Myth: The Norfolk Island hospital has closed down or at least reduced services since the governmental changes of 2016.
Fact: There has been considerable investment by the Commonwealth to ensure the services NIHRACS (Norfolk Island Health & Residential Aged Care) offers are in line with mainland Australia and in fact the hospital is accredited to offer these services which wasn't the case previously. Before the Commonwealth intervention it was impossible to attract a surgeon to the island, even after advertising for two years at a cost of $50k after the retirement of our GP/Surgeon of many years. The surgery has to be closed and the cessation of dangerous/unaccredited practices reassessed. Many cases are now referred off the island at no cost to the patient or in extreme cases medi-vaced urgently, all either covered under Medicare or paid for by The Commonwealth.
Myth:Tourism has slumped even further since the Commonwealth changed governmental services on Norfolk Island.
Fact: Tourism has been steadily increasing since the changes and in fact has topped 30 000 visitors a year for the first time since 2008. The Norfolk Island Regional Council has a target of 35 000 annual visitors by 2023 in accordance with the Tourism Strategic Plan 2013-2023.
Myth: Business is suffering after the change of governmental services.
Fact. Whilst it is true that some businesses have closed or are in trouble many new ventures have opened and are operating successfully since the changes. Only recently a yoga studio and also a wine and tapas bar have opened their doors. The fact of the matter is that in any normally operating economy not encumbered by the yoke of protectionism there is a natural attrition of business that encourages competition and diversity. We are also seeing some existing businesses changing their business models to suit the changing environment.
The real estate market is booming and business is cautiously optimistic.(Remember every house, business or land sold contributes 4% of sale price to the NIRC bottom line.)
Myth: The Commonwealth is wasting tax-payers money on projects that are not needed or poorly developed.
Fact: The infrastructure basket case that the Commonwealth took over required millions of dollars of urgent spending just to provide a safe environment for tourists and locals. With the pier project, school project and hospital project, essential infrastructure upgrades and safety additions (such as cut-off switches for power saws in the school workshop) the Commonwealth has strategically addressed the urgent issues and have sought numerous reports on non-urgent but essential spending requirements such as roads. Child Care, waste management and utilities have also been a priority for government.
October / November 6 cruise ships visiting Norfolk Island
November Food Festival and Thanksgiving