the course for the Island’s economic development.


Finally, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Mayor, Robin Adams, and Councillors for their commitment and efforts listening to and representing the community. Over the next year I hope that we can continue working together to achieve the community’s vision of being ‘the best small island in the world’.


Eric Hutchinson

21 April 2018


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Community Breakfast


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Consultation paper on changes to criminal laws on Norfolk Island



The Australian Government has been working in consultation with the community to help strengthen child and family support services as part of its commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of children and families on Norfolk Island.

To complement these efforts, the Australian Government has also been working to modernise laws on Norfolk Island. This will better protect children, women and other residents against criminal violence and other illegal acts. 

Our aim is to provide services and have laws on Island that are broadly comparable to those in similar communities on mainland Australia.

We have already made several changes to Norfolk Island laws, including changes to the Child Welfare Act 2009 (NI) and the Criminal Code 2007 (NI).

Two measures are currently progressing through the Australian Parliament, in a Bill known as the Investigations and Prosecution Measures Bill 2017. If passed, these changes will mean that:

  • time limits for the prosecution of sex offences, including historical offences, in Norfolk Island criminal law will be removed, along with any immunity for accused people arising from these time limits
  • in the interests of justice and to ensure accused people receive a fair trial,  the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island will be able to hold trials on the mainland, in other Australian States and Territories.

We have identified a further 12 legislative measures to improve protections for women and children.  A summary of these changes is attached.

A longer consultation paper: Proposed changes to Norfolk Island laws to enhance the protection of women, children and young people is now available online. Printed copies of the paper are also available at the Administrator’s Office. The consultation paper outlines these measures that will modernise Norfolk Island laws to enhance the wellbeing of children and their families. 

The Australian Government invites families, the community, service providers and other stakeholders to comment on the proposed changes outlined in the consultation paper.

Feedback can be provided in writing or at a community consultation meeting. Consultation meetings will be held at Governor’s Lodge on:

  • 4 April (5:30pm-7:00pm)
  • 5 April (12:30pm-2:00pm)

I will convene the meetings and the Hon Anthony Whealy QC, a former NSW Supreme Court Judge and NSW Law Reform Commissioner, will be available to provide expert advice.

I encourage those who would like to discuss changes to these laws or would like further information to attend one of these consultations. 

You can also send in written comments by 9 April 2018 to the Office of the Administrator office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au Information in written comments is collected in accordance with the Privacy Act. For a copy of the Privacy Collection Notice please email privacy@infrastructure.gov.au.

For a copy of the full consultation paper please visit – http://regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/administrator/media/2018/

Printed copies are also available from the Administrator’s office.

Eric Hutchinson     

24 March 2018

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Proposed Changes to Norfolk Island laws to enhance the protection of women, children and young people


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New education laws for Norfolk Island



New education laws have just been introduced on Norfolk Island to underpin a greater range of services at the Norfolk Island Central School. The laws will lead to greater educational opportunity and further support the effective day-to-day running of the school. 


While based on New South Wales legislation, the new education laws have been modified to reflect Norfolk Island’s circumstances.


Under the new laws, all children will stay at school until they complete Year 10. This will support the Island’s high levels of educational achievement and align minimum requirements with those applying to schoolchildren in NSW. 


There will also be a greater focus on student development after Year 10 and until students turn 17. After Year 10, students will need to continue to attend school or engage in other approved education or training, or paid work. This will complement the school’s already impressive retention rates from Years 10 to 12. 


To help with transition, there are special arrangements for students who turned 15 before 1 January 2018. These students do not need to stay at school, go back to school or take part in other approved education or training or paid work, provided they: 
turned 15 before 1 January 2018 and were enrolled in Year 9, 10, 11 or 12 at the school in 2017; or
turned 15 before 1 January 2017 and were enrolled at the school.


All other students will need to stay at school until they complete Year 10 and then continue to attend school or take part in other approved education or training or paid work until they turn 17.


Arrangements for starting school and for teaching the Norf’k language and Norfolk Island culture will stay the same under the new laws. 


The Parents and Citizens Association will continue its important role, with additional responsibilities in promoting the recreation and welfare of students and encouraging parent and community participation in curriculum issues.  


Based on the Commonwealth Minister’s Legislation Consultation Framework, the effect of the new laws on the community will be limited. The community was consulted on the changes to the education laws in November last year.


A number of industrial relations laws have also just come into effect for NSW employees at the school. These laws clarify employment arrangements for NSW employees and will not affect other members of the community.


The Ordinance applying the new laws has been registered on the Federal Register of Legislation and is available at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Home 
Eric Hutchinson
24 March 2018

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Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee Communique, March 2018



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Helping families in today’s world



Enhancements are being made to existing child and family support services over the coming months, as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of children and families on Norfolk Island.


A new Child and Family Wellbeing Team will be established with Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Services (NIHRACS), working closely with families, the community, and other services such as childcare, the school, police and Anglicare to improve the safety and support for children, young people and families on Island.

The Child and Family Wellbeing Team will incorporate the existing Child Welfare Officer and provide other support services for children and families including: 

  • information for new parents about parenting in the early years;
  • specialist counselling services for children and young people;
  • health promotion activities for the community to improve men and women’s health and raise awareness about common health issues such as diabetes, breast cancer, depression and anxiety, as well as issues such as domestic violence and drug and alcohol misuse;
  • respectful relationships training, called ‘Love Bites’,  for young people on Island;
  • training for police, health, education staff and other service providers on Island and
  • new crisis accommodation arrangements for victims of domestic and family violence.

Child welfare services on mainland Australia provide information and support for families through all stages of their child’s development: for parents with newborns, in the early years and through to high school. Providing support to parents and children early in the life of the child and early in the life of a problem can stop issues from occurring, or prevent an issue from getting worse.

By establishing a Child and Family Wellbeing Team on Island and funding additional services for children and families, the Australian Government is working to deliver the same level of services for the Norfolk Island community as is available on mainland Australia.

If you would like to find out more about the enhanced services for children and families on Norfolk Island, or are interested to participate in future training opportunities, please contact the Child and Family Wellbeing Team on 22687.


If you have any concerns for the safety and wellbeing of a child or young person please contact Norfolk Island Police on 22222 or the Child Welfare Officer on 22687 (landline) or 51115 (mobile).


As a reminder, the national sexual assault and domestic family violence counselling service 1800RESPECT (phone 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800respect.org.au) and the Kids Helpline (phone 1800 55 1800) are available on Norfolk Island. These helplines are free to call and can provide confidential advice and support for those seeking help.

Eric Hutchinson     

10 March 2018


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Celebrating community spirit on Australia Day



Australia Day is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution that every Australian makes to our dynamic nation and I was pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Australia Day Awards yesterday at Government House.


Norfolk Island is a resilient and resourceful community and this is certainly reflected in the high caliber of this year’s award recipients.


Citizen/s of the year – Jim and Louise Tavener


This year the ‘Citizen of the year’ was co-awarded by the assessment panel for two very deserving people.  Their achievements are individually impressive, and combined – even more so.  It was with great pleasure that I could announce Jim and Louise as co-recipients. 


Their contributions across Norfolk are too many to list (as many of you are well aware), and both, as a ‘team’ and as individuals, Jim and Louise have volunteered many hours of their free time providing support and assistance to the community and to the betterment of the lives of others on Norfolk Island.    


Young Citizen of the Year – Ivy Carr


Ivy is determined and committed to being an Ambassador for Norfolk Island. Recognised over a number of fields - academic, leadership, sports and community service activities, Ivy is passionate about her heritage and the Norfolk language. 


Community Appreciation Award – James Garden


James has worked tirelessly as a volunteer for the St John Ambulance with dedication to providing the best service possible for the community.   His volunteer services, including additional duties such as equipment checks and rostering of staff, ensure that Norfolk Islanders enjoy the best possible services from James and the team at St John’s.


Community Sports Award – Louise Donald


Lou, like others on Norfolk, wears many “hats” within the community. Lou was a foundation member in 2010 of the Norfolk Island Wa’a Outrigger volunteering many hours in promoting and establishing the Club.  Lou’s determination and drive was instrumental in getting the NOC the Rock event back up and running back in 2013-14.


