Most Commonwealth laws to extend to Norfolk Island

Media Release

PF031/2016

24 February 2016

Legislation introduced into Parliament today will extend most Commonwealth laws to Norfolk Island, including the Fair Work Act 2009, and reform federal electoral arrangements for the territory.

“This Bill continues the Australian Government's commitment to reform Norfolk Island and provide its Australian citizens with the same rights and responsibilities as on the mainland,” Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, Paul Fletcher said.

From 1 July 2016, most Commonwealth laws will apply to Norfolk Island unless they have been specifically excluded.

“One of the key changes is that compulsory enrolment and voting in federal elections will apply to Australian citizens on Norfolk Island. Norfolk Islanders will vote in the division of Canberra and be represented by ACT Senators,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The Australian Government is committed to strengthening Norfolk Island's economy. Implementing the national workplace relations framework through the Fair Work Act 2009 is an important part of the reform process.

“Employers will be given time to adjust to the changes with the national minimum wage and Modern Award conditions being phased-in.”

The Australian Government will work closely with residents to inform them of the changes and assist with transitional arrangements.

The Bill will also correct inconsistencies in Commonwealth legislation by ensuring New Zealand citizens on Norfolk Island are able to access the social security system on the same terms as on the mainland, aligning the early claim period for child support and social security payments on Norfolk Island, and extending the child support framework to Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.