Looking to a stronger future for Norfolk Island

The year 2020 has been unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our economy and way of life, with significant impacts on tourism for our small Island communities.

We had to focus on getting the balance right – between protecting the community from a global health crisis and managing the economic impacts of the pandemic.

The Australian Government has delivered a tailored economic stimulus package for Norfolk Island to support your economy and local jobs through COVID-19, and ensure the Island remains a world-class destination to visit, work and live.

Works are progressing well across the 22 COVID-19 stimulus package projects, with a number now near completion. These projects not only provide an immediate economic and labour boost through the pandemic, but are also important upgrades to community infrastructure for residents and tourists alike.

I know travel restrictions saw your tourism sector affected and visitor numbers decrease but it is promising to see traveller demand steadily increasing as borders re-open. Government initiatives like the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Package funding have seen significant progress on key projects for the Kingston World Heritage site over the past year. These projects ensure that when visitors return to the Island, they are met with infrastructure and amenities to support and enhance the natural and cultural landscape of Norfolk Island.

Investment in the sustainability of Norfolk Island has been a key focus. The commencement of the artificial reproduction for livestock project supports the long-term viability of Norfolk Island’s agriculture industry.

Together with your Administrator, Eric Hutchison, I say thank you, for your resilience and your ongoing commitment to Norfolk Island and its future.

Over the next few weeks, as we come together to celebrate, bid farewell to the past year and look forward with optimism for the next, I encourage you all to remain safe and follow local guidelines to continue to protect yourselves, your families and communities.

Have a safe and happy festive season.