03 June 2015
From Tuesday 9 June until Friday 12 June 2015, the Norfolk Island community are encouraged to make a time to speak with visiting Australian Government staff about government payments, visas and tax.
The new Australian Government Information Centre is located at the World Traders Building in Burnt Pine and will open during business hours on weekdays. The community can access computer terminals to source information, brochures, factsheets and other materials.
Staff will be available in the centre by appointment, to answer your individual questions, discuss your general situation and also explain changes for the Norfolk Island community that commence from 1 July 2016. Staff will help you to understand how these changes will affect you, and what you may have to do to prepare for them.
Information available during this period will include:
- the tax system, including what you will pay tax on and how much tax you might have to pay.
- a broad range of government payments and services for individuals including Medicare, Age Pension, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Newstart Allowance and concession cards.
- student payments, child support, payment for carers, and family assistance payments to help with the cost of raising children.
Department of Immigration and Border Protection staff will also be available to meet with New Zealand and other non-Australian citizens by appointment to discuss transitioning them from Norfolk Island permits to an Australian visa, and discuss requirements for Australian citizenship.
Immigration staff are particularly interested to meet with community members who are not Australian citizens to gain an understanding of their circumstances, such as their length of time on the island, the type of permit they are on and their long term intentions, to ensure their situation is encompassed in the proposed model to transition them to an Australian visa.
The Information Centre is part of the community support provided by the Australian Government leading up to the implementation of changes which will begin on 1 July 2016.
Notification about information sessions over the coming months, including opening hours, will be communicated widely, including through Radio Norfolk 89.9FM, on the website infrastructure.gov.au/norfolk-island-reform, The Norfolk Islander newspaper, a fortnightly Norfolk Island Reform newsletter, notices in the new Information Centre and brochures in post boxes.
While all efforts will be made to assist residents where possible, staff at the Information Centre will only be able to answer general questions and provide general information on the reforms and how these may affect you.
Individual circumstances can vary. Residents should pause and make considered and fully informed decisions that may have major financial implications for them, especially as Australia's social security, taxation, immigration and health systems will not be formally extended to the Island until 1 July 2016.
To make an appointment for the June visit, please contact the Office of the Administrator on 22152 or email NorfolkIslandReform@infrastructure.gov.au
The Hon Gary Hardgrave