Office of the Administrator


Government House Services APPROACH TO MARKET

Friday, May 07, 2021



On 7 May 2021 the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication (the Department) will advertise an Approach to Market (ATM) on AusTender for the provision of services to support the activities and maintenance of Government House.
The services we are seeking are set out in two (2) separate ATMs:

 ATM 1 - Event and House Keeping, including the planning, coordinating and delivery of the full range of ceremonial, public, formal, informal and administrative events and meetings held at Norfolk Island Government House, in addition to the provision of house-keeping services
 ATM 2 - Gardening, lawn care and general maintenance at Government House.

Tenderers are required to submit a Response for all services detailed in the ATM.

Details pertaining to the ATM and the site inspection can be found on AusTender at https://www.tenders.gov.au
The closing date for Responses to the ATM is 11.59pm on 7 June 2021.

Responses must be lodged electronically via AusTender before the closing date and time. Responses cannot be accepted by the Office of the Administrator.

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Administrator Newsletter - Norfolk Island | Issue no. 06 | 30 April 2021

Friday, May 07, 2021



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Expression of Ideas “The Cooker” situated at Cascade Pier

Friday, May 07, 2021



Following the information evening at Governor’s Lodge on Monday 19 April, we are looking for a community organisation or representative group to conduct an ‘Expression of Ideas’ on the future of The Cooker (previously referred to as ‘The Boiler’).


The Cooker has an important place in this history of our community, as outlined by more than 70 people who attended the information evening.

The significant community interest in The Cooker opened the door for an Expression of Ideas, with a suggestion from those in attendance that an ‘Expression of Interest’ would be too prescriptive or could not meet the needs of any future consideration of The Cooker. This suggestion followed significant community discussions around the future of the historical artefact, with many putting forward ideas as to its future. 


Any ideas from the ‘Expression of Ideas’ process will be considered alongside the submissions already received by my Office.


If you or your community organisation would like to take on this very worthwhile endeavour, please contact my office at email: office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.

Eric Hutchinson

6 May 2021

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The wonders of Norfolk Island showcased

Friday, May 07, 2021



Norfolk Island’s extraordinary natural and cultural wonders are set to be featured in a series of high-profile television programs, produced by the Western Australia based Guru Productions for their “Explore TV” series.


This exciting project has been funded under the Australian Government’s $400,000 COVID-19 stimulus package for tourism promotion on Norfolk Island, showcasing Norfolk Island as a destination of outstanding beauty and rich cultural heritage to a national audience.


Filming for the series will take place on island from 7 May until 22 May, and forms part of the significant boost to tourism funding for Norfolk Island. The project and film crew are supported by Norfolk Island Tourism’s Australia and New Zealand representation company, the Unique Tourism Collection, in close collaboration with my Office.


“24 things you absolutely must experience on Norfolk Island” will comprise four 30-minute episodes, each featuring six stories, including a tour of the museums and Kingston, snorkelling, golf, yoga, wine tasting and high tea, among the numerous popular activities available to the many travellers who are welcomed to Norfolk Island each year.


The programs will screen from 29 May over four weeks on Channel 9, 9Life and 9NOW.com.au with Trevor Cochrane to host each episode, showcasing all the beauty and special qualities of Norfolk Island.


With borders slowly easing across Australia and the two-way Trans-Tasman flight zone in effect, now is an ideal time for Norfolk Island to strengthen and grow its domestic tourism industry, through exciting new avenues such as this partnership with Guru Productions.


The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that Norfolk Island is known on the domestic and international stage as an ideal location to live, work and visit now, and into the future.


For more information on this exciting project, please contact:

Jonica Paramor, Managing Director, The Unique Tourism Collection

T: +61 416 216 590 E: Jonica@UniqueTourism.com W: http://www.uniquetourism.com


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

X May 2021

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Queensland Government delegation visits Norfolk

Thursday, April 29, 2021



An enduring partnership for the delivery of critical services for Norfolk Island – including health and education – remains a key priority for the Australian Government and we continue to work hard to develop appropriate stable and long-term service delivery arrangements to best serve the Norfolk Island community. 


A Queensland Government delegation visited Norfolk Island from 27-29 April, including Minister for Education, Industrial Relations and Racing, the Hon Grace Grace and senior Queensland Government officials.


During their visit, the delegation toured Norfolk Island – including a number of site visits to the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service, Banyan Park Play Centre and the Norfolk Island Central School, as well as meeting with stakeholders including Norfolk Island Regional Council and key community groups.


The Queensland Government has extensive experience delivering high-quality state-based services in remote and island locations, particularly healthcare and education provision.


The Australian Government thanks the Queensland delegation for their visit and their meaningful engagement with stakeholders on island this week. We also thank the Norfolk Island community and stakeholders for their time and contributions to this week’s discussions.


This process requires time and patience as we must ensure that we are securing the delivery of high-quality services tailored to the needs of the Norfolk Island community.


The community will continue to be engaged and informed as the work progresses, in the meantime please contact me if you have further queries.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

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Upcoming Heritage Management and Conservation Projects at Kingston

Thursday, April 29, 2021


As one of Australia’s most important historical sites, the long-term management and conservation of Kingston is a key priority of the Australian Government.


Over the coming months, two critical heritage management and conservation projects at Kingston are being progressed, helping to preserve the world heritage area for residents and tourists into the long-term.


Heritage Management Plan for the HMS Sirius wreck site

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has engaged Cosmos Archaeology to develop a draft Heritage Management Plan (HMP) for the HMS Sirius wreck site.


Once completed, the HMP will guide the ongoing appropriate management of the wreck site’s archaeology and the linking of its story with the world heritage listed Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area.


Development of the draft HMP follows on from Cosmos Archaeology’s inspection in November 2020 to assess the condition of the wreck site’s National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage values.


A Cosmos Archaeology maritime archaeologist has been on island this week to work closely with Norfolk Island Museum staff and others involved in the management of the site to develop the initial draft plan. The Norfolk Island community will have the opportunity to provide input to and feedback on the draft plan through a public consultation process anticipated to take place later this year.


Repairs and conservation works to the Royal Engineers’ Office

Safety conservation works have also been taking place this week on the Royal Engineers’ Office (REO) portico to stabilise the structure. The main entrance of the REO has been closed between 27 April and 1 May 2021 while works are completed.  Access to the REO during this time will be via the side gate into the courtyard and shop.


The work is being undertaken by Cathedral Stone of Melbourne, supported by the KAVHA Works Team and MRJ Contract Services. The work is part of a focus on conservation works in this area of Kingston, with several projects now underway or in development to improve safety, conservation and public access.


The portico of the building and columns will be dismantled to repair damage caused by a vehicle impact some years ago which has weakened the structure and required the previous insertion of a new column and timber props. The portico will be reinstated at a later date once the columns and their capitals have been conserved and strengthened. It is anticipated that these works will take several months, but that ultimately the repaired structure will be reinstated as it is now, with no visible signs of the strengthening work.


For further information or discussion on either of these projects, please contact Martin Purslow (phone 23115; email martin.purslow@infrastructure.gov.au).


Eric Hutchinson

Chair, Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee

29 April 2021

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$7 MILLION FOR NORFOLK ISLAND NATIONAL PARK ROADS

Thursday, April 08, 2021



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Statement from Qantas

Friday, April 02, 2021


Qantas is working closely with travel agencies to reaccommodate customers holding existing bookings for flights between Australia and Norfolk Island.  


All impacted customers will be issued with new tickets for Qantas flights from their booking agent as soon as possible.  


Thank you to visitors and the local community for your patience.

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Cascade temporary groyne proposal progresses

Thursday, March 25, 2021



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Qantas to deliver Norfolk Island flights in coming months

Friday, March 19, 2021



The Australian Government has engaged Qantas to deliver passenger and freight air services for Norfolk Island for the next three months.
Air New Zealand remains the long-term underwritten supplier of air services to Norfolk Island. However, the current impacts of COVID-19 on Air New Zealand’s crewing arrangements and service delivery, mean that this arrangement with Qantas is critical to ensure the continuity of air services to Norfolk Island.

Ensuring reliable passenger air services for Norfolk Island throughout the COVID-19 pandemic remains a key priority of the Australian Government.

Reliable air services to the Island are not only necessary for residents, business and government, but also to ensure tourists can continue to take advantage of the extraordinary natural and cultural environment of Norfolk Island.

The arrangement with Qantas comes into effect from 19 March 2021.

The current passenger flight schedule between the Australian mainland and Norfolk Island will remain, with Qantas providing six flights arriving on Norfolk Island each week, three from Brisbane and three from Sydney. Days will not change but there may be some minor adjustments to arrival and departure times. Please check qantas.com for the latest Qantas flight schedule.

Passengers with an Air New Zealand booking in this three-month period will be automatically rebooked to the replacement Qantas service. During this time future bookings will be done through Qantas.

These arrangements will be reviewed after six weeks to ensure that we are providing the best possible passenger flight services to the Norfolk Island community and tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I will keep the community updated as we continue to provide essential air services to Norfolk Island.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
17 March 2021

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CSIRO water security reports for Norfolk Island released

Thursday, March 18, 2021



I welcome the release of CSIRO’s findings from its Norfolk Island Water Resources Assessment (NIWRA) project, which will greatly assist us to better understand our water resources and manage water scarcity.


In 2019, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the Department) engaged the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, to assess Norfolk Island’s surface and groundwater resources and assess options to increase water security, following on from Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI)’s consideration of water scarcity as an emergency risk.


The release of the findings is a great achievement for CSIRO and the NIWRA team, particularly with the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and protracted dry periods.  


The team comprised CSIRO scientists and locally engaged project personnel, guided by the project’s Community Steering Committee. They were supported by the participation of land holders and contribution of local knowledge.


The findings of the NIWRA will assist EMNI to develop guidance for industry, government and the community on prevention and preparation for water scarcity.


With the science showing reductions in average annual rainfall and likely continuation of the decline in recharge of water systems, CSIRO has been able to quantify what this means for emergency management considerations now and in the future.


The full technical Final Report and Summary Report are now available online. Hard copies of these documents will be made available on-island in various locations including at Customer Care, the Public Library, and in the Office of the Administrator in the coming weeks.


The Department has also provided the Norfolk Island Regional Council with the funds for its Environmental Assessment (through Monash University) which will complement the CSIRO’s work on water and inform the Council’s work to deliver on the community’s sustainable population and resource management objectives.


The CSIRO will present the project findings to the Norfolk Island community in the coming months.


For further details on the NIWRA and to access the full technical Final Report and Summary Report please visit: https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_projects/norfolks_island_water_resources_assessment_project.aspx


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

18 March 2021

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Support for Norfolk Island freight needs

Thursday, March 18, 2021



The Australian Government acknowledges, and appreciates, community concerns about availability of freight, and current stock shortages of essential supplies on Norfolk Island.


The Government continues to support air freight services for Norfolk Island and is working closely with freight services providers to better meet demand at this challenging time.


It is important to remember that sea freight remains a private sector function. There is a further voyage of the sea freighter scheduled for mid-year.

 

The Government has now scheduled additional air freight flights throughout March, April, May and June. There will be weekly freight flights from 5 March to 25 June 2021 as well as two additional freight flights for 27 March 10 April, to assist to clear the current backlog of air freight.

Between 19 and 27 March, TOLL anticipates bringing in a significant amount of perishables and consumables. With Qantas delivering air passenger services over the next three months, there will also now be increased freight capacity on the regular passenger services.

 

The sea freighter with general cargo is scheduled to arrive today or tomorrow (19 or 20 March). Shortages of stock feed will not be fully relieved by the quantities on this ship and options to alleviate these pressures are being explored.

 

The continued availability of sea freight to Norfolk Island is a key priority of the Australian Government, which is currently pursuing options to increase sea freight capacity – including a temporary groyne at Cascade Port.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications has commissioned ARUP to complete a feasibility study for a temporary groyne proposal at Cascade. The outcomes of this study will be shared with the Norfolk Island community at the end of March 2021.

 

The Australian Government in consultation with the community continues to settle a Ports Management Strategy to support reliable and safe port operations in the longer-term, which is essential to the economic wellbeing and sustainability of the Norfolk Island community.

 

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

March 2021

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Administrators Newsletter

Friday, March 05, 2021



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PFAS Preliminary Site Investigation Report and community sessions

Thursday, March 04, 2021


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Tender opportunity for Kingston management plans

Thursday, March 04, 2021



The successful, ongoing conservation, protection and management of the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (Kingston) is a key priority for the Australian Government, in alignment with the ambitions and support of the Norfolk Island community for the World Heritage site.


An approach to market to develop and renew key management plans for Kingston has been released through Austender by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.


The first project is the review and update of the site’s Heritage Management Plan (HMP). The current HMP was completed in 2016, and under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EBPC Act), must be reviewed every 5 years. While the HMP provides a sound basis for guiding site management, the review and update will ensure the plan remains relevant, and will assist the continued protection of the site’s world, national, Commonwealth and local heritage values.  


The second project is the development of a site master plan for Kingston. The current HMP identifies the development of a site master plan as an essential action to guide future planning, uses, new development and interpretation.


Responses to the approach to market close on Friday, 26 March 2021. 


As the projects progress, there will be opportunities for input from the community into the plans’ development.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

4 March 2021

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Temporary flight arrangements for Norfolk Island

Tuesday, March 02, 2021



The Australian Government has engaged Qantas to deliver air services to and from Norfolk Island from 26 February to 6 March, following ongoing uncertainty with quarantine-free travel arrangements between Australia and New Zealand.


Until this uncertainty is resolved, Air New Zealand is not able to deliver air services to and from Norfolk Island, as Air New Zealand crew are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Australia before crewing air services within Australia.


Please check qantas.com for the latest Qantas flight schedule.


Rebooking arrangements will minimise any inconvenience to travellers. Qantas flights will be replacing Air New Zealand flights to and from Norfolk Island, through to and including 6 March. Passengers with an Air New Zealand booking will be automatically rebooked to the replacement Qantas service.


Air New Zealand customers with questions regarding the booking process should contact the Air New Zealand call centre on +64 9 357 3000.

Passengers who wish to travel and do not have an existing booking with Air New Zealand can book Qantas flights online via qantas.com, by phoning 13 13 13, or through their travel agent.


In the coming days, I will provide a further update regarding air services to and from Norfolk Island after Saturday 6 March.


I would like to thank everyone for their continuing patience and understanding as we work to ensure the health and safety of residents and visitors to Norfolk Island.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

26 February 2021

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Norfolk in spotlight with Tourism Australia visit

Friday, February 26, 2021



I am very pleased that Norfolk Island will be welcoming senior executives from Tourism Australia for a visit from 5-10 March 2021, as part of our ongoing work to grow our tourism offering and market.


Organised by The Unique Tourism Collection on behalf of the Office of the Administrator, the trip will support Norfolk Island’s future tourism promotion and development.


The group will include senior representatives from Tourism Australia along with an external journalist and content creator.

Through the visit, they will gain a deeper understanding of Norfolk Island as a destination and its rich sources of imagery and content.


They will also meet with key local industry representatives and host a workshop on current Tourism Australia activities and how best to work with them to support local tourism into the future.


The Australian Government is committed to continuing to support the local tourism sector and Norfolk Island businesses and the economy to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Tourism Australia Workshop for local industry stakeholders will be at Paradise Resort from 4.30pm – 6.30pm on Monday, 8 March 2021.


For more information or to join the Tourism workshop on 8 March, email Jonica@uniquetourism.com  or call Jonica on Norfolk Island on #57091 from 5 – 10 March.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

25 February 2021

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Community consultations on fire control and management

Friday, February 26, 2021



I want to remind the community about two opportunities next week to have your say on fire control and management on Norfolk Island.


Eco Logical Australia is on island from 2 March to commence work on the Norfolk Island Fire Management Plan (NIFMP). The NIFMP will provide the overarching framework for managing all fire risks on Norfolk Island.


If you would like to contribute to development of the NIFMP, there will be a community drop-in session with Eco Logical on Friday, 5 March, 11:30am – 1:30pm at NI Connect, next door to the Bounty Centre.


You can also provide your views on the regulation of green waste-burning during the face-to-face community consultation sessions I am hosting on 2 March 2021.


The community consultation sessions will be held on Tuesday, 2 March at 10:30am and 5:15pm, in the Office of the Administrator meeting room at New Military Barracks, Quality Row, Kingston. To register your intention to attend, please contact norfolkislandteam@infrastructure.gov.au or 23315.


The consultation paper and public submission setting out proposed reforms to the legislation dealing with fire control in Norfolk Island can be found on the department’s website at https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates.aspx.  


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

25 February 2021

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Traffic counters in Kingston

Friday, February 19, 2021



There has been some recent interest in the traffic counters which have been installed at the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area.


These traffic counters are a routine information-gathering tool to inform improvements and the management of the World Heritage site.


They will collect accurate data on traffic movements in the area for regular analysis over the coming year.


The installation and use of the traffic counters has no relation to - or impact on - parking arrangements or site access.

The issue of traffic movements in Kingston, including concerns around traffic speeds, were raised by the Norfolk community during the consultation process for the development of the Cultural Landscape Management Plan (CLMP).


The data collected through the traffic counters will enable us to understand traffic flow and movement to ensure we have the right infrastructure in place to provide a safe environment for pedestrians and drivers.


They also provide data to determine how it is being used so that we can ensure we are best supporting use of the site.


Similar traffic data is routinely collected across most major heritage sites - including the Norfolk Island National Park.


If anyone has further queries, they are welcome to contact my Office or the heritage manager Martin Purslow (martin.purslow@infrastructure.gov.au)


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

16 February 2021

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Update on temporary flight arrangements for Norfolk Island

Friday, February 19, 2021


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Norfolk Island Regional Council matters

Friday, February 19, 2021



Following the temporary suspension of the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC), the appointment of the interim administrator to run NIRC and the announcement of a public inquiry into the Council by an independent commissioner, I want to assure the community that these are normal processes designed to deliver better outcomes for Norfolk Island into the future.


Public inquiries – and the temporary suspension and interim administration process – are not uncommon in local government in NSW and other states.


They are processes designed to address critical problems in the ways a council is operating and lead to better functioning local councils.


I also want to make it clear the NIRC has been temporarily suspended – it has not been dismissed, nor brought to an end. Mr Michael Colreavy is an interim administrator.


He replaces the elected Mayor and councillors while in the role and has all the functions of NIRC. The NIRC general manager now reports to Mr Colreavy and he will be independent of the Australian Government in the way that an elected local government member is.


Mr Colreavy is a local government leader and manager with more than 37 years’ experience, with a focus on regional councils. This includes 12 years as a council general manager and another eight years in local government leadership roles.


Mr Colreavy’s role is entirely different to mine as a Commonwealth Administrator of Norfolk Island.


He will be on Island in the last week of February and I know you are looking forward to opportunities to meet him in person. You will hear further from him on council matters shortly.


What I want everyone to understand is that under the administration of Mr Colreavy and while the public inquiry is happening, the Council will continue operating and delivering services – your day to day interactions and services shouldn’t change simply because of the administration period or inquiry.


Again, the commissioner Carolyn McNally, who will run the public inquiry into NIRC, is highly experienced as a senior executive in NSW local government, including as Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment from 2014 to 2019 with responsibilities including local government. 


Ms McNally is an independent commissioner and will have the same powers under the relevant legislation that are available to commissioners who conduct inquiries into NSW councils.


The inquiry is an important opportunity for the Norfolk Island community to contribute to the pathway for improving the operation of the local council in Norfolk Island.


Ms McNally will make information available about the inquiry in the near future.


You will also be aware the Assistant Minister has signed an order postponing the upcoming council election for 12 months, to allow for full consideration of the findings of the public inquiry, prior to an election taking place.


Now it’s important to note that anything which has been done for the 13 March election – including nominations for candidates and postal votes – will have no effect now. The election process will commence again in due course and further information will be provided to the community nearer the time.


People can still enrol to vote – those arrangements haven’t changed – you still need to enrol with the Australian Electoral Commission and there is information on how to do that on the Department’s website at: www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/election/

You’ll hear more soon from the interim administrator Mr Colreavy and the public inquiry commissioner Ms McNally.


In the meantime, if you would like to contact them, they are available at mike.colreavy@nirc.gov.nf and carolyn.mcnally@infrastructure.gov.au or NIRCpublicinquiry@infrastructure.gov.au

Alternatively, please contact me if you have further queries.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

18 February 2021

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Green Waste Consultation Sessions

Friday, February 19, 2021



The community will have an opportunity to provide your views on the regulation of green waste-burning during upcoming face-to-face community consultation sessions I am hosting on 2 March 2021.


In October 2020, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department) issued a consultation paper setting out proposed reforms to the legislation dealing with fire control in Norfolk Island. The reforms were developed in close consultation with the Chief Fire Control Officer, aimed at enhancing community and environmental safety.


The department received a submission in response to this paper which raised some concerns about how burning of green waste in the open air might be regulated throughout the year. The consultation paper and public submission can be found on the department’s website at https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates.aspx.  


The community consultation sessions will be held on Tuesday, 2 March at 10:30am and 5:15pm, in the Office of the Administrator meeting room at New Military Barracks, Quality Row, Kingston. To register your intention to attend, please contact norfolkislandteam@infrastructure.gov.au or 23315.


I look forward to seeing you there and hearing your views.


During the same week, Eco Logical Australia will be on island to commence work on the Norfolk Island Fire Management Plan (NIFMP). The NIFMP will provide the overarching framework for managing all fire risks on Norfolk Island. If you would like to participate in any upcoming consultation on the NIFMP, again please contact

norfolkislandteam@infrastructure.gov.au or 23315.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

18 February 2021

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Temporary flight arrangements for Norfolk Island

Monday, February 15, 2021


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Repatriation flights for Norfolk Island

Friday, January 29, 2021


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Stronger Communities Programme and Building Better Regions Fund

Friday, January 29, 2021


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The development of an enduring partnership to deliver critical services

Friday, January 29, 2021



The development of an enduring partnership to deliver critical services — including health and school education — to Norfolk Island remains a key priority for the Australian Government.


I understand that there has recently been public discussion over potential arrangements for future service delivery that has led to uncertainty among the community. It is regrettable that this has occurred.


While we are not yet able to provide details of government-to-government discussions, I want to assure you that once there is a finalised arrangement in place you will hear it announced by the Australian Government – not the media.


The Australian Government has been working tirelessly to develop appropriate stable and long term service delivery arrangements, providing certainty for the community that you will have access to the high quality services that you need into the long-term.


Unfortunately, this process requires time and patience as we must ensure that we are securing the delivery of high-quality services tailored to the needs of the Norfolk Island community.


I hope that over the coming days we will be able to announce an enduring partnership that will provide Norfolk Islanders with the critical services you need to ensure we remain a world class location to live, work and visit. 


With the NSW Government committing to extend education service delivery to the end of 2021, the community will not be disadvantaged as we continue to progress future arrangements to secure a long-term partnership to deliver essential services into the future.


