Norfolk Island could become part of the UK or New Zealand
Although a small minority on Norfolk would like to see the island be adopted by the United Kingdom or New Zealand (I'm presuming due to their own ancestry and lack of identity as Australians) both countries have officially responded by saying that Norfolk Island is a matter for Australia and there would be no interference into Australia's internal management of its own territories.
Passports for visitors should be reinstated to the Island for the sake of tourism.
Recently Norfolk Island Regional Council have called on the federal government to reinstate the need for passports for travel to the island. Their reason? because one or two delayed flights a year mean that tourists have to sit on a plane a bit longer. This shows not only a complete lack of common sense but a dangerously regressive leaning of the council. As an added strangeness to this whole affair, it isn't even in Councils charter or area of responsibility. The facts: The federal government removed this barrier for travel to Norfolk over a year ago and we have seen an increase in travellers from Australia as a result. Australians can travel to Norfolk with a drivers licence or even a Medicare card. There are no delays and misunderstandings at the airport unless travellers haven't provided this type of identification. Tourism will improve even further as a direct result of this barrier removal.
Islanders are of a singular opinion as to the direction of the Island's governance.
As the 2016 Census showed, Norfolk is made up of a diverse range of people all with differing opinions on how the island should be governed. These opinions are usually based on self interest which is how a democracy usually works.
Land Rates are destroying the island's culture and heritage and many can't afford to pay them
In the previous financial year, the Norfolk Island Regional Council reported that 95% of rates had been collected and the remainder were being collected on payment plans. No defaults. Council rates have increased for the second year which was always part of the implementation plan as Council needed to raise a minimum of one million dollars in year two and subsequent years. The population of the island was informed of this increase over a year ago. More information on rates can be found here
Whilst to many the imposition of a new tax that directly conflicts with the traditional practice of gifting land is intolerable, our Council needs to raise money from somewhere and a GST has been identified as a tax that would hurt the Norfolk Island economy by the Centre for International Economics, therefore land rates is the next logical step to raise the funds needed to administer the island. I'm sure noone in Australia wants to pay rates but as a visiting minister once said with taxation comes civilisation.
A formal request has been submitted to the Commonwealth to draft an Ordinance repealing the Absentee Landowners Levy Act 1976(NI) with provision for some transitional elements to ensure all debts from previous years are collected. Council anticipates a decision on this matter in early September 2017.