Norfolk Island Governance
In March 2015, the Australian Government announced comprehensive changes for Norfolk Island. The action was taken to address issues of sustainability which arose from the model of governance requiring Norfolk Island to deliver local, state and federal functions from 1979.
In May 2015, the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act 2015 and related Acts came into effect. They provided for the Australian Government to assume responsibility for funding and delivering national and state level services and for the establishment of an elected Norfolk Island Regional Council from 1 July 2016.
From 1 July 2016, mainland taxation, social security, immigration, biosecurity, customs and health arrangements, including Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, were extended to Norfolk Island.
On 18 March 2016, the Territories Legislation Amendment Act 2016 and the accompanying Passenger Movement Charge Amendment (Norfolk Island) Act 2016 were passed which continued the extension of Commonwealth laws to Norfolk Island.
Notably, the Act made enrolling to vote in federal elections compulsory, and provides for the representation of Norfolk Island electors in a single electorate in the Australian Capital Territory. The Act also provides for the phased introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 and associated workplace relations legislation to Norfolk Island.
Work by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities is continuing to extend remaining Commonwealth legislation to Norfolk Island. This work is ongoing, and will continue into the foreseeable future to ensure Norfolk Island's laws are up to date and consistent with contemporary laws.
Legislation Consultation Framework
As part of a commitment to consulting with the Norfolk Island community on proposed legislative changes a Legislation Consultation Framework was released by Administrator Eric Hutchinson on 9 May 2017, and future legislative changes on Norfolk Island will be consulted on in line with this framework.
Legislative changes will be assessed for the effect they may have on the community and will follow the corresponding consultation mechanism. The department will determine the legislative effect and will seek advice from technical experts as relevant during the assessment.