Eric Hutchinson Administrator of Norfolk Island
29 January 2021

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Air New Zealand Flights

Thursday, January 28, 2021



The Australian Government is currently looking at alternative commercial solutions to return visitors to the mainland with minimal delay, following the temporary cancellation of Air New Zealand flights.

The cancelled flights follow the confirmed case of the highly contagious South African variant of COVID-19 in New Zealand on 24 January.
While I am pleased that Air New Zealand is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of passengers and staff, I understand and acknowledge that this sudden change in circumstances is a cause of uncertainty and concern for visitors who had planned to depart the island on a now-cancelled flight.

I would like to assure visitors and the community alike that the Australian Government is investigating all viable options to get visitors home. While an alternative arrangement may take some days to put in place, I ask for your patience and understanding while we find the best possible solution for everyone concerned.

For those who have an urgent need to return to the mainland, please contact my office on telephone number: 22152, and leave your details – including name and best contact number – so that we can contact you as soon as we have finalised a viable alternative.

I also understand that there are concerns amongst some visitors about the ongoing availability of medicine and medical care.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition and are either running out of medication or need medical care, please go to the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service on Grassy Road, whose expert staff will be able to provide you with emergency and medical care and treatment.
I would like to reiterate that the health and wellbeing of all Australian residents – including visitors currently on Norfolk Island – is the primary concern of the Australian Government and that we are doing all we can to expedite the process of getting you home.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
28 January 2021

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Fire Control

Friday, January 22, 2021


With increased fire risks during the summer season, it is important to take steps now to protect our local environment and community from the risk of uncontrolled fire.

On the advice of the Chief Fire Control Officer, I have declared a fire danger period under the Fire Control Act 2000 (NI). This applies to the whole of Norfolk Island from 6.00am on 23rd January 2021 until 6:00pm on 27th February 2021.

During this period, a person may only light a fire in the open air: for cooking in a properly constructed fireplace; or in a properly constructed incinerator designed to prevent the escape of sparks or incandescent material; or in accordance with a permit issued by the Chief Fire Control Officer.

A person who otherwise lights a fire in the open air is guilty of an offence and may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.00 and/or imprisonment for one year.

During the fire danger period, the Chief Fire Control Officer may direct landowners to take reasonable actions to prevent the outbreak and spread of fire on their land. Failure to comply with these directions may also result in a fine or imprisonment.

If you have any enquiries, please contact the Chief Fire Control Officer, Gerri Downie, on telephone 22049 during business hours.

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

22 January 2021

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Join us for Australia Day

Thursday, January 14, 2021


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Transition to new service provider for NI workers’ compensation scheme

Friday, January 08, 2021



The new workers’ compensation arrangements for Norfolk Island are now in place, with the formal transition to service provider Gallagher Bassett occurring this week.


Gallagher Bassett are experts in claim management and their extensive experience in workers’ compensation places them well to deliver the local workers’ compensation scheme.


The new compensation scheme commenced on 4 January 2021, following Gallagher Bassett’s work over recent weeks with the Norfolk Island Regional Council and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to ensure a smooth hand-over of services.


Gallagher Basset’s role in administering the scheme going forward includes assessing claims for compensation, managing compensation payments and providing information and support for employers and employees who are part of the scheme.


Gallagher Bassett will be visiting Norfolk Island next week commencing 11 January to finalise transition arrangements with Council, and meet with the local business and employment sector, health and the local community.


They will be available to answer any questions relating to the new workers’ compensation scheme and provide support and advice to the community, including new or existing scheme members. For any enquiries during 11 January-18 January, please call 51472, or email NorfolkIslandMembership@gbtpa.com.au.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

7 January 2021

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Ensuring Norfolk Island’s emergency management arrangements best support the community

Friday, January 08, 2021



Development of the Norfolk Island Fire Management Plan (NIFMP) project is progressing, with a consultant now appointed and preparing to engage with local stakeholders on the plan.


Eco Logical Australia was carefully selected for their expertise in fire planning strategies and bushfire planning and management, ensuring the best outcome for the Norfolk Island community.


This project will provide support to the community, Norfolk Island Fire Service and Parks Australia in the management of fire risk and response. It will also assist Emergency Management Norfolk Island to help prepare the community for increasing fire emergency risk. 


Eco Logical will undertake an island-wide fire risk assessment and develop a NIFMP, providing expert advice and an overarching framework to minimise the rate and intensity, reduce community vulnerability and improve preparedness and containment of fires.


The $80,000 funding to develop an NIFMP was part of an almost $1.8 million package of projects announced by the Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Hon Nola Marino MP, in December 2019 to build resilience to extreme weather on Norfolk Island.

The community and stakeholders on-island will be engaged throughout the project, ensuring that local expertise and knowledge informs both the fire risk assessment and the development of the NIFMP.


The Australian Government is committed to supporting effective fire risk management on Norfolk Island. The NIFMP will provide the overarching framework for managing all fire risks on Norfolk Island and I encourage all interested community members to participate in the upcoming consultation sessions.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

7 January 2021

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Changes to Norfolk Island bankruptcy and companies arrangements

Friday, January 08, 2021



As part of the ongoing response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Australian Government is extending support to local businesses and individuals financially affected by the pandemic.


The temporary changes to debt arrangements, which commenced on 21 July 2020, allowed more flexibility and time to manage debt, easing the impact of COVID-19 on Norfolk Island businesses.


Consistent with equivalent measures nationally, the Government has extended a modified range of measures from 1 January 2021.


The minimum amount of debt that can trigger bankruptcy is now $10,000 (instead of $2,000) and the statutory minimum for a creditor to issue a demand to a debtor company has been increased to $2,000 (from $1,000).


From 1 January 2021, the statutory period for compliance with a bankruptcy notice or a statutory demand to a company is back to 21 days.

The provisions for online or virtual meetings and electronic document execution will no longer expire in March 2021. This will mean that Norfolk Island companies can continue to hold meetings virtually, send meeting-related materials electronically and validly execute documents electronically.


The Rules dealing with these measures can be found on the Federal Register of Legislation at:

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L01708. An explanatory statement is also available at that link.

Following the commencement of the Territories Legislation Amendment Act 2020, Commonwealth corporations and bankruptcy law will extend to Norfolk Island from 2 August 2021, bringing these arrangements into line with the rest of Australia and removing the need for separate measures. Further information on transition arrangements will be available in the near future.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

7 January 2021

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Xmas Message 2020

Friday, December 18, 2020


Well who would have seen that coming!


Sure this time last year there was this “virusy” thing from Wuhan in faraway China, but they seem to deal with these things promptly and usually without too much fuss in Asia. How wrong we were!


I remember penning a verse in early April, not so long after we had made the difficult but correct decision to close the borders on Norfolk Island on the 16th of March. It began:


“In just a month the world went crazy, but of one thing I am sure,


Bats and Pangolins now are safer than they’ve ever been before.


Perhaps they’re really tasty, but fewer people now will know,


For eating those Corona Bats has made this virus grow…”-- etc, etc. It went on and apparently didn’t get any better, but you get the gist.

There are many people that deserve recognition during this challenging year. Whilst hesitant to single out individuals, a number of people have stepped up into responsible roles and done wonderful work. You all have my sincere thanks and admiration, along with that of the broader community at a job well done.


To the doctors, administration and medical staff at the hospital, I say thank you. To the team at EMNI and those involved within the EMT and the IMT during this period that tested us all, again I say thank you. To the community for their co-operation and forbearance, overwhelmingly we can reflect so very positively on the outcome we have achieved together. We all learnt so much this year and we were all tested, but equally emergency management systems across the country and around the world have been tested. There is still more work to be done and we are starting to see what the “new normal” might look like. My take home message was around consistency of communications..


There are also good things to have come out of Covid. The discussions with community during the Norfolk Island – Sustaining our Future 2030 was for me one of those good things. Hearing local people reflecting on what they love about this amazing little island in the South Pacific, that some of us are very fortunate to call home. First and fore-most not to lose sight of what makes Norfolk Island a different and special place and what the local community appreciates about living here. Do that well and the visitors that come and spend their money here will get a most authentic and different experience from anywhere else they may travel within Australia. To experience the history and culture of the island, the friendly locals, the fishing or the beaches, the great food or the wonderful climate. For others it has just been a time to take a deep breath, reconnect with family (or self) and reflect on how very fortunate we were to have been here on Norfolk Island during Covid.


To the business community of Norfolk Island; thank you! A tough year for all of you, notwithstanding the support provided by Commonwealth Government programmes like JobKeeper and a generous stimulus package for which Assistant Minister Nola Marino deserves genuine credit for her efforts on behalf of this community. I should particularly like to thank the accountants here on Norfolk Island for the excellent work they did in working with local businesses to apply for a number of these federally funded programmes. It is so pleasing to see and hear that many businesses are trading very strongly again as we see tourists coming back to Norfolk Island.


2020 was such a difficult year for all those students and staff at NICS. Not only was CV-19 a disrupter, but uncertainty around education services beyond 2021, has added additional complexity to the hectic schedule of staff and students. These issues will be resolved and we can move forward, but I acknowledge it has been hard and offer my congratulations to all of those who achieved success this year.


This year I saw the Norfolk island community at its very best in so many areas, not least of all in the way this community supported those who as Temporary Residents on 159 visas were ineligible for JobKeeper and other support programmes available to Australian Citizens during Covid. To the churches and social workers and community organisations often made up of volunteers, truly it was inspiring to see the generosity of spirit to support those less fortunate than ourselves. I thank you all.


My thanks to all those staff in Federal Agencies doing good work on behalf of this community, likewise to all the staff at Council who keep the wheels turning and the lights on.


To the elected members of the NIRC, thank you for being prepared to stand up and represent this community. It is never easy to do so and even more so in a small community where there are different views about what the future should look like and how we should arrive there. When I think though of waste management and electricity, a new airport runway, so much good progress has been made and credit is given where it is due.


As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus reflected – “There is nothing permanent except change”, similarly but perhaps on a better day the Roman Poet Ovid opined – “All things change; nothing perishes.”.


May I take this opportunity to thank those close to me and in the absence of family in 2020, a particular mention to those I am fortunate to call friends here on Norfolk Island. We get to choose our friends and I have some good ones for which I am indeed grateful; you know who you are. To my staff and those that keep Government House in a condition that this community can be rightly proud of, I trust that we can share this more with the community in the year to come.


Finally, may I wish all the community of Norfolk Island a Holy and Joyous Christmas. May you give thanks and celebrate with friends and family arriving home, something that only a few months ago seemed quite unlikely.


Merry Christmas

Eric Hutchinson

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Improving public health and safety on Norfolk Island roads

Friday, December 18, 2020



New traffic laws have been put in place to improve public health and safety on Norfolk Island roads. 

Ute tray riding will continue to be part of Norfolk Island’s driving experience, however, there will be some changes to improve safety for tray occupants. 

The new laws take into account the community feedback provided on ute tray riding and other proposed changes to Norfolk Island’s traffic laws through an extensive consultation process in 2019.

There was a substantial response to the initial 2019 consultation paper, which proposed a ban on ute tray riding. A second consultation stage was then undertaken to listen further to community views.

Together with the community, we considered ways to better protect passengers travelling in an open ute tray. These are now reflected in the new laws.

Once the changes to ute tray riding come into effect:

  • only full licence holders will be permitted to have passengers in the back of an open ute tray
  • drivers must pass a written test about the rules applying to ute tray riding to get a licence endorsement
  • drivers must remain sober if passengers are in the ute or truck tray
  • there will be a night time curfew
  • children must be at least eight years of age before allowed to sit unrestrained in the open ute tray.

There will be a three-month implementation period before the new arrangements for ute tray riding will commence. More details on the test and licence endorsement process will be available in the New Year.

The test will ensure drivers understand the new, and existing, rules for ute tray riding.   

Please also note the following new rules will be coming into effect immediately:

  • P-platers from Australian states and territories will be allowed to drive in Norfolk Island - they will have to comply with the road rules applicable to Norfolk Island P-platers
  • the Norfolk Island Police Force will be able to commence roadside mobile drug testing
  • A 24-hour automatic licence suspension will apply if a driver refuses to submit to breath, saliva or blood testing, and automatic licence suspension will apply if a driver is charged with certain major driving offences, including high range drink driving and driving under the influence of drugs or psychotropic substances.

A fact sheet providing more detailed information about the changes is on the department’s webpage at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates.aspx

Details of the 2019 consultation processes are also at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates.aspx

I would like to thank those community members who participated in the public consultation process in 2019 and shared their views with myself and the department. 

These changes aim to strike a balance between improving road safety and local circumstances on Norfolk Island.

Please drive safely over the festive season.

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

17 December 2020

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Emily Bay Bridge reopens Saturday 19 December

Friday, December 18, 2020



The Emily Bay Bridge will reopen to all traffic on Saturday, 19 December, following its temporary closure while urgent safety works were completed.

The repairs to the historic structure are now in their final stages and it will reopen to the community and visitors from 7am on Saturday. The bridge will once again be safe for usual traffic and use, including for regular passenger vehicles, small trucks and buses.

  Thank you for your patience during this short-term closure while these necessary works were undertaken.

Any queries can be directed to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ on-island team on 23315.
Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
17 December 2020

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Additional freight flight for Norfolk Island

Friday, December 18, 2020



Due to a significant increase in demand for freight to Norfolk Island, I am pleased to announce the Australian Government is supporting an additional freight flight to Norfolk Island on 24 December 2020.


TOLL air freighters are currently arriving on Norfolk Island, on average, every 14 days. 


Air freighters are also scheduled to arrive on 18 and 19 December, so this will see three air freighters arriving on Norfolk Island in the week before Christmas.


The Australian Government is committed to continuing to support the Norfolk Island community and businesses. Supporting TOLL to deliver regular and reliable supplies to Norfolk Island is a critical element of this support.


If you have any queries about freighter flights, please contact Burnt Pine Travel on travel@burntpinetravel.nf or phone +6723 22195.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

17 December 2020

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Additional Sydney passenger flight for Norfolk Island

Thursday, December 10, 2020



Due to a significant increase in passenger demand, I am pleased to announce the Australian Government is supporting an additional return flight between Sydney and Norfolk Island commencing 6 January 2021.


Air New Zealand currently provides five passenger flights arriving on Norfolk Island each week, two from Sydney and three from Brisbane, with an additional flight between Brisbane and Norfolk Island having commenced 10 December 2020.


The additional flight will arrive on Norfolk Island from Sydney on Wednesdays.


The Australian Government is committed to continuing to support the local tourism sector and Norfolk Island businesses and the economy to recover and rebuild.


As travel restrictions continue to slowly ease and tourists continue to return to Norfolk Island, the Australian Government and Air New Zealand will remain responsive to passenger demand for Norfolk Island flight services, with scheduling informed by flight booking records.


If you have any queries about flights during this period of change, please contact Burnt Pine Travel on travel@burntpinetravel.nf or phone +6723 22195.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

10 December 2020

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Flight schedule extended for Norfolk Island

Friday, December 04, 2020



I am pleased to confirm the current Air NZ passenger flight schedule is being extended beyond the previously publicised date of 28 March 2021.

The Australian Government continues to support Norfolk Island through COVID recovery, including through air services.

 

Currently, Air NZ operates two flights a week between Sydney and Norfolk Island and three flights a week between Brisbane and Norfolk Island.

Decisions will continue to be made regarding the future flight schedule subject to passenger demand.

 

The Australian Government is committed to providing services to ensure Norfolk Island remains a bucket-list destination for tourists looking to travel locally over the coming months. As restrictions ease across Australia, we will continue to closely monitor and review the current flight schedule to ensure passenger demands are met. 

 

If you have any queries about flights during this period of change, please contact Burnt Pine Travel on travel@burntpinetravel.nf or phone +6723 22195.

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

3 December 2020

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Emily Bay Bridge temporary closure and repair

Thursday, December 03, 2020


Due to public safety risk, Emily Bay Bridge will be temporarily closed to all traffic for a short period commencing next week while critical safety works are undertaken to repair the bridge.


Cracks in the bridge structure were found during a routine inspection in late November. A subsequent engineering inspection and report has now confirmed there is a risk the convict stone arch beneath the bridge will collapse.


The temporary bridge closure is necessary while these critical remedial works are undertaken - to protect the safety of residents and visitors, maintain the only public vehicle access point to Emily Bay and Point Hunter, and preserve the heritage value of the bridge itself.


Effective immediately, the bridge will be restricted to a maximum 2.5 tonne weight limit which will allow only normal passenger vehicles (including utilities and large SUVs up to this weight, including loads) to cross - no buses or trucks will be permitted.


Then, from Tuesday, 8 December, the bridge will be completely closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the repair works.  Due to the safety risk, barricades have been put in place to stop public access under the bridge.


The works will be completed as quickly as possible and are anticipated to be finished by 21 December 2020. A reinforced concrete slab will be constructed to transfer the loads to either side of the bridge, removing direct traffic loads and vibration on the stone arch bridge. These repair works will mitigate the current critical risk while preserving the bridge’s heritage fabric.


I regret the inconvenience this temporary closure will cause to the community. While the vehicle access disruption is acknowledged, particularly at this time when tourism and summer activities at the Bay such as camping are increasing, the aim of completing the works now is to minimise disruption later over the peak Christmas and New Year period into January.


The community will be kept updated on the progress of the works and bridge closure. For further information, please contact the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ on-island team on 23315.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

2 December 2020

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Additional Brisbane passenger flight for Norfolk Island

Thursday, November 19, 2020



Due to a significant increase in passenger demand, I am pleased to announce the Australian Government is supporting an additional return flight between Brisbane and Norfolk Island commencing 10 December 2020.


Air New Zealand currently provides four passenger flights arriving on Norfolk Island each week, two from Sydney and two from Brisbane, with an additional flight between Sydney and Norfolk Island having commenced 9 November.


The additional flight will arrive on Norfolk Island from Brisbane on Thursdays.


The Australian Government is committed to continuing to support the local tourism sector and Norfolk Island businesses and the economy to recover and rebuild.


As travel restrictions continue to slowly ease and tourists continue to return to Norfolk Island, the Australian Government and Air New Zealand will remain responsive to passenger demand for Norfolk Island flight services, with scheduling informed by flight booking records.


If you have any queries about flights during this period of change, please contact Burnt Pine Travel on travel@burntpinetravel.nf or phone +6723 22195.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

19 November 2020

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Inspection of the HMS Sirius Wreck site

Thursday, November 19, 2020


In line with the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to preserving Norfolk Island’s rich heritage, Cosmos Archaeology has been commissioned to undertake an inspection of the HMS Sirius wreck site.

 

The remains of the HMS Sirius, flagship of the First Fleet, are of significant archeological potential for research into the early migration of Europeans to Australia. The remains of the Sirius and associated artefacts represent a “time capsule” of the late 18th century period.

 

The site inspection is an opportunity to assess the current condition of the wreck site and its heritage value and is the first stage of developing a Heritage Management Plan (HMP) for the site. The HMP will guide future management of the site and will assist in meeting the Department’s statutory heritage management requirements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999.

 

The site inspection and subsequent HMP builds on the previous work that has been undertaken by the Norfolk Island Museum in conjunction with Graeme Henderson. Opportunities for community input on the HMP will be available once a draft is developed.

 

If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact Martin Purslow, Commonwealth Heritage Manager at martinpurlsow@infrastructure.gov.au

 

Mr Eric Hutchinson

Chair, KAVHA Advisory Committee

 

18 November 2020

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APS6 Interpretation Project Coordinator/Researcher

Friday, November 13, 2020


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Administrator’s 2021 Norfolk Island Australia Day Awards

Thursday, November 12, 2020



Nominations are sought for the Administrator’s 2021 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 Community 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 2021.  The Citizen Award is for persons over that age.

 

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

Outstanding ability, contribution or participation

Achievement in a particular competition

 

The Community 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 2021.

 

Lodgement of nominations must be received by the Office of the Administrator by close of business, Wednesday 16 December 2020.

 

For further information contact the Office of the Administrator on phone 22152 or email office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.

 

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator

 

12 November 2020

 

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Kingston Pier Channel Construction project detailed design

Thursday, November 12, 2020



The Kingston Pier Channel Construction project is progressing well, with the completion of the final draft of the selected design Option 3a, ahead of upcoming consultations.


Ensuring local knowledge and expertise informs this important project, Option 3a was selected after extensive COVID-safe stakeholder and community engagement, both online and via teleconference, earlier in the year.


The chosen option, which was selected from four initial and two additional design options as best fitting the project requirements, allows for more than one vessel to use the channel at a time to access the Pier (subject to swell and weather conditions).


Advisian Pty Ltd, the contractors engaged to undertake this project, have prepared the 80% Design Report for further community and stakeholder consultation commencing 23 November 2020, through online feedback and stakeholder teleconferences. The report will be issued electronically, with feedback welcomed to make sure it meets community expectations before finalising the design.


The Australian Government and Advisian are committed to ensuring that the final design and construction of the project delivers the best outcomes for the community, the economy and the environment.


The Project Steering Committee has approved the digging of four test trenches in the channel to collect data which will form part of the submission for the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPCB) Act Referral. It is anticipated that these test-trench works will be undertaken in early November 2020.    


The Kingston Pier has always been a vital link to Norfolk Island. The Australian Government remains committed to ensuring this project delivers a safer channel, a more accessible pier, and helps the local economy grow sustainably into the future.


Any enquiries about the project can be made to: territories_projects@infrastructrure.gov.au

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

12 November 2020

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First edition of the Administrator's newsletter

Friday, November 06, 2020



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Thank you for having your say on new health facility design

Friday, November 06, 2020



The Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility design is progressing well.

 

Thank you to those who provided input through a number of community drop-in sessions and targeted meetings on island last week. Your engagement continues to inform the facility’s initial design concepts.

 

The project team, including KPMG and design services contractor GHD Pty Ltd presented updated design concepts to Norfolk Island residents, following the recent community and stakeholder feedback on the original integrated design.

 

The presentations included an updated village design option that includes repositioning the residential aged care facility in order to take full advantage of the views across the valley.

 

The sessions generated a significant amount of interest and discussion from the large number of attendees, with the community generously contributing their time and local knowledge to the project.

 

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those who attended, with the sessions yielding fresh insights to help inform the 30 per cent design as it is finalised. The 30 per cent Concept Design Report is due for completion in December 2020.

 

The project team will hold further community and stakeholder feedback sessions as the design progresses, including further on-Island visits.

 

Once finalised, a community update based on the concept design will be available to the community on the Department’s website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_health_services/Multipurpose-Health-Services-Facility-Project.aspx.  We will advise the community when the update is public.

 

Progression to the construction stage is subject to Government budget and Parliamentary approval processes anticipated to commence in late 2021.

 

If you have any questions in relation to the ongoing consultations, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.

 

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

5 November 2020

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Workers compensation scheme for NI progressing

Friday, November 06, 2020



The new workers compensation arrangements for Norfolk Island are moving forward, with the formal signing of the contract between service provider Gallagher Bassett and the Australian Government on 27 October.


