Keeping the Norfolk Island community updated
08 November 2018
I am looking forward to visiting the Island in just over a week’s time. I have so far planned visits to the school, NI-Connect, Banyan Park and Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service. I also look forward to visiting the National Park and the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area.
I am pleased that, due to the success of the Argentine Ant Eradication Program, the Australian Government has committed an additional $40,000 for the Yamaha Fazer Drone to remain on the Island and continue its work. I congratulate the Norfolk Island Regional Council for its collaboration with the CSIRO on this important project which is protecting the Island’s biodiversity.
With respect to biosecurity, I understand a community meeting will be held soon on this topic. I look forward to hearing the outcome. In particular, to better understanding people’s views on how to get the balance right to ensure the Island is protected, while also supporting businesses to operate and contribute to the local community. I am working with my Ministerial colleagues to identify what options may be available. During my upcoming visit, I will meet with those impacted by biosecurity issues and provide an update on those discussions.
I am pleased to advise that planning is underway for consultation on the new Health Facility Project. In mid-December the Government will commence consultation with the community and specialist health care experts. The first step is to update the 2015 Norfolk Island Health Services Plan. This will help us all gain an understanding of the design requirements of the new facility and a first draft of the updated plan is scheduled for completion in late January. During my visit I will be meeting with the director and staff of the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service as well as spending time at the current facility, to help me understand the issues and opportunities for the community.
This month, the Government will underwrite an air freight flight from Sydney to Norfolk Island. Bart Murray of Burnt Pine Travel is arranging this flight with the financial support of the Government. I know that this flight will help with pre-Christmas deliveries to businesses and residents.
As mentioned previously, I would like to meet as many people as possible during my upcoming visit and will make time to meet individual residents. Please contact Eric Hutchinson, the Administrator, if you would like to meet with me, or if you have any questions or particular matters on which you would like an update.