The event has continued to grow, as evidenced by the 130-strong field participating this week.


Administrator’s Awards for Community Services


This year I also provided some additional awards to community members who have provided extraordinary support in first aid over the Christmas period.  This year, I was pleased to acknowledge: Ryan Christian, Jason Morrison, Dominic Evans, and Andre Forrester.  Thank you for your assistance to the Norfolk Island community.


Young Endeavour Recipient – Curtis Buffett


I am pleased to advise that the Young Endeavour recipient this year is Curtis Buffett.  This is a unique opportunity to take part in the Young Endeavour’s voyage departing Sydney on 16 April 2018 and returning to Sydney on 26 April 2018. 


We receive many applications each year, but the panel can only select one participant for Young Endeavour per year.  As such, I would encourage all eligible community members to re-apply each year if they are still interested.


I congratulate all who were nominated this year, as well as the successful recipients of all of these awards. The dedication shown as volunteers and your support for the Norfolk Island community is admirable.


I would also like to thank everyone who attended the Australia Day event at Government House yesterday. It was a lovely day to celebrate with the community.


Eric Hutchinson

27 January 2018

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Regional Investment Officer for Norfolk Island



Applications are now open for a Regional Investment Officer (RIO) to promote and facilitate economic development on Norfolk Island. This is part of the Regional Development Australia (RDA) program which brings together all levels of government, business and community groups to support economic development in Australia.

Having seen firsthand the value in terms of resources and skills the national RDA network can bring, I am pleased there will be a full time person based on Island to support opportunities for the community.

The RIO will be employed through the RDA Mid North Coast, a well-established RDA located in Port Macquarie, in order to ensure that the RIO has access to professional advice and support from the national RDA network.

This position will build on the economic development work of the Norfolk Island Regional Council including recent contribution made by the Hindle Enterprise Group.

The RIO will be a specialist regional development professional who will work within the Norfolk Island community to promote development with a focus on attracting investment, creating local jobs, and driving innovation and economic growth.

Being the connector between local council, local and mainland businesses, and government, the RIO will help attract business investment and partnerships to Norfolk Island. They will help create new business opportunities and jobs for local residents. The RIO will also assist the community to be successful in their grant funding applications and project proposals focusing on local priorities.

If members of the community are interested in applying for the role, the application pack can be found at www.rdamnc.org.au. Enquiries should be directed to Jenni Kew operations@rdamnc.org.au. Applications for the position close at 5pm (AEDT) on 2 February 2018.

For further information on the Regional Development Australia program please visit www.rda.gov.au

Eric Hutchinson
13 January 2018

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Providing Quality health services to Norfolk Island



Significant progress has been made towards ensuring Norfolk Island residents have access to safe and sustainable healthcare services. This is an ongoing process and I would like to provide an update to the community on these important services.

The Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) was established as a multipurpose service providing acute care including emergency services, residential aged care, as well as primary and community care services. There are a number of specialists that currently visit NIHRACS including a Psychiatrist, Orthopaedic surgeon, Endocrinologist, Orthodontist, Urologist, Geriatrician, and Sonographer. Additional positions including a Social Worker and Diversional Therapist have been employed to strengthen the care available to Norfolk Island patients and aged care residents.

NIHRACS is working very closely with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) to assess which specialist services can be safely delivered on Norfolk Island in the future. One example of this is a recently prepared Scoping Paper proposing a sustainable ophthalmology model for Norfolk Island residents with a plan underway for an Ophthalmology Consultant to visit Norfolk Island on an ongoing basis.

Over $2 million has been invested to upgrade the health service facilities on Norfolk Island. Upgrades have delivered more reliable power and water supply, improved disability access and addressed work health and safety concerns which will help facilitate additional services on Norfolk Island.

Norfolk Island is not alone in facing challenges with the delivery of modern health services and many remote locations rely on medical evacuations. Medical evacuations and health services on Norfolk Island are funded by the Australian Government. From July to December 2017, there were 21 medical evacuations with 23 patients taken to the mainland for emergency medical services.

The introduction of the Norfolk Island Patients’ Travel Accommodation and Assistance Scheme (NIPTAAS) ensures Norfolk Island residents can travel to the mainland to access specialist medical or surgical treatment. NIPTAAS will cover the cost of the flight to the mainland to see a specialist and provides subsidies for accommodation and travel while seeking medical treatment. Further information on NIPTAAS is available at NIHRACS.

Many more Norfolk Islanders are accessing health services and essential medicines than under the previous arrangements. Like other Australians, Norfolk Islanders now have access to Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme. A sustained and significant increase in residents utilising the
services of NIHRACS and accessing the benefits of the NIPTAAS scheme has been apparent since 1 July 2016. I acknowledge and thank the dedicated staff of NIRHACS for the high quality service they continue to provide to the Norfolk Island community along with all visiting specialists.

I encourage anyone with concerns on the progress of the reforms to please contact my office.

Eric Hutchinson
13 January 2018


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Administrator’s 2018 Young Endeavour Youth Scheme Expressions of Interest



Expressions of Interest are sought from young people aged 16 to 23 with an interest in participating in the 2018 Young Endeavour Youth Scheme and which will enable one young person ordinarily resident on Norfolk Island to participate in sail training voyage aboard the Young Endeavour.


The Young Endeavour experience is not a leisurely cruise.  It is a unique, challenging and inspirational experience at sea, which seeks to increase self-awareness; develop confidence, teamwork and leadership skills; and build on community responsibility. 


The Young Endeavour is a 44m-long tall ship purpose-built for sail training, with modern technology and world –standard safety navigation equipment. Whilst on-board, accommodation quarters are ‘between decks’ in a close community with other youth crew from diverse places and backgrounds across Australia.  Further information on the Young Endeavour and its voyages is available at: http://www.youngendeavour.gov.au/


The cost of a berth on the Young Endeavour and assistance with insurance, airline travel to and from Norfolk Island (and accommodation for the night pre and post departure, if required) are inclusive.


It is envisaged that a sailing experience will be offered on board the Young Endeavour’s voyage departing from Sydney on 16 April 2018 and returning to Sydney on 26 April 2018. 


To be eligible you must meet the below selection criteria:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • ordinarily live on Norfolk Island
  • be 16 - 23 years old on the day of departure of the voyage
  • be able to swim 50 metres
  • weigh less than 120kg and be in good health
  • not have previously sailed aboard the Young Endeavour.

If you are aged under 18, your parent or guardian must give permission for you to participate in the voyage.  And for safety reasons, there are certain medical conditions which may preclude participation in the voyage. Offers are provisional until confirmed by Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, including completion of its health questionnaire.


Expressions of Interest will be assessed by a panel, together with the Administrator.


Further information and application forms are available from the Office of the Administrator during business hours or via office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au

Completed EOI forms must be lodged with the Office of the Administrator before close of business on Tuesday 9 January 2018 in either hardcopy or via email.


Eric Hutchinson

22 November 2017

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Changes to Biosecurity Conditions for Goods imported into Norfolk Island


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Awards on Australia Day 2018



Nominations are sought for the Administrator’s 2018 Norfolk Island Australia Day Awards.


The Administrator’s Norfolk Island Australia Day Awards recognise those people in the Norfolk Island community whose service and contributions have made a significant difference to the community or a significant section of the community.  They also recognise significant achievement by members of our community.


Nominations are sought for awards in the following categories:


The Citizen of the Year Award

The Young Citizen of the Year Award

The Achievement Award

The Sports Award

The Junior Sports Award


The Citizen and Young Citizen Awards recognise outstanding contributions to the Norfolk Island community.  The Young Citizen Award is for persons up to 25 years of age as at 26 January 2018.  The Citizen Award is for persons over that age.


The Sports Awards, in the same age categories, recognise:

Outstanding ability or participation

Achievement in a particular competition


The Achievement Award recognises significant achievement for which no other avenue of public acknowledgement exists.


Nominations for these awards should be submitted to the Office of the Administrator in a sealed envelope marked “Australia Day Award Nomination” or via email to office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.   Each nomination should include:

  • the nominator’s details;
  • the category in which the nomination is made;
  • an outline of how the nominee has made a significant contribution to our community or a significant achievement;
  • examples that show how the nominee has gone above and beyond what could reasonably be expected of someone in a similar position;  and
  • two written references in support of the nomination.