Gallagher Bassett are experts in claim management and their extensive experience in workers’ compensation places them well to deliver the local workers’ compensation scheme.


The new compensation scheme will commence in January 2021, with Gallagher Bassett currently working with the Norfolk Island Regional Council and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications to ensure a smooth hand-over of services.

Gallagher Basset’s role in administering the new scheme will include assessing claims for compensation, managing compensation payments and providing information and support for employers and employees who are part of the scheme.


Gallagher Bassett will be visiting Norfolk Island in the week commencing 16 November to meet with key people from Council, the local business and employment sector, health and the local community.


They will be available to answer any questions relating to the new Workers Compensation scheme and provide support and advice to the community, including new or existing Scheme members.


To implement the new arrangements, some legislative changes are required to the Employment Act 1988 (NI). These changes will focus on the administration of the Scheme and will have minimal effect on the community. Consistent with the Community Engagement Framework, information will be available to the community as the work progresses.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

5 November 2020

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Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee Communique

Thursday, October 22, 2020



The Advisory Committee for the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (Kingston) met this week via videoconference to discuss a range of new opportunities and priorities for the site in the year ahead.


Advisory Committee members were thrilled with the Australian Government’s announcement of an additional $7.9 million of funding for Kingston in the 2020-21 Budget, bringing the total investment in the site’s conservation, interpretation and museum services to $10.65 million over the four years to 2023-24. This is a significant achievement for site management and will support longer-term strategic planning and project implementation.


The Advisory Committee recognises the key role that Kingston will play in reinvigorating the Norfolk Island tourism economy in COVID-19 recovery. The Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) Tourism and Heritage Team Leader Rose Evans and Community Advisory Group Chair Helen Pedel, discussed ideas for positioning the site to support local tourism and employment opportunities.


Enhancing the ways visitors understand and interact with the site is recognised as a key element to develop Kingston’s tourism offering. The additional $770,000 funding from the COVID 19-Relief and Recovery Fund will improve visitor information infrastructure to showcase the stories of the site’s fascinating and colourful history. This builds on the substantial work undertaken to date by the Commonwealth Heritage Manager, Martin Purslow, to refresh signage and visitor materials to feature the Kingston branding, new imagery and Norf’k language.  The project will include updated signage to communicate the site’s stories and values, and the design and development of experiential waypoints that will inform visitors of the visible, and invisible, history around them.


In a boost for local employment, a local project coordinator/researcher will be engaged to collect new oral histories, work closely with key stakeholders to implement the project, and ensure it complements other related research and interpretation projects across the island.  This position, and the new archaeologist under recruitment, will provide valuable support to the Heritage Manager in unlocking the site’s potential. 

The Advisory Committee recognises that water quality and site governance remain two important priorities that require coordinated action to effectively address. Members understand that water quality issues are complex, with multiple parties holding various responsibilities. Planned maintenance on Kingston’s sewerage assets and the proposed installation of a sewer line through the site will help contribute to improved water quality outcomes.


With many of these issues intertwined, the Advisory Committee supports the development of a Site Master Plan to holistically set out a strategic vision for Kingston that outlines the best purpose and use of precincts and buildings into the future. It is critical this project builds on prior consultations and engages the community’s desire to see Kingston develop to further benefit the island and its visitors. The Site Master Plan will be developed in 2021 in tandem with the five-year review of the Heritage Management Plan, providing an important opportunity for all stakeholders to pause and reflect, before resetting the course for Kingston for the next five to ten years.   


Options for improved governance will also be discussed with the Norfolk Island community in early 2021. Finding the right governance model for Kingston is important for enabling the site to better respond to opportunities and challenges as they arise, and to guide its own future. Thank you to those community members who contributed to the early stages of this project, which has helped inform the identification of a number of potential governance options for the site.


The Committee would like to thank Martin Purslow, Jimmy Quintal, Rose Evans and the broader site management, maintenance and museum teams for the significant achievements over the past year in improved site conservation and presentation, and in developing an inclusive visual identity and approach to Kingston’s interpretation. Members also recognised the important contribution of the Community Advisory Group in informing and guiding these projects to help ensure they deliver the best possible outcomes for the Norfolk Island community.

The Advisory Committee includes three local members (Duncan Evans, David ‘Dids’ Evans and Susan Prior), three expert members (Kristal Buckley, Kevin Sumption and Jane Harrington) and is chaired by the Administrator of Norfolk Island.


For further information or discussion, please contact Martin Purslow (phone 52462 or 23115; email martin.purslow@infrastructure.gov.au) or the Office of the Administrator (phone 22152 or email office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au).


Eric Hutchinson

Chair, Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee

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Conclusion of current consultations on Norfolk Island Ports Management Strategy

Thursday, October 22, 2020



The Australian Government thanks the Norfolk Island community for your participation in the recent stage of consultations on options for the infrastructure and long-term management of Norfolk Island ports.


The Norfolk Island Ports Management Strategy, developed by Grosvenor Performance Group (Grosvenor) and Consult Marine, will identify reliable and safe port operations to support the economic wellbeing and sustainability of the Norfolk Island community.


If you have not yet provided feedback on the options for Norfolk Island ports, you are welcome to do so up until Wednesday, 28 October 2020. There will be a second stage of sessions later in the year, at which time the options for future management will be tested with the community.

Project documents are available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication’s webpage at https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_projects/port_management_strategy.aspx.


In addition to the on-island sessions, Grosvenor has set up a dedicated email address which can be used to communicate with the project team. If you would like to have your say regarding options identified as part of the Norfolk Island Ports Management Strategy, please contact Grosvenor at the following email address: NIPortsProject@grosvenorpg.com.au or forward your submissions to my office.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

22 October 2020

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Have your say on Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility design

Thursday, October 22, 2020



In response to the community feedback received as part of the consultation conducted in September, KPMG and design services contractor GHD Pty Ltd will be conducting a further round of on-Island consultation on the initial design concepts for the Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility (MPHS) in the last week of October.


The MPHS project team will be testing updated design concepts with the community and stakeholders, based on the previous feedback received.

Due to the easing of travel restrictions, the ACT and QLD-based project team members will be hosting the community drop-in sessions on Island at the following dates and times, at the South Pacific Resort Hotel (Taylor Road, Burnt Pine):


  • Wednesday 28 October between 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm
  • Thursday 29 October between 9.00 am – 12.00 pm

The community will be able to view proposed floor plans and additional design material and speak directly to the project team. There will also be stakeholder briefings with councillors, Council, NIHRACS, the Council of Elders and adjacent landowners.


All consultations will be undertaken in line with COVID safety requirements, including appropriate limits on people in the sessions. We appreciate the community’s support for these measures so you can all obtain information and ask questions in a COVID-safe way.


The initial design and consultation materials will also available to the community on the Departmental website from 26 October at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_health_services/Multipurpose-Health-Services-Facility-Project.aspx.

There will also be feedback forms and a secure box to leave queries and comments.


Written feedback can then also be provided in coming weeks, through territories_projects@infrastructure.gov.au, closing on 6 November 2020.

It is important to keep in mind that these consultations are part of the design stage for the project. Progression to the construction stage is subject to Government budget and parliamentary approval processes which are anticipated to commence in late 2021.


If you have any questions in relation to the ongoing consultations, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

19 October 2020

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Improvements to life events registrations

Friday, October 16, 2020



From 1 January 2021, law changes will improve registration processes for births and deaths and make it easier for Norfolk Islanders to register a change of name.


The amendments to the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages Act 1963 (NI) update and create a simpler process for registration of changes of name and set out the requirements for the registration of a birth or death.


In March 2019, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications consulted the Norfolk Island community on the proposed amendments. No comments were received.


A fact sheet outlining the key changes is available on the department’s website at https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates.aspx#other

Further information is available from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at the Norfolk Island Regional Council by phone on (+6723) 22001 (ext. 120) or email to Registrar@BDM.gov.nf or at the website, www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/services/local-services/registry/births-deaths-and-marriages

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

15 October 2020

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Additional Sydney passenger flight for Norfolk Island

Wednesday, October 14, 2020



I am pleased to announce the Australian Government is supporting an additional flight between Norfolk Island and Sydney, with the new schedule commencing 9 November.


Air New Zealand currently provides three passenger flights arriving on Norfolk Island each week, one from Sydney and two from Brisbane, with an additional flight from Brisbane having commenced on 13 October.


The additional flight from Sydney will arrive on Norfolk Island on Mondays, supplementing the existing Friday flight.


The Australian Government is continuing to respond to growing passenger demands, and is committed to supporting tourists to return to Norfolk Island as travel restrictions ease. The timetable is subject to continual monitoring and review, with scheduling informed by flight booking records.


Air New Zealand, with Australian Government support, deliver critical passenger and freight services to Norfolk Island to ensure Norfolk Island remains an exceptional place to live, work and visit.


I will continue to support the local tourism sector to help our businesses and economy grow, and will also continue to assist the Norfolk Island Regional Council to promote the Island as a world-class travel destination.


If you have any queries about flights during this period of change, please contact Burnt Pine Travel on travel@burntpinetravel.nf or phone +6723 22195.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

14 October 2020

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Territories Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

Friday, October 09, 2020



The Territories Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into the Parliament on 7 October 2020.

The Bill will amend a range of Commonwealth legislation to improve the legislative frameworks in Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Jervis Bay Territory.

It will apply laws relating to companies, bankruptcy, broadcasting and education services for overseas students to Norfolk Island.

The changes will be particularly beneficial for companies on Norfolk Island by providing easier access to suppliers and finance providers. Red tape will be reduced with less registration and reporting requirements.

The Bill will also amend the Norfolk Island Act to allow the Australian Government to enter into arrangements with a state or territory government to provide state-type services in Norfolk Island. This will provide flexibility, in case it is needed in the future.

Other minor amendments will ensure the appropriate operation of Commonwealth legislation already extended to Norfolk Island.

A fact sheet with more details about the changes can be found on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication’s website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates

After the Bill is passed and has received Royal Assent transition periods for some of the regulatory changes will commence to give people time to prepare for the changes. The relevant regulatory bodies will provide further information and support to those affected.

If you have any questions, please email NI_Legislation@infrastructure.gov.au

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

10 October 2020

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Proposed fire control measures available for comment

Friday, October 09, 2020



In early 2020, following a dry summer period and ongoing reduced water availability on Norfolk Island, officers of the Norfolk Island Regional Council requested consideration be given to improving fire control measures available under the Fire Control Act 2000 (NI).

Proposals developed in close consultation with Council staff, including the Chief Fire Control Officer, are outlined in a discussion paper available online at https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates.aspx

Some of the issues included in the paper include:

  • Using fires for cooking
  • Burning green waste
  • Requirements during a total fire ban
  • Preventative measures, and
  • Powers, offences and penalties.

If you would like to contribute, please send your comments by email to: 

NI_Legislation@infrastructure.gov.au by close of business Monday 9 November 2020, or in

hard copy to my office.

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

10 October 2020

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Relief extended for Norfolk Island businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions

Friday, October 02, 2020



As part of the ongoing response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Australian Government is extending support to businesses and individuals financially affected by the pandemic.


The temporary changes to debt arrangements, which originally commenced on 21 July 2020, provide more flexibility (including allowing more time) for the management of debt, easing the impact of COVID-19 on Norfolk Island businesses. 


The temporary debt and insolvent trading measures are extended until 31 December 2020, and the meetings and document signatures measures are in place until 21 March 2021 — consistent with equivalent support offered across the Commonwealth.


The Rules extending these measures in the Norfolk Island Bankruptcy Act and the Norfolk Island Companies Act can be found on the Federal Register of Legislation at: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L01207. An explanatory statement is also available at that link.


The implementation of Commonwealth corporations and bankruptcy law in Norfolk Island is progressing and is expected to be introduced into parliament for consideration before the end of the year, subject to any further delays associated with COVID-19.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

1 October 2020

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Update on air freight arrangements

Friday, October 02, 2020



I am pleased to advise the Australian Government has renewed the air freight service arrangements with TOLL until 30 June 2021.


This will see a TOLL air freight service flight arrive on Norfolk Island, on average, every 14 days.


Air New Zealand is also continuing to deliver passenger and air freight services, underwritten by the Australian Government, to Norfolk Island.

This arrangement ensures continuity of air freight services for the Norfolk Island community, as the COVID-19 response continues.


Anyone with queries about air services can contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

1 October 2020

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Norfolk Island Regional Council audit update

Friday, October 02, 2020



The independent audit of the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) continues to progress, with finalisation anticipated in early November.

The general manager of NIRC has briefed the elected councillors on the progress of the audit and the reasons for the work taking longer than originally anticipated.


This includes the high volume of submissions from the Norfolk Island community which the auditors have received and are considering as part of the process.


The audit will ensure all relevant issues will be captured by the independent service providers, and allow time for NIRC to provide all the necessary information to ensure Nexia and Grassroots Connections Australia can accurately and independently conduct, review and finalise the audit within the terms of reference, as requested by the councillors earlier this year.


The community will be kept updated.

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Expressions of Interest Norfolk Island Museum Trust

Wednesday, September 30, 2020



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 Norfolk Island Museum Trust.

Appointments will commence from 1 November 2020.  


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.


All nominations will be considered by a panel comprising the Administrator, Mayor of Norfolk Island Regional Council and a community member and successful applicants will be advised shortly thereafter.


Completed forms should be provided to the Office of the Administrator by 5pm 


Wednesday 14 October 2020.   These can be scanned and emailed to
office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au or returned in person to the Office of the Administrator in the New Military Barracks compound.


Eric Hutchinson

29 September 2020

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Additional passenger flight for Norfolk Island

Friday, September 25, 2020



I am pleased to announce the Australian Government is supporting an additional flight between Norfolk Island and Brisbane, with the new schedule commencing 13 October.


Air New Zealand currently provides two passenger flights arriving on Norfolk Island each week, one from Sydney and one from Brisbane.

The additional flight from Brisbane, which will bring the schedule to three flights a week, will help meet increased passenger demand and reflects the importance of bringing travellers back to Norfolk Island.


We will continue to ensure the flight schedule to Norfolk Island reflects passenger demand, as well as COVID-19 related travel restrictions — the timetable is subject to continual monitoring and review, with scheduling informed by flight booking records.


Air New Zealand, with Australian Government support, is committed to continuing to deliver critical passenger and freight services to Norfolk Island. This commitment has been clearly demonstrated through the Government’s ongoing provision of services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its commitment to supporting Norfolk Island and its community and economy through the COVID-19 response and recovery. 

 

I will continue to support the local tourism industry and the Norfolk Island Regional Council in marketing and promoting the Island as a travel destination through media interviews and stakeholder engagement on the mainland.


If you have any queries about flights during this period of change, please contact Burnt Pine Travel on travel@burntpinetravel.nf or phone +6723 22195.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

24 September 2020

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Community consultations on Norfolk Island Ports Management Strategy

Friday, September 25, 2020



The Australian Government wants to hear from the Norfolk Island community on options for the long-term management and infrastructure of Norfolk Island ports, with the next stage of consultations set to commence.


The Norfolk Island Ports Management Strategy is being developed by Grosvenor Performance Group (Grosvenor) and Consult Marine to ensure reliable and safe port operations are identified to support the economic wellbeing and sustainability of the Norfolk Island community.


Extensive consultation and research activities have already occurred over the past year, drawing on the expertise and knowledge of the Norfolk Island community and best practice. The Ports Management Strategy has broadened its original focus on Cascade and Kingston Ports to explore all options available for sustainable sea freight solutions, infrastructure and operational requirements.


All options identified by Grosvenor and Consult Marine will be provided to the community and stakeholders for their consideration and feedback in the upcoming round of engagement. These consultations will also ensure that all options have been captured for consideration.

A community engagement plan has been developed, in line with the Community Engagement Framework principles and a fact sheet on the project can be found on the Department’s website at https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_projects/port_management_strategy.aspx

COVID-safe consultation will commence in the week of October 5, with stakeholders being invited to provide feedback and complete a questionnaire. In addition to the questionnaire, the freight working group will be provided an opportunity to review the option paper in a face-to-face meeting with my office. Dependent on travel restrictions, on-island consultations will occur at a later date. There will be a second stage of sessions later in the year, at which the options for future management will be tested with the community.


Project documents will be available on the Department’s webpage as the project progresses. In addition, Grosvenor has set up a dedicated email address, which can be used to communicate with the project team. If you would like to have your say regarding options identified as part of the Norfolk Island Ports Management Strategy, please contact Grosvenor at the following email address: NIPortsProject@grosvenorpg.com.au or forward your submissions to my office.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

24 September 2020

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Government House Community Garden Opening

Tuesday, September 22, 2020



You are invited to the opening of the Government House Community Garden on  Sunday 27 September from 10.30am to 12.30pm.


The revitalisation and transformation of the former stockyard areas of Government House into a working community garden was initiated in 2019 by members of the community with the aim of creating a space and sense of belonging for the broader public who use and support the garden spaces.


The ongoing maintenance and management of the garden has been driven by volunteers and community groups including Norfolk Island Health & Residential Aged Care Services (NIHRACS), Anglicare Norfolk Island, Care Norfolk, NI Connect and the Men’s Shed


I greatly appreciate the hard work, effort and initiative from community groups and volunteers’ work in the gardens, focusing on wellbeing and sharing local produce.


Further development of the garden spaces has been led by community groups, volunteers and my office, including additional wicking beds for community use, accessible garden beds that allow for all age and mobility levels and a sensory garden that will enable community organisations to use these outdoor spaces for wellbeing.


Future goals for the community gardens include using the space for horticultural education, healthy cooking demonstrations, playgroup activities and early learning activities for children.


I am encouraged by the ongoing community groups and volunteers’ hard work and I welcome you to join me in celebrating their collective efforts at the opening.


Date: Sunday September 27, 2020

Location: Government House Community Garden, Entry via Quality Row (Back Entrance)

Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm

Morning tea: provided by the Norfolk Island Lions Club

Eric Hutchinson

September 2020

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Passenger flight schedule for Norfolk Island

Thursday, September 17, 2020



The importance of bringing travellers back to Norfolk Island is well understood.


Air New Zealand, with Australian Government support, is committed to continuing to deliver critical passenger and freight services to Norfolk Island.

This commitment has been clearly demonstrated through the Government’s ongoing provision of services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air New Zealand currently provides two passenger flights arriving on Norfolk Island each week, one from Sydney and one from Brisbane.

These arrangements will continue – but the flight schedule is not set in stone. Flight schedule arrangements will vary depending on demand and COVID 19-related travel restrictions.


The department continues to work closely with Air New Zealand to ensure the operation of a schedule that reflects passenger demand, and to determine when additional flights to Norfolk Island from Sydney and Brisbane can be scheduled.


The timetable is subject to continual monitoring and review, and additional flights can be scheduled if there is sufficient demand for them. The statistical information used to inform decisions about flight schedules is drawn from flight booking records.


In addition to the ongoing good work of the Norfolk Island Regional Council and the local tourism industry in marketing and promoting the Island, I am also currently promoting the island as a destination and encouraging people to travel here through media interviews. These interviews are currently focusing on Queensland and I look forward to engaging with New South Wales media and other states and territories in the future, as markets and borders open.


The journey out of COVID-19 and its impacts will take time, but working together, we will come out the other side.       


If you have any queries about flights during this period of change, please contact Burnt Pine Travel on travel@burntpinetravel.nf or phone +6723 22195.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

17 September 2020

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Have your say on Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility design

Thursday, September 10, 2020



The community is encouraged to participate in next week’s consultations on the initial design concepts for the Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility (MPHS).


From 14 September, KPMG and design services contractor GHD Pty Ltd will be running virtual drop-in sessions through video chats to engage with the community on potential design solutions for a new health facility. All consultations will be undertaken in a COVID-safe way.


People can drop in Monday to Friday, 14-18 September from 9am to 5pm at No. 11 Quality Row to view the initial design options and supporting information. There will also be feedback forms and a secure box to leave queries and comments.


Then, on Wednesday 16 September (from 4pm-6pm), Thursday 17 September (10am to 12 noon) and Friday (10am and 12 noon), the community will also have the opportunity to engage with the design team through online video chats at No. 11 Quality Row .


The initial design and consultation details are also available to the community on the Departmental website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_health_services/Multipurpose-Health-Services-Facility-Project.aspx.


Written feedback can then also be provided in coming weeks, through the email inbox of territories_projects@infrastructure.gov.au, closing on 25 September 2020.


Drop-in and online chat schedule (No. 11 Quality Row):

  • Monday, 14 September: 9am-5pm (drop-in only)
  • Tuesday, 15 September:9am-5pm (drop-in only)
  • Wednesday, 16 September: 9am-5pm (drop-in)
    • Consultants online 4pm-6pm, supported by departmental staff
  • Thursday, 17 September: 9am-5pm (drop-in)   
    • Consultants online 10am-12pm, supported by departmental staff
  • Friday,18 September: 9am-5pm (drop-in)   
    • Consultants online 10am-12pm, supported by departmental staff

It is important to keep in mind that these consultations are part of the design stage for the project. Progression to the construction stage is subject to Government budget and parliamentary approval processes which are anticipated to commence in late 2021.


If you have any questions in relation to the ongoing consultations, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

10 September 2020

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Development control plan for Kingston benefits community and heritage

Thursday, September 10, 2020



Following extensive consultations, I am pleased to announce I have approved the Development Control Plan (DCP) for the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) and it is now in operation.


This will provide a clearer pathway for anyone in the community wanting to operate in KAVHA about what is possible and allowed.


The DCP is an important tool for providing landowners, leaseholders, businesses and site managers with a clear set of guidelines for progressing land development and use within KAVHA.  It will help ensure the area is used and open for business in a way that is sensitive to the site’s unique environmental and cultural heritage.


Developed by AECOM Australia, the DCP implements a recommendation of the KAVHA Heritage Management Plan and aims to address landholders’ calls for clearer guidance around development and planning approval processes at KAVHA.


If you are planning to carry out development on land within KAVHA, the DCP will help you chart the appropriate pathway and provide further information on what is permissible and what needs to be considered. An accompanying checklist to assist you when preparing a development application is also available.


Local community input has been an important part of the development of the DCP. AECOM visited the island in April and June 2019 to discuss the draft DCP, and community feedback was considered in its development and refinement. 


While no written submissions were received during the public consultation process that closed on 25 November 2019, further refinements to the DCP were made in consultation with the Norfolk Island Regional Council, primarily aimed at ensuring the DCP’s consistency with the Norfolk Island Plan 2002 and maintaining flexibility in relation to temporary visitor services. 


A copy of the DCP and its supporting documents are available to view at www.kavha.gov.au/projects and www.norfolkisland.gov.nf, and in hard copy at Customer Care and the Office of the Administrator.


If you would like to find out more about the DCP, please contact Jodie Brown, Senior Strategic Planner, Norfolk Island Regional Council on +6723 23595 or at jodie.quintal@nirc.gov.nf.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

10 September 2020

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Community consultations on Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility design

Thursday, September 03, 2020



Community consultations on the initial design concepts for the Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility (MPHS) project are set to commence from 11 September.


