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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Norfolk Island "back from the brink?"

It was no doubt of interest to the 1800 who live out there in the Pacific when the then Minister for Home Affairs announced in May a package of governance and accountability reforms for the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island. According to Islands Business the Minister last year had said the Territory was on the brink of becoming a failed state.

Member for Canberra, proud to represent those who choose to vote in Federal elections (who said voting in Australia was compulsory everywhere?), elaborated yesterday in Parliament on the Government's plans to:
  • Provide access to the Commonwealth Ombudsman to review Norfolk Island Government decisions.
  • Provide residents with access to Norfolk Island Government records under Commonwealth freedom of information laws.
  • Protect the privacy of residents under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Privacy Commissioner for records held by the Norfolk Island Administration.
  • Allow residents to appeal to the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal against a range of decisions made by the Norfolk Island Government and the Administration.
  • Implement a framework for public financial management and reporting more closely aligned to the framework used by the Commonwealth including allowing the Commonwealth Auditor General to conduct audits of the Administration’s financial statements.
  • Establish benchmark standards of conduct for Members of the Assembly consistent to those that apply in the States and the Commonwealth.
Thanks to Open Australia for the Hansard link.

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