Queensland set to provide services to Norfolk Island

By Jackson Graham

October 27, 2021

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says it’s good for governments to undertake periodic reviews of their pubic services. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

The Queensland government is set to have control of Norfolk Island services, taking over from NSW. 

The federal and Queensland governments announced on Tuesday they had reached an agreement for Queensland to provide essential health and education services to the island, which has a population of more than 1700 people. 

NSW has provided the services since Australia made a decision in 2015 to revoke Norfolk Island’s autonomy after it had been governed under its own legislative assembly since 1979. 

But with NSW signaling it would step away from the agreement earlier this year, Tuesday’s announcement brings certainty to the island. 

Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said Queensland had extensive experience in delivering high-quality health and education services to remote and island communities across the state and Norfolk Island would be added to these responsibilities. 

“Our government is committed to ensuring continuity of essential services during the transition to Queensland as delivery partner,” Joyce said in a statement. 

The governments are now finalising schedules and working through details for transition planning and implementation. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, in welcoming the finalisation of the agreement, said the government looked forward to “tailoring future delivery models” to address community needs. 

The agreement also provides for the Australian and Queensland governments to continue to consider other state services progressively over time.

Federal assistant minister for regional development and territories Nola Marino said the government was committed to Norfolk Island accessing high-quality state services comparable with mainland communities, and funding all costs associated with state service delivery. 

“The Australian government has been working closely with the Queensland and NSW governments over the past months to support Norfolk Island residents through the initial stages of this transition,” Marino said. 

The government said the community will be informed and engaged in the transition and the Australian and Queensland governments would continue to consider other state services progressively over time.


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