GHD Pty Ltd, the design services contractor engaged by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department), initiated the design process by engaging with stakeholders in two stages.


The first stage involved targeted meetings with local utilities and health service staff and preliminary site investigations to gather specific technical information to inform initial design options.


The second stage, which is about to start, involves engagement with the broader Norfolk Island community on potential design solutions.

All consultations will be undertaken in a COVID-safe way.


Design information will be made available to the community through the department’s website

 (www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_health_services/Multipurpose-Health-Services-Facility-Project.aspx) from 11 September. Then in the week of 14 September, the community will have the opportunity to engage with the design team through virtual drop-in sessions. Written feedback can then be provided in coming weeks, closing on 25 September 2020.


More detailed information on this consultation process, including when and how the community will be able to engage with the design team, will be provided next week and posted on the MPHS webpage.


It is important to keep in mind that these consultations are part of the design stage for the project. Progression to the construction stage is subject to Government budget and parliamentary approval processes which are anticipated to commence in late 2021.


I also take this opportunity to acknowledge that there are multiple consultations taking place on a number of projects, all of which are important initiatives where community input is critical to their successful outcomes. I thank the community for your patience as these consultations respond to interruptions in response to COVID-19 restrictions and for taking your time to engage and offer your feedback on each and all of these projects over this period.


If you have any questions in relation to the ongoing consultations, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

3 September 2020

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Position Vacant Archaeologist - Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area (KAVHA)

Thursday, September 03, 2020


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Ensuring Norfolk Island’s emergency management arrangements best support the community

Thursday, August 27, 2020



I encourage community members to contribute to the review of Norfolk Island’s emergency management, with the commencement of the consultations to support the review.


This review is not in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a review of the broader emergency management arrangements. In December last year, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino announced funding for an independent review of the emergency management governance arrangements on Norfolk Island to ensure they best meet the needs of the local community.


As was communicated last month, independent consultant Cube Group is conducting the Review, which will also consider the arrangements in place for emergency services.


It is important the community and all those involved in emergency management are supported to effectively prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters with robust arrangements. In our current environment, including COVID-19, ongoing water restrictions and recent cyclone threat, there has never been a more important time to undertake this review.


Consultation with key stakeholders and the broader community will be taking place over the next couple of months, starting with a community survey.


It is vital the review is informed by the experience of those who understand the unique local operating environment and challenges as well as the opportunities for improving emergency management for Norfolk Island. The role of local resources including community members, local government and agency and services representatives is critical in effective emergency and disaster management.


In line with COVID-19 restrictions and safety requirements, the consultations are currently being conducted remotely by the Cube review team. The community survey, which is available here – https://iquestion.i-link.com.au/Q433772/index.php - will be open until 11 September.


You can also find it on the Norfolk Island Regional Council website and the Department’s Review webpage, at the links below:

www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/help-improve-our-emergency-management-arrangements

www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_projects/review_emergency_management_governance_arrangements.aspx

I encourage all in the community to help review and enhance our emergency management arrangements. I thank the community of Norfolk Island in advance for your contribution and support.


If you have any queries about the community engagement for the Review, please contact my office, or the Review Team can be contacted via email on norfolkemreview@cubegroup.com.au

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

27 August 2020

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Australian Convict Sites anniversary for Norfolk Island’s KAVHA

Thursday, August 06, 2020



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Update on Norfolk Island workers’ compensation scheme

Thursday, August 06, 2020



I would like to provide the community with an update on the move to a new service provider for Norfolk Island’s workers’ compensation scheme, which is now scheduled to commence by 1 January 2021.


This is a short extension to the anticipated timeframe of the second half of 2020, as a result of COVID-19 impacts, and the postponement of the Federal Budget from May to October 2020.


The new service provider, Gallagher Bassett, remains committed to providing the essential workers’ compensation arrangements needed for Norfolk Island.


The changed date for the commencement of the new provider will not affect employees with active claims or the entitlements or benefits available to employees. 


The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the Department) is continuing to work with Gallagher Bassett and the Council on key dates and the change-over process to ensure the best outcomes for the community and to minimise any disruptions to the management of active claims.


The local workers’ compensation scheme has been delivered by the Council since 1 July 2016 on behalf of the Department. Due to potential conflict of interest issues as the Island’s largest employer, in 2019 the Council advised the Department they were not in a position to provide the service on behalf on the Australian Government into the future.


In December 2019, the Department approached the market and, as announced to the community in May, selected Gallagher Bassett Services Pty Ltd – experts in claims management with extensive experience in workers’ compensation –as the new provider.


Questions and feedback can be sent through to NIworkerscompensation@infrastructure.gov.au.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

6 August 2020

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Progress for the Kingston Pier Channel Construction Project

Friday, July 31, 2020



Following extensive consultation, a design for the proposed Kingston Pier Channel construction project has been selected and will now progress through to the next, more detailed stage of the design process.


Community and stakeholder feedback undertaken in both February and June informed the selection of the design, which was chosen out of four initial and two additional design options as best fitting the project requirements.


The selected design’s more narrow width (by 4.5 metres) and sloped channel bed will support greater access to the Pier for a variety of vessels using the channel — including larger commercial charters and fishing vessels for future tourism and commerce opportunities — while having minimal impact on wave behaviour, the marine environment, and potential archaeological finds.


The chosen option, known as Option 3A, allows for more than one vessel to use the channel at a time to access the Pier (subject to swell and weather conditions) and will also have no impact on the structural integrity of the Pier, which was a key stakeholder concern.


Thank you to stakeholders and the community for their input on the initial design and the department will report back to the community once the detailed design phase is complete, for review and feedback. 


The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act Referral for the project is progressing based on Option 3A, and will be available online for public viewing and comment. The department will advise the community when this will take place.


If you have any enquiries about the project, please email territories_projects@infrastructure.gov.au


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

30 July 2020

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Legislative changes to support Norfolk Island businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions

Thursday, July 23, 2020



The Australian Government is implementing a number of changes to legislation to support businesses and individuals, as part of the ongoing response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its economic impacts.


Ensuring consistency with relief offered through Commonwealth legislative frameworks, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino has made rules for debts and meeting arrangements under the Norfolk Island Continued Laws Ordinance.

The temporary changes are to ease the impact of COVID-19 on Norfolk Island businesses by providing more flexibility, including more time, for the management of debt.


The Rules, which commenced on 21 July 2020, can be found on the Federal Register of Legislation at: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L00926. An explanatory statement is also available at that link.

The Rules amend the Norfolk Island Bankruptcy Act and the Norfolk Island Companies Act to temporarily:

  • provide debtors more time to respond to a bankruptcy notice, extending the period from 21 days to six months
  • increase the statutory minimum for a creditor to issue a statutory demand to a debtor from $2,000 to $20,000
  • provide debtor companies more time to respond to a statutory demand, extending the period from 21 days to six months
  • increase the statutory minimum for a creditor to issue a demand to a debtor company from $1,000 to $20,000
  • provide relief from personal liability for insolvent trading where it applies
  • provide flexibility for meetings and document signatures.

Consistent with the present timing of the relevant Commonwealth laws, the temporary measures with respect to debts and insolvent trading are in place until 25 September 2020, and the measures about meetings and document signatures are in place until 5 November 2020.

Legislation to implement the Commonwealth corporations and bankruptcy law in Norfolk Island is progressing and is expected to be introduced before the end of the year, subject to any further delays associated with COVID-19.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

23 July 2020

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2019 Norfolk Island Health Service Plan finalised

Thursday, July 16, 2020



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Update on economic stimulus projects for Norfolk Island

Thursday, July 16, 2020



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Updated passenger flight schedule for Norfolk Island

Thursday, July 16, 2020



Short-term changes to Norfolk Island’s regular passenger air service schedule provided by Air New Zealand (Air NZ) will be in place between 1 September 2020 and 24 October 2020.


During this period, passenger flight services will operate in an out of Australia as follows:


Fridays and Mondays

Inbound         Sydney to Norfolk Island  then

Outbound      Norfolk Island to Brisbane.


(Passengers currently booked on the Tuesday service from Norfolk Island to Brisbane will be re‑booked on the Monday prior with no re-booking fee charged).


Saturdays and Tuesdays

Inbound         Brisbane to Norfolk Island then

Outbound      Norfolk Island to Sydney


(Passengers currently booked on the Monday service from Norfolk Island to Sydney will be re-booked on the following Tuesday with no re-booking fee charged).


This “loop” arrangement keeps ticket prices within a specified range to protect travellers from price fluctuations.


Up until 1 September 2020, services between mainland Australia and Norfolk Island will continue to operate as currently scheduled. From 25 October 2020, services will resume operating in accordance with the current schedule.


If you have any queries about flights during this period of change, please contact Burnt Pine Travel on travel@burntpinetravel.nf or phone +6723 22195.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

July 2020

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KAVHA conservation and interpretation works

Thursday, July 09, 2020



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Are you enrolled to vote at the Norfolk Island Regional Council election?

Thursday, June 18, 2020


Residents of Norfolk Island are being asked to check their enrolment on the Australian electoral roll by 3 August 2020, before the next election of the Norfolk Island Regional Council (the Council), which is due to take place on 12 September 2020.


Voting is compulsory for all Norfolk Island residents. Please ensure you are enrolled to vote before 3 August 2020.

You can apply to enrol or check or update your details at any time. Please visit the Australian Electoral Commission web page at www.aec.gov.au/index.htm

Enrolment on the Australian electoral roll is compulsory for eligible Norfolk Island residents.

For more information, go to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ webpage at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/election/index.aspx

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Initial consultations on Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility design

Thursday, June 18, 2020



The Australian Government is commencing the next phase of the Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility (MPHS) project with stakeholder consultations to inform the initial design of the proposed MPHS.


GHD Pty Ltd, the design services contractor recently engaged by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department), will initiate the design process by engaging with stakeholders in two stages.


The first stage, which will start in the next week, will involve a series of targeted meetings with utilities and health service staff and preliminary site investigations to gather specific technical information to inform initial design options.


The second stage will involve engagement with the broader Norfolk Island community on the proposed design and is expected to commence shortly after stage one, or when travel restrictions are lifted to allow consultation to be undertaken in person. All consultations will be undertaken in a COVID-safe and appropriate way, including physical distancing.


This second stage of the consultation will explore potential design solutions with the community, and local stakeholders, in line with the principles of the Norfolk Island Community Engagement Framework. Further information on this consultation process will be provided in coming weeks.


The feedback provided by the community to KPMG through extensive consultations on the 2019 Draft Norfolk Island Health Service Plan (the 2019 Draft Plan) will also inform design of a new health facility for Norfolk Island. The 2019 Draft Plan is now in the process of being finalised.

It is important to keep in mind that these consultations are part of the design stage for the project. Progression to the construction stage would be subject to Government budget and approval processes.


If you have any questions about the NI MPHS project prior to the next round of consultations, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

18 June 2020

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Update on air freight arrangements

Thursday, June 18, 2020



I am pleased to advise the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the Department) has extended the air freight service contract with TOLL until 30 September 2020.


This will see a TOLL air freight service flight arrive on Norfolk Island, on average, every 14 days.


Air New Zealand is also continuing to deliver passenger and air freight services, underwritten by the Australian Government, to Norfolk Island.


The Department and I will continue to work with the Norfolk Island community on future air freight arrangements post-30 September 2020.


My office will continue to keep the community informed. In the interim, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email:

office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au if you wish to discuss further.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

18 June 2020

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164th anniversary of the arrival of the community from Pitcairn Island

Friday, June 05, 2020


The celebration and commemoration of the 164th anniversary of the arrival of the community from Pitcairn Island to Norfolk Island in 1856, will be different this year. COVID-19 has changed many things and Anniversary Day 2020 has not been immune (excuse the pun) either. 


I commend the work of the Anniversary Day organising committee for the responsible way in which they have modified the format of the day that has allowed the event to proceed. 


For many Norfolk Islanders rolling down the grass hill in front of Government House is important and another highlight of the mornings activities. This activity is encouraged this year as well, for both the young and not so young as the case may be. 


The lawn and gardens at Government House are currently undergoing some renovation during this period of restrictions and we are confident they will look spectacular in a few months’ time. Again all those who would like to are very welcome and encouraged to walk back through the grounds returning from the cemetery. On your way through, you are welcome to view the work that is being done in the garden and in addition what is the early stages of the Community Garden being established below the house.


In order to avoid an undue congestion of people, no refreshments will be on offer this year. 


I wish all those participating on Monday a very happy Bounty Day. 


Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island

Please 'contact us' for more information.

Community priorities in focus on Norfolk Island as consultations progress

Thursday, June 04, 2020



Following a delay due to Coronavirus, community consultations on the immediate to long-term shared vision for Norfolk Island will begin on Monday (8 June), with the release of an Island-wide survey.


The scope of the planned community consultation on the Norfolk Island 2030: Sustaining Our Future plan has expanded to include the Island’s immediate to short-term goals in response to the broader economic impacts of COVID-19.


As announced by the Mayor of Norfolk Island, Robin Adams last week, we are working together with the community to understand how the pandemic has affected Norfolk Island, and what steps can be taken toward recovery and renewal, as well as our long-term strategic goals.


Two community workshops have already taken place, with the final one scheduled for Wednesday, 10 June.


The community survey will be available online from 8 to 26 June 2020, through Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com/r/Norfolk2030).

Council staff will also be contacting households to meet you face-to-face to assist completing the survey online using an iPad, or if you prefer, a hard copy of the survey will be available at my office.


The workshops and survey will be followed by on-Island community and stakeholder consultation in coming months. Vanessa Bennett, from C Change Sustainable Solutions, and Leon Mills, from Stump Jump Solutions, will guide these on-island consultations and further details on this will be provided following the conclusion of the workshops and survey and dependent on travel restrictions to the island.


If you do not receive a request to complete the survey and would like to do so, or if you have further questions, please contact my office at office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.

 

We encourage all Norfolk Island residents to take part. Your vision will be used by the Australian Government, in partnership with the Norfolk Island Regional Council, business sector, and community, to guide future goals and investment.

 

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

4 June 2020

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Norfolk Island National Diabetes Services Scheme

Thursday, May 28, 2020



Local residents with diabetes will pay a lot less for their diabetes products, with the Burnt Pine Pharmacy now registered as a National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Access Point on Norfolk Island. 


The NDSS is an Australian Government initiative, administered with the assistance of Diabetes Australia, to enhance the capacity of people with diabetes to understand and self‑manage their life with diabetes, and help them have access to services, support and subsidised diabetes products.


The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has been working with Diabetes Australia to establish the registered NDSS Access Point on Norfolk Island and enable the Burnt Pine Pharmacy to supply products at the set national prices subsidised by the NDSS.


The NDSS is absorbing the freight costs of delivering diabetes products to the Island, ensuring costs to people with diabetes will be low.

Diabetes Australia health professionals have now provided NDSS training and education to pharmacy and NIHRACS staff.


The Diabetes Clinic at Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIRHACS) will continue to provide diabetes support to the Norfolk Island community. There will also be opportunities for diabetes patients to learn more about the NDSS by attending a clinic session.

More information is available through the pharmacy, NIHRACS, or on the NDSS website at www.ndss.com.au.


Registration with the NDSS is free and open to all Australians with diabetes who have a current Medicare card, Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Gold or White Card. Detailed information on how to register can be found on the NDSS website at www.ndss.com.au/registration


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

28 May 2020

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Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility – Next Stage

Friday, May 22, 2020



The Australian Government is preparing for the next phase of the Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility (NI MPHS) project by appointing GHD Pty Ltd (GHD) to provide design services.


As most residents would be aware, the project was established to develop the initial and detailed business cases which will lead to the Australian Government’s consideration of funding approval for a new NI MPHS.


A request for expressions of interest for design consultancy services was released in September 2019, followed by a request for tender issued to four shortlisted tenderers in December 2019. That process concluded this month with the appointment of GHD to explore potential design solutions with the community and local stakeholders, in line with the principles of the Norfolk Island Community Engagement Framework.


GHD will commence the design process in mid-2020 and seek Norfolk Island community input and feedback on master plan design development, to ensure a safe and compliant solution is tailored to meet the island’s needs.


Community consultation processes on the design development will take into account the current emergency declaration and travel restrictions on Norfolk Island resulting from the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic as needed.


If you have any questions about the NI MPHS project prior to the next round of consultations, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

May 2020

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Norfolk Island Local Government Legislation Changes

Friday, May 15, 2020



The Australian Government has made legislative changes to support upcoming local government elections on Norfolk Island.


The changes have been made following community consultation in July and August 2019.


The Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) election is scheduled for September 2020.


Under the new laws, property developers and tobacco, liquor and gambling industries will not be permitted to make political donations.


Success fees for lobbying elected local government officials will also be banned.


These arrangements are in line with similar rules in place in New South Wales.


Information about the changes can be found in the Norfolk Island Regional Council elections discussion paper on the website of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications at www.infrastructure.gov.au/ni-legislation

 

The changes are set out in the Norfolk Island Applied Laws Amendment (Local Government Elections) Ordinance 2020, which will be published on the Federal Register of Legislation website at www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2016L00729  


If you have any further enquiries, please contact the Office of the Administrator, or the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications at, GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 260, or NI_Legislation@infrastructure.gov.au


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

14 May 2020

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Kingston Pier Channel Construction Project Initial Design Consultation

Friday, May 15, 2020



The Norfolk Island community is invited to provide feedback on the initial design of the proposed Kingston Pier Channel construction project.

The project will increase the channel bed’s depth and width to improve access and safety and ensure it meets required standards.


It will also support greater usage of the pier by commercial charter and fishing vessels and emergency responders.


The objective of the project is to improve safety in all tides and workable weather conditions, providing considerable benefits to pier users and the broader community.


At the beginning of the year, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the Department) engaged Advisian Pty Ltd as the design services contractor (DSC) for the project.


In line with the Norfolk Island Community Engagement Framework, Advisian and its sub‑contractor, Consult Marine Pty Ltd, met with community members and stakeholders in mid-February 2020. 


The purpose of the discussions was to gain an understanding of their views on the project to inform the initial design.


The Department welcomes feedback from the community on the initial design, which is available on the department’s website (www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_projects/kingston_pier_channel_project.aspx), to ensure it is in line with community expectations and meets operational requirements.


Please submit your feedback by 1 June 2020.


This community feedback will inform the next stage of the design which will be made available to the community for further feedback.


It is important to note that the final design will require approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act prior to construction.  Progression to the construction stage would also be subject to community and Government priorities and the outcome of future budget processes.  


If you have any enquiries about the project, please email

territories_projects@infrastructrure.gov.au


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

14 May 2020

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Norfolk Island Sentinel Bee Hive Program

Friday, May 08, 2020



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Norfolk Island Passenger Transfer Vessel operations contract

Friday, May 08, 2020



The Australian Government has contracted Transam Argosy to provide ongoing maintenance and operation of Norfolk Island’s Passenger Transfer Vessels (PTVs).


The contract was awarded to Transam Argosy following an open tender process. The contract will support future cruise ship visits, with a fee paid per scheduled visit to the operators.


The Government funded the operations for recent cruise ship visits to Norfolk Island following the delivery of the PTVs under short-term agreements with Transam Argosy. This was separate to the long-term contract process. All three PTVs, Wana (sea urchin), Hihi (periwinkle) and Nuffka (kingfisher), performed well, ensuring the smooth transfer of passengers from the cruise liners that visited to shore, and back again.

If you have any enquiries about the PTVs, please email


territories_projects@infrastructrure.gov.au


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

7 May 2020

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New Norfolk Island workers’ compensation provider

Friday, May 08, 2020



I am pleased to announce the new service provider for Norfolk Island’s workers’ compensation arrangements is Gallagher Bassett Services Pty Limited, following an open tender process.


From 1 July 2016, the local workers’ compensation scheme, has been delivered by Norfolk Island Regional Council (the Council) on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.


Due to potential conflict of interest issues as the Island’s largest employer, last year the Council advised the Department they were not in a position to provide the service on behalf of the Australian Government into the future. The Government thanks the Council for its delivery of the scheme.


In December 2019, the Department approached the market to find a service delivery partner. Gallagher Bassett Services Pty Ltd – experts in claims management with extensive experience in workers’ compensation – has been selected as the new provider.


The Department is now working with Gallagher Bassett Services and Norfolk Island Regional Council on arrangements to ensure the best outcomes for the community and minimise any disruptions to the management of active claims.


In light of the impacts from the current COVID-19 pandemic, the original commencement date of 1 July 2020 will need to be adjusted but is still expected to occur in the second half of 2020. The key dates for these new arrangements will soon be worked through with Council and the new provider and you will be updated as the work progresses.


Importantly, the change in provider will not affect the entitlements or benefits available to employees. All employees with an active claim will be kept informed throughout the process.


The membership fee for employers will remain unchanged and there is no plan to change the fee at this time. The Department will also engage directly with Norfolk Island employers to assist them to understand any new processes (for example, forms) under the new arrangements.

Some legislative change is needed to implement the new arrangements and this will occur through amendments to the Employment Act 1988 (NI) which are currently being progressed. As these changes will be focused on the administration or ‘back office’ aspect of the Scheme, they will have minimal effect on the community. Consistent with the Community Engagement Framework, information will be available to the community as the work progresses.


Questions and feedback can be sent through to NIworkerscompensation@infrastructure.gov.au.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

7 May 2020

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Supporting the Norfolk Island economy through COVID-19

Thursday, April 30, 2020



The Australian Government is ensuring Norfolk Island businesses and residents financially affected by coronavirus have access to a range of economic support measures.


The support is provided in recognition of the significant impact the pandemic is having on the local Norfolk Island economy.

A range of these economic support programs are already flowing to Norfolk Island, including the JobSeeker payment and special Child Care Relief through Banyan Park.


Norfolk Island businesses also have access to the JobKeeper payment scheme. As some of you will already be aware, a requirement of the JobKeeper scheme is that businesses have an Australian Business Number (ABN), and that the ABN was in place on 12 March 2020. In recognition that a number of Norfolk Island businesses do not currently have an Australian Business Number (ABN), the Taxation Commissioner has been given flexibility to allow Norfolk Island businesses additional time to get an ABN.


I encourage those businesses without an ABN to apply for one as soon as possible. Information on this process can be found at www.abr.gov.au/business-super-funds-charities/applying-abn.


This will allow businesses impacted by coronavirus to access a subsidy to continue paying their employees. The Australian Government will provide a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee until 27 September 2020. For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income, even if their hours have been cut. This measure is designed to help businesses keep people in their jobs and re-start when the pandemic is over.


Further information on the JobKeeper application process for the external territories will be included in an economic measures FAQ which will be available shortly on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications’ Norfolk Island website. Updated information will be provided as needed.


