Legislation passed for Norfolk Island reforms

Media Release

JB051/2015

14 May 2015

Today the Australian Parliament passed the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill 2015, ending decades of uncertainty for the residents of Norfolk Island.

Thanks to the hard work of the Norfolk Island community and with strong bipartisan support from the Australian Labor Party, The Greens and independent Senators, this Bill will help build a stronger and more prosperous future for all Island residents.

For the first time Norfolk Island residents will have access to social security payments and quality health services that all Australians expect and deserve.

Norfolk Island will also enter our mainstream taxation system for the first time and gain access to a broad range of Australian Government programmes to help improve vital infrastructure and other community assets.

Parliament has been united in its support for these significant reforms which will deliver equity and economic stability, and ensure that Norfolk Island residents have the same rights and responsibilities as other Australians.

The passage of this Bill is the culmination of over two decades of hard work and dedication from many people.

I would like to acknowledge the Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon, the Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann, Senator for ACT Zed Seselja and the members of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and the External Territories, in particular committee Chair, the Member for Cowan Luke Simpkins, for their commitment to helping deliver these reforms.

I would also like to thank Norfolk Island Administrators past and present, including the previous Administrator the Hon Neil Pope AM and current Administrator the Hon Gary Hardgrave.

The Australian Government will continue to actively and regularly consult with the Norfolk Island community to ensure all residents have significant input into their governance including though the Norfolk Island Advisory Council.

Norfolk Island is and will always be a truly special part of Australia and I look forward to working with the residents of Norfolk Island to build a better and more prosperous future.