Australia Parliament Strips Norfolk Island Of Autonomy

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Canberra ignores referendum results asking for say in future status

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 15, 2015) – Both houses of Australia's parliament have passed legislation stripping Norfolk Island of its political autonomy.

Norfolk Island has had significant autonomy since 1979, but the law change will shut its parliament and reduce the administration to that of a local-level regional council.

The final reading of the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Bill was completed in the Senate today in just a few minutes, without any dissenting comment.

Less than a week ago Norfolk Island completed a referendum in which a large majority asked Canberra to allow the islanders some say in determining their political future before any vote happened.

But Norfolk's Culture Minister, Robin Adams, says their wishes have been ignored.

She says it's the first time an Australian government has removed a democratically elected parliament and the right to self-government.

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