For further information on the income support measures that are available, please contact your on-Island Services Australia agent –


Norfolk Island Business Solutions

Phone: 22368 (between 0900 and 1300 Monday to Friday)

Email: belinda@businesssolutions.nf


As mentioned, the early childhood education and care relief package is available to the Norfolk Island community. This will provide Banyan Park with 50 per cent of childcare fees up to 28 June for eligible families. Families will not be charged childcare fees during this time. Further information can be found at www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/childcare.


The Administrator continues to work with the Council and others to ensure we progress projects on Norfolk Island that we can, and maximise the local employment opportunities associated with them. Naturally, this needs to be done within the social distancing and gathering restrictions. An example of this is the resealing of the Norfolk Island airport runway. This project, as well as others, will be important as the economy starts to recover.


The measures implemented to protect the community from the coronavirus have had a significant impact, but they have been necessary to keep the community safe. Thank you for your willingness to adopt and abide by the necessary measures required to protect the Norfolk Island community from the risks of COVID-19. Please continue to support each other and to work together to keep the community safe.


I would like to thank the Administrator of Norfolk Island, Eric Hutchinson, for his hard work in advocating for the community and commitment to continued long-term planning in the response to this crisis.


A fact sheet on the range of assistance measures available to the Norfolk Island community will be posted on the Department’s website shortly (www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/index.aspx).


The Hon Nola Marino, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories,

30 April 2020

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Norfolk Island eSafety enhanced

Thursday, April 23, 2020



Staying connected online has never been more important, now that many of us are physically isolated from family members, friends, colleagues and support networks due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The internet is a great way to socialise, learn, work, play, and be entertained, but there are also risks.


Norfolk Island residents, including children, are safer online after the Australian Government funded the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to conduct training on-island at the end of February.


An eSafety trainer has provided a range of in-person presentations on Norfolk Island for different audiences including primary and secondary school children, teachers, parents and carers, and a range of community groups. A total of 13 training and information sessions were conducted over one week with 290 people attending. 


The most common issues identified for primary school children on Norfolk Island was playing online games with M or R ratings, under-aged children using social media platforms, and requests received by children from strangers. Bill shock was identified as a common issue for parents of primary school children.


Secondary students on Norfolk Island expressed concerns about privacy and personal information, as well as gossip from social media posts.

The primary concerns identified by parents were screen time management, contact by strangers, and exposure to inappropriate material.

Online scams and online shopping issues were identified as of interest to community groups on Norfolk Island, and the Women’s Advocacy Group had a specific interest in the eSafety Women’s program, which has a focus on domestic violence.


Please remember to be aware of the risks while online, particularly at this time when our online interactions have increased due to social distancing during the pandemic.


With the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), including an increase in online scams, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner is adding new content to its website every day. A wide range of resources and advice for all age groups, online training and webinars are available to help you and your family stay safe online. More information is available at www.esafety.gov.au and you can also sign up for regular updates from the website. For specific examples on how to stay safe online during COVID-19 see the links provided below:  


Keeping Schools and Learning Safe Online

Online Safety Kit – Parents and Carers

Older Australians – Social Distancing


Of further interest is information from UNICEF about the protection of children and the increased potential harms during this time.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

22 April 2020

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Local opportunity - Cemetery Bay retaining wall repairs

Friday, April 17, 2020



The Australian Government is seeking expressions of interest from local businesses on Norfolk Island to undertake repairs to the Cemetery Bay retaining wall.


The retaining wall was constructed in 1998 with a timber post-and-plank configuration from locally sourced, milled and tanalised eucalypt timber.

Three of the five vertical posts spanning an approximately 12 metre section of the wall have rotated from their original position and require straightening.  


The works will require returning the three rotated timber posts back to vertical, and anchoring the other two posts by attaching tie rods to posts and securing to buried logs (deadmen) placed behind the wall.


Several timber planks will also need to be repaired or replaced and drainage installed behind the wall.


Businesses can express interest in undertaking the project by emailing territories_projects@infrastructure.gov.au by 27 April 2020, and providing a brief outline of capacity to undertake the works, confirmation of relevant insurances (or ability to obtain), including $20 million builders works and public liability insurance, and ensuring the business is available to complete the works by the end of July 2020.


Qualifying businesses will be provided with further information on the tender process by 28 April 2020, including the detailed project specifications, the Request for Quote document, and instructions on how to lodge responses.


If you have any enquiries about the project, please email

territories_projects@infrastructrure.gov.au


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

16 April 2020

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Notice to All the Children on Norfolk Island

Wednesday, April 08, 2020


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End of Daylight Saving Time (DST) Reminder

Friday, April 03, 2020



Norfolk Island has observed Australian Daylight Saving Time (DST) from 6 October 2019.


DST is due to end on Sunday 5 April 2020 and Norfolk Island will join New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory, in moving our clocks back by one hour.


This is a reminder to move your clocks back one hour at 2am local time on Sunday 5 April 2020 (or before you go to bed on Saturday night, 4 April 2020).


Observing DST ensures that Norfolk Island remains one hour ahead of Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) which is observed by New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory), and one hour behind New Zealand time all year round.


Eric Hutchinson

April 2020

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Ongoing KAVHA works to protect Norfolk Island heritage

Friday, April 03, 2020



The Australian Government is continuing to progress works at the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA), to preserve heritage and improve community safety and experience. 

 

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department) will shortly commence relocating existing timber barriers at Munna’s to better protect the remains of buildings and create a more defined parking area. 

 

New timber vehicle barriers will also be installed at Slaughter Bay, adjacent to the former Blacksmith’s compound. These barriers will help to protect the remains of several buildings from the second penal settlement that were later lived in by Pitcairn settler families, help to remove the pressure of bus and car traffic and complement the recently installed picnic benches which have been generously provided by the Norfolk Island Board Riders Association.

 

This is another practical project which is being implemented based on the KAVHA Cultural Landscape Management Plan, and the associated community consultation with Norfolk Island residents. 

 

Work to restore the structure of the Sirius Museum is also continuing in partnership with the Norfolk Island Regional Council. The Council’s KAVHA works crew has been supported with additional funding from the department to help manage long-standing problems of damp and salt-attack. You will see render being removed from the building’s exterior as part of these works. 

 

Over coming months Council staff will be using traditional trade skills to reinstate the lime-rich renders which were historically used in Kingston, and which are now being made on island for the first time in several decades.

 

The restoration of the Settlement Guard House near the pier is also progressing. The KAVHA works crew is removing internal renders and plasters to expose the structure for selective repair. They are also removing synthetic paints from the exterior and improving ventilation to reduce damage to the building. 

 

Anyone with questions or wanting to discuss the works should contact Martin Purslow on 23115.

 

Eric Hutchinson  

Administrator of Norfolk Island

2 April 2020

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Coronavirus response – extension of emergency declaration
and travel ban

Friday, March 27, 2020


 

In recognition of Norfolk Island’s ongoing vulnerability to the risks posed by COVID-19, the emergency declaration and travel ban currently in place will be extended until the end of June.


Extending the declaration now gives a level of certainty to community members, businesses and potential visitors to the island, to support their planning.


Norfolk Island currently has no known cases of COVID-19.


The extension of the declaration of emergency until 30 June 2020 has been made on the recommendation of the Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) Controller. The travel ban will also remain in place until this date.


Under these arrangements, only essential travel for residents and personnel will be permitted to Norfolk Island until further notice. This will be assessed on a case by case basis by the Incident Controller and anyone returning to the island will need to self-isolate for 14 days once on island away from family and friends.


It is important to note that myself, EMNI and the Incident Controller, along with the Council and the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Services (NIHRACS) are monitoring the situation and our local response measures on a daily basis.


We will continue to assess the local impacts of the national restrictions on social gatherings and non-essential businesses and adjust to the Norfolk Island situation as appropriate.


The emergency declaration can be revoked, or extended, as required.


We are grateful to the community for your willingness to adopt, and abide by, the measures required to protect and care for each other in this difficult time. 


If you have respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and are concerned you may have been exposed to coronavirus, then isolate yourself and call NIHRACS to discuss your circumstances – do not attend the health service without calling.


For further information, see www.health.gov.au or phone the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.


If you have questions or require further information, please contact my Office on 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

26 March 2020


 

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New members appointed to KAVHA Advisory Committee

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Please 'contact us' for more information.

Consultations on strategic plan for Norfolk Island postponed

Thursday, March 26, 2020


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Australian Government Coronavirus Economic Stimulus

Tuesday, March 24, 2020



The coronavirus economic stimulus package announced by the Australian Government provides income support measures for individuals and financial support for businesses.


Depending on your circumstances, residents and businesses on Norfolk Island may be eligible for this additional support.


More information is available from your on-Island Services Australia agent (contact details below) or by visiting https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/ for income support measures and https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business for business support measures.


Some examples of income support provided by the Australia Government include:


  1. The creation of a new coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight. The $550 will be paid on top of normal payments received by recipients of Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit. For example, a single parent receiving a maximum fortnightly payment of $612 through Jobseeker could apply to receive the $550 coronavirus supplement and potentially take home $1,162 a fortnight.

  1. Two separate payments of $750 for individuals already receiving income support and eligible concession card holders. The first payment will be made from 31 March 2020 and the second payment will be made from 13 July 2020.

  1. Reducing deeming rates by a further 0.25 percent points to increase the amount of money age pensioners will receive. Deeming rates are used for the pension income assessment and determine how much money individuals receive.

For further information please contact your on-Island Services Australia agent -

Norfolk Island Business Solutions

Phone: 22368 (between 0900 and 1300 Monday to Friday)

Email: belinda@businesssolutions.nf

Support for businesses announced by the Australian Government include:


  1. Increasing the asset write off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with an annual turnover of less than $500 million. This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.

  1. Supporting apprentices and trainees by providing employers with a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

  2. Helping businesses and not for profits with their cash flows so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff. Employers will receive a payment equal to 100 percent of their salary and wages, with a maximum payment of $50,000 and minimum payment of $10,000, to help support the retention of staff and operation of businesses.

In addition to the support measures already announced, the Australian Government will work with Norfolk Island to investigate how to further support the community through economic challenges associated with the coronavirus.

The Australian Government understands the economy of Norfolk Island is heavily dependent on tourism and that unique measures may be required to actively manage the impact of coronavirus on these communities.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

24 March 2020

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Coronavirus response – travel ban

Tuesday, March 17, 2020



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Norfolk Island coronavirus response

Thursday, March 12, 2020



I want to reassure the Norfolk Island community and visitors that I am working with Australian Government agencies, Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI), the Council and NIHRACS to ensure appropriate local preparation and response plans for coronavirus.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Good hygiene can prevent infection and most people recover easily.


Border agencies on Island are managing screening processes for passenger arrivals, with support from NIHRACS, in line with agreed Australian Government protocols.


The EMNI Committee has also established a dedicated Coronavirus Subcommittee which will support our planning and response through regular meetings.


NIHRACS has procedures in place for screening, testing and handling of any cases. Further consideration is being given to arrival and screening processes for air arrivals as well as cruise ships and commercial vessels, in the Norfolk Island context.


Please follow the health advice provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and NIHRACS including:

  • Knowing the signs – fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath
  • Stopping the spread – wash hands frequently (15-20 seconds with soap and water or use alcohol hand rub), cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze (sneeze into elbow pit), avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and keep at least one metre from anyone coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have a respiratory infection and are concerned you may have been exposed to coronavirus – isolate yourself, call NIHRACS, list any travel history, cover your cough and wash hands often.

I, and EMNI, will keep you updated as our response planning develops further.


For further information, see www.health.gov.au


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

XX March 2020

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Community priorities in focus on Norfolk Island as consultations commence

Thursday, March 12, 2020



Community consultation on the long-term shared vision for Norfolk Island will begin next week with an Island-wide survey, followed by on-Island community and stakeholder consultation.


Last month, after discussions with our Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, Nola Marino, in Canberra, I announced the development of a community-led Strategic Plan for Norfolk Island, to identify agreed community priorities for the Island’s future.


The purpose of the Strategic Plan is for you to establish the medium to long-term vision for Norfolk Island, and to map priorities in areas of your choosing, for example, economic development, social and community needs, culture, and the environment.


Your vision would then be used by the Australian Government, in partnership with the Norfolk Island Regional Council, business sector, and community, to guide future goals and investment.


I am pleased to announce that Vanessa Bennett, from C Change Sustainable Solutions, and Leon Mills, from Stump Jump Solutions, will guide the process.


Led by myself, they will carry out comprehensive community consultations, and stakeholder engagement, to develop a plan which incorporates and builds on the long-term vision of the Council and the community captured in the Norfolk Island Regional Council - Strategic Plan.

Both Mrs Bennet and Mr Mills have extensive expertise in regional development strategies, including their recent delivery of the strategic plans for both Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.


The community survey will be distributed from Monday, 16 March online through the Survey Monkey platform (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Norfolk2030) and will also be available by hard copy at the Office of the Administrator. On-island consultations will take place from 30 March to 9 April, with further details on how you can get involved communicated in the next fortnight.


If you do not receive a request to complete the survey and would like to do so, or if you have further questions, please contact the Office of the Administrator on office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

XX March 2020

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You can still provide your views on the 2019 Draft Norfolk Island Health Service Plan

Thursday, March 12, 2020



It was great to see the strong engagement and interest from stakeholders and the broader community in the recent consultations on the 2019 Draft Norfolk Island Health Service Plan (the 2019 Draft Plan).


During their week on island, KPMG met with stakeholders from health and community service providers, community groups and representatives from the Norfolk Island Regional Council.


Community members were provided with opportunities to share their lived experiences accessing health services on island and on the mainland, and their thoughts on the 2019 Draft Plan.


There were discussions on a wide range of issues including aged care, palliative care, and pediatric services and I thank all of you who took the time to meet with KPMG.


The 2019 Draft Plan will inform any future design of a new health facility for Norfolk Island and the community is reminded that you can still provide comments on the 2019 Draft Plan until 31 March 2020.


The 2019 Draft Plan and Consultation Report can be found at: www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk_island_health_services/norfolk_island_health_service_plan.aspx. Written comment can be provided to NIhealthserviceplan@infrastructure.gov.au. The Office of the Administrator is also happy to accept hard copy feedback.


Anyone with questions or requiring any additional information can contact office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152 or send an email to the Department at: NIhealthserviceplan@infrastructure.gov.au.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

March 2020

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Strong community engagement on Kingston Pier Channel proposal

Thursday, March 05, 2020



Together with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, I would like to thank the range of stakeholders from the Norfolk Island community for their input to discussions on the proposed Kingston Pier Channel construction project.

The proposal, to deepen and widen the Kingston Pier channel, was raised with Assistant Minister Marino during her visit to Norfolk Island in late 2019.


The purpose would be to improve access and safety, and to ensure the Pier meets required navigation standards.


Consultants Advisian and Consult Marine undertook a ‘listening tour’ in February engaging with a large number of people with a wide range of interests in the project. 


The community provided insightful and valuable feedback, both historical and current. This feedback will support the development of a concept design for the project.


A range of topics were discussed regarding current operations in the channel and future expectations in relation to the proposed works.

Key themes heard from multiple stakeholder groups included:

  • Ensuring continuation of pier operations during the construction phase
  • Ensuring minimal impact on the marine environment
  • Accommodation of a range of vessels used in various pier operations
  • Enhancement of access in and out of the channel for the various vessel operators.

Broader public consultation is scheduled to take place in mid-April and will include feedback on the concept design.


It is important to keep in mind that these consultations are part of the design stage for the project. Progression to the construction stage would be subject to funding being made available in the context of other priorities.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

March 2020

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Temporary desalination system to conclude operations

Thursday, March 05, 2020



Following much-needed rain on Norfolk Island, the Army water purification and desalination system which has been providing water supplies for the past month will conclude operations by 13 March.

 

I personally would like to acknowledge and thank the Australian Defence Force (ADF) for its quick response to the need of the Norfolk Island community for a short-term alternative water source. This assistance was offered in the face of water scarcity and drought conditions which saw a number of properties and businesses run out of water. Action was undertaken in line with Assistant Minister Nola Marino’s announcement in December 2019 that portable desalination would be available for water shortages over summer while work to establish a longer term solution to water security continues.

 

Since the system arrived on island on 7 February and was set up the following day at Cascade Pier, more than 250 properties and business have received much needed water supplies. The tanks at community locations including the Norfolk Island Central School, Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service, Norfolk Island Police Force and Norfolk Island Regional Council have also been replenished. The delivery of this water would not have been possible without the commercial water carters assisting in the delivery of this water across the island seven days a week.

 

Following the 48.8mm of rain received on 1 March and early morning of 2 March, and the predictions of further rainfall in the next fortnight, the demand has reduced and the ADF will retrieve the system by 13 March.

 

As well as producing the water supplies, the ADF team has also been enthusiastic participants in Norfolk Island life and community events during their time on island, which has been great to see. The Government acknowledges the generosity of the community in welcoming and supporting the ADF on Norfolk Island.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

5 March 2020

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Extension for the temporary desalination system

Friday, February 28, 2020



Due to ongoing weather conditions, the Army water purification and desalination system at Cascade Pier will remain on Norfolk Island until 13 March.


The system arrived on island on 7 February, was set up the following day at Cascade Pier, and began producing desalinated water for community members in need.


More than 200 properties and business have received much needed water supplies and the tanks at community locations including the Norfolk Island Central School (NICS), Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) and Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) have also been replenished.


Residents and businesses can obtain water by contacting Customer Care on 22244, freecall 0100 or afterhours, 55254 to register their need. Water will be delivered in order of priority. 


My office will keep the community informed. In the interim, should you have any enquiries, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

26 February 2020

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Canberra visit - Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories

Thursday, February 27, 2020



I recently returned from my first trip to Canberra of 2020, where I met with our Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, Nola Marino, to discuss and progress a number of important matters.


The key focus of our discussions on this occasion, which follows her December visit to Norfolk Island, was the range of projects and issues of significance to you – from livestock genetic diversity to water security, to modernised freight transportation and tourism development.


This was a conversation we commenced during her visit and – after reflecting on these matters – in our meeting in Canberra, we identified that development of agreed community priorities for Norfolk Island’s future is a key and important piece of work the Australian Government could support.


The purpose is for the community to establish the medium to long-term vision for Norfolk Island, and to map priorities in areas of your choosing. For example, priorities in areas such as economic development, social and community needs, culture, and the environment. Your vision would then be used by the Australian Government, in partnership with the Norfolk Island Regional Council and community, to guide future goals and investment.


This will be a plan by the community, for the community, to establish a positive and sustainable future reflecting your identity and values, and to guide future conversations with the Australian Government and the business sector.


Priority is being placed on progressing this piece of work, which will involve comprehensive community consultations and stakeholder engagement to document your focus and goals. Information on how to be a part of this important project will be communicated in the coming weeks.


The Assistant Minister also briefed me on her ongoing efforts to secure a long-term partner to deliver education and health services. She continues to represent the community of Norfolk Island in these conversations.


Joint Standing Committees
I was invited to meet with both the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories. As on this occasion, I am always looking for opportunities – with Ministers and forums – to represent and progress the interests of Norfolk Island as an Australian community in the Pacific region.


Minister for Foreign Affairs and Women
I met again with Senator Marise Payne in her capacity as Minister for Women to continue exploring future opportunities for mentors and guest speakers, particularly for young women in the community.

Senator Zed Seselja
I regularly meet with Senator Zed Seselja and on this occasion he was particularly interested to understand our current water scarcity and freight pressures. He was also keen to hear of the success of recent cruise ship visits and the progress of the roll-out of 4G on the island. Senator Seselja will be visiting the island in the near future for the official opening of the Banyan Park Early Learning Centre.


Member for Bean

Bean MP David Smith, was similarly interested in understanding the water scarcity and freight pressures and he maintains an interest in the securing of long-term service provision partnership for health and education.


Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communication is working with me and my office to develop the aforementioned strategic vision. I met with the Department team and consultants to begin the planning and scheduling of community consultations.


I continued to inform the Department on the current and very real shortages of food and essential supplies that are ordinarily freighted in by ship. Work in relation to both long term and short term solutions is developing and I will continue to update the community as these progress.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

27 February 2020

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Update on air freight arrangements

Thursday, February 27, 2020



In response to ongoing freight pressures, the Australian Government is scheduling a number of additional air freight flights.


The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has worked with TOLL to increase additional flights. The current schedule of TOLL flights for the next month is as follows:


28 February

6 March

13 March

13 March (note, two separate flights on 13 March)

20 March

27 March


Some earlier flights are full, however, there is capacity from 13 March inclusive. The Department of Infrastructure is also adding additional flights in April, May and June to the existing schedule.


Members of the community who want to import freight need to get in touch with the freight forwarders early. If urgency is more important than price, a freight forwarder can book the freight on the first available flight. That could be an Air New Zealand passenger flight or a dedicated freight flight. Additional freight flights can also be arranged by businesses or individuals at the full commercial cost.


I appreciate the difficulties presented when it is cost prohibitive to businesses to utilise the freight flights for those heavy and bulky goods that would ordinarily arrive as sea freight. I thank those of you in the community who have engaged in broader discussions around current freight issues.

 

I understand the current concerns about the reduced availability of sea freight and assure the community that myself, the Norfolk Island Regional Council and the Sea Freight Working Group continue to explore a range of potential options relating to sea freight beyond the next six to eight weeks.


My office will continue to keep the community informed. In the interim, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au if you wish to discuss further.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

27 February 2020

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Community consultations on draft Norfolk Island Health Service Plan

Thursday, February 20, 2020


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Celebrating Australia Day 2020

Tuesday, February 04, 2020



Norfolk Island’s Australia Day celebrations saw some 300 people gather at Government House to recognise our community’s many achievements.


Community members enjoyed the afternoon’s festivities on the lawn, celebrating our rich and varied nation.


As Administrator of Norfolk Island, Australia Day is a highlight of my role, providing an opportunity to acknowledge our history and our shared future as well as the diversity of cultures that make our great nation what it is.


It’s also the perfect time to recognise Norfolk Island’s community spirit and the achievements of our citizens.


In this year’s Australia Day awards, we recognised the community service of: Christopher Magri, Nash Magri, Scott Greenwood, Lewis Quintal, Douglas Creek, Matthew Reeves, Joel Reeves, Cameron Christian, Nathan Weaver, Benjamin Hayes, Ryan Christian, David Bigg, Malcolm Douran, James Tavener, Rebecca Nobbs, Joel Christian, Kurt Bender Christian, Petra Van Den Boogerd, Thomas Greenwood, Hannah Taylor and Mark Hallam.


Sheryl Yelavich, Margaret Christian, Crystal Fell and Angie Andresen all received the Community Achievement award.


Samuel Cribb was the recipient of the Junior Sports Award.


The sports awards went to the 2019 Pacific Games Ladies Bowls Team (Shae Wilson, Petal Jones, Tess Evans, Ann Snell, Tracey Wora), the 2019 Pacific Games Mens Bowls Team (Gary Ryan, Gary Bigg, Stephen Matthews, Trevor Gow, Phillip Jones) and the 2019 Pacific Games Pistol Club Team (Douglas Creek, Kevin Coulter).


