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A better way for Norfolk Island



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Michael Keenan MP - Federal Member for Stirling A better way for Norfolk Island September 05, 2013

Federal Labor has let down the people of Norfolk Island, but there is a better way.

The Coalition spokesman on Norfolk Island, Michael Keenan MP, said today that an Abbott Government would