All nominations are strictly confidential.  The person being nominated should not be advised of their nomination or approached for information.

Nominations will be considered by a community panel.   The Administrator will announce the Australia Day Awards at Government House on Australia Day January 2018.


Lodgement of nominations must be received by the Office of the Administrator by close of business, Friday 15 December 2017.


For further information contact the Office of the Administrator on phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

14 November  2017

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Key Messages from White Ribbon Day



Just a note to say thank you to all those who were able to join myself and other community members at Government House on Saturday 25 November to support the White Ribbon Day initiative.


I wanted to share the key messages from my speech at the event that highlights the importance of White Ribbon Day.


Held on 25 November, this day marks a national, male-led campaign to end men's violence against women.   I invited members of the community to stand up and join me with their support (along with the many supporters across Australia, and globally) through participating to raise awareness and community discussion of this important issue.


We know domestic and family violence is a problem across the world.   One in four adult women will experience violence from a partner, boyfriend, or date.  It is a pervasive problem in our community and completely unacceptable.


Statistically we can expect that there are survivors of domestic violence in this community, as we will have people here who have witnessed it. It therefore follows we will have men in our midst who have used violence themselves.   


As a community, we’ve got a long way to go in chipping away at the social norms and attitudes which allow gender inequality, and gender-based violence, to occur.


When we talk about domestic violence we are referring to behaviours where a man might exert power and control over a woman who is his partner, wife or girlfriend. I’ll refer to ‘men’ because the research shows that 95% of people reported to commit domestic violence are men.  It is not always easy to work out if you are or someone you know, is in a violent or abusive relationship.  Violence or abuse might include:

  • Controlling who and where you go, what you wear, who you spend time with
  • Not allowing you to make decisions about your money
  • Threatening, harassing or stalking you
  • Threatening to hurt your kids or your pets
  • Hitting, pushing, biting, punching your or harming you in another way
  • Constantly degrading, insulting or putting you down
  • Having sex with you whether you want to or not

In addition to impacts on women, there are children who grow up in households where they are witnessing these things happen to their mothers.  We know that witnessing this violence is harmful for children and young people.


We’ve probably all known of people who are suffering domestic violence or abuse. As bystanders, we are not always responding actively and supportively.  We might minimise the severity of this kind of crime, find ways to somehow blame the victims, or make up excuses for perpetrators.

We might also perpetuate social norms, unconsciously using language that belittles women, or curtails their contributions. Or—and this is just as bad—seeing discrimination or exclusion take place and choosing not to call it out.


I suspect that even the best-intentioned among us still have these blind spots. This is why it’s even more important that we double down, and remind ourselves that each of us has an opportunity and a responsibility to make a change.


With those thoughts in mind, I, and members of your community here on Norfolk Island stood up and pledged support for the White Ribbon cause – and undertook the oath as follows:


I will stand up, speak out, and act to prevent men’s violence against women. This is my oath!

I would like to thank the supporters who made the day possible, including the Lion’s Club for the sausage sizzle, the staff from Banyan Park for the face painting, support from the Child Welfare Officers and their sponsorship of the film, as well as guidance and support from my colleagues in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.


I would also like to thank the Commonwealth Bank for their generous sponsorship that will allow another event to be run in the near future by the Child Welfare Officers (CWO).  At the event, the Norfolk Island Branch Manager, Doug Welch, presented a cheque to the CWOs. Please keep an eye out in the local press for more details. 

Doug provided an overview about the support that is available to Commonwealth Bank customers that are affected by domestic and family violence. The Domestic & Family Violence Emergency Assistance package is available for current CommBank customers, aged 16 years and above in any partnership or family situation. 

Customers can access the package by calling 1800 222 387.  This is a 24/7 confidential service run by independent, specialist counsellors. 

There are also many national support services that are available to be accessed by community members on Norfolk Island and these are outlined below.

 National support services

 

1800 RESPECT – 24/7 service 1800respect.org.au 1800 737 732

Kids Help Line – 24/7 service kidshelpline.com.au 1800 551 800

Lifeline – 24/7 service lifeline.org.au 13 11 14

Mens Referral Service 1300 766 491

MensLine – 24/7 service mensline.org.au 1300 789 978

National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1800 880 052

Police and Ambulance 000

Relationships Australia 1300 364 277

Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1800 806 292

Thank you to all of the community who supported this event and I look forward to your continued support for this important initiative.


Eric Hutchinson

28 November 2017

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Administrator’s 2018 Young Endeavour Youth Scheme Expressions of Interest



Expressions of Interest are sought from young people aged 16 to 23 with an interest in participating in the 2018 Young Endeavour Youth Scheme and which will enable one young person ordinarily resident on Norfolk Island to participate in sail training voyage aboard the Young Endeavour.

The Young Endeavour experience is not a leisurely cruise.  It is a unique, challenging and inspirational experience at sea, which seeks to increase self-awareness; develop confidence, teamwork and leadership skills; and build on community responsibility. 


The Young Endeavour is a 44m-long tall ship purpose-built for sail training, with modern technology and world –standard safety navigation equipment. Whilst on-board, accommodation quarters are ‘between decks’ in a close community with other youth crew from diverse places and backgrounds across Australia.  Further information on the Young Endeavour and its voyages is available at: http://www.youngendeavour.gov.au/

The cost of a berth on the Young Endeavour and assistance with insurance, airline travel to and from Norfolk Island (and accommodation for the night pre and post departure, if required) are inclusive.

It is envisaged that a sailing experience will be offered on board the Young Endeavour’s voyage departing from Sydney on 16 April 2018 and returning to Sydney on 26 April 2018. 

To be eligible you must meet the below selection criteria:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • ordinarily live on Norfolk Island
  • be 16 - 23 years old on the day of departure of the voyage
  • be able to swim 50 metres
  • weigh less than 120kg and be in good health
  • not have previously sailed aboard the Young Endeavour.

If you are aged under 18, your parent or guardian must give permission for you to participate in the voyage.  And for safety reasons, there are certain medical conditions which may preclude participation in the voyage. Offers are provisional until confirmed by Young Endeavour Youth Scheme, including completion of its health questionnaire.

Expressions of Interest will be assessed by a panel, together with the Administrator.

Further information and application forms are available from the Office of the Administrator during business hours or via office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au

Completed EOI forms must be lodged with the Office of the Administrator before close of business on Tuesday 9 January 2018 in either hardcopy or via email.

Eric Hutchinson

22 November 2017

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You’re invited to White Ribbon Day – 25 November at Government House



This day marks a national, male-led campaign to end men's violence against women. Members of the Norfolk Island community are invited to stand up and join me with your support (along with the many supporters across Australia, and globally) through participating to raise awareness and community discussion of this important issue.

The outline of events is as follows:

4.30pm – Start of event
4.45pm – A brief speech by myself and any other interested members of the community discussing the key messages and purpose of the White Ribbon Day
5.00pm - Community members are invited to join me in undertaking the White Ribbon Oath
5.05pm – Presentation by the Commonwealth Bank Manager to the Child Welfare Officers
5.00pm- 6.00pm - Free time to enjoy the sausage sizzle, or a family picnic and face painting
6.15pm - Showing of a family movie, the Little Prince as sponsored by the Child Welfare Officers.

There will be free face painting available from 4.30pm, and the Lion’s Club will be running a free sausage sizzle.

All community members are also welcome to bring your own food and drinks and a picnic rug, to sit on the lawns and enjoy this event, including the movie that will be run later in the evening.

If you haven’t yet registered your numbers of attendees or interested parties, could you please ring the office on 22152 or send an email to office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au for catering purposes.

Hopefully we have nice weather, however at this point in time; it is scheduled to rain on Saturday. As the event is being held in the gardens of Government House, which is uncovered, the event will not proceed if the weather does not permit. In this event, we will update the community via radio announcements at the earliest possible time.

Eric Hutchinson
22 November 2017

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New laws to enhance child safety on Norfolk Island



New laws to enhance child safety on Norfolk Island

I recently sought feedback about proposed changes to the laws on Norfolk Island to protect children, women and all other residents against criminal violence and other illegal acts.


