7 Nov 2006

Norfolk court challenge to Canberra's plans to curb its self-government

3:47 pm on 7 November 2006

Norfolk Islanders today begin a High Court battle to protect their community's existing level of self-government.

The Pacnews agency reports that earlier this year the then chief minister Geoff Gardner and an island resident Geoff Bennett started court proceedings against the federal government to determine the constitutional status of its citizens.

They hope their action will uphold the democratic rights of Norfolk Islanders and protect their current levels of self-government.

The federal government has warned that the status quo was unsustainable and has been canvassing new models for government, including modified self-government or a local government model.