Norfolk Island Reform Update Issue 8—January 2016
Message from Administrator
It has been a busy but productive start to 2016. Australia Day on January 26 was an exciting day, particularly for the 300 people who joined us at Government House to witness 10 people receiving Australian Citizenship. In addition we were able to thank six people from the community who have made a difference on Norfolk Island through the Australia Day Awards 2016. The day was a great opportunity to celebrate the strength our nation has through our great diversity.
The visit to Norfolk Island by Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, Paul Fletcher, was very positive. His meetings with a range of stakeholders from local small business, tourism and accommodation operators, the Council of Elders, education, health and social welfare organisations and so many other local community members allowed the Minister to hear first-hand the views of a broad section of the community.
The Minister has confirmed how health and aged care services will be delivered on Norfolk Island after 1 July this year. The new multi-purpose service will ensure Australian citizens and eligible non-citizens on Norfolk Island will have access to the same services a similarly sized isolated community would expect on the mainland. A considerable amount of planning is well underway and I will be providing further details over the coming months.
The Minister has also advised the Regional Council election will be held on Saturday, 28 May using the framework of the New South Wales local government election process. Further detail regarding new electoral enrolment procedures and other such matters will be confirmed and communicated in the coming weeks.
I'm sure the community was provided with a level of confidence and certainty following the Minister's announcement that Air New Zealand is the Australian Government's ‘preferred provider’ of future air services for Norfolk Island. The contractual arrangements are expected to be completed shortly.
The announcements and the interaction during the Minister's visit has ensured a productive and positive start to the year as we move from planning to implementing important changes for Norfolk Island, which will allow Australian citizens on the Island to enjoy the same rights and obligations as those on the mainland.
Over the coming months, further support for the community will be offered, including visits to the Island of Government officials and sector experts to assist the change process. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to find out more information at the Australian Government Information Centre.
The Hon Gary Hardgrave
Get connected—create your myGov account
The Department of Human Services has provided the following information.
myGov is a simple and secure way to access Australian Government services online with one username and password, all in one place.
Your myGov account gives you:
- secure access to a range of government services using one username and password;
- a single inbox for your messages from Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support and the Australian Taxation Office; and
- a quick and easy way to advise selected member services about changes to some of your personal details.
You can create a myGov account now. Once created, you will be able to link your myGov account to Australian Government services, which you can start to access from 1 July 2016.
A valid email address is the only thing you need to set-up a myGov account. You will not be able to use the same email address for more than one myGov account.
Norfolk Island residents will not be able to connect their Norfolk Island mobile number with their myGov account.
While a mobile number can be used to access some additional features, it is not required. You can create a myGov account without a mobile number by following these steps:
- on the ‘Set up your account’ screen, leave the ‘Your mobile number’ field blank
- on the myGov security code screen, click the grey ‘skip’ button
- on the ‘Inbox Notification Preference’ screen, choose ‘send your notification as’ Email
Get ready and create a myGov account before 1 July 2016 at my.gov.au
For more information about myGov, visit humanservices.gov.au/mygov or contact the Australian Government Information Centre in person or phone on 23465 for further assistance.
Delivery of health and aged care services on Norfolk Island
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development engaged KPMG to assess community health and aged care needs; current health and aged care service capacity; the suitability of existing infrastructure; and develop options for various models to provide health and aged care services which are suited to the needs of Norfolk Island.
The result of this comprehensive work is the Norfolk Island Health Service Plan, developed by KPMG, which has informed the Australian Government about how to best deliver health services for the Norfolk Island community.
One of the key recommendations, endorsed by the Australian Government, is for the hospital to deliver health and residential aged care services as a multi-purpose service. This will include some hospital-type services such as an emergency ward and acute in-patient care to stabilise patients; primary care such as co-located private practice General Practitioners; and residential aged care.
Previous assessments and reports on future health service delivery have all supported a multi-purpose service model, so it is little surprise this is the final decision.
