Royal Commission - Bridging the Divide

Excerpts from the Ordinary Council Meeting 19 August 2020


In addition to meeting its usual responsibilities Council has also directed a lot of effort toward the recovery and renewal of Norfolk Island post 2020.


Although Norfolk Island’s participation in Commonwealth taxation and social welfare systems has greatly assisted in mitigating against the full financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is our strong view that a full recovery for Norfolk Island will not be possible without substantial amendments to the current legislative and financial arrangements it currently shares with the Commonwealth. Council has already taken the first small step toward achieving this outcome by commissioning a full independent governance and financial audit of all operations of the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC).


With respect to our Islands capacity for renewal, and in an effort to maximise our community’s chance at enjoying the future they deserve, it is necessary to acknowledge and confront some of the key matters which have historically fostered division between Norfolk Island and the Commonwealth. The Motion below proposes a mechanism to address these matters by requesting, amongst other things, that the Australian Government establish a ROYAL COMMISSION to inquire into, and make recommendations on, the most appropriate form of government for Norfolk Island, and provide options for how Norfolk Island and the

Commonwealth Government can better co-operate, collaborate and partner to build a bridge toward a better and more unified future for all.


MOTION


Recognising, the need to ensure absolute independence and to maximise community confidence and trust in the outcomes of the process,


Council calls on - The Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The HON Nola Marino MP, to advocate to the Australian Government that a Royal Commission funded by the Commonwealth be formally established by the Governor-General to inquire into and to report and make recommendations on:

Options to provide for the most appropriate form of government for the non-selfgoverning territory of Norfolk Island that can achieve the majority support of the Norfolk Island People; and build a pathway to peace.

THE INQUIRY AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO EXTEND TO AND CONSIDER:


a) Commonwealth commitments made to the Norfolk Island Government through the ‘Norfolk Island Roadmap 2 March 2011’.


b) The view of the Norfolk Island Government expressed in 2015 that the Commonwealth Parliament was misled during the passage of the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (Clth), having particular regard to the incorrect claim that: ‘the overwhelming view of the community is the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly should now be abolished and replaced, after a transitional period to effect changes to the governance structures for service delivery, by a local government type body’.



Read the Ordinary Council Meeting Minutes from 19 August 2020

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