13 November 2014
An estimated audience of 300 took the opportunity to express their views about the Island's future.
Discussion on the recommendations on future governance arrangements for Norfolk Island from the Australian Parliament's Joint Standing Committee of the National Capital and External Territories included a vocal few and a silent many who contributed through notes and other expressions.
The Forum was facilitated by Ms Vivien Twyford and followed on from recent consultations I have had with groups such as Members of the Legislative Assembly, the Council of Elders and the Chamber of Commerce.
The Forum was very instructive to me. It was a shame a number of people were not able to comment publicly because they felt uncomfortable in expressing their views. I was gratified to receive a number of comments and calls since the meeting expressing support in creating a better Norfolk Island. I am a great believer in collaboration which allows people to have their say, in a respectful and constructive way.
The clear message to me was people need to be confident reform will improve their standard of living and opportunity.
A report on the meeting will be made available to those who registered on the night. It will also assist me in the report I will make to the Assistant Minister following further public and private meetings.
His Honour the Hon. Gary Hardgrave