Home support services for older people on Norfolk Island will be provided as part of the comprehensive delivery of health and aged care services. Residents will be advised of who will deliver these services once this is confirmed.
Health services are not being privatised. Rather, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is working to identify a third-party provider to deliver the multi-purpose service as New South Wales may not be in a position to provide these services at this stage.
Supporting women's and children's health is paramount. While women will continue to travel to the mainland to give birth, a program of neonatal, antenatal and postnatal care, as well as child health will be introduced, providing positive health outcomes on Island. The best arrangements to ensure women have access to the most modern and effective technology is being considered for breast-screening services in the longer-term.
The exact nature of NSW law and regulations related to health services which will apply to Norfolk Island is still being determined and the community will be advised as more is confirmed.
The Norfolk Island Health Service Plan can be found at www.infrastructure.gov.au/territories/publications
ATO visit in February
The Tax Office is returning in the week commencing 22 February.
This time its focus will be not-for-profit organisations and helping business get ready for 1 July 2016 by understanding the obligations they have for their employees.
Future local governance and electing representatives
Minister Paul Fletcher has announced the proposed structure for the elected Norfolk Island Regional Council.
Pending legislative approval and in line with standard practices for NSW local government elections, there will be five Councillors elected for a four-year term, including a Mayor who will be elected by the Councillors each year.
New electoral rolls will be established. Only Australian citizens living on Norfolk Island will be eligible to vote, and voting will be compulsory for them.
Australian citizens not living on Norfolk Island but who own land or businesses on Island will also be eligible to vote, however, voting will not be compulsory for them.
No person will be entitled to more than one vote.
Saturday 28 May 2016—election of local Councillors
The functions of the Regional Council will shortly be finalised and are likely to reflect the regular activities and services delivered at a local government level.
Australian Border Force support on Island
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be establishing an Australian Border Force office on Norfolk Island in February, to set up new systems for managing the movement of travellers and goods to and from Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016.
The Australian Border Force is the front-line operational arm of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The new office will provide direct access to information regarding Australia's requirements for trade and travel, including customs, biosecurity and immigration matters for Norfolk Island business and community stakeholders.
Mr Neale Turner has been appointed to lead the team at the new office, providing practical information on the range of services including visas and citizenship, tariffs and cargo support and help for employers regarding their obligations for employing and sponsoring overseas employees.
Over coming months, we will provide more details about how the Department of Immigration and Border Protection/Australian Border Force will be working with you to support the continued prosperity of the island and its residents.
The Department of Human Services will help you get ready for 1 July 2016
From 1 July 2016, you may be eligible for payments and services provided by the Australian Government Department of Human Services.
Over the coming months, departmental staff will be visiting the island to give you useful information about the range of payments and services available, and to help you to lodge claims.
Go to humanservices.gov.au for more information about the department's payments and services.
Things you can do now to prepare for 1 July 2016
January—Use the Payment Finder to find out what payments and services you might be eligible for, and our online estimators to get a payment estimate or compare payments, based on your current or proposed circumstances. Go to humanservices.gov.au/paymentfinder
February—Book an appointment to chat to a Financial Information Service Officer when the Department of Human Services visits. More information about Financial Information Service Officers can be found by going to humanservices.gov.au/fis
March—Start getting ready to lodge an early claim and visit the Australian Government Information Centre (at the World Traders Centre, Burnt Pine) or call (on 23465) to talk about the supporting documents you'll need to lodge with your claim.
April—Book an appointment with departmental staff, who can help you get ready to lodge an early claim for a payment, Family Tax Benefit or child support.
May to June—Lodge your early claim for a payment or child support with departmental staff on the island.
July—An Agent will be available to help you on behalf of the department. More information will be provided in the coming months.
The Department of Human Services will continue to give more updates and information about the department and how it can help you.
Remember, the Department of Human Services has an information line you can call on +61 3 9250 9100, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:30 pm. International call charges apply, including calls from mobile phones, which may be charged at higher rate.
You can call this number from the Australian Government Information Centre at no charge.