The Young Endeavour Awards went to Ada Nebauer and William Elliott.


I would like to thank all those in the community that attended and I would also like to thank the Lions Club for providing the sausage sizzle and steak sandwiches.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

January 2020

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Appeal for voluntary water sharing

Friday, January 24, 2020



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Expressions of Interest for the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee

Friday, January 24, 2020



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Update on passenger transfer vessel contract

Friday, January 24, 2020


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Update on freight arrangements

Friday, January 17, 2020


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Join us for Australia Day

Thursday, January 16, 2020


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Kingston Pier channel project to improve access and safety

Thursday, January 16, 2020


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Taking action to preserve the Bounty Street Bridge

Thursday, January 16, 2020


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Join us for Australia Day

Friday, January 10, 2020


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Norfolk Island Workers’ Compensation Tender Release

Thursday, December 19, 2019


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Norfolk Island Times and Heights of High and low waters 2020

Friday, December 13, 2019




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KAVHA Update

Thursday, November 28, 2019



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Norfolk Island Honey Shortage

Thursday, November 28, 2019


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2019 Draft Norfolk Island Health Service Plan released for Comment

Thursday, November 28, 2019



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Assistant Minister to visit Norfolk Island

Thursday, November 21, 2019



I look forward to welcoming Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Hon Nola Marino MP, on her first visit to Norfolk Island.


The Assistant Minister will be on island from 7-10 December.


During her visit, the Assistant Minister will meet with a wide range of stakeholders and community members including the Mayor, Norfolk Island Regional Council, Council of Elders, young leaders, tourism operators and business owners. The Assistant Minister is also looking forward to meeting with emergency and rescue service volunteers.


She will also visit local services including our health services and school and view critical local infrastructure and community projects.


The Assistant Minister is looking forward to engaging directly with the community and experiencing Norfolk Island’s rich natural environment and diverse heritage first hand, including KAVHA and the National Park.


The Assistant Minister was appointed to the Regional Development and Territories portfolio in May of this year.


She is well known for her dedication to regional communities and has been working hard for you, the community of Norfolk Island.


I am sure you will join me in making her most welcome on her visit to Norfolk Island.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

November 2019

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Release of Commonwealth Grants Commission report

Thursday, November 14, 2019



The Australian Government welcomes the release of the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s report on its 2019 Norfolk Island Inquiry.

As announced in May, the Department asked the Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC) to undertake a costing of Norfolk Island services and its capacity to raise state and local government revenue.


A purpose of the Inquiry was to support the Government to make informed decisions about the provision of state-type and local government services. It also provides the Council with valuable benchmark data to inform its processes and approach to delivering services.


The Inquiry used 2017-18 costs and revenue for Norfolk Island state-type and local government services and measured these against the cost of delivering services in comparable communities. The Inquiry also gave regard to Norfolk Island’s unique circumstances, including geographical location.


The Government thanks the Norfolk Island Regional Council for its support and cooperation in the inquiry process.


CGC inquiries into the external territories are routine practice, with CGC staff last conducting inquiries for Norfolk Island in 2011, 2006 and 1998. The inquiry found that the level of spending for state-type and local government expenses in 2017-18 was broadly comparable to that amount required to provide comparable services to other communities.


Importantly, the inquiry’s purpose was not to provide advice on what services should be delivered on Norfolk Island or offer specific recommendations or actions for the Government or Council.


I would also note the assessment does not include or estimate revenues and expenses related to non-state-type services provided by the Commonwealth (such as KAVHA and airline underwriting), nor infrastructure costs (for example, major capital works such as the airport runway upgrade).


The assessment will assist in consideration of future funding requirements to ensure services continue to be provided at a comparable level to similar communities.


In line with our commitment to keeping the community informed, this inquiry and its outcomes – along with the reports from the 2006 and 2011 enquiries – is available on the CGC website at www.cgc.gov.au/inquiries/norfolk-island

and on the Department’s website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/norfolk-island-economy/index.aspx


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

November 2019

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Traffic Laws – Discussions on Ute Tray Riding

Friday, November 01, 2019



Thank you to the Norfolk Island community for their involvement in discussions last week as part of the second round of consultation around changes to the Norfolk Island traffic laws, with a focus on ute tray riding.


It was pleasing to see a wide range of people attending the targeted meetings and the drop-in event to share their views. The meetings were constructive and produced valuable feedback. 

Key points made by participants include:

  • local traffic conditions differ from other Australian jurisdictions, with a limited road network, no highways, and maximum speed limit of 50 km/h
  • context around how ute tray riding has become important over time, supporting traditional events and creating strong social and community networks
  • the only form of ‘public transport’ on the island
  • the practice is economical and environmentally friendly as it encourages less vehicles on the road, and, if discontinued, there would likely be increased congestion and lack of parking
  • suggestions on how to make ute tray riding safer, including improvements to driver education, lower speed limits, curfews, raising the side of ute trays, creating a licence endorsement to enable transporting passengers in the back of a ute or truck, increasing penalties for non‑compliance and stricter law enforcement.

A summary of this second round of consultation will be made available on the Department’s website in the near future, and the Assistant Minister will be briefed on the outcomes of the consultation.  The briefing will include background information such as the findings and comments in the Coroner’s report of December 2018. 

Once again, thank you to those who made time available to participate, and a special thanks to the young people who talked to us about their views, including our school students.

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

November 2019

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Update on freight arrangements

Friday, November 01, 2019



Many in the community would have received the Trade Notice from Transam Argosy advising that the Capitaine Wallis had been removed from shipping schedules, and the Southern Tiare would be utilised for the November and December voyages.


Discussions have commenced between my office, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, the Norfolk Island Regional Council, Transam Argosy and Burnt Pine Travel to identify potential contingencies to mitigate reduced sea freight services and/or capacity.


My office will keep the community informed. In the interim, we ask for your patience and should you require any urgent assistance, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

November 2019

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Cruise Ship passengers enjoy a new maiden voyage to Norfolk Island

Friday, October 25, 2019


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Norfolk Island Workers Compensation

Friday, October 25, 2019


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Have you say on the draft Development Control Plan for KAVHA

Friday, October 25, 2019


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Reminder on upcoming traffic laws community engagement

Friday, October 18, 2019


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Norfolk Island Central School Funding

Friday, October 18, 2019


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Safety barrier at Longridge Barracks Arches

Friday, October 04, 2019



The Australian Government is commencing a capital works project to improve public safety at Longridge Barracks Arches.


The project will also preserve this important heritage structure for the community.


The Longridge Barracks Arches ruins has a lean of up to 200mm to the south and is unrestrained at the rear. Independent safety reports have found that this presents an unacceptable risk of structure collapse in the event of an earthquake.


The Department has engaged specialists to design a structural solution and there will be community engagement once it has been developed. In the short term, safety reports have recommended barriers be installed to temporarily restrict access as a public safety measure.


Timber barriers similar to those installed at Kingston have been approved by the Council for installation along the grass road verge. The barrier installation works are scheduled to commence in the coming week.


Further information about the project can be obtained from Martin Purslow on 23115.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

October 2019

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Strong community engagement on management strategy for Kingston and Cascade Ports

Friday, October 04, 2019



The Australian Government would like to thank the Norfolk Island community for their input to discussions on management of Cascade and Kingston ports during the week of September 23.


A large number of people with a wide range of interests were engaged throughout the consultations, with the community providing insightful and valuable feedback that will support development of a Ports Management Strategy.


A range of topics were discussed with the community regarding the current operations of Cascade and Kingston ports and future expectations for the ports.


Key themes heard from multiple stakeholder groups included:

  • The Ports Management Strategy should ensure protection and enhancement of Norfolk Island’s unique culture, heritage, traditions and environment
  • Cheaper, simpler and more reliable freight options are needed
  • Port operations should enhance worker safety and reduce risk of cargo damage
  • Existing port users’ rights should be retained and community access safely accommodated
  • Infrastructure upgrades would enable improved operations
  • A port supervisor role would be a central point of contact responsible for all port activities.

Ongoing community involvement is encouraged and the Department looks forward to continuing the work with all stakeholders to produce a Ports Management Strategy, which supports a sustainable future for Norfolk Island. 


The second round of public consultation will take place before the end of 2019 and will include testing management models with stakeholders. 


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

October 2019

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Update on PTV operation arrangements

Friday, October 04, 2019



While the tender process for the operation and maintenance of the passenger transfer vessels (PTVs) is still being finalised, the Department has entered into an interim contract with Transam Argosy for the scheduled October cruise ship visit.


This interim arrangement will ensure the PTVs are available to meet the visit of the Pacific Explorer due on Norfolk Island on 20 October 2019, in line with the Australian Government’s commitment to support the Norfolk Island tourism sector and economy.


The community will be informed about the longer term contractual arrangements and the preferred supplier when a contract is agreed.

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

October 2019

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KAVHA Update

Friday, October 04, 2019



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Reminder of start of daylight saving

Friday, October 04, 2019



Norfolk Island residents and businesses are reminded to adjust their clocks forward one hour for the commencement of daylight saving at 2am tomorrow (Sunday, October 6).


This is the first year that Norfolk Island will observe and enjoy daylight saving time (DST), after the community decided to enable more hours of daylight in the evening for recreation, health and wellbeing, as well as more time for tourist activities.


Each year, from the first Sunday in October, clocks on Norfolk Island will need to be moved forward one hour and then back one hour on the first Sunday in April.


This period of DST will end at 2am on Sunday 5 April 2020.


Observing DST will also mean Norfolk Island remains one hour ahead of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory, and one hour behind New Zealand, all year round - providing the benefit of consistency for business and tourism with the mainland and New Zealand.


To ensure the successful implementation of DST, the Australian Government has worked with the Norfolk Island Regional Council, as well as stakeholders on and off Island, to ensure the community and businesses are well prepared for the change.


A fact sheet with further information is available at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/governance/daylight-savings.aspx


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island

October 2019

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Further community engagement on traffic laws

Friday, September 27, 2019



The Australian Government acknowledges the range of views put forward by the Norfolk Island community about proposed traffic law changes and is preparing for further consultation.


The Department has now reviewed the feedback provided through written submissions, with comments focused on the proposed change to the practice of ‘ute tray riding’. 


The Australian Government will commence a second consultation stage in October 2019 to find out more about these concerns and other key issues raised.


This engagement will include targeted meetings with key stakeholders and a drop-in event for community members.


If not included in one of the targeted meetings, community members have the opportunity to participate through the informal drop-in event where comments and views can be shared. Details on the location and times for this will be available shortly.


We are committed to ongoing community engagement as we progress this process. The Department will report back on the outcomes of these sessions, with information published on the website and disseminated through my office and local media.


Information about the written submissions received, including a summary of responses, can be found at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/traffic-laws-public-submissions.aspx.


Anyone with questions in the lead-up to the second round of consultation can contact my office by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

September 2019

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Lights off in KAVHA during summer seabird season

Friday, September 27, 2019



Over coming weeks, lighting will be switched off within the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) to coincide with seabird breeding season.


The Department of Environment advises that artificial light can disrupt critical behaviours in wildlife, stalling the recovery of threatened species and interfering with migratory species’ ability to undertake long distance migrations integral to their life cycle.


The lighting switch-off will coincide with the fledging season of the Little Shearwater (Puffinus assimilis), following breeding on Nepean and Phillip Islands, and breeding of Ghostbirds (Wedgetailed shearwaters or Ardenna pacifica) on the shores of Norfolk Island.


The main lighting of the public toilet facilities at Slaughter Bay and Emily Bay will be switched off after 8.30pm each evening. There will be soft lighting installed to assist users after this time. In addition, spotlights on buildings will be turned off during this period. The Munnas barbeque site will also have the lights off after 8.30pm.


If lighting is needed after 8.30pm, please contact Heritage Manager Martin Purslow (23115 or martin.purslow@infrastructure.gov.au).


For more information about the draft guidelines, please see www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/migratory-species/draft-national-light-pollution-guidelines.


Please feel free to also contact my office if you have any questions or wish to discuss this further.


Eric Hutchinson

September 2019

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Working with the Australian Government, for you

Thursday, September 19, 2019



I was fortunate to commence my most recent trip to Canberra for Government engagements (6 to 13 September) as a passenger on the inaugural Air Chathams passenger service to Auckland. Air Chathams is a family business and it was important as the Administrator of Norfolk Island to support Craig and Duane Emeny, in recognition of the challenges they have overcome to establish this regular service and their commitment to our community and the opportunities ahead.

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories

Meetings with our Assistant Minister, Nola Marino, will always be wide-ranging and cover strategic and topical issues. On this occasion, we discussed the ongoing work to secure a long-term partner to deliver education and health services, collaborating with the Norfolk Island community to develop a biosecurity strategy, working with the community to develop a sustainable and resilient local economy and strategies to support young leaders. 

I also took the opportunity to brief Assistant Minister Marino on the resurfacing of the runway of the Norfolk Island Airport. While it is a Norfolk Island Regional Council project, it has been funded by the Australian Government and the Assistant Minister was interested to understand community views and how it is progressing.

Agriculture
I met with the senior advisor to the Agriculture Minister, Senator Bridget McKenzie, where we covered the Agriculture department’s recognition of the importance of education and communication on issues affecting Norfolk Island. We also discussed permit processes, with a focus on export of goods from Norfolk Island into the mainland along with development of a local biosecurity strategy and augmentation of the quarantine survey.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Youth & Sport
I thanked Senator Richard Colbeck for his recent efforts to support the effective provision of aged care packages on the island and also discussed aged care services more generally. Senator Colbeck is the Minister for Youth and Sport as well, so we also talked about opportunities, programs and support for young islanders.

Minister for Defence
I met with the Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, on behalf of the 2020 Pacific Peace Committee and invited her to attend our 2020 Commemorations in August. My office will liaise with the Department of Defence to request defence assets in 2020.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Women
I briefed Senator Marise Payne in her capacity as Minister for Women on local organisations such as Womans Advocacy Group of Norfolk Island (WAGNI), Club L and recent initiatives such as the Company Director training delivered by ACIL. We explored future opportunities for mentors and guest speakers, particularly for young women in the community.

Joint Standing Committee on National Capital and External Territories 

I was also able to engage with Keith Pitt, Member for Hinkler and the Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on National Capital and External Territories, providing him with an overview of governance arrangements on Norfolk Island.

Member for Bean
Bean MP David Smith, who is the local member for Norfolk Island, was interested in what is working well and could be improved at a local level on the island. The member for Sturt, James Stevens was in attendance at the meeting with Mr Smith as they are both also on the Joint Standing Committee on National Capital and External Territories. I was interested to learn that Mr Stevens spent some of his early school years on Norfolk Island when his father was the Administrator of Norfolk Island.

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

It was also another productive series of meetings with the Department staff in Canberra, where I discussed development of young leaders with the Deputy Secretary and talked about changes relating to the Norfolk Island Regional Council including the upcoming council elections and the general manager vacancy, with the Executive Director. In discussions with other senior staff, I received updates on the multipurpose health facility, the progress of the Commonwealth Grants Commission review and an economic analysis and modelling project. We also discussed progression of a biosecurity strategy and exploring the possibility of Norfolk Island as a domestic route from mainland Australia.

I hope this update was informative and I welcome any questions or further discussion you may like to have about my visit.

Eric Hutchinson 
August 2019

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Update on Norfolk Island multipurpose health services facility project

Thursday, September 19, 2019



The Australian Government is preparing for the next phase of the Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility (MPS) project.


As most residents would be aware, the project was established to develop the initial and detailed business cases which will lead to the Australian Government’s consideration of funding approval for a new MPS for the Island.


A request for expressions of interest in design consultancy services will be released on 23 September.


Following the appointment of a consultant, potential design solutions will be explored with the community and local stakeholders during design development, in line with the principles of the Community Engagement Framework.


The next round of community consultation and feedback on the draft Health Services Plan is also scheduled to occur between October and December this year. Feedback from the community on the 2019 Plan will help inform the future delivery of health and residential aged care services including the new MPS facility.


While there is still further work to be done in relation to the new facility, the Government, myself and the Department, are committed to working with the community to ensure optimal outcomes.


If you have any questions about the MPS project or the Health Services Plan prior to the next round of consultations, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


For additional information about the MPS project, see www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/Multipurpose-Health-Services-Facility-Project.aspx or contact the project team at territories_projects@infrastructure.gov.au.


Eric Hutchinson

September 2019

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Capturing Drone Footage of KAVHA to promote Norfolk Island’s unique heritage

Thursday, September 12, 2019


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Reminder on upcoming ports management community consultation

Thursday, September 12, 2019



There is already strong community interest in the upcoming engagement sessions on the Ports Management Strategy, with the Australian Government encouraging Norfolk Island stakeholders to contribute their views on best options for the long-term management of Cascade and Kingston Ports.


Grosvenor Performance Group is managing the development of the strategy. The upcoming on Island consultation sessions commencing September 23 will leverage local expertise and knowledge to explore current issues and potential solutions.


Invitations to workshops and interviews have been sent to a wide range of local stakeholders and there will also be a drop-in session open to all community members at Norfolk Mall on Saturday, September 28 between 9 and 12pm.


Driven by community consultation and best practice, the strategy development project will identify options for future port management and infrastructure for the Island’s unique circumstances.


There will be a second set of consultation sessions later in the year, at which the options for future management will be tested with the community.


A fact sheet on the project is available at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/currentconsultations/index.aspx.


Any queries or feedback can be sent to NIPortsProject@grosvenorpg.com.au.

Eric Hutchinson

September 2019

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Upgrades to dining in residential aged care

Friday, September 06, 2019



The recently completed extensions to the dining and common room at the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) facility have provided aged care residents with more room to gather for their meals and meet with friends and family members.


The project was funded by the Australian Government as part of its commitment to improving community infrastructure on Norfolk Island.


I spoke with residents during my most recent visit to the facility, and was very pleased to hear the positive responses to the increased space and light that has been created.


The works included constructing a new ramp from the dining room to the garden to provide residents with better opportunities to access the aged care gardens.


My thanks to the local tradespeople who completed the works, and Manteena for their design and project management services.


With the design work for a new purpose-built health and aged care facility for Norfolk Island continuing, the upgrades to the existing facility will improve the quality of care provided to aged residents while Government makes decisions on a new facility.


Eric Hutchinson 

September 2019

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Ceremony for newest citizens

Friday, September 06, 2019



I had the great pleasure of swearing in five new Australian citizens in a ceremony at Government House on Tuesday, September 3.


I would like to welcome and congratulate Amanda and Sam Cribb, Paul Browne, Richard Lee and Ghee Keng Tina Siah.


These five new citizens were joined by family and friends as they made the pledge of commitment to Australia, the nation they have chosen to call home.


It was a very moving experience for all in attendance.


Eric Hutchinson 

September 2019

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Community consultation on management strategy for Kingston and Cascade Ports

Friday, August 30, 2019



The Australian Government wants to hear from the Norfolk Island community on best options for the long-term management of Cascade and Kingston Ports.


With reliable and safe port operations essential to the economic wellbeing of the Norfolk Island community, a Ports Management Strategy is being developed by Grosvenor Performance Group.


Current issues and potential solutions will be explored with a wide range of local stakeholders, drawing on the expertise and knowledge of the Norfolk Island community.


Driven by community consultation and best practice, the strategy development project will consider sustainable sea-freight arrangements, landside infrastructure and operational requirements for the two ports.


Information on Norfolk Island’s ports will be combined with investigations into the freight industry in the South Pacific to identify appropriate options for future port management and infrastructure for the Island’s unique circumstances.


A community engagement plan has been developed, using the principles of the Community Engagement Framework which was co-designed by the Norfolk Island community and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. A fact sheet on the project can be found on the Department’s website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/currentconsultations/index.aspx.


Grosvenor’s first on-Island engagement will occur in the week of September 23. Invitations to workshops and interviews are being sent out to stakeholders and there will also be a pop-up engagement stall during this week. There will be a second set of sessions later in the year, at which the options for future management will be tested with the community.


Project documents will be available from the Department’s website as the project progresses. In addition to the on-Island sessions, Grosvenor Performance Group has set up a dedicated email address, which can be used to communicate with the project team. The address is NIPortsProject@grosvenorpg.com.au.


Eric Hutchinson

August 2019

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Air passengers to Norfolk Island boost tourism and economy

Friday, August 30, 2019



Some 30,000 people travelled to Norfolk Island as air passengers in 2018-19, boosting the Island’s tourism activity and economic opportunities.


With the Australian Government committed to keeping the local community informed on services and trends, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development has now released the second Airline Services for Norfolk Island fact sheet, summarising passenger data for the second half of the 2018-19 financial year.


Norfolk Island’s regular passenger air services are underwritten by the Australian Government and provided by Air New Zealand (Air NZ), to support the local community and economy.


This arrangement keeps ticket prices within a specified range to protect travellers from price fluctuations resulting from fuel cost changes and other factors.


The majority of people who came to Norfolk Island during 2018-19 were tourists – 73 per cent of total travellers – with the remainder of passengers visiting family and friends (8 per cent), coming for business (4 per cent), or Island residents (15 per cent).


Travellers coming to Norfolk Island from mainland Australia made up 94 per cent of all travellers in the past financial year. The next largest group over the period, at four per cent, came from New Zealand. Least common were travellers coming from Europe or other regions. Almost 80 per cent of visitors flying to Norfolk Island are aged 51 years and over.


Air NZ provides a core service of two flights per week from Brisbane and two flights per week from Sydney. In addition to the twice-weekly core service, there are three flights per week from mid-September to end-April between Sydney and the Island.


Air NZ started using the new A320neo aircraft on the Brisbane-Norfolk Island route in May 2019, with the new aircraft to be introduced on the Sydney route over the next year. The new aircraft provides the same capacity as the previous aircraft but with new seating and in-flight entertainment. Every Air NZ flight from Australia to Norfolk Island also has freight capacity. Air NZ prioritises air freight, such as medical supplies and mail. 


The airline actively promotes Norfolk Island as a destination through its website at www.airnewzealand.com.au/destination-norfolk-island. This site also contains additional information about airline services to Norfolk Island.


The Australian Government also subsidises additional dedicated air freight flights through its contract with TOLL. The schedule of the TOLL freight flights is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development website at https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/Norfolk-Island-Air-Freight-Services.aspx.


Growth of the Norfolk Island tourism industry continues to be a Government priority. The Air New Zealand and Unique Tourism Collection annual Norfolk Island briefing recently took place in Sydney on August 21, where I joined a range of Australian Government representatives, Norfolk Island Regional Council, Air New Zealand officials and key Norfolk Island and mainland industry partners to discuss recent statistics and trends and future marketing plans. Stakeholders agreed it is in everyone’s interests to foster sustainable growth in tourism numbers to Norfolk Island.


Both fact sheets on airline services for Norfolk Island can be found at https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/Norfolk-Island-Air-Services.aspx.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Introduction to Daylight Saving Time in 2019

Friday, August 30, 2019



As you are aware, Norfolk Island residents and businesses will shortly begin observing and enjoying Daylight Saving Time (DST) on Norfolk Island.


