This is an exciting time for Norfolk Island because last week the Australian Parliament amended the Norfolk Island Act.
On 1st July Norfolk Island will move into a transition period of one year and during that time the foundations of the new system of government will be implemented. Firstly, an interim Advisory Council will be formed until a municipal council is established , when Norfolk Island will annexed to NSW just like Lord Howe Island – an appropriate arrangement given that Norfolk Island was settled just six weeks following the landing in Sydney Cove. The new governance arrangements will bring certainty for the future that will support and enhance the Norfolk community both socially and economically by incorporating the island into the mainland social, medical and taxation systems.
So new and prosperous times are ahead for Norfolk Island, with the proposed further enhancement of the World Heritage Listed original settlement of Kingston and Arthur’s Vale, and improved landing facilities for cruise ship passengers that will provide a return of confidence for existing and prospective businesses. Also the previous restrictive residency requirements have been ended to enable Australian and New Zealand citizens to live on the island, and that will provide a huge economic boost to the island. Visitors from Australian will soon not need to hold a passport to enter Norfolk Island and that will open up the tourism market and if flights can depart from the domestic terminals in Australian that will be a further boost to tourism.
In the past, under the previous system of government, the island regularly experienced a budget deficit together with a long period of decline in visitor numbers caused by a poor tourist marketing an inefficient and inadequate airline schedule. Now Air New Zealand provides a first class service via Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland and as tourist numbers increase they will add more flights. Also, the island will soon have a visit from a representative from Tourism Australia, the hope being that they will work towards providing a much wider advertising and marketing of Norfolk as a holiday destination.
So expect to see a lot of coverage of the story of our heritage, the amazing feeling of security that one has on Norfolk Island, the friendliness of the community, and the island’s pristine and unspoiled beauty.
We are now entering into an exciting new era whilst preserving the things that make us famous as a desirable and affordable place for a perfect holiday.
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