Work ongoing - Norfolk Island Regional Council audit next steps

Work is ongoing to inform the Australian Government’s response and next steps on the governance and financial audit of Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) operations, to best support the long-term sustainability of the Council.

The findings and recommendations of the audit are detailed and complex, reflecting the significant situation NIRC is facing.

They cover a wide range of issues, across more than 100 recommendations, relating to Australian Government responsibilities, as well as those of NIRC. The recommendations go to NIRC governance, financial performance, financial sustainability, and operations, including the need for improvements to systems and processes.

It is critical that due regard is given to all the recommendations, particularly noting that some would take a lengthy period of time to implement and require significant financial commitments.

Last week, officers from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications met with NIRC to gather further information on the quantum of support being sought from the Australian Government for payment of immediate critical priorities, such as staff salaries. This additional information is now part of considerations on next steps.

I know NIRC and the community are awaiting further updates. Noting the complexity and significance of these matters, I will continue to provide information as considerations progress and decisions are made.

The independent audit reports can be found on the department’s website at www.regional.gov.au/territories/norfolk_island/governance/nirc.aspx.