Each year, from the first Sunday in October, clocks on Norfolk Island will need to be moved forward one hour and then back one hour on the first Sunday in April. In 2019, DST will begin at 2am on Sunday 6 October and end at 2am on Sunday 5 April 2020.


It will be the first time DST is observed on Norfolk Island, after the community decided to enable more hours of daylight in the evening for recreation, health and wellbeing, as well as more time for tourist activities.


In 2017, the Norfolk Island Regional Council put a call out for the community’s perspective on the introduction of DST and 85 per cent of respondents strongly supported a change to Norfolk Island time through the warmer months.


Observing DST will also ensure that Norfolk Island remains one hour ahead of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory, and one hour behind New Zealand, all year round.


This will provide the benefit of consistency for business and tourism with the mainland and New Zealand.


To ensure the successful implementation of DST, my office and the Department have been working with the Norfolk Island Regional Council, as well as stakeholders on and off Island, to ensure the community and businesses are well prepared for the change.


We have also prepared a handy fact sheet which is available here: www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/governance/daylight-savings.aspx


Eric Hutchinson

August 2019

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Updated air freight schedule for Norfolk Island

Friday, August 09, 2019



The Australian Government wishes to advise that, due to reduced demand for freight over August and September, TOLL and Burnt Pine will change the schedule for freight flights.


A flight will occur on 16 August and the flights on 9 and 30 August have been cancelled.


This change does not impact on the overall program of flights and there is the potential to add flights into the schedule later in the year, if demand is high.


Should there be a significant increase in demand over August and September, an additional service can be added back into the schedule.

If there are issues with the changed schedule, please contact the cargo terminal on 22247 or cargo@burntpinetravel.nf. For further information on freight flights, please go to the Department’s website on https://www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/index.aspx.


Eric Hutchinson

August 2019

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Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee Communique

Friday, August 09, 2019



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Working with the Australian Government on your behalf

Friday, August 09, 2019



Norfolk Island, through the Administrator, has a direct line of communication with the Minister for Territories and other Australian Government ministers. This access is significant in comparison to other Australian communities.


As Administrator of Norfolk Island, one of the most important parts of my role is to advocate on behalf of the Norfolk Island community. I take this role very seriously. I regularly travel to Canberra for discussions across Government. Many of these conversations are driven by representations made to me by community members, so I want to provide you with an overview on the return of my most recent visit to Canberra, from 30 July to 1 August. The visit provided an opportunity to progress a number of important issues.


Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories

I was fortunate to have a considerable amount of time with our Assistant Minister, Nola Marino, and we discussed a number of matters including the importance of finding a long-term partner to deliver education and health services, the proposed Road Traffic Laws changes, the widening of Cascade Road and the future economic sustainability of Norfolk Island – with a particular focus on the pressures on sea freight and the need to build and support tourism. The Minister is focused on working with and for you, the community, to achieve the best outcomes for Norfolk Island now and into the future.


I also took the opportunity to brief Assistant Minister Marino on the aspirations of the 2020 Pacific Peace Committee to commemorate Victory in the Pacific on Norfolk Island in August 2020. The Assistant Minister commended the committee on their initiative and wholeheartedly gave her support undertaking to reach out to her colleagues about this event, including the Minister for Defence.


Minister for the Environment

Most of you will remember the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, as she was formerly Assistant Minister, Regional Development and Territories. Minister Ley, along with Jason Mundy from Marine Parks who also attended, was keen to discuss where her portfolio responsibilities intersected with Norfolk Island. Of particular interest were the heritage values of the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historical Area, our reserves and the unique situation on Norfolk Island as the only location in Australia where the Terrestrial Park meets the Marine Park.

Minister Ley also discussed ways in which she could continue to support the Norfolk Island community at a local level, identifying two eligible grant programs. I have already commenced discussing these opportunities with our KAVHA Heritage Manager and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.


Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

This was my third meeting with Veterans’ Affairs on behalf of the 2020 Pacific Peace Committee. As with previous meetings, I am encouraged with the level of interest and support provided by Minister Darren Chester. I have briefed the 2020 Pacific Peace Committee in relation to the role Norfolk Island may have in national commemorative activities and pathways to deliver on some of the larger events proposed.


Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

As you know, in addition to the local team on Island, the Department has staff located in Canberra. Meetings with the Deputy Secretary, Executive Director, General Managers and Directors servicing Norfolk Island allow me to provide a local lens on the many projects and programs for which they are responsible.

My role as Administrator is to advocate on behalf of the community, but also to support the Assistant Minister’s Department, through constructive dialogue. Departmental staff are all committed to ensuring optimal outcomes for the community of Norfolk Island. and open to resolving the issues and challenges which will invariably arise when delivering on complex and significant priorities.


I hope this update was informative and I welcome any questions or further discussion you may like to have about my visit.


Eric Hutchinson

August 2019

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Australian Government investment sees Norfolk Island back on cruising map

Friday, July 26, 2019



The three passenger transfer vessels are set to arrive on Norfolk Island following the completion of successful sea trials and their departure from Port Macquarie on 21 July.


The vessels, which can hold up to 90 people each, will be used to transfer cruise ship passengers from ship to shore. They are anticipated to arrive on a barge towed by a tug on 27 July, depending on weather and sea conditions, in readiness for the cruise ship season.


Many entries to name the vessels were received and considered by a committee comprising the Mayor of the Norfolk Island Regional Council, and representatives from the Norfolk Island Council of Elders, tourism and business sectors, Norfolk Island Central School, and my office.


Names reflective of Norfolk heritage and pride in local language, flora and fauna, and the sea have been chosen.


The vessels will be named Wana (sea urchin), Hihi (periwinkle) and Nuffka (Kingfisher).


All three successful names were among those submitted through entries from the school and I look forward to personally congratulating the students for their creative and thoughtful efforts.


The short and easily distinguishable names will also assist in maritime communications.


Associated road and infrastructure works on Cascade Road, which are scheduled to commence shortly, will allow for movement of the vessels from Cascade Pier to potential storage locations. These civil works are budgeted to cost approximately $625,000 and, together with the $3.9 million for the passenger transfer vessels, is a significant investment by the Australian Government to support Norfolk Island as a desirable cruise ship destination.


The tender for the operation and management of the PTVs closed on Friday, 26 July and the Department will now assess the tenders. The community will be kept informed as this process is finalised.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Local skills preserve Norfolk Island’s rich heritage for the future

Friday, July 26, 2019



A team of Norfolk Island craftsmen has contributed to recent conservation and improvement works in Kingston, to enhance the appearance and amenity of the site for visitors and the community.


The Australian Government-funded project included the creation of hand-cut Norfolk Pine shingles to restore roofs at No. 2 and No. 3 Quality Row (The Duplex).


Other works included replacement of many of the timber bridges, new steps to Slaughter Bay beach and the ongoing refurbishment of all of the change rooms and toilets.


This week I was able to inspect the largest of the recently completed projects, the restoration of the traditional Norfolk pine-shingled roof of the Quality Row building. Accompanied by KAVHA Advisory Committee members, I met and heard firsthand about the restoration from George Parsons, who, with the Island-based team of craftsmen, undertook this important work over autumn.


I express my thanks on behalf of the Australian Government and the KAVHA Heritage Management team, for the quality and craftsmanship of the recently completed restoration works.


The local capability demonstrated in this project, with the creation of hand cut Norfolk pine shingles here on Norfolk Island, is something to celebrate.


We’re extremely proud to see local expertise utilised to deliver the project and the ongoing development of local skills into the future. Ongoing retention of these specialised skills enable us to employ local tradespeople to look after the many structures here at the KAVHA World Heritage site.


Special thanks go to George Parsons, Kane Anderson, Louis Anderson, Glenn Holland, David Magri, Dene Snell, Akasha Adams, Jeht Nobbs, Jess Tierney, Korin Henderson, Ruffy Steven, Franklin Randall, KAVHA Advisory Committee members, Kristal Buckley AM, Kevin Sumption, Duncan Evans, Dids Evans, and members of the KAVHA team.


The building is now re-opened to the public as part of the ongoing program of heritage conservation and protection across Kingston.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Community feedback on traffic laws now public

Friday, July 26, 2019



The Australian Government acknowledges and appreciates the range of opinions put forward about proposed changes to the Traffic Act and thanks those community members who took the time to respond. 


Information about the submissions received, including a summary of responses, can now be found on the website of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development (the Department), at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/traffic-laws-public-submissions.aspx.

The Department received 37 individual submissions, and two petitions with more than 200 signatures, in response to the Traffic Laws in Norfolk Island discussion paper. Feedback focused on the proposed ban on ute-tray riding, drink driving laws and police powers.


A number of suggestions to refine the proposals, and other issues which could be reviewed, were also made.


The feedback and consultation process is ongoing and the Department is now considering the information received in submissions and will then look at further engagement and information-gathering activities to help refine the proposals. 


We are committed to keeping the community informed as we progress these proposed changes, noting the strong public engagement. Website information will be updated as the process matures, with advice also provided through the Administrator’s Office and the Norfolk Online.


Please contact the Administrator’s Office if you require a print-out of the updated web information and/or published submissions.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Time extended on comment period for proposed Council elections law changes

Friday, July 26, 2019



The Australian Government is extending the time period for the community to have a say on proposed changes to the law dealing with Norfolk Island Regional Council elections.


Following a request from the Mayor of the Norfolk Island Regional Council, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development has agreed to extend the closing date for submissions on the Council elections discussion paper until Friday 23 August.


The discussion paper is available on the Department’s website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates.aspx or from the Office of the Administrator.


Anyone can have a say and give feedback on the proposed changes, which include whether political parties and groups can register for Council elections, political donations,


lobbying, voter eligibility, qualifications for holding public office and the timing of elections.


You can send your comments in writing to: NI_Legislation@infrastructure.gov.au or to the Office of the Administrator or to Norfolk Island and Mainland Territories Branch, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 260


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Progressing aged care home support for Norfolk Island

Thursday, July 18, 2019



The Australian Government is developing options to ensure the Home Care Packages program is fully established on Norfolk Island to better support our residents. I want to keep you updated as we go through this process.


Home Care Packages (HCP) provide eligible older Australians access to affordable home care and assistance services– ranging from personal care and nursing, to specialised in home support including modifications and assistive equipment.


Eligibility for the packages requires assessment and approval by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).


As some community members may be aware, while we currently have an ACAT assessor on Island, there have not been ACAT delegate arrangements in place.


I am working closely with the Department of Infrastructure to establish delegate arrangements as soon as possible. My intention is to work with the Commonwealth Department of Health to approach jurisdictions outside New South Wales to perform the ACAT delegate function.


In line with the Community Engagement Framework, we are seeking feedback from the community on our plans to engage other health jurisdictions, given our shared priority to ensure the residents of the Norfolk Island community are best supported in their homes.


I value your views on this issue. If you would like to get in touch, please contact my office to organise a time to meet with me or send me through an email, via office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


I would like to emphasise this process to secure an ACAT delegate through another jurisdiction is separate to the broader state services transition work in relation to NSW not delivering health services past June 2021. Our aim is to ensure services delivery on Norfolk Island is uninterrupted, reliable and the highest possible standard.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Upcoming Cascade Road works to support passenger transfer vessels

Thursday, July 18, 2019



With the impending arrival of the passenger transfer vessels (PTVs) for Norfolk Island, and the need to enable movement of these vessels, the Australian Government will soon commence works to widen Cascade Road.


The three vessels, which can hold up to 90 people each and will be used to transfer cruise ship passengers from ship to shore, are scheduled to arrive on Norfolk Island at the end of July.


The tender for the operation and management of the PTVs is currently open and will close on 26 July 2019. The long term storage of the vessels will be the responsibility of the successful tenderer.


Road and other infrastructure works along Cascade Road will also allow for the movement of PTVs from Cascade Pier to potential storage locations.


While the works are primarily designed for the safe transfer of the PTVs, they will also improve visibility and enhance safety for road users, particularly during cargo unloading activities where large trucks transport goods along this stretch of road.


Manteena is the department’s nominated managing contractor for the road widening works, which will extend from the upper carpark area at Cascade Pier to the corner beyond the Youngs Road intersection of Cascade Road.  Local contractor Norfolk Island Industries is delivering the civil works.


There is also an application under the Trees Act (NI) for the removal of trees classified as protected. In determining the required scope of works, the proposed removal of trees has been kept at an absolute minimum.  A total of six trees are proposed to be removed.


The majority of the proposed works are contained within the road zone however a small amount of Cascade Reserve (approximately 75 square metres) will be affected.


Due to the unique heritage values of Cascade Reserve, a Heritage Impact Assessment was prepared and submitted to Council. The assessment concluded the proposed works will have minimal impact on the heritage values of the site.


The department is working closely with the Norfolk Island Regional Council to ensure it complies with all Norfolk Island planning and related legislation required for these works to proceed, including those affecting Cascade Reserve.


As the works are within the road zone, under the Norfolk Island Plan 2002 it is an ‘as of right’ development and a public notification period is not required.


The Department is continuing discussion with Council on any approval required for that part of the works affecting Cascade Reserve.  


In addition, the environmental and heritage values of Cascade Reserve protected under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 were considered as part of a Review of Environmental Factors undertaken. The works are expected to have minimal impact. However, should a heritage or environmental issue arise during construction, further assessment may be undertaken.

Subject to Council agreement (as the road owner), works are expected to commence at the end of July 2019 and are likely to take up to three months. During this time localised disruptions to the applicable section of Cascade Road may occur. Updates on the works and changed road conditions will be provided on local radio. Separate communications will be undertaken with affected landowners.


For further details, please contact Manteena on 50780.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Norfolk Island Workers Compensation Transition

Thursday, July 18, 2019



The Australian Government is working to transition the delivery of workers compensation arrangements for Norfolk Island to a new service provider.


From 1 July 2016, the local workers compensation scheme, as a state-type service, has been delivered by Norfolk Island Regional Council on behalf of the Australian Government.


Due to potential conflict of interest issues as the Island’s largest employer, the Council has advised the Department they are not in a position to provide this state-type service on behalf of the Australian Government into the future. The Government thanks the Council for its delivery of the scheme since 2016.


The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development is now working to transition the workers compensation arrangements to a new service provider by July 2020 and will be approaching the market to find a service delivery partner.


Importantly, the transition will not affect the entitlements or benefits available to employees. The Department and Council will work together closely to minimise any disruptions to the management of active claims. All employees with an active claim will be notified well in advance of any changes affecting them.


The current levy rate for employers will remain unchanged at this stage and is outside the scope of the transition.


Some legislative change will be needed to implement the new arrangements and this is expected to occur through amendments the Employment Act 1988 (NI). As these changes will be focused on the administration or ‘back office’ aspect of the Scheme, they will have minimal effect on the community.  Consistent with the Legislation Consultation Framework, information will be made available to the community as the work progresses.


The Department will also engage directly with Norfolk Island employers to assist them to understand any new processes (for example, forms) under the new arrangements.


Questions and feedback can be sent through to NIworkerscompensation@infrastructure.gov.au.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Super guarantee rates changed on 1 July

Friday, July 12, 2019


UPDATE FROM THE ATO:

Super guarantee rates changed on 1 July

 

The transitional rate of super guarantee (SG) has now increased to 4% from 1 July 2019. You will need to ensure you are contributing the right amount of super for your eligible workers.
 
Note the special transitional rate of 4% applies to Norfolk Island workers only. If your business employs workers who work on the mainland, you will need to calculate and pay super for them at the general SG rate of 9.5%.

 

If you need help, you can

  • go to information on the ATO website for Norfolk Island - Super for employers
  • phone the ATO Super infoline on 13 10 20 (freecall for Norfolk Island).

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Norfolk Island Air Freight Services for 2019-20 announced

Friday, July 12, 2019



The Australian Government understands the importance of reliable freight services to the Norfolk Island community and has now finalised arrangements for subsidised air freight flights to and from the Island from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.


Following an approach to market, the Australian Government has invested $600,000 to contract TOLL to provide up to 20 subsidised air freight flights over the next 12 months, subject to commercial demand and weather conditions.


The tentative schedule of freight deliveries is shown below. This schedule may change from time to time to meet business needs.

2019


26 July, 9 and 30 August. 13 and 27 September, 11 and 25 October, 8 and 22 November, 6 and 20 December.

2020


17 January, 14 February, 6 and 20 March, 3 and 24 April, 8 and 22 May, 12 June.


The Government’s subsidy ensures there will be a regular, reliable program of freight flights to Norfolk Island. It also enables the Norfolk Island Regional Council to export waste to the mainland in a cost-effective way.


Members of the community who want to import freight need to get in touch with the freight forwarders early. If urgency is more important than price, a freight forwarder can book the freight on the first available flight. That could be an Air New Zealand passenger flight or a dedicated freight flight. Additional freight flights can also be arranged by businesses or individuals at the full commercial cost.


Updates to the subsidised freight flight schedule will be published on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development’s website (www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/Norfolk-Island-Air-Freight-Services.aspx) as required.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019


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Biosecurity risk detected and managed

Friday, July 12, 2019



The Australian Government assures the Norfolk Island community that biosecurity and pest management procedures were successfully executed following the identification of spiders on equipment for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development shipped on a regular freight vessel which arrived on July 10.


It was encouraging to see a system working as it should this week. I understand the community concern about this matter and want to highlight this risk was appropriately detected and managed, in line with required procedures.


The shipment of a trailer and cradles for the passenger transfer vessels was packaged for transport in accordance with the packaging requirements provided by the freight forwarder. When spiders were identified aboard the ship, the Department of Agriculture was notified and the shipment was brought ashore to Cascade Pier to allow Agriculture personnel to coordinate the fumigation of the shipment.


I urge community members to treat officers who are performing their roles to protect the community and environment courteously. Those on the front line for managing biosecurity here on Norfolk Island are officers who take their roles in protecting the special environment on Norfolk Island very seriously. If people have concerns about particular issues, including biosecurity, they can contact my office to discuss them.


I am informed that samples of the spider have been taken to identify the species, but initial indications are that it is unlikely to be a red back.
Occasionally there is a biosecurity risk when items are sent to Norfolk Island. It is important to detect these risks and, as has happened here, take appropriate action to protect the Island’s unique biosecurity status. This is a shared responsibility of government, business and the community and I encourage anyone aware of a potential risk to report it.

  Officers use a range of strategies to protect the island, but I encourage the community to assist in reporting breaches or identifying and reporting potential risks to the Department of Agriculture staff.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Strong community engagement on traffic laws

Thursday, July 04, 2019



The Australian Government thanks the community for taking the time to make submissions in response to the Traffic Laws in Norfolk Island consultation paper.


The period for written submissions has closed and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development received a number of submissions, indicating a strong level of interest in the proposed changes.


As advised in the consultation paper, the Department intends to publish submissions on its website in due course, unless a submission was marked confidential or contains other information that is not suitable to publish.  Publication will include names but not contact details. People can opt to have their submission kept confidential by emailing NI_Legislation@infrastructure.gov.au. A summary about the submissions received will also be published to inform the community on the key comments and themes.


The Department will now consider all the information received and look at further engagement as part of the consultation process.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Update on Norfolk Island multipurpose health services facility plan

Thursday, July 04, 2019



The Australian Government is committed to engaging with the Norfolk Island community on the delivery of health and aged care services and is preparing for further consultations on the Health Service Plan for Norfolk Island.


As most residents would be aware, the Government, through the Department, contracted KPMG to develop an updated Health Service Plan for Norfolk Island, including a review of health services to inform the delivery of services into the future. Many of you shared your health and aged care views and experiences during community consultation meetings in December 2018 and February 2019.


KPMG has now provided the Department with a draft Health Services Plan for review together with a report that summarises feedback from the consultations and written submissions. Once these documents have been reviewed by the Department they will be released for public consultation, in line with the Community Engagement Framework which was developed in co-design with the Norfolk Island community.


Feedback from the Norfolk Island community on the draft Health Service Plan will help inform the future delivery of health and aged care services. It is anticipated that this next round of consultation and feedback will be sought between September and December of this year.


As I have said in an earlier communication, it is important that we all understand there is still further work to be done in relation to gaining Government approval before progressing to the preparation of design options for the new health facility. This includes ensuring any proposal submitted for funding has strong community support for the new facility.


Community trust and confidence in these processes is a key focus for the Government, myself and the Department, and we are committed to working with the community to ensure optimal outcomes.


If you, the community, have any questions or require any additional information prior to the next round of consultations, please contact the Office of the Administrator by email: office.administrator@regional.gov.au or phone 22152.


Eric Hutchinson

July 2019

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Community Matters - Have your say on proposed changes to local government elections laws

Friday, June 28, 2019



The Australian Government provides regular updates to the community on the development and progress of programs and services for Norfolk Island.


Have your say on proposed changes to local government elections laws

The Australian Government is asking the Norfolk community to have a say on proposed changes to the law dealing with Norfolk Island Regional Council elections.


To get ready for the council election, due to take place in September 2020, there needs to be a number of changes to the law to make sure it is fit for purpose.


The changes will ensure the law applying to NIRC elections is appropriate to the Island context and has a similar effect to the local government laws in NSW.


We are committed to continuing to keep the community informed and engaging with island residents. Anyone can have a say and give feedback on the proposed changes.


A discussion paper is available on the Department’s website that explains the changes, at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/legislation-updates.aspx or in hard copy at the Office of the Administrator.


Some of the topics covered in the paper include treatment of political parties, political donations, lobbying, who may vote and qualifications for holding public office.


Please send your written comments by 5pm Friday 26 July 2019 to NI_Legislation@infrastructure.gov.au or to Norfolk Island and Mainland Territories Branch, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, GPO Box 594, Canberra ACT 2601.


The department intends to publish all submissions to the discussion paper, unless a request is made for a submission to be kept confidential or a submission contains other information that is not suitable to publish.


Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

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Community Matters

Friday, June 28, 2019



Community Matters

The Australian Government provides regular updates to the community on the development and progress of programs and services for Norfolk Island.


Responding on education

The Australian Government values the contribution and engagement from everyone on Norfolk Island, including teaching staff and the parents and community members, who support the school on a daily basis. Securing a way forward with a new service delivery partner is one of the Australian Government’s highest priorities.


Following on from a series of meetings about education transition on Island last week, the department has been working closely with the NSW Government to provide responses to questions asked by both the NICS P&C and teachers.


In line with the Australian Government’s commitment to keep the community informed about the status of the work we are doing to secure an alternate provider, next week the department will be circulating update #4 of an Education Information series as well as an update for teachers which will address as many of the questions from last week as comprehensively as possible. These updates will be available from the P&C committee, NICS Principal or by contacting us at NI.Education@infrastructure.gov.au 


Minister Nola Marino is working hard on behalf of the community to secure a long term education partner for Norfolk Island. This will give students, staff, parents and the school community the certainty it needs going forward. While this work progresses, the Administrator, Eric Hutchinson will keep the Principal and staff informed to ensure the community receives information as it becomes available.


Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

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Community Matters

Friday, June 21, 2019


The Australian Government provides regular updates to the community on the development and progress of programs and services for Norfolk Island.

Passenger transfer vessels’ operation and maintenance - tender released on AusTender


The tender for the operation and maintenance of the passenger transfer vessels has been released on AusTender. 


An industry briefing on this opportunity will take place at Port Macquarie, NSW, on Thursday 27 June 2019. Potential tenderers will be given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the vessels while they are in the water for the final sea trials. Information on how to register for the industry briefing is available on AusTender.


If you are considering tendering for this opportunity, visit the AusTender website at www.tenders.gov.au, reference number 10017737.


Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development

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Norfolk Island maintenance works

Friday, June 21, 2019



With a number of maintenance activities now in progress, there are several other improvement projects about to start.


Work is under way at the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service to enclose the verandah, increasing the size of the residents’ sunroom. A new exit ramp is also being installed and the water storage capacity will be increased.   


The Soldiers Barracks carpets are being replaced, with the deteriorated condition of the existing carpets on all three levels of the building presenting a trip hazard for Norfolk Island Regional Council staff and visitors. The project, which is scheduled to start in July, also provides the opportunity to inspect the building’s timber floors and undertake repairs as required.


As mentioned by the Heritage Manager last week, the Slaughter Bay toilets are being upgraded to meet modern disability access standards and improve the amenities at the KAVHA site.


The external ramps and internal layout of the toilet building will be modified to enhance disability access and most internal fixtures will be replaced. A new ventilation system and privacy screens will be installed and floors and walls repainted. Once completed, the Slaughter Bay facilities will have a consistent look and feel with similar works being undertaken at Emily Bay. These works are also scheduled to start next month.


The components for the Norfolk Island Central School’s fire detection system will be shipped to Island shortly. The installation will be undertaken during school holidays to avoid disruption to classes.


Tenders have also been advertised for various other Australian Government funded construction projects at the school and KAVHA, scheduled for commencement in late 2019.


Eric Hutchinson

June 2019

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Bounty Day 2019

Friday, June 07, 2019



Bounty Day is a  most significant day of celebration for many people of Pitcairn descent on Norfolk Island.


I extend my best wishes for a most enjoyable day to those families who are participating in the Bounty Day re-enactment of the 1856 landing on Norfolk Island on Monday 10th  June,  and extend a welcoming invitation to them 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.


Eric Hutchinson

Administrator

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Update from Kingston and the World Heritage Site

Friday, May 24, 2019



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Community Matters

Friday, May 24, 2019



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Have your say on the Draft Development Control Plan for KAVHA

Friday, May 24, 2019


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Commonwealth Grants Commission Project – 2019 Norfolk Island Inquiry

Wednesday, May 08, 2019


The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (the Department) is pleased to confirm that it has asked the Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC) staff to undertake a costing of Norfolk Island services and its capacity to raise state and local government revenue.

This project will update the previous CGC staff inquiries conducted in 2006 and 2011 on Norfolk Island. The Reports from these inquiries and the 2019 Terms of Reference for this project can be found here: https://www.cgc.gov.au/inquiries/norfolk-island.


To complete the 2019 inquiry, CGC staff are required to review raw financial and economic data and use this to calculate the amount of annual expenditure, including infrastructure costs, required to provide state-type government services, local government services and support for state-type government business enterprises on Norfolk Island.


CGC staff are working closely with the Department and the Norfolk Island Regional Council on this project, as holders of the relevant financial and economic data. In line with the Department’s draft Community Engagement Framework, this piece of work is an ‘inform’ activity and there is no community consultation or participation required as it is based on objective data analysis. Any future projects arising from the outcomes of this inquiry may be subject to a different degree of community consultation.  


The Department anticipates that CGC staff will complete their final report in September 2019 and the findings will be made available on the CGC’s website.

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Artificial reproduction report released

Friday, April 26, 2019


I am pleased to announce that, after visiting Norfolk Island and meeting with locals in February this year, Dr Ian Lean, Managing Director of Scibus, has completed his report on ways to utilise artificial insemination and embryo transfer for ruminant livestock (cattle, sheep and goats) on Norfolk Island.

Dr Lean recognised the genuine urgency to produce new male genetics and made some sound recommendations on the way forward.

The report and its recommendations are an opportunity for the Australian Government, industry and community to work together to help improve the quality and genetic diversity of the local herds.

The ‘Proposal for Improving Ruminant Livestock Performance on Norfolk Island: Artificial Reproduction Focus’ report is available on the Department’s website at https://infrastructure.gov.au/NI-ruminants.

A working group consisting of industry and community representatives and the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities will come together to progress Dr Lean’s recommendations. 

If you would like to be a part of further discussions please contact my office on ph: 22152 or via email: office.administrator@infrastructure.gov.au.

Eric Hutchinson

April 2019

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Norfolk Island asbestos removal

Friday, April 19, 2019



Changes have been made to the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 to allow asbestos to be exported from Norfolk Island.


The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities worked closely with the Department of Jobs and Small Business and the Department of Home Affairs to change the law so that asbestos, and goods containing asbestos, can be exported from Norfolk Island to mainland Australia for disposal.


Asbestos disposal on Norfolk Island must still be in accordance with the Waste Management Act 2003 (NI). Any asbestos to be exported requires export permission for the asbestos to leave Norfolk Island, as well as an import permit for it to be received on the mainland.


The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency is responsible for administering the permission scheme for the export and import of asbestos on behalf of the Minister administering the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.


For more information, visit https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au/.


Eric Hutchinson

April 2019

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Legislation Updates — Criminal Justice

Friday, April 12, 2019



There have been changes to criminal justice laws to improve protections for people on Norfolk Island to ensure that the Norfolk Island police and courts have the ability to take action against people who perpetrate abuse or violence.


The new laws update definitions and increase penalties for some sexual offences, including those involving children and young people. They also introduced new sexual offences that deal with adults who are in positions of trust or authority in relation to young people.


Laws have also been updated to allow some telecommunications to be intercepted without a warrant in emergency situations, such as when lives or safety are threatened. The updated laws aim to better protect people at risk, allowing police to act more quickly to deal with violent crime.

The Norfolk Island community was consulted about these changes in discussions and meetings on island in March and April 2018, facilitated with the assistance of Justice Anthony Whealy QC.


A fact sheet detailing about these changes is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities website at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/ni-legislation


Ends.

Eric Hutchinson

April 2019

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Community Breakfast

Friday, April 12, 2019


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Norfolk Island Air Freight Services

Friday, April 05, 2019



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Connecting with the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area: Heritage Manager’s Update

Friday, March 29, 2019



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Water Workshop

Friday, March 29, 2019



Water Workshop – joint media release by the Controller, Bruce Walker, Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) together with the Administrator, Eric Hutchinson.

Water security is the reliable availability of an acceptable quantity and quality of water for health, livelihoods and production, coupled with an acceptable level of water-related risks. As such, water security is fundamental to the sustainability of any community, particularly to isolated communities such as Norfolk Island, as we all know well. While we are a most responsive and resilient community, shifting rainfall patterns, together with other extreme events or unexpected factors, could put our water security at risk. Fortunately, measures can be undertaken to reduce and manage this risk.

During the recent record-breaking dry weather, many members of the community raised concerns about Norfolk Island’s water security. In response, the Administrator, Eric Hutchinson, asked Emergency Management Norfolk Island (EMNI) to address the risk of a water emergency by treating water scarcity as it would a cyclone or tsunami. In line with EMNI’s motto of prepare for the worst, but hope for the best, EMNI has sought the support of Norfolk Island Regional Council to obtain information from landowners and business operators about water capacity and water usage. In addition, CSIRO has been engaged by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities to help understand the island’s ground and surface water resources. This information will assist in preventing and planning for an emergency water situation, that we hope will never occur.

The Department is also bringing to the island representatives from Emergency Management Australia, the Department of Defence, the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology for a workshop with the EMNI Committee and Functional Service Coordinators established under the Norfolk Island Disaster and Emergency Plan (NORDISPLAN). From this workshop, two key pieces of work can be progressed by the Norfolk Island Regional Council:

  1. Development of a Water Response Plan to guide local capability in the event of a water related emergency. 
  2. Development of a water resource strategy that considers short-, medium- and long-term measures to sustainably manage an increasingly scarce resource, shore up our water security and strengthen our ability to avoid a situation where we have a water emergency.

To complete this work, we need information from the community in the coming weeks. The EMNI Controller and the Administrator encourage all community members to work with the Council and CSIRO to build a better understanding of Norfolk Island’s water resources so that the best strategies may be put in place to manage our water and to protect the island’s water security. This includes information about domestic and business water holdings and consumption. We will provide more information about how the community can contribute to this vitally important exercise in the near future.

The Controller of Emergency Management Norfolk Island and the Administrator thank all participants for their involvement and thank the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities for assisting EMNI by bringing us all together for a workshop.

If you have any questions or comments or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of the Administrator on Office.Administrator@infrastructure.gov.au or visit the Emergency Management page on Council’s website.

Eric Hutchinson and Bruce Walker

March 2019

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NZ Flag half Mast

Thursday, March 21, 2019


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Voting in the upcoming Federal election

Thursday, March 21, 2019


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Norfolk Island Airport Runway Resurface Project

Thursday, March 21, 2019



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Artificial Insemination - Scribis Visits Norfolk Island

Friday, February 22, 2019


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Artificial Insemination - Scribis Visits Norfolk Island

Friday, February 22, 2019


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Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Community Advisory Group

Thursday, February 21, 2019


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Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility Plan

Thursday, February 14, 2019



As most residents would already be aware, the Australian Government is funding a project to develop a business case for a new health and aged care facility on Norfolk Island.


I would like to thank the many local community groups and residents who shared their health and aged care views and experiences during last week’s community consultation meetings and events to inform the revision of the Health Service Plan for Norfolk Island. This plan is an essential element for a business case to fund new facilities as it will describe the Island’s current and expected service needs. 


 Last week’s consultations provided the project team with an even greater appreciation of the Island’s health and aged care needs and an understanding of the expense and disruption to family life caused when people are required to travel long distances to access services. The community’s support and openness in sharing their experiences was much appreciated.


I encourage any interested residents that were unable to attend one of the consultation sessions to contribute prior to the 21 February closing date. The Community Feedback Form, in the Discussion Paper, is available at www.regional.gov.au/NI-MPS-Project. All submissions will be treated in confidence to ensure that privacy is respected. Personal information is not being sought as part of your submission, although any received will be collected in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.


The community will be kept informed and consulted as the project develops. The next opportunity for public input will be when the draft health services plan is released for public consultation. I will provide further information about the public consultation process in due course.


Subject to Government approval, the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities will engage a company to prepare design options for a new facility. Opportunities for community engagement and consultation will be provided throughout the design phase to ensure the proposal submitted for funding has strong community support for the new facility, is sympathetic to the local environment and respects the Island’s culture. I expect design consultation to commence later this year.


 It is important that we all understand there are still some hurdles to jump before funding can be approved and several years before the new health and aged care facilities are constructed on Norfolk Island. However, I am confident this community will continue to engage in this project with openness to create a facility that everyone can feel proud of.


Ends.


Eric Hutchinson

February 2019

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Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility Project Stage 2- On-Island Stakeholder Consultation

Friday, January 18, 2019



I am pleased to advise that the KPMG project team will be visiting the Island during the week commencing 4 February. This will provide further opportunities for residents and community groups to have their say on the future of health services for Norfolk Island.


From Monday 4 February the health services team will be available to meet with individuals and community groups that haven’t had the opportunity to contribute their views during the December consultations. Interested groups can request a meeting by contacting my office (on telephone 22152) by 25 January. I will liaise with KPMG to confirm a meeting schedule aimed at maximising the number of group interviews. 


As I advised in my 22 December update, KPMG identified four main priorities from their initial consultations: active ageing, health promotion and wellness, supporting visiting specialists and birthing services.


The KPMG team will be available for short meetings with interested community members to further explore these themes on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 February through a series of drop-in sessions.


These interviews will be limited to around 15 minutes to allow as many people as possible to contribute to the plan. Individual groups of less than three will also be able to put forward their views and find out more about what can be feasibly delivered to a remote community of around 1800 people. The timetable for these drop in sessions is:

  • 2:00 to 6:00 pm – Tuesday 5th February
  • 2:00 to 6:00 pm – Wednesday 6th February

All sessions will be held at #11 Quality Row.

The key issues identified from the consultation for future health service delivery and multipurpose health services facility will be discussed at a community meeting held at the Paradise Resort from 6.00 – 7.30 pm on Thursday 7 February. 


Whilst it is clearly not possible to provide a full suite of medical services to a remote community of around1800 people, the Australian Government is committed to providing Norfolk Island residents with the opportunity to shape the future of their health and aged care services.


The next stage of this project is for KPMG to prepare a draft Norfolk Island Health Service Plan informed by the outcomes of the consultations. I will provide further advice on the opportunity for the community to consider and provide comments on the Draft Plan.


It is essential for the community to consider that its concerns and aspirations for the future of health and aged care services are acknowledged in the endorsed Health Services Plan. This document will underpin the design of the largest infrastructure project in Norfolk Island’s history.


Ends.

Eric Hutchinson

January 2019

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Norfolk Island Heritage Manager Appointed

Friday, January 18, 2019


I am pleased to announce that the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities has appointed Martin Purslow as the new Heritage Manager for KAVHA. Martin will move to Norfolk Island with his wife Sue.

Martin has a strong background in historic heritage, with more than 20 years in operational and strategic management of cultural heritage on the mainland and overseas. He has recently returned from England where he was CEO of the Weald and Downland Museum in England. Prior to this, Martin spent 10 years heading up the National Trust of Australia in Victoria.


Martin is excited by the opportunity to work on Norfolk Island and sees tremendous potential in KAVHA.


I understand that Martin will start his position in mid-February; in time for the next KAVHA Advisory Committee Meeting.


Martin’s leadership will be an enormous asset to KAVHA and I’m sure you will join me in extending a warm welcome to Martin as he settles in.


Ends.


Eric Hutchinson

January 2019

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Join us for Australia Day

Thursday, January 10, 2019


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Information Session Vocational Education and Training Financial Assistance Initiative

Thursday, December 20, 2018



The Australian Government is launching the Norfolk Island VET Financial Assistance Initiative to make it easier for Norfolk Island Residents to access VET at TAFE or a vocational education and training institution including apprenticeships and traineeships.


The Initiative will reimburse Norfolk Island VET students the difference between the course fee they pay and the fee they would pay, for the same course, in another state or territory. The initiatives will commence on 2 January 2019 and will be delivered by PeoplePlus.


The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities and PeoplePlus will be holding an Information Session for Norfolk Island Residents who are interested in undertaking VET at 5pm, Wednesday 16 January 2019 at NI Connect (located between Wrap & Roll Cafe and The Bounty Centre).


For further information please visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/norfolk-island-vet, contact PeoplePlus on 22562 or email

norfolkislandadmin@peopleplusaustralia.com.au.

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Administrator’s Christmas Message 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018



Well another year has almost come and gone and like every year there have been many highlights.


As Administrator I am often asked to speak at public events and some events will remain firmly in my mind as highlights from 2018. Firstly to be asked by the RSL Sub-Branch to again give the ANZAC Day Dawn Service address this year was a great honour and one I take very seriously. The 25th of April 2018 was a very wet day on Norfolk Island and the service was moved from Emily Bay to All Saints for very good reason. A number of local people helped with and inspired the words for my contribution; the culmination of the Centenary of ANZAC commemorations and I thank them sincerely for their assistance; they know who they are.

Similarly to have been asked to speak at the Remembrance Day Service only last month, on the 100th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in Europe in 1918 was truly a moving experience.


Citizenship ceremonies are always poignant and I was again privileged to preside at an event earlier this year to welcome two people who call Norfolk Island home, as they took their oaths to become Australian citizens.


Significant effort has been made in the past twelve months to improve the way in which the Commonwealth consults with local stakeholders and the community more broadly in respect of legislative changes, services and future infrastructure projects on Norfolk Island. I remain committed to seeing this continue and encourage members of the community to actively provide feedback on those policy areas of importance.


Examples would include the updated NI laws relating to Child and Family Wellbeing and more recently the initial discussions with stakeholders around scoping the range of services and new infrastructure required when planning the suite of services and a new hospital and aged care facility for the Norfolk Island community. I am determined over the coming months to ensure that every community member who wants to contribute to this process is given an opportunity to do so. We want a new facility to be one the community is rightly proud of and one which is fit for purpose and reflective of the remoteness and circumstances specific to Norfolk Island.


Last year in this Christmas message I posed the question of how one might measure success in the year ahead and the areas I would be focusing upon. With some hesitation I revisited my article from last year……

  • There are increased opportunities for young people who have trained or worked on the mainland to come back home and find productive employment on the island. This is particularly true in the health, aged care and disability service sectors.
  • Being able to now access subsidised Vocational Education and Training opportunities is something that will benefit many young people on Norfolk Island.
  • Fee relief is now available for parents using Early Childhood Education at Banyan Park.
  • Additional effort is required in respect of governance arrangements, but KAVHA is rebuilding a programme of cyclical maintenance and has a small team dedicated to work in this area. A new Commonwealth Heritage Manager will be appointed in the coming weeks.
  • Investment activity on the island is positive, with a number of new businesses opening recently and domestic building activity remains strong.
  • Laws relating to protecting vulnerable women and children have been updated and additional services to support families are now in place.

Many positive things have been achieved in the past twelve months and again I encourage any member of the community that has suggestions or concerns to contact my office directly to arrange an appointment. My door is open and I am committed to working alongside those community members who want positive outcomes for Norfolk Island.


2018 was a year that I trust the Norfolk Island community will look back on with some degree of pride. I think of the success achieved at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, of the junior Wa’a outriggers who have represented both Norfolk Island and Australia at international competitions and of the extraordinary performances of Arki Nobbs on stage, here and on the mainland.


To all those community members who willingly give of their time as volunteers to support local clubs and associations, I say thank you on behalf of your community; we would all be poorer without your efforts.

To the 2018 NICS Leavers, I wish you every success in your future endeavours and always remember in addition to being proud of where you come from; be kind, have a few really trusted friends and pursue things that make you happy. Life is very short.


To the small business owners on the island who have had challenges to deal with in the past twelve months, this is something I understand and acknowledge. Your resourcefulness and resilience demands respect and I take my hat off to all of those who invest in Norfolk Island, employ local people and demonstrate confidence in the island’s future.


As Administrator since April 2017, I have answered now to four Federal Ministers responsible for Territories. I can honestly say that all of these people have had Norfolk Island’s best interests at heart, but it has been my job to also remind them of the challenges and difficulties faced by this community either as individuals or collectively. As long as I remain in this role I will continue to be a strong advocate for you; the Norfolk Island community.


Personally 2018 has had its challenges, so it is that I am grateful to those good people I have to support me in my work. To Fiona, Barbara and Di in particular thank you for your professionalism and friendship.


Outside of work, my highlight must surely be the time spent rehearsing and performing with such a wonderful group of people in the NATS production of ‘It Runs in the Family’. It was fabulous fun and the sense of camaraderie and exhilaration that came, is not easily replicated.


Norfolk Island can change a person I have discovered; for one thing I can’t ever remember ever having wanted to attempt to compose poetry before arriving here. Although I do still have my local critics, making rhyming words brings a simple pleasure and the following is an extract from an invitation I recently sent to some friends:


If you’ve looked at your calendar lately, you would know now the year has just flown,

Christmas is now right upon us and the New Year is hurrying us on.

Whilst this time is all about families and to spend time with those that we love,

For me it’s also a chance to say thank you, and be grateful for the friends that I have.

 

I’m privileged to have spent time on Norfolk, to her kin and the friendships I’ve made,

There are people who have made me feel special, we’ve shared food and many good times,

I want you to know I’ll always be grateful for the kind way you’ve welcomed me here,

And I trust as the years drift behind us, that these friendships will always stay dear.

In closing, may I wish all those who call this very special island home, to you and yours, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Eric Hutchinson - Administrator of Norfolk Island

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Changes to Support Norfolk Island Regional Council Elections

Friday, December 07, 2018



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

Thursday, November 15, 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

Wednesday, November 07, 2018


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

Wednesday, November 07, 2018



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

Friday, November 02, 2018


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

Thursday, November 01, 2018



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

Thursday, November 01, 2018



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

Friday, October 19, 2018


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

Friday, September 14, 2018


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Daylight Saving from 2019

Friday, September 14, 2018


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Government House Charity 'Open Days'

Friday, August 10, 2018


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

Friday, June 22, 2018



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

Thursday, June 07, 2018


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

Tuesday, May 29, 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

Thursday, April 26, 2018



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

Thursday, April 19, 2018



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

Thursday, April 19, 2018


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Consultation paper on changes to criminal laws on Norfolk Island

Friday, March 30, 2018



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

Friday, March 30, 2018


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New education laws for Norfolk Island

Friday, March 30, 2018



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

Please 'contact us' for more information.

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018



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Helping families in today’s world

Thursday, March 08, 2018



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

Friday, February 02, 2018



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

Friday, January 12, 2018



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

Friday, January 12, 2018



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

Friday, January 05, 2018



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

Friday, December 22, 2017


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Awards on Australia Day 2018

Friday, December 01, 2017



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

Thursday, November 30, 2017



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

Thursday, November 23, 2017



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

Thursday, November 23, 2017



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

Thursday, November 16, 2017



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

 

 

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New education laws for Norfolk Island

Thursday, November 16, 2017



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

Thursday, November 16, 2017



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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New education laws for Norfolk Island

Friday, November 10, 2017



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


 

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Remembrance Day 2017

Friday, November 10, 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

Thursday, November 02, 2017


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

Thursday, October 26, 2017



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

Friday, October 20, 2017


  • 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

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Further Visit by Officers from Prime Minister and Cabinet

Thursday, October 19, 2017


“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.”

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Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area Advisory Committee Reappointed

Friday, September 29, 2017


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Proposed changes to modernise laws on Norfolk Island

Thursday, September 28, 2017



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

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Proposed changes to modernise laws on Norfolk Island- Attachment A

Thursday, September 28, 2017


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

Thursday, September 21, 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

Friday, September 15, 2017


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

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Update on reforms and Australian Government visitors

Friday, September 15, 2017



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

Thursday, September 07, 2017



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

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Changes supporting children and families on Norfolk Island

Friday, September 01, 2017



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

 

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Consultation set to begin on Norfolk Island to manage radiation services

Tuesday, August 29, 2017



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

 

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Regional Development Australia Network expanded to the external territories

Thursday, August 24, 2017


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

Thursday, August 24, 2017


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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Expressions of Interest for the Museum Trust

Thursday, August 24, 2017



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

Thursday, August 17, 2017



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

Thursday, August 17, 2017



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

Friday, August 11, 2017


  • 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

Monday, July 17, 2017



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

Thursday, July 13, 2017



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

Friday, July 07, 2017



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

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