Following this feedback, changes have now been made to the Child Welfare Act 2009 (NI) and the Criminal Code 2007 (NI).


These changes form part of ongoing reforms to modernise Norfolk Island laws, to enhance the wellbeing of children and their families.


The new laws provide the Norfolk Island community the same protection under the law which is offered on mainland Australia and complement efforts to strengthen support services for children and their families on Island.


The effect on the community of these changes will be limited, based on the Commonwealth Minister’s Legislation Consultation Framework.

Changes to laws will mean that:

  • A child or young person can now be accommodated with a carer, on or off Norfolk Island, in exceptional circumstances and as part of emergency action.

  • Persons providing services to children and families on Norfolk Island will now have the capacity to share information to better protect children and perform their roles more effectively. To protect privacy, information shared is protected by Commonwealth privacy laws.

  • The court which exercises criminal jurisdiction in Norfolk Island is obligated to notify the Child Welfare Officer of convictions for sexual offences against or relating to children.

  • The functions and powers of the Child Welfare Officer can be delegated to other appropriate persons (such as additional caseworkers) to provide adequate services to protect children and young people.

  • Court proceedings in child protection matters will be streamlined and conducted informally so that children and young people are more likely to understand and participate.

  • Two new offences will be introduced: the offence of procuring a child or young person for a child sex offence and the offence of grooming of a child or young person for sexual activity.

  • The offence of endangering health will be expanded to include non‑fatal strangulation.

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), made the Norfolk Island Continued Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 3) Ordinance 2017 on 16 November 2017 which will bring these changes into effect.


The Ordinance will be registered on the Federal Register of Legislation and will be available online from the week beginning Monday 20 November at https://www.legislation.gov.au/


Eric Hutchinson

18 November 2017

 

 

Please 'contact us' for more information.

New education laws for Norfolk Island



New laws are being introduced on Norfolk Island to underpin a greater range of education services at the Norfolk Island Central School. 


The new laws will be based on New South Wales legislation, with some changes made by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (the Department) to reflect the circumstances of Norfolk Island.


The effect on the community of these changes will be limited, based on the Commonwealth Minister’s Legislation Consultation Framework.

The new laws are planned to begin in early 2018 and will not change the day to day running of the school.


As the representative of the Australian Government on island, I seek feedback from the Norfolk Island community on the proposed changes, including:

  • Children will need to begin school once they turn six and stay at school until they complete Year 10.
  • To support the existing high retention rates at the School, after Year 10 and until they turn 17, students will need to attend:
    • school; or
    • full-time approved education or training; or
    • full-time paid work if they have turned 15; or
    • a combination of paid work and approved education or training.
    • There will be special arrangements for students who turned 15 before January 2018. For more information, please see the attached explanation sheet.
    • The P&C will continue as they are in their important role with extra responsibilities in promoting the recreation and welfare of students and encouraging parent and community participation in curriculum issues. For more information, please see the attached explanation sheet.
    • Arrangements for the teaching of the Norf’k language and Norfolk Island culture will not change.
    • Arrangements for overseas students enrolled at the school will stay the same.

The new laws will be based on the Education Act 1990 (NSW), the Education Regulation 2017 (NSW), and the Education Standards Authority Act 2013 (NSW). To avoid confusion, the new education laws will replace the Norfolk Island education laws (the Education Act 1931 (NI) and the Education Regulations (NI)).

If you would like to make any comments or ask questions about these changes, please contact me at office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au before 24 November 2017.


These changes are expected to be made by ordinance in December, after which they will be available on the Federal Register of Legislation at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Home


The Department will provide further information to the community about these changes in early 2018.


Eric Hutchinson

9 November 2017

 

Explanation of new education laws

Compulsory school age

Under the new laws, a child must begin school once they turn six and stay at school until they complete Year 10. Under the current laws, a child must begin school once they turn six, so there is no change.


After Year 10 and until they turn 17, students will have to attend:

  • school; or
  • full-time approved education or training (e.g. TAFE, traineeship, apprenticeship); or
  • full-time, paid work, if they have turned 15; or
  • a combination of paid work and approved education or training.

In anticipation of more options becoming available in the future, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (the Department) is making it possible for students to leave school after Year 10 and start work or other training. 

The current school-leaving age on Norfolk Island is 15 years. To help with the move to the new compulsory school age, there will be special arrangements for students who:

  • turn 15 before 1 January 2018 and were enrolled in Year 9, 10, 11 or 12 at the school in 2017; or
  • turned 15 before 1 January 2017 and were enrolled at the school.

These students will not need to stay at school until they turn 17, or to go back to school if they have already left. All other students at the school will be subject to the new laws.


Parents’ and Citizens’ Association

The P&C Association on Norfolk Island will continue to exist under the new laws and will be able to make rules for its business and affairs under the new laws.

The P&C’s objects and functions will include:

  • promoting the interests of the school by bringing parents, citizens, students and teaching staff into close co-operation;
  • assisting in providing facilities and equipment for the school and in promoting the recreation and welfare of the students at the school;
  • encouraging parent and community participation in curriculum and other education issues;
  • if asked by the Commonwealth Minister, reporting on the material needs of the school and advising on the maintenance of the school and on alterations and additions to school facilities;
  • assisting and co-operating with the teaching staff in public functions associated with the school; and
  • assisting in any other matters in which the Commonwealth Minister may ask the association to co-operate.

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Awards on Australia Day 2018



Nominations are sought for the Administrator’s 2018 Norfolk Island Australia Day Awards.


The Administrator’s Norfolk Island Australia Day Awards recognise those people in the Norfolk Island community whose service and contributions have made a significant difference to the community or a significant section of the community.  They also recognise significant achievement by members of our community.


Nominations are sought for awards in the following categories:


The Citizen of the Year Award

The Young Citizen of the Year Award

The Achievement Award

The Sports Award

The Junior Sports Award


The Citizen and Young Citizen Awards recognise outstanding contributions to the Norfolk Island community.  The Young Citizen Award is for persons up to 25 years of age as at 26 January 2018.  The Citizen Award is for persons over that age.


The Sports Awards, in the same age categories, recognise:

Outstanding ability or participation

Achievement in a particular competition


The Achievement Award recognises significant achievement for which no other avenue of public acknowledgement exists.


Nominations for these awards should be submitted to the Office of the Administrator in a sealed envelope marked “Australia Day Award Nomination” or via email to office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.   Each nomination should include:

  • the nominator’s details;
  • the category in which the nomination is made;
  • an outline of how the nominee has made a significant contribution to our community or a significant achievement;
  • examples that show how the nominee has gone above and beyond what could reasonably be expected of someone in a similar position;  and
  • two written references in support of the nomination.

All nominations are strictly confidential.  The person being nominated should not be advised of their nomination or approached for information.


Nominations will be considered by a community panel.   The Administrator will announce the Australia Day Awards at Government House on Australia Day January 2018.


Lodgement of nominations must be received by the Office of the Administrator by close of business, Friday 15 December 2017.


For further information contact the Office of the Administrator on phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

14 November  2017

Please 'contact us' for more information.

New education laws for Norfolk Island



New laws are being introduced on Norfolk Island to underpin a greater range of education services at the Norfolk Island Central School. 


The new laws will be based on New South Wales legislation, with some changes made by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (the Department) to reflect the circumstances of Norfolk Island.


The effect on the community of these changes will be limited, based on the Commonwealth Minister’s Legislation Consultation Framework.

The new laws are planned to begin in early 2018 and will not change the day to day running of the school.


As the representative of the Australian Government on island, I seek feedback from the Norfolk Island community on the proposed changes, including:

  • Children will need to begin school once they turn six and stay at school until they complete Year 10.
  • To support the existing high retention rates at the School, after Year 10 and until they turn 17, students will need to attend:
    • school; or
    • full-time approved education or training; or
    • full-time paid work if they have turned 15; or
    • a combination of paid work and approved education or training.
    • There will be special arrangements for students who turned 15 before January 2018. For more information, please see the attached explanation sheet.
    • The P&C will continue as they are in their important role with extra responsibilities in promoting the recreation and welfare of students and encouraging parent and community participation in curriculum issues. For more information, please see the attached explanation sheet.
    • Arrangements for the teaching of the Norf’k language and Norfolk Island culture will not change.
    • Arrangements for overseas students enrolled at the school will stay the same.

