03 September 2015
Norfolk Island's year round time zone is changing permanently. It means in the early hours of Sunday 4 October 2015 at 2am, Norfolk Island time will become 1.30am. Residents and visitors will need to set their clocks and watches back by half an hour as they go to bed on the night of Saturday 3 October 2015. I will again remind residents closer to the date.
This change will provide easier access for local businesses when engaging the mainland. This is also likely to bring increased opportunities and appeal for the Island's major tourist market.
The change to a recognised time zone also resolves technical issues with computers and other electronic equipment experienced by people living on Norfolk Island.
The new Norfolk Island time zone will be GMT + 11 (or UTC +11 hours).
The change is consistent with consultations undertaken by the former Legislative Assembly earlier this year. The Assembly passed a Standard Time Bill in April 2015. It was championed by former Minister Tim Sheridan who saw this as a positive move for Norfolk Island. As the NI Bill did not receive Royal Assent prior to the commencement of new governance arrangements, the Bill lapsed.
Given this, the change of time zone required the development of two new Commonwealth Ordinances, the Norfolk Island Standard Time Ordinance 2015 and the Norfolk Island Continued Laws Amendment (Standard Time) Ordinance 2015. These were approved by His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia today.
Interestingly, during Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (which also commences on 4 October) Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT will adopt Norfolk Island's new time for about 6 months every year. This will help the tourism industry on Island and provide some real marketing opportunities to the major mainland market.
It also means Norfolk Island Time will be enjoyed by about 15 million other Australians as they “catch up” to us during the east coast daylight saving months.
The Hon Gary Hardgrave