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Optimism For The Future

4 years ago I posted the below message (please read first) and we are still optimistic about the future. Consumer confidence has increased greatly with the spending power of workers on the island increasing since the introduction of minimum wage awards, super and general taxation. Land and house sales have increased greatly with strong reports from all real estate agencies. This is being spurred along by the increase in migration from Australia and Nz. Business confidence is taking longer, many businesses are struggling and many more are doing just fine. Others are thriving. There was always going to be a natural attrition of some businesses not able to survive in the new competitive environment, but the consumer is the winner. With an extra flight being budgeted for next year and 20 cruise ship visits scheduled, patient businesses will reap the rewards eventually. Since my last post money from the Federal Government has poured into the island in the form of grants and cancelled loans, multiple millions of dollars. Our rubbish is being processed properly, new diesel generators purchased, new hospital project underway, runway resurfacing underway, child care subsidised and legislated for, 6 freighter planes so far this year transporting excess freight and taking back excess waste, Delivery of 3 passenger and freight transfer vessels, forgiven loans of millions of dollars, working on 4G, water sustainability, fruit and veg importation, and more. After years of inactivity and resistance to change this is incredible. All of this stuff is big picture and we need to keep that big picture perspective and not focus too much on our personal circumstances. The good of the island and its sustainable future must come first.

From June 2015

For those interested the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly will finish as of midnight tonight after 35 odd years. The Administrator (at the behest of the Dept of Infrastructure and Regional Development) will effectively be in charge until the transition to a regional council in 2016. There is an appointed local advisory council of five members in place until the regional council is voted in next year.

Norfolk will be included in the Australian system as of July 2016. To my knowledge Australia has budgeted 130-150 million for this transition. WorleyParsons has been appointed to plan a restructure of our piers and roads and KPMG has been instructed to review our health services.

As an ideal, Self Government for less than 2000 people is great, but in reality it is unsustainable and Kerri and I are very optimistic about the future of Norfolk. Our current regressive taxation system will be replaced by a progressive one and the financial inequality that exists here will be addressed through these taxation reforms. These reforms have universal support in the Australian House of Representativesand the Australian Senate .

Norfolk Island will also, for the first time, be recognised by Australian Tourism who will in all probabliity place someone on the island for an extended period. We expect this, coupled with our new pier extension will see Norfolk well placed to benefit from the growing local cruise market. Norfolk will also be classed as a domestic destination (July 2016) so current passport requirements will be dropped.

If you are thinking of making a sea change and investing somewhere that is growing fast then you could do a lot worse than here. We have been informed that any purchases prior to July 2016 won't be subjected to Capital Gains Tax (which doesn't exist here at present).

Interesting times ahead and we will keep you posted, especially you Michele Alfredson and Russell Alfredson

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