The new laws will be based on the Education Act 1990 (NSW), the Education Regulation 2017 (NSW), and the Education Standards Authority Act 2013 (NSW). To avoid confusion, the new education laws will replace the Norfolk Island education laws (the Education Act 1931 (NI) and the Education Regulations (NI)).

If you would like to make any comments or ask questions about these changes, please contact me at office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au before 24 November 2017.


These changes are expected to be made by ordinance in December, after which they will be available on the Federal Register of Legislation at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Home


The Department will provide further information to the community about these changes in early 2018.


Eric Hutchinson

9 November 2017


 

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Remembrance Day 2017



At 11 o’clock on the 11th day of November in 1918 the guns fell silent.


Ninety nine years on, the Norfolk Island RSL Sub Branch will be conducting a service of remembrance on Saturday beginning at 10.40am to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many during WWI and in subsequent conflicts.


The Norfolk Island community’s contribution over the past 120 years is quite extraordinary and indeed worthy of reflection.


I look forward to seeing as many as possible at the Cenotaph on Saturday morning.  (RSL advise in inclement weather, the service will be conducted at the RSL club).


Emergency Management Australia

May I offer my sincere thanks to all those locals (professionals and volunteers) who gave up their time to participate in a series of planning workshops and disaster scenario role-play exercises. These sessions were conducted by Joe Buffone and Rebecca Hosking from Emergency Management Australia and were in the opinion of all who attended most valuable and worthwhile.


‘Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best’ would reflect the overarching theme of the week. The importance of the planning work the Emergency Management Norfolk Island Committee is responsible for was highlighted constantly, but I believe the emphasis placed by the trainers on understanding the structures and roles once an ‘emergency or disaster’ situation has moved into an operational phase, provided better clarity and forced all in attendance to practise and acquaint themselves with how they would be required to respond in an emergency situation.


The input from all who participated was most valuable, in particular those with local knowledge who identified local capacity and resources that would be called upon to complement the formal government, council, agency and emergency services response.


Eric Hutchinson

10 November 2017

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You’re invited to White ribbon day


Please 'contact us' for more information.

White Ribbon Day Event - Saturday 25 November At the Gardens of Government House



25 November is White Ribbon Day.  This day marks a national, male-led campaign to end men's violence against women.   

I will be inviting the Norfolk Island community to stand up and join me with your support (along with the many supporters across Australia, and globally) through participating in events to raise awareness and community discussion of these important issues.

Saturday 25 November - Afternoon Community Event at Government House


You are invited to a family event at Government House in the afternoon of Saturday 25 November.  There will be a range of activities for the whole of family, including a free sausage sizzle hosted by the Lion’s Club.   The event will be supported by local leaders, the child welfare officers and community groups.


I will also be asking those in the community who wish to take the White Ribbon Oath, to join me in a public pledge in the afternoon.


Globally, White Ribbon is the world's largest male-led movement to end men's violence against women. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries. www.whiteribbon.org.au


More details about the event timing and activities will be advertised in the coming weeks. 


Eric Hutchinson

28 October 2017

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Changes to laws on Norfolk Island; more control to Norfolk Island Regional Council


  • Australian Government gives more control over airport management to Norfolk Island Regional Council
  • The Absentee Landowners Levy will be scrapped from 2017
  • Norfolk Island will be made a more attractive destination for airlines

The Australian Government has been working with the Norfolk Island Regional Council and has made several changes to Norfolk Island laws which will benefit Norfolk Island.


The Council had asked the Government for the airline and Absentee Landowners Levy changes.

The changes are:

  • Giving managerial powers over the airport to the Council’s General Manager. These powers were previously held by the Australian Government Minister for Local Government and Territories.
  • Making Norfolk a more attractive destination for airlines by reducing the minimum security deposit new airlines will need to pay when they use the Norfolk Island airport.
  • Giving the airport a sustainable source of income by increasing the passenger movement charge to $45 to pay for airport maintenance. The Government will in future give the Council the ability to set fees as it sees fit, so it can encourage new airlines to fly to Norfolk Island.
  • The term ‘hospital’ in Norfolk Island law now includes the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service.
  • The Absentee Landowners Levy will not be assessed after 2016, so no new levies are payable.  Levies assessed in 2016 and prior remain due.

The Australian Government continues to partner with the Council to create a sustainable future for the Island.


The Ordinance is available on the Federal Register of Legislation at https://www.legislation.gov.au/


Eric Hutchinson

19 October 2017

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Further Visit by Officers from Prime Minister and Cabinet


“Pia van de Zandt from Prime Minister and Cabinet and her colleagues Rosanne Nash and Canice Kinnane are visiting Norfolk Island next week  (23 October)  to

continue work with Child Welfare Officers, service providers and other stakeholders to improve services for women and children on Island.


As part of the broader Reform program, the Australian government is working on Norfolk Island to expand support services and modernise laws so women and children have the same access to support services and protections as the mainland.


Pia would be interested to hear from anyone on Island who has views on the wellbeing and safety of women, children and families. She’d be happy to meet with you during their visit next week, at a place that is convenient to you.  Please feel free to get in touch!


You can contact Pia on +61 438 983908 or email us on Pia.vandezandt@pmc.gov.au. You could also contact the PM+C team through the Office of the Administrator on 22152.”

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee Reappointed


Please 'contact us' for more information.

Proposed changes to modernise laws on Norfolk Island



The Australian Government is modernising laws on Norfolk Island to protect children, women and all other residents against criminal violence and other illegal acts.


As the representative of the Australian Government on Island, I seek feedback from the Norfolk Island community on these changes, including:

  • creating a specific charge for anyone who grooms or procures children for sexual activity;
  • allowing a broader range of people to obtain restraining orders where there are reasonable grounds to believe a person may inflict personal violence upon another person;
  • expanding the offence of endangering health to include intentional choking, suffocation and strangulation;
  • putting in place a presumption that a person who is accused of a domestic violence offence should ordinarily not receive bail; and
  • allowing domestic violence victims to have recorded statements used in court.

These changes will offer the Norfolk Island community the same protection under the law which is offered on mainland Australia. A more comprehensive description of the proposed changes is below.

These changes are part of the ongoing reform process being undertaken in consultation with the local community, whilst we also strengthen health and social security and expand support services for families and children.

Changes are proposed to the following legislation:

  • Child Welfare Act 2009 (NI)

To improve safety and care of children and young people, changes are proposed to allow a child or young person to be appropriately accommodated with a carer as part of emergency action; streamline court procedures; allow the delegation of child welfare officer functions and powers to other appropriate persons (such as additional caseworkers) in order to provide adequate levels of child welfare services; and facilitate information-sharing to ensure that all persons working to provide child welfare services on Norfolk Island have information necessary for them to perform their roles effectively.

  • Criminal Code 2007 (NI)

Changes to the Code are proposed to make clear how it applies to offences in applied law on Norfolk Island and to further support modernisation of the criminal law by introducing additional offences relating to children and expanding the offence of endangering health.

  • Domestic Violence Act 1995 (NI)

Reflecting advances in the law in other Australian jurisdictions, this law will be repealed and replaced with the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW). This Act protects a broader range of people than the current law in Norfolk Island. An application may be made by an individual seeking a protection order or by the Norfolk Island Police Force and will be heard, in the first instance, by the Norfolk Island Court of Petty Sessions.

  • Bail Act 2005 (NI)

In keeping with some other Australian jurisdictions, a presumption against bail for persons accused of domestic violence offences will be introduced.

  • Evidence Act 2004 (NI)

This law will be changed to allow recorded statements of domestic violence victims to be used as evidence-in-chief, in keeping with other Australian jurisdictions.

The full list and details of proposed legislative amendments can be seen at Attachment A.

If you would like to make any comments or ask questions on these changes, please contact me at office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au before Friday, 6 October 2017.

Depending on the outcome of consultations, it is expected that these changes will be made by ordinance in November, after which they will be available on the Federal Register of Legislation at https://www.legislation.gov.au/

I will continue to keep the community informed about proposed legislative changes as part of the ongoing reform process.

