23 Mar 2015

Call for Canberra to re-think 'costly' Norfolk plan

12:05 pm on 23 March 2015

A former chief minister of Norfolk Island says Australia will have to re-think plans to remove the island's autonomy.

Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island Photo: Supplied

Since 1979 Norfolk Island has federal and state level power but under new legislation Canberra will cut this to local government status.

The Australian government says the changes are necessary and long overdue.

But former chief minister and businessman, Andre Nobbs, says he and many others on Norfolk are gutted by the planned changes.

He says Canberra will need to rethink, not least because of the cost to the Australian taxpayer.

"Compared to the model that we were using before that was more about practical delivery and good work ethic and making a productive outcome from the island rather than turning it into a welfare state. Do I think that they will reconsider it in Canberra? I think at some point they're going to have to. I just hope that it occurs before they've decimated the race of people that call Norfolk home."

Listen to full interview with Andre Nobbs