Call For Australia To Revisit Removal Of Norfolk Autonomy

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Would shift fed and state level power to local government status

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 23, 2015) – A former chief minister of Norfolk Island says Australia will have to re-think plans to remove the island's autonomy.

Since 1979 Norfolk Island has federal and state level power but under new legislation Canberra will cut this to local government status.

The Australian government says the changes are necessary and long overdue.

But former chief minister and businessman, Andre Nobbs, says he and many others on Norfolk are gutted by the planned changes.

He says Canberra will need to rethink, not least because of the cost to the Australian taxpayer.

"Compared to the model that we were using before that was more about practical delivery and good work ethic and making a productive outcome from the island rather than turning it into a welfare state. Do I think that they will reconsider it in Canberra? I think at some point they're going to have to. I just hope that it occurs before they've decimated the race of people that call Norfolk home."

Former Norfolk chief minister, Andre Nobbs.

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