Norfolk protests Canberra's removal of rights
Marching Norfolk Islanders accuse Australia of removing their democratic rights.
Hundreds of Norfolk Islanders marched through the island's streets on Sunday protesting against what they say is the Australian Government's failure to ensure basic human rights.
It is the latest in a series of actions aimed at overturning Canberra decision in June to end the island's 34 years of self government in June.
There are a number of protest groups that have been set up, including Norfolk Island People for Democracy, under the aegis of the island's former chief ministers.
One of them, Andre Nobbs, told Don Wiseman that among other matters, they are pursuing the assistance of the United Nations and listing with its territories to be decolonised.
ANDRE NOBBS: Under the United Nations Charter there is an obligation for Norfolk to have been listed as far back as 1946. It did not occur and continues not to occur and what that does is leave an island and a community very vulnerable to exactly what is occurring at the moment. I should point out that our electoral roll is some 965 persons and in registered membership for the Norfolk Island People for Democracy we have somewhere around 800 members. So you will start to see that anyone who claims there is a majority in support of the actions of the Australian Government would need to justify their figures, because they don't add up. The referendum proves that they don't, the various petitions prove that they don't, and the recent march for Hands Up for Democracy was another group who again have formed, in a unifying way, to help anyone who is feeling quite distressed, to help them express exactly how they fell and make a visual presentation that is impossible to argue with - that the people of Norfolk Island want their democracy back because the dictatorship and the misrepresentation of the island is at a point where no one is prepared to sit down any more and stand by and watch it.
DON WISEMAN: In addition to seeking the help of the UN you have also appealed to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. What are you saying to the Ombudsman?
AN: The main element of that Ombudsman complaint is that there is now a strong vote of no confidence in the island's administrator Gary Hardgrave. He is a vice regal appointment made by the Governor General into Norfolk Island, and there have been petitions of significant numbers - some 450 names have gone on a petition to seek the Governor General's evaluation and intervention into what's gone on with the administrator's performance of his duties. The next option available to Norfolk Island people is to make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, because the Commonwealth Ombudsman can investigate complaints about actions and decisions of Australian Government agencies to see if they are wrong, unjust, unlawful, discriminatory or just plain unfair. What that comes out of is the complete misrepresentation of the island's views, needs and even how we are looking for our future. This sort of misrepresentation, misleading statements that make people think 'Oh they are not doing things right over there, so we will just remove their parliament.' They are the things that have done the damage and they are the things that need to be reviewed and enquired into. Malcolm Turnbull as the new prime minister for Australia and I think it is definitely in his best interest to have a close look at the actions that led to the removal of the island's parliament and the actions that continue to impact on the island's economy and future.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: