Joint Standing Committee on National Capital and External Territories
Inquiry into Governance on Norfolk Island: Part 2 - Financial Sustainability of Current Governance Arrangements
Terms of reference
Based on the terms of reference a list of key issues the committee intends to address are:
- Budgeting and financial performance, including revenue raising
- How effectively and appropriately has the Norfolk Island Government used the economic management tools available to it to date? For example:
- Financial reporting, accountability and review mechanisms;
- Financial planning and forward estimating.
- What resources are available to the Norfolk Island Government to improve economic and financial management?
- How effective and appropriate has the Norfolk Island Governments revenue raising been to date? Has it struck an appropriate and fair balance for Island residents between imposts on residents wealth, income and consumption? Do the Islands current and proposed taxes and charges fall fairly on all Island residents? What are the realistically achievable revenue raising options available to the Norfolk Island Government?
- How do the charges imposed on Island residents by Norfolk Island Telecom, the Norfolk Island Hospital Enterprise, the Administrations Electricity Service and other Government owned and administered business enterprises compare with charges imposed by similar Government Business Enterprises on the mainland. Have these fees and charges changed over time and how are they likely to change into the future? How has and will this impact on the cost of living for Island residents?
- Is there the capacity on-island to administer, monitor and enforce an efficient and equitable revenue raising regime? Do changes need to be made? Is there a need for a Federal Government role or advice and assistance with respect to revenue raising on the Island?
- Is there a need for a greater or lesser Federal Government role in economic and financial management such as the recent expert assistance provided by the Federal Departments of Finance and Treasury to the Norfolk Island Government in the Focus 2002 Review and in the Norfolk Island Revenue Review Project? If so, how should that advice and assistance be provided?
- Should Norfolk Island be included in contemporary financial sharing arrangements that exist between the Federal Government and the other State and Territory Governments, including the role played by the Commonwealth Grants Commission in assisting to determine the level of federal funding allocated to each State and Territory?
- Levels of service provision and regulation
- How effectively and appropriately are services and benefits being provided to the Island community?
- Are services and benefits being provided to Island residents at an appropriate standard, fairly and equitably? How do the levels of services and benefits provided to residents compare to those provided to other equivalent Australian communities?
- What support services and benefits are available to those less well off in the community?
- How is the level and nature of services and benefits required by the community likely to change into the future?
- What is the appropriate delivery agent for certain services the Island government, the Federal Government or agencies of another State or Territory Government or of the Federal Government under service delivery arrangements or contract with the Norfolk Island Government?
- How effective and appropriate has the Norfolk Island Governments legal regime been? Is there currently a contemporary legal regime that provides appropriate legal protections and rights for Island residents? How has the administration and enforcement of the laws enacted by the Island Government been implemented and resourced? What capacity is available for it to be adequately resourced and administered into the future?
- Is there a need for a greater or lesser role by the Federal Government. For example, how can the close cooperative arrangements that exist between Norfolk Island Customs and Quarantine and Federal Government Customs and Quarantine be improved?
- Capital Works, Infrastructure, Plant and Equipment
- State of Island infrastructure, plant and equipment (for example, roads and walkways, electricity generation and transmission, hospital buildings and associated medical and dental equipment, the Norfolk Island school buildings and equipment and materials provided for education, telecommunications, radio communications, satellite and tv services, emergency services including search and rescue and ambulance and fire services, waste disposal, sewerage and water assurance, pier and lighterage equipment, Administration vehicles and equipment)
- Maintenance of real value of assets base and allowances for depreciation
- Life-cycle planning and programming of upgrading and replacement for infrastructure and plant and equipment
- The capacity to fund the Islands infrastructure and equipment needs to date and into the future
- Is there a need for a greater or lesser role by the Federal Government, both financial and non-financial (such as through the provision of technical expertise)?
- Planning, Evaluation and Review of Government Activity
- Overall planning for the Islands future needs and demographic changes
- Administrative capacity of the Territorys machinery of government
- Training and upgrading of public sector workforce skills
- Corporate management of Government Business Enterprises
- Participation in national forums with Commonwealth, States and other Territories
- Capacity to remedy matters requiring attention, identified in earlier reviews/reports by bodies both on and off the Island
- Is there a need for a greater or lesser Federal Government role, for example, through the provision of advice and assistance?
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