Restoring democracy on Norfolk Island

Issue date: Monday, 27 November 2023

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The Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories has today released its report for its inquiry into local governance on Norfolk Island. The Committee has made seven recommendations which provide the foundation for a new democratically elected governing body to be established on the island.

Chair of the Committee, Ms Alicia Payne MP, said: ‘the Committee is proud to be part of the process of restoring democracy to Norfolk Island. It has recommended the creation of a new bespoke governing body comprising a majority of locally elected members working with representatives appointed by the Australian Government to deliver the best outcomes for Norfolk Islanders and Australians alike’.

‘Central to the Committee’s recommendations is the inclusion of a preamble in the governing legislation’, Ms Payne said.‘The purpose of this preamble is to recognise the unique culture, traditions, heritage and history of Norfolk Island, and to set out the nature of the relationship between Norfolk Island and Australia now and into the future’.

Other recommendations made in the report relate to building local capacity on Norfolk Island to support the new governance arrangements, the need for broad community consultation to inform the final governance model, and for that model to be determined by a binding compulsory vote of registered voters on Norfolk Island.

The Committee has recommended that the findings of its report be referred to the newly established Norfolk Island Governance Committee for further consultation with the community.

The full report can be found on the Committee’s inquiry webpage.

Media inquiries

Hamish McLennan
Office of Alicia Payne MP, Committee Chair
0421 276 788

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4355

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track this Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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