2 May 2016

Norfolk protestors dig in for the long-haul

8:10 pm on 2 May 2016

Norfolk Island residents protesting against changes to the island's governance continue to occupy the grounds of the former parliament building.

Norfolk Island

The protesters are occupying the grounds of the former legislative assembly. Photo: AFP

The protest coincides with the submission of a petition to the United Nations last week seeking the recognition of the island's right to self-determination.

Australia ended Norfolk Island's limited self-governance in July last year, and is expected to assume full control of the territory in two months.

A former chief minister, Andre Nobbs, said Canberra's changes were causing distress, with many residents set to lose their jobs and uncertainty over elements such as pensions.

Mr Nobbs said the banning of political discussion on the island's only radio station, by Australia's resident administrator, had not helped the situation.

"This might be a way to get some of the word out about how Norfolk has seriously been disrespected and not well treated by the Australian government, which interestingly enough is going for a United Nations chair.

"Which, in the current circumstance, why on earth should they even be considered?" Mr Nobbs asked.

He said about 50 people had set up camp on the grounds, while more than 350 people were expected to gather there on Monday night to welcome back the delegation from New York.

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