Eric Hutchinson

22 September 2017

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Proposed changes to modernise laws on Norfolk Island- Attachment A


Child Welfare Act 2009 (NI)

Changes to this law improve the protections provided to children and young people on Norfolk Island. The proposed changes are to:

  • Allow a child or young person to be accommodated with a carer (whether within or outside of Norfolk Island) as part of emergency action, where doing so is necessary to ensure his or her safety. The Act already allows children to be accommodated with a carer within or outside Norfolk Island under a care and protection order.
  • Streamline court procedures relating to applications about the welfare of children and young persons to ensure that hearings are conducted in a non-adversarial, non-technical manner.
  • Allow the child welfare officer to delegate functions, powers and duties under the Act to other appropriate persons (such as additional caseworkers).  This will ensure adequate levels of child welfare services are provided on the Island.
  • Facilitate information-sharing to ensure that all persons working to provide child welfare services on Norfolk Island have the information that is necessary for them to perform their roles effectively.
  • Ensure that the Child Welfare Officer is made aware of convictions for child sexual offences.

Criminal Code 2007 (NI)

A number of changes to the Code are proposed to make clear how it applies to offences in applied laws on Norfolk Island and to further support modernisation of the criminal law. The proposed changes will:

  • Clarify how the principles of criminal responsibility in the Code apply to offences committed under applied laws.
  • Introduce new offences of procuring and grooming children for sexual activity. This will align Norfolk Island laws with those on the mainland by providing additional protections for children to criminalise conduct committed in preparation for actual sexual abuse.
  • Expand the offence of endangering health to include intentional and unlawful non-fatal choking, suffocation and strangulation.  The application of this development will align Norfolk Island laws with those on the mainland, reflecting evidence that strangulation is often a precursor to deadly violence and will improve protections for victims.    

Domestic Violence Act 1995 (NI)

Since the Norfolk Island legislation was passed in 1995, there have been advances in the law on the mainland. Rather than draft very significant changes to this Act, the Australian Government proposes to repeal it and replace it with the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007(NSW). This Act protects a broader range of people than the current law in Norfolk Island. It will also allow an individual who is not necessarily in a domestic relationship with a person, but who has reasonable grounds to fear personal violence from that person, to apply for a protection order.  Applications may also be made by the Norfolk Island Police Force and will be heard, in the first instance, by the Norfolk Island Court of Petty Sessions.

Bail Act 2005 (NI)

Since the Bail Act 2005 (NI) became law, some mainland jurisdictions have introduced a presumption against bail for persons accused of domestic violence offences. The Australian Government proposes to introduce a similar presumption, modelled on laws in other mainland jurisdictions.

Evidence Act 2004 (NI)

Since the Norfolk Island legislation was passed in 2004, mainland jurisdictions have introduced provisions allowing the recorded statements of domestic violence victims to be used as evidence-in-chief in certain circumstances. The Australian Government proposes to replicate these provisions on Norfolk Island.

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Return visit for the week of 25 September 2017


You may remember in the last week of June 2017, that Lin Hatfield-Dodds and Janet Stodulka, from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) visited Norfolk Island to meet with stakeholders as part of their role to advise the Australian Government on social policy.

Janet Stodulka is returning to Norfolk next week with colleagues from PM&C - Dale Tolliday and Pia van de Zandt - to meet with community leaders, service providers and other stakeholders. They hope to better understand the needs and interests of women, children and families on Island.

As part of the broader Reform program, the Australian Government is working on Norfolk Island to expand support services and modernise laws so women and children have the same access to support services and protections
as the mainland.

Janet, Dale and Pia would be interested to hear from anyone on Island who has views on the wellbeing of women, children and families. They’d be happy to meet with you during their visit next week, at a place that is convenient to you.  Please feel free to get in touch!


You can contact Janet on +61 400 348945 and Pia on +61 438 983908 or email us on Pia.vandezandt@pmc.gov.au  


You can also contact us through the Office of the Administrator on 22152.

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Expressions of Interest for Appointment to Emergency Management of Norfolk Island Committee


I invite expressions of interest from persons who would like to make a contribution to the community by filling the role of Deputy Controller on the Emergency Management of Norfolk Island Committee.

The role of the Deputy Controller is to provide assistance and support to the Controller in the discharge of his/her functions under the Disaster and Emergency Management Act 2001 (NI) and the NORDISPLAN, and  to act as the Controller when the Controller is absent or unable to discharge his/her duties due to absence or incapacity


Interested persons should familiarise themselves with the Disaster and Emergency Management Act 2001 (NI)  which can be accessed via the following link:

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2015Q00019/Download


Appointments will run to 30 September 2018. Persons wishing to express an interest should complete the nomination and personal interests/conflicts of interests declaration forms provided on the Norfolk Island Regional Council website at:

http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/council/council-documents/board-committee


Completed forms should be provided to the Office of the Administrator by 5.00pm, Monday 25 September 2017. These can be scanned and emailed to office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au or returned in person to the office located in the New Military Barracks, Kingston.


Eric Hutchinson

15 September 2017

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Update on reforms and Australian Government visitors



Progress continues to be made on the implementation of reforms. The Australian Government is committed to normalising the delivery of a range of services for the Norfolk Island community.


Last week, I travelled to Canberra and participated in an Australian Government Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) meeting.   This meeting was attended by senior representatives from the Departments of: Infrastructure and Regional Development; Agriculture and Water Resources, the Attorney-General’s; Austrade; Australia Post; Australian Border Force; Australian Bureau of Statistics; Comcare; Communications and the Arts; Education and Training; Employment; Environment and Energy; Finance; Foreign Affairs and Trade; Health; Human Services; Immigration and Border Protection; Industry, Innovation and Science; Parks Australia; Prime Minister and Cabinet; Social Services; Taxation; Treasury and Veteran’s Affairs.


There were many constructive conversations that discussed the Whole-of-Australian Government commitment to Norfolk Island, while also looking to the future about how agencies can continue to provide normalised Commonwealth services on the island.  This ongoing engagement and support of all Australian Government agencies will continue, as we continue this long term and important work on Norfolk Island.


I also met with representatives for Norfolk Island in the Federal Parliament, Gai Brodtmann MP, Senator Katy Gallagher and Senator Zed Seselja, all of whom discussed issues that members of this community had raised with them over the weeks and months. Additionally I met with Minister for Environment and Energy the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, to update him on KAVHA and the Convict Sites Steering Committee meetings held on Norfolk Island recently. Finally, Assistant Minister for Education the Hon Karen Andrews MP, who has responsibility for Vocational Education and Training, has shown continued interest in improving access to Commonwealth funding for both Apprentices and Employers on Norfolk Island.


As announced by the Mayor last week, this weekend will see a visit from Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Local Government and Territories. She will meet with some stakeholders involved in the capital works progress at the Norfolk Island Central School, Cascade Pier and the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service.  In addition, she will meet with the Banyan Park Committee who were successful in the recent Building Better Regions Fund; as well as meeting with the Norfolk Island Regional Council to discuss several issues, including the extension of the Regional Development Australia programme to Norfolk Island, which is indeed a great opportunity for all residents on Norfolk Island, given its focus on attracting investment and jobs to regions.


Personal thanks

As some of you are aware, over a few weeks in August/September, my mother Mary was on the island.  She had a most wonderful visit, and on behalf of my mother, and myself, I would like to thank many of you across the community who took time to talk to her on the street, at church, at cafés, on her many tours around the island etc.  Many of you made a special effort to show her the true beauty and generosity of spirit that this community displays, and for that, I thank you. She will, I feel certain, become a great advocate for Norfolk Island and in turn encourage her family and friends to plan a visit.


Eric Hutchinson

15 September 2017

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Expressions of Interest for Appointment to Norfolk Island Mental Health Tribunal



I invite expressions of interest from persons who would like to make a contribution to the community by filling a role on the Norfolk Island Mental Health Tribunal.

Interested persons should familiarise themselves with the Mental Health Act 1996  which can be accessed via the following link:

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2016Q00057

Appointments will run to 31 December 2017. Persons wishing to express an interest should complete the nomination and personal interests/conflicts of interests declaration forms provided on the Norfolk Island Regional Council website at:

http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/council/council-documents/board-committee

Completed forms should be provided to the Office of the Administrator by 5.00pm, Tuesday 18 September 2017. These can be scanned and emailed to office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au or returned in person to the office located in the New Military Barracks, Kingston.

