A remote Pacific island whose residents are descendants of the swashbuckling British sailors and Tahitian women immortalised in the “Mutiny on the Bounty” movies is set to lose its right to self-rule. Norfolk Island has governed itself since 1979, but is now bankrupt. Australia on Thursday said it would introduce legislation next week to scrap the island’s parliament. If it passes, the island’s legislative assembly will be temporarily replaced by an Australian advisory council, before local government elections in 2016.
It is diabolical – it is quite concerning that it’s been left for so long.
Jamie Briggs, Australia’s assistant regional development minister, who the changes are long overdue
Personal and business tax will be introduced from July 2016, and residents will in return be able to access social security and healthcare benefits and services enjoyed by other Australians. Norfolk Island Chief Minister Lisle Snell said it was unfair to impose such a decision on the tiny outcrop, just eight kilometres long by five kilometres wide, perched on steep cliffs above crashing surf. “Norfolk Islanders will lose their identity, they will lose their way of life,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.