Information for not-for-profit organisations and charities
In late February, an officer from the not-for-profit (NFP) area of the Tax Office will visit Norfolk Island to provide information and answer questions on the Tax Office interpretation, for tax concession purposes, of NFP (also referred to as non-profit). Some of the main points are below.
What is a not-for-profit organisation?
NFP organisations provide services to the community and do not operate in order to make a profit. A few examples are childcare centres, art centres, neighbourhood associations, medical centres and sports clubs.
NFPs can make a profit but all profits must go back into the services the organisation provides and must not be distributed to members, even if the organisation winds up.
There are two main types of NFP organisations:
- charities; and
- other NFP organisations.
Some of these organisations are also deductible gift recipients.
Many organisations work to help the community but only some of these organisations are charities. The word charity has a special legal meaning.
Your organisation may be a charity if it does not operate for profit and:
- works for people who are affected by poverty or sickness or who are elderly
- promotes education or religion, or
- works to benefit the community in another way.
Examples of charities include some religious groups, aged care homes, disability service organisations, animal welfare societies, arts or cultural groups, and environmental protection groups. To be eligible for charity tax concessions your organisation must be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
Check www.acnc.gov.au for further information.
Other NFP organisations
Examples of other NFP organisations are sporting and recreational clubs, community service organisations, professional and business associations, and cultural and social societies. NFP organisations which are not charities are able to self-assess their eligibility for exemption from income tax but they will need to register for other tax concessions.
Eligibility information can be found on the Australian Tax Office website.
Deductible gift recipients
Some charities, clubs, societies and associations are also deductible gift recipients (DGRs).
DGRs are organisations entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts. DGRs are either:
- endorsed by the ATO, or
- listed by name in the tax law.
Tax deductions for gifts are claimed by the person or organisation which makes the gift. Gifts are also referred to as donations.
To be entitled to receive tax-deductible donations, an organisation (including a charity) must be a DGR.
Progress—Administration of Norfolk Island
Since July 2015 much has been achieved within the Norfolk Island Public Service, with staff playing an important role in continuing to deliver important services to the community.
It has been a very busy time for staff and management of the Administration of Norfolk Island.
Key achievements include:
- developing and publishing a 2015–16 Budget Report using the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government categories;
- drafting the framework for the 2016–17 Community Strategic Plan for the Regional Council;
- finalising a 2015–16 Administration of Norfolk Island Business Plan;
- developing an approach for a Service Delivery Review using the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government;
- undertaking a number of performance reviews of specific functions to inform decisions on strategic direction;
- developing an approach for land rating as a component of the Regional Council's revenue;
- developing import protocols in response to private sector requests in conjunction with Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water;
- planning for managing cultural change—the ‘Leadership Capacity Program’;
- completing assessment of alternate options for a Regional Council Chambers and Administration Centre;
- developing an approach for asset distribution between the Australian Government and the Regional Council;
- commissioning an audit of facilities at the hospital and school sites for the Australian Government; and
- tendering for a new enterprise Information Management System.
With five months to the commencement of the Regional Council these activities will continue with further key priority work to commence, including the management of an election for the Councillors of the Regional Council including candidate and nominee training.
I am pleased to report the culmination of this work will result in an efficient, professional and sustainable long-term public service for Norfolk Island.
I wish to acknowledge the ongoing support of the staff and community in their engagement on this journey.
Peter Gesling—Executive Director, Norfolk Island
The new KAVHA logo was developed in consultation with the Norfolk Island community throughout 2015, as part of a broader consultation process on interpretation within KAVHA held by the Commonwealth Heritage Manager.
Community feedback about the new KAVHA logo included the importance of referencing all four settlement periods and the elements of the buildings.
The KAVHA design concept focuses on chimney shapes and stones as thematic connectors and is evocative and poignant.
The chimney was used in the colonial and penal settlements. The shape of the top of flue, the steep sided triangle, references the steep sides of Polynesian huts and the steeps sides of the various settlement buildings; and each settlement period made use of calcarenite stone that is reflected in the etching texture of the chimney form.
