2 Dec 2008

Norfolk Island's chief minister rejects Australian government claims

11:16 am on 2 December 2008

Norfolk Island's chief minister has rejected Australian government claims the self-governing territory is in danger of becoming a failed state.

Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus in October said that Norfolk Island was falling behind national standards in a range of areas and needed reforms.

These could include ending the island residents' exemption from paying income tax and extending commonwealth services to the territory.

Mr Debus has since visited Norfolk Island and met with Chief Minister Andre Nobbs, who defended the administration of the island.

Mr Nobbs also says he remained confident about the future of Norfolk's administration, adding such comments seemed to come out of the Australian government on a "cyclical" basis.