6 Feb 2017

Norfolk Islanders refused disability support

2:53 pm on 6 February 2017

The Australian government says a 63-year-old amputee who lives on Norfolk Island and has a serious heart condition and an amputated leg is fit to work as a mobile security guard.

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Photo: Norfolk Government

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that failing that particular career option, the federal Department of Human Services suggested David McGowan try his hand at becoming a tram driver or a gaming attendant.

But there are no trams or casinos on Norfolk Island.

The paper said Mr McCowan, a lifelong Norfolk resident who ran the island's hospital for 13 years, is one of a number of islanders at loggerheads with the Department since the Australian government's controversial takeover last June.

Forty-seven-year-old Greg Magri had been receiving a Norfolk Island disability pension for nearly 15 years due to a brain injury caused by a stroke.

After the takeover he was required to apply for the mainland equivalent but rejected because he was not registered with a disability employment service but, up until last July, no such organisation existed on the island.

Mr Magri said he had been told it would be an easy transition [to the federal system] but he says "it's been nothing but stress and anguish".

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