Eric Hutchinson

04 September 2017

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Changes supporting children and families on Norfolk Island



The wellbeing of women and children is a priority for the Australian Government.

In consultation with the elected Regional Councillors and the local community, the Government will expand support services and modernise laws so Norfolk Islanders have access to improved support services and protections.

Australian Government representatives have met with residents over the past few months to understand community needs and learn more about the community.

The community is already seeing the benefits of being part of Australia’s social security and health system which provide an important safety net for families.

The Australian Government is working on options for improving local services that promote the health, safety and wellbeing of children and families on Norfolk Island.

Upgrades to the school and health and aged care service, tourism initiatives and infrastructure such as the Cascade Pier redevelopment and the Banyan Park Play Centre upgrade will create jobs and provide better outcomes for Norfolk Islanders.

The importance of providing families and children with appropriate services and support is recognised in the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, a blueprint to help families support children, and provide services to keep children safe and well.

With one in three Australian women experiencing physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, work is also underway across Australia as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

The community of Norfolk Island is entitled to equivalent protections and support to other Australians.

I will continue to keep the community informed about proposed changes and developments.

If you, or anyone you know, has concerns about the wellbeing of women and children or if you would like further advice and support please contact the Child Welfare Officer or Police on Island.

All information received will be confidential, unless, by law, it is required to be reported to police or the child welfare officer, to stop a person being harmed.

Norfolk Island Police

Telephone: 22222

Emergencies – telephone 000, then

Dial 1 for Ambulance

Dial 2 for Police

Dial 3 for Fire

Child Welfare Officer

Telephone: 22687 (landline) or 51115 (mobile)

You can also contact these services for assistance, for the cost of a local call:

1800RESPECT 
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service
1800 737 732
www.1800respect.org.au


Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800
www.kidshelpline.com.au


Crime Stoppers
1800 333 000
www.crimestoppers.com.au

Eric Hutchinson

31 August 2017

 

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Consultation set to begin on Norfolk Island to manage radiation services



The Australian Government has invited the NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) to help examine management of radiation services on Norfolk Island. Application of parts of the Radiation Control Act 1990 (NSW) and associated regulation, is being considered to protect the community and the environment against the harmful effects of ionising radiation.


The NSW EPA will be visiting Norfolk Island from 4 – 8 September to better understand what kind of radiation sources are on the island. Anyone that owns or uses ionising radiation apparatus (e.g. x-ray equipment), sealed source devices (e.g. soil and density moisture gauges) or radioactive substances (e.g. old radium paint) is encouraged to contact the Office of the Administrator on 22152 or email NIHealth.Mailbox@infrastructure.gov.au so that they may be appropriately consulted. The invaluable feedback received during this consultation process will contribute to the progression and finalisation of radiation control legislation on Norfolk Island.

In line with the Legislation Consultation Framework, application of the radiation control legislation was assessed as having a minimal effect.  Targeted meetings are being held to ensure as much information as possible is gathered.

Eric Hutchinson

29 August 2017

 

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Regional Development Australia Network expanded to the external territories


On Friday 18 August, the Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash announced a range of reforms to the Regional Development Australia (RDA) program, which will now encompass the external territories, including Norfolk Island.   

These changes will also see a new charter that is focused on boosting local jobs and innovation, attracting investment and stimulating economic growth.

This commitment will be a value-add to the work on economic development being done by the Hindle Group on Norfolk Island, as well as assisting the Norfolk Island Regional Council and all community members in their preparation of future grant funding applications. Having seen firsthand the value in terms of resources and skills the RDA networks can bring to communities in regional areas of Australia, I am particularly encouraged by this announcement and the opportunities it presents for the community of Norfolk Island.

The commencement and structure of the RDA program for Norfolk Island is being developed, with a likely timeframe for commencement of early 2018.

I look forward to sharing more information about this program with all of the community in the near future.

Eric Hutchinson

23 August 2017

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Regional Development Australia Network expanded to the external territories


On Friday 18 August, the Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash announced a range of reforms to the Regional Development Australia (RDA) program, which will now encompass the external territories, including Norfolk Island.   

These changes will also see a new charter that is focused on boosting local jobs and innovation, attracting investment and stimulating economic growth.

This commitment will be a value-add to the work on economic development being done by the Hindle Group on Norfolk Island, as well as assisting the Norfolk Island Regional Council and all community members in their preparation of future grant funding applications. Having seen firsthand the value in terms of resources and skills the RDA networks can bring to communities in regional areas of Australia, I am particularly encouraged by this announcement and the opportunities it presents for the community of Norfolk Island.

The commencement and structure of the RDA program for Norfolk Island is being developed, with a likely timeframe for commencement of early 2018.

I look forward to sharing more information about this program with all of the community in the near future.

Eric Hutchinson

23 August 2017

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Expressions of Interest for the Museum Trust



I invite expressions of interest from persons who would like to make a contribution to the community by filling the following roles:

  • Chair and Members of the Museum Trust.

Appointments will commence from 30 September 2017 after the expiry of existing members’ terms of appointment.  


Persons wishing to express an interest should complete the nomination and personal interests/conflicts of interests declaration forms provided on the Norfolk Island Regional Council website http://www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/council/council-documents/board-committee.


Completed forms should be provided to the Office of the Administrator by 5pm
Wednesday 6 September 2017.   These can be scanned and emailed to office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au or returned in person to the office located in the New Military Barracks, Kingston. 


Eric Hutchinson

22 August 2017

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Legislative changes for mental health care



A new mental health legislative framework is due for introduction to Norfolk Island by the end of 2017.  The new framework will modernise the island’s mental health legislation and reflects the shared interest of the Australian and NSW Governments in ensuring mental health patients receive appropriate care and treatment.


The amendments will also allow agreements to be in put in place with NSW for the treatment of Norfolk Island patients who are required to be treated in NSW.


Dr Peter Young, Consultant Psychiatrist, will facilitate a targeted information session on Monday 21 August with invited clinical staff and community leaders in mental health, to provide information and answer questions ahead of the changes to the legislation. 


A fact sheet providing information on the new framework will be available to the community over the coming weeks.


Eric Hutchinson

17 August 2017 

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KAVHA to host Australian Convict Sites Steering Committee meeting



I am delighted to advise that KAVHA will host the annual meeting of the Australian Convict Sites Steering Committee (ACSSC) from 28 August – 1 September 2017. The ACSSC is responsible for managing and protecting the heritage values of the Australian Convict Sites. 


The ACSSC is made up of representatives from the 11 sites across Australia, including KAVHA, which comprise the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property.  The ACSSC fosters collaboration to promote best practices in protection, conservation and site presentation and share historical, scientific and technical research and other materials. The committee has also recently developed common signage which will soon be displayed at KAVHA.

The other ten sites represented in the ACSSC are:

-          Old Government House and Domain, NSW

-          Hyde Park Barracks, NSW

-          Cockatoo Island, NSW

-          Old Great North Road, NSW

-          Brickendon and Woolmers Estates, TAS

-          Darlington Probation Station, TAS

-          Port Arthur Historic Site, TAS

-          Coal Mines Historic Site, TAS

-          Cascades Female Factory, TAS

-          Fremantle Prison, WA

The Australian Convict Sites tell the story of how the Australian nation was formed through hardship and adversity. Together the sites represent the global phenomenon of the forced migration of convicts to penal colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries - and global developments in the punishment of crime.


This is the first time the group has met on Norfolk Island, and is a wonderful opportunity for Norfolk Island to showcase KAVHA’s unique world, national and local heritage values with our partnering Australian Convict Site managers.  At the same time, KAVHA will directly benefit from the sharing of expertise on a wide range of issues relevant to best practice world heritage site management, particularly as the KAVHA Advisory Committee will also be meeting on the Island during this week.


ACSSC members will also have an opportunity to meet with members of the local community and visit the many attractions Norfolk Island has to offer outside of KAVHA.

I look forward to welcoming both Committees to Norfolk Island.  


