16 Jul 2012

Norfolk chief minister says most accept need for closer Canberra link

7:03 am on 16 July 2012

Norfolk Island's chief minister, David Buffett, says many of the island's 1,800 residents regret the loss of autonomy that will come with a motion agreed to in the Legislative Assembly last week.

But he says there's also a recognition that the financially struggling island could not continue on its current path.

The motion agrees that the tax free island will come under the Australian taxation and social security systems while the level of political independence is set to be cut back.

Norfolk's chief minister, David Buffett, says most islanders see it as a necessary step.

"Ah it's not easy for Norfolk Island to step this path. I would say that most people would prefer not to, but I would say also that most people recognise now that to be able to remain as we are is no longer a financial viability for the island. And there is a need, a compulsion for us to take a further path."