17 November 2022
Dear Norfolk Islanders
Thank you for welcoming me back to your home last week.
Although this trip was short, I was thrilled to spend more time with community members, and can’t wait to meet with more of you when I return.
Thank you especially to everyone who attended Rawson Hall on Monday night, and made the shipping forum so worthwhile. Your passion, experience, and dependence on sea freight was clearly evident both in the forum, and the written submissions you’ve provided to my Department through the Have Your Say process.
Thank you also to your local Federal Member David Smith and Senator David Pocock for also attending the forum and contributing to the important discussion.
I was pleased I could share the stage with both Australia Post and NPDL, who were able to bring much needed good news to you on Monday.
I would like to recognise how much work Australia Post has put into improving the mail situation in the last few months. The sea freight shortage has impacted the community in so many ways, and I’m pleased that between the chartered flight and the barge deliveries, the backlog will be cleared before Christmas and the mail service back on track.
I would also like to acknowledge NPDL, and share my enthusiasm for the shipping service it has announced will begin in early 2023, following the purchase of a new landing craft. With a regular and stable service now announced by NPDL, my Department will consider the advice you’ve provided through the consultation process to inform future infrastructure options to complement the service. A key focus will be the shift to shipping containers. Over time, these investments will serve to lower the cost, and improve the security, of your freight.
As part of my trip, I was also pleased to join the Hon Grace Grace MP, Queensland Minister for Education, and David Smith MP, Member for Bean, to visit the Norfolk Island Central School. The partnership between the Australian Government and the Queensland Government continues to deliver essential services to the community, and I look forward to seeing this partnership grow.
Thank you again to everyone who took the time to meet with me, and share your experience to help me understand how I can best support Norfolk Island.
Looking forward to catching up again soon!