Eric Hutchinson

17 August 2017

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Early learning centre receives $899,900 funding to create stronger futures for children on Norfolk Island


  • Auwas Letl Salan; Norfolk Island's Kids project will become reality, winning $899,900 from the Building Better Regions Fund 
  • Auwas Letl Salan; Norfolk Island's Kids project beat hundreds of others from around Australia to win funding
  • Building Better Regions Fund making important dreams become reality for local communities

Norfolk Island will receive a boost following news Auwas Letl Salan; Norfolk Island's Kids project has won funding through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

 

The Auwas Letl Salan; Norfolk Island's Kids project has received $899,900 funding over two years, as part of the BBRF Infrastructure Projects Stream, which will upgrade the island’s major education and care facility at Banyan Park.

It’s important that all children receive the best start in life which not only begins at home but also in the classroom, which is now a reality thanks to the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

The new funding for the Banyan Park Early Learning Centre’s Auwas Letl Salan; Norfolk Island's Kids project will provide children and families with improved infrastructure at the Centre, giving children access to better classroom facilities and outdoor play areas.

 

This work includes three new classrooms and upgrades to the existing building; extensive landscaping to outdoor play areas with modern equipment, and new undercover play areas; accessible parking for drop-off and pick-up areas; and an access ramp for prams and people with a disability.   

The Building Better Regions Fund received more than 500 applications and ours was one of about 100 which were approved.

I congratulate Banyan Park, which is a community based service committed to providing quality care to young children on Norfolk Island before they begin school, and look forward to working with them to deliver benefits to the community of Norfolk Island.

 

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said she created the Building Better Regions Fund to help build strong communities for decades to come.

"I aim to help build the kinds of regional communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and projects like this one do exactly that," Minister Nash said.

“After a competitive merit-based selection process, there are always those who were not successful and are naturally disappointed. We know this and we've got dedicated staff in the Department of Industry to give tailored feedback to each unsuccessful applicant to help improve those applications for next time. They can be contacted on bbrffeedback@industry.gov.au."

Minister Nash said she expected to open another round of BBRF before the end of the year.

Minister Nash will announce the successful applicants for funding under the BBRF’s Community Investments Stream – for projects designed to support a range of local capability-building activities – in the coming months.

 

More information about the Building Better Regions Fund is available at: www.business.gov.au/bbrf

 

Eric Hutchinson

09 August 2017

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Amnesty allows surrender of unlicensed or unregistered firearms, no questions asked



As part of the Australia-wide firearms amnesty, an amnesty allowing people to surrender unlicensed or unregistered firearms to the Norfolk Island Police Force (NIPF) will take place from 22 July 2017 until 30 September 2017.


During the amnesty, people won’t be prosecuted for possessing a firearm for which they don’t hold a permit or licence, or which is unregistered, if they surrender that firearm to the NIPF – no questions asked.


The aim of the firearms amnesty is to improve public safety by reducing the number of unlicensed and unregistered firearms in our community.


For anyone who would like to surrender a firearm during the amnesty period, please contact NIPF on 22222 or bring the firearm to the police station during business hours. Please do not bring loaded firearms to the police station.


There is no charge to surrender a firearm, and no compensation is payable. The police will give receipts for surrendered firearms. Surrendered firearms will be disabled and disposed of by the NIPF.


Firearms include guns, airguns, air rifles, blank fire firearms, firearm parts, pistols, self-loading rimfire and centre-fire rifles, pump action shotguns and powerheads.


Separately, the NIPF is inspecting firearms and firearm storage units to make sure they comply with the firearms legislation.


From 1 August 2017, it will be illegal to own and use a firearm silencer on Norfolk Island without a permit. This means people who own a firearm silencer must contact NIPF before 1 August to obtain advice on seeking a permit or surrender the item.


Please contact the police at the station during business hours for more information about the amnesty, for advice on surrendering a prohibited weapon or ammunition or for questions about whether a firearm or firearm storage complies with the law.


Eric Hutchinson

17 July 2017

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Free training to build skills to apply for Government contracts



Training to upskill local service providers, tradespeople, business and individuals who would like to know more about applying for government contracts and how to develop strong proposals to government will be run later this month.  


The training sessions will focus on providing practical information, advice and experience on how to successfully respond to an approach to market (the public listing of a government contract) and meet Commonwealth procurement guidelines. This training will be available at no cost to Norfolk Island residents.


The Australian Government has contracted McGrathNicol to provide the training for local community members, businesses and individuals. McGrathNicol has a strong track record of advising and managing major procurement projects. Their business focus is on ensuring procurements comply with government policy.


It has been encouraging to see so many local businesses and tradespeople working on upgrades at the school, Cascade Pier and NIHRACS. A priority of the Australian Government is to continue to find ways to increase local opportunities with government, both on Norfolk Island and in regional parts of mainland Australia.   

         

I would encourage anyone who is interested in working with the government to consider coming along to a session.


The training will run throughout the first week of August at Governor’s Lodge on Queen Elizabeth Avenue.


Two evening sessions will run for 90 minutes each beginning at 5pm and 7pm on 1, 2 and 3 August. People are also welcome to drop in from 9am-4.30pm on 2 and 3 August, and from 9am-12 noon on 4 August.


For more information, or to register your interest please contact Matthew Millwood from McGrathNicol via email at registerni@mcgrathnicol.com


Eric Hutchinson

12 July 2017

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Update on reforms and Australian Government visitors



Progress continues to be made on the implementation of reforms. There have been a range of Australian Government visitors to the island over the past couple of months that reaffirms a commitment to normalising the delivery of a range of services for the Norfolk Island community.


Department of Human Services staff were on island this week, offering a face to face opportunity to assist anyone who may have questions about their services. Similarly, the Australian Tax Office will be available to answer questions from individuals or businesses during their visit later this month.


Representatives from Emergency Management Australia visited Norfolk Island three weeks ago and met with a range of relevant stakeholders as part of their review of the NORDISPLAN (Norfolk Island Disaster Plan). I await with interest their observations, understanding the adage that holds true in being able to respond effectively remains to: “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst”.


Last week senior representatives from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) met with a range of stakeholders and I would particularly like to thank the many individuals, community leaders and service providers who engaged so positively with Lin and Janet.    


There were many constructive conversations that discussed the Whole-of-Australian Government commitment to Norfolk Island, while seeking input from stakeholders to help understand the specific needs and interests of Norfolk Islanders as part of their key role in advising Government on social policy. As they willingly noted, there is much that can be learnt from the resourcefulness of the community on Norfolk Island that can guide development of social policy in other parts of Australia.


PM&C will continue to closely work with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and other agencies to ensure the best outcome for the people of Norfolk Island.


New website brings KAVHA into the digital age

A dedicated new website showcasing the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) is now available to the public.


The website includes information on the year-round activities at KAVHA, the wonderful museums on site, the incredible history of the site and practical advice on navigating the area.


The website is a great resource that emphasises the culture, heritage and historic values of KAVHA and acts as a central point of information for tourists and visitors. 


The KAVHA Advisory Committee and Norfolk Island Regional Council have had the opportunity to provide input during the development of the website.

The website is accessible at kavha.gov.au – all comments and feedback from the Norfolk Island community are welcome through the ‘contact us’ page on the website.


Update on the Cemetery Bay retaining wall

Some preliminary scoping work on restoring the retaining wall at Cemetery Bay has been undertaken in recent weeks by Advisian structural engineers.

The retaining wall has deteriorated, particularly in one section, and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is keen to progress repairs to ensure the safety of people using the beach.


The project is currently only in the concept planning stage. The scope of any works will be limited to restoring the retaining wall so that it remains stable. No other additions or changes to the wall are planned.


Citizenship Ceremony

It was an enormous honour and privilege for me to officiate recently at a Citizenship Ceremony for five people who have chosen to become Australian citizens. Citizenship brings with it both privileges and responsibilities and it proved to be a very emotional experience for both the participants and myself. It is worth contemplating how lucky we are to live in a country that, no matter where in the world we come from, no matter how long we have lived in Australia, as Citizens of Australia we are joined by a common bond that treats us all equally under the law.


Administrator on leave

Finally, I wanted to let you know that I am off on leave from Monday 17 July to Monday 31 July inclusive.  The office is still contactable during my absence and enquiries can be sent to office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au or by calling 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

06 July 2017

Please 'contact us' for more information.