Norfolk Island fear plea to Canberra in vain
Norfolk Island delegation to Canberra fears it may all have been in vain.
The Norfolk Island Assembly says it believes its days as an autonomous governing body may already be over.
This comes after a delegation from the island led by Chief Minister, Lisle Snell, went to Canberra to present a public petition calling for wider consultations on the future governance arrangements for the island.
The petition was in response to recommendations made by a federal parliamentary committee to revoke the island's unique self-governance arrangements.
Chief Minister, Lisle Snell, told Koroi Hawkins how they presented the petition in Canberra.
LISLE SNELL: In Canberra we had a number of meetings with various members of Parliament. We presented a motion to the Speaker of the House, the Honorable Bronwyn Bishop, just confirming Norfolk Island's desire to have consultation with the Australian Government on the way forward for Norfolk Island, and any decisions by the Commonwealth in changing the legislature here on Norfolk Island should be discussed with the Norfolk Island community and the Norfolk Island Parliament. We also presented the petitions to the House of Representatives and also to the Senate. And we had Dr Denis Jensen MP, the chairperson of the House's Positions Committee accept the petition on our behalf, and to Senator Sue Lyons. And we met various other members as well to discuss calls to have more say in how the future government of Norfolk Island should be.
KOROI HAWKINS: What kind of reception do you think you got?
LS: A courteous reception. Most MPs were involved with other issues, more pressing than that of Norfolk Island and they listened with some interest in what we had to say but you know the overall impression is that it appears that just from an outside point of view that a decision may have already been made, but I can't really truthfully say it has, but we are hoping that it hasn't, but the impression is, you know - even though it is supposed to go to Cabinet in the very near future. And we are not quite sure how they will take those recommendations to Cabinet and how Cabinet is going to vote on them but the general feeling was that they are probably going to pass through Cabinet - but it may not. We are trying to hopefully sway Cabinet members so it will not pass through.
KW: So when are expecting a result or a decision?
LS: It was indicated to us in Canberra that it could be within weeks. There is a great deal of uncertainty on the island so the sooner we know then the better so we can plan accordingly. This is all being debated on the island we have only just got back and we have to sit down and discuss how we can move forward."
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