Appointment of Norfolk Island Administrator
17 June 2014
Today I am pleased to announce that the Hon Gary Hardgrave has been appointed as the 37th Administrator of Norfolk Island.
The two year appointment, to commence on 1 July 2014, was made by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).
Mr Hardgrave served as the federal member for Moreton from 1996 to 2007 and held the ministerial portfolios of Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Vocational and Technical Education and was the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister.
As a former Minister, Mr Hardgrave is well placed to support the Australian Government's reform agenda for Norfolk Island in close consultation with the community.
The Australian Government is committed to a broad reform agenda for Norfolk Island including integration with Australia's taxation and social security systems, and examining the most appropriate governance for the Island. These reforms will be considered by Cabinet later this year.
To address the immediate needs of Norfolk Island, the 2014 Budget committed up to $7.5 million to support essential services including education, health care and policing, with an additional $2 million to fund ongoing governance reforms.
A recent audit by the Australian National Audit Office forecast unfunded deficits for the Norfolk Island Government of $7.4 million in 2014-15. The funds set aside in the Budget will support the Norfolk Island Government whilst also requiring it to meet specific reform objectives to improve transparency and reduce the Island's deficit.
The Australian Government is also investing in Norfolk Island's economic development by committing $13 million to build productivity enhancing infrastructure projects, including an upgrade of Cascade Pier to stimulate tourism and improve freight management.
We have also recently extended Air New Zealand's air services contract to ensure regular flights to and from Norfolk Island continue until at least 31 July 2016.
I would like to thank outgoing Administrator Mr Neil Pope for his outstanding job in bringing the community together in support of reform. I would also like to extend my thanks to Mrs Pope, for her dedication to the Norfolk Island community and her invaluable charitable work. I wish them the very best for the future.