Community matters—12 May

The Australian Government provides regular updates to the community on the development and progress of programs and services for Norfolk Island.

Freight flights to remove freight backlog

To ease the backlog of materials that have accumulated in recent months, the Australian Government has arranged two freight-only services to fly to Norfolk Island, from Sydney and Brisbane, on the 22 and 23 May 2018.

The Department understands that the freight backlog has been caused by a number of factors such as strong passenger demand on Air New Zealand services which reduces the amount of freight that can be carried, and adverse weather which can require aircrafts to carry additional fuel (reducing room for freight).

In addition to reducing the freight backlog the service will also carry some perishable goods to the island and allow electronic waste (e-waste) to be transported from Norfolk Island to the mainland.

We encourage both residents and businesses to discuss the best method and timing for getting goods to Norfolk Island with their freight forwarder.

Legislative changes to enhance protection of women, children and young people

In March this year, the Proposed changes to Norfolk Island laws to enhance the protection of women, children and young people consultation paper was released to the Norfolk Island community for feedback.

Staff from the Department, together with the Hon Anthony Whealy QC and the Administrator, engaged in public meetings with the community about the proposed changes to Norfolk Island laws. A lot of constructive feedback on the consultation paper was received and we thank community members for providing this valuable input.

Two measures outlined in the consultation paper have passed the Australian Parliament.

These changes mean the following:

  • time limits for the prosecution of sex offences, including historical offences, in Norfolk Island criminal law will be removed, along with any immunity for accused people arising from these time limits
  • in the interests of justice and to ensure accused people receive a fair trial, the Supreme Court of Norfolk Island will be able to hold trials on the mainland, in other Australian states and territories.

These changes were made in the Bill known as the Investigations and Prosecution Measures Bill 2017.

We will continue to keep the community updated as legislative changes outlined in the consultation paper progress. The feedback period on the consultation paper has closed, however, if you would like a copy it can be found at

An article from ‘Norfolk Islanders are fighting Australia to win back their independence’ was shared in the Norfolk Islander on Saturday, May 5 2018.

The article incorrectly reported that the Norfolk Island population is now governed by New South Wales.

Norfolk Island is governed by the Australian Government, and the NSW Government assists the Australian Government with support for some state services.

The article also incorrectly reported that payments for the right to fish in the waters around Norfolk Island go directly to the Australian Government ‘coffers’ and that the Australian Government benefits from the potential economic value of the Exclusive Economic Zone around Norfolk Island.

The Australian Government does not collect any royalties for any of the Australian and Commonwealth fisheries it manages. Additionally there are currently no commercial fishing concessions in the Norfolk Island Fishery, although residents of Norfolk Island are permitted to fish in these waters.