Keeping the Norfolk Island Community Updated
13 December 2018
During my visit to Norfolk Island in November, a few people asked me for more regular updates about key projects, and how they can feed into the process. I hope the following information will be of some assistance in keeping you across the latest.
I understand the community is concerned about the presence of banana weevils on the Island, and the possible impact of this pest. I have asked my Department to investigate the extent to which banana weevil may be present on Norfolk Island, and to seek advice from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and other professionals on how best to address it. I am also engaging with my colleagues and advocating to ensure that timely advice is provided when pests are identified on the Island. My Department will naturally continue to work in consultation with the Council on pest management going forward.
Norfolk Island Multipurpose Health Services Facility Project
I am very pleased that KPMG has started to consult this week with health professionals on the design of the new health facility. Broad community consultation will also be undertaken early next year (I anticipate in February). Closer to this time, individuals and groups will have an opportunity to indicate their interest in being part of a community consultative group. This group will be sourced from a broad representation across the community, and support broader community consultations. More information about the new health facility and these consultations will be provided via a newspaper article on 22 December, from my Department.
As part of the 2019 Budget I hope to be able to fund a monthly freight service with additional flights in periods of peak demand. In the interim, I am pleased to let you know that the Australian Government will fund additional freight flights in the first half of 2019 to support the community’s needs. My Department will work with Burnt Pine travel to arrange these flights.
In response to a request from the Norfolk Island community, legislation has now been passed to allow for daylight saving to start on the Island in October 2019. While I understand daylight saving can cause early mornings for people working in certain industries, it is a great opportunity for the tourism sector to maximise the benefits of extended daylight hours in summer.
As mentioned during my recent visit, we are working towards extending the Commonwealth corporations, broadcasting and bankruptcy laws to Norfolk Island in early 2019. During my visit I heard people say they are concerned about unintended consequences that could arise from the application of legislation. Therefore, I will ensure a two week period is available for people to provide their views about any unintended consequences that could arise, and we will work with you to identify options to address this.
As mentioned in earlier messages, we will be working directly with the community to design service and delivery arrangements on Norfolk Island. Our particular focus is on those services that will be affected in 2021 by the recent announcement from the NSW Government. Engagement with the Community will commence in February 2019, with further consultation to continue.
Once again, thank you for working with us in our joint goal for a prosperous and happy Norfolk Island. While the year is not yet over, I wish to re-iterate that I am really looking forward to continuing to work with you into the New Year.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, or a particular matter on which you would like an update, please contact the Administrator’s office.