The community expressed preference for a ‘clean and clear’; brand and supported the use of slight cursive fonts focusing the words on ‘Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area’ rather than on other accolades of the historic site.
The KAVHA Steering Group would like to thank the Norfolk Island community for their assistance in developing this new logo.
Keep an eye out for the new logo!
The community should also be assured recent damage to the World Heritage site will be repaired. Expert advice is being obtained to ensure the works are undertaken with due consideration to the sensitivity of the building and its World Heritage status. You will be kept up to date with progress on this.
Meeting of the KAVHA Advisory Committee
The new Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) Advisory Committee held its first meeting on Thursday, 14 January 2016, amongst a week of site familiarisation, discussions and introductory meetings with the KAVHA Works Team, staff from Museums and the Norfolk Island Administration.
Future meetings of the Advisory Committee will include discussions with the broad range of stakeholders who live in or have an interest in the site.
Key areas of discussion included the soon to be finalised Heritage Management Plan (HMP), marketing and interpretation, and a proposal for a Site Master Plan which will aim to maximise KAVHA's economic and tourism potential, while continuing to support its ongoing role in the life of the community.
The Advisory Committee recognised the strong engagement of the community in the development of both the HMP and the Interpretation Delivery Plan.
The Committee supports the prompt finalisation of the HMP and will provide advice on the implementation of the plan in upcoming meetings and out of session.
The Advisory Committee looks forward to continuing an open dialogue with the community.
The pride, dedication and passion of staff associated with KAVHA and the Museums was evident at every turn and it was agreed this enthusiasm and commitment is vital for ensuring the long-term success of the site.
Acting Public Service Commissioner for Norfolk Island
Ms Annwyn Godwin, the Merit Protection Commissioner within the Australian Public Service Commission, has commenced as the Acting Public Service Commissioner for Norfolk Island.
The role of the Commissioner under the Public Service Act 2014 (NI) (the Act) is to review employment decisions, and investigate and review the management of the public service.
Performance of these functions is set out in Part 10 of the Act regarding the review of employee grievances and appeals.
This appointment is for the period 7 December 2015 to 30 June 2016 and the role will be a significant support for the Administration of Norfolk Island, which delivers important services to the community.
|Key dates for February 2016|
Australian Border Force commences its ongoing presence on the Island and recruitment activities of suitable local staff.
15 to 19 Feb
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources visit to prepare local business/individuals for cargo management.
22 and 26 Feb
|Australian Taxation Office visit to help employers, not-for-profit organisations and charities understand tax obligations.|
|By 29 Feb||3rd edition of the small business bulletin by the Australian Taxation Office|
Australian Government agency visits to Norfolk Island
|Who?||When?||How they can help you?|
|Department of Agriculture and Water Resources||15 to19 February||Prepare local business/individuals for cargo management.|
|Australian Taxation Office||22 to 26 February||Help employers, not-for-profit organisations and charities understand tax obligations.|
|Australian Border Force||From February||Establishing an ongoing presence on the Island.|
|Department of Immigration and Border Protection Department of Agriculture and Water Resources||Early March*||Provide information about biosecurity risks, citizenship/visas, overseas employees and tariffs/cargo obligations.|
|Department of Human Services||14 to 18 March||Requirements to claim payments and services, including Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support.|
|Department of Employment Fair Work Ombudsman||Mid-April||Discuss workplace relations and proposed changes to the Fair Work Act.|
|Deputy Commissioner, Department Veterans Affairs||25 to 29 April||ANZAC Dawn Service.|
|May to July 2016|
|Australian Taxation Office||9 to 14 May||Ensure employers are ready for 1 July 2016.|
|Department of Human Services||May to July||Receiving and processing early claims.|
*To be confirmed
Please note this schedule contains the visits known to date as at 20 January 2016, and is subject to change. Visits might be added as agencies confirm arrangements and dates below might change. This schedule will be updated regularly.