Norfolk continues campaign to stop legislation
Norfolk Island considers how to convince Australia to change its mind about downgrading its autonomy.
Norfolk Island's parliamentarians are refusing to accept Australia's decision to strip it of its political autonomy.
In the latest move it has delivered a Remonstrance Motion passed by the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly to the Australia House of Representatives and the Senate.
This comes after Australia earlier this month passed legislation that removed Norfolk Island's federal and state auuthority, reducing the island's government to that of a local level council.
That legislation is still to go to the governor general for assent but Norfolk's chief minister, Lisle Snell, told Don Wiseman that the legislature wants prime minister Tony Abbott to delay presenting it.
LISLE SNELL: The Remonstrance Motion is to request that they defer, that the governor-general defers, effect to the bills that have been passed through both the lower and upper house. Whilst we're hoping that the parliament, the Australian Parliament, will take notice of the Remonstrance Motion, it still doesn't deter us from seeking other avenues to hopefully gain some solution to our grievances.
DON WISEMAN: In terms of this latest plea to the Australian government or I suppose in essence to Tony Abbott, how confident are you that it's going to have any effect?
LS: We always hope that we will get some effect from them even though I believe that the Assistant Minister Briggs labels this as another stunt by the Norfolk Island government as to trying to deter this process that they've highlighted and, we again, Don, wish to state that this is the undemocratic nature of the Commonwealth process and it returns us to colonialism, and the lack of genuine consultation and the disregard of the votes of the Norfolk Island community at the recent referendum.
DW: All through this process you have hinted at other possibilities in terms of what you might do. So as well as this Remonstrance there are other things you're looking at - what are they?
LS: Oh Don, I can't go into detail with you on the other avenues that we are pursuing but politically you would probably realise that there are other areas throughout the world where grievances of our nature, particularly the loss of a government, it's not an issue that can be treated lightly. We're certainly not treating it lightly on Norfolk Island.
DW: Earlier on there were suggestions of you going to the United Nations. Is that still a possibility?
LS: That certainly is still a possibility yes. We are seeking every sympathetic ear we can find throughout the world.
DW: What would you ask of the United Nations?
LS: That they look at the process which has been conducted by the Australian Parliament in regards to the abolishment of the Norfolk Island government and the reasons why it has been abolished and justification of it and what other areas we have, maybe in the form of self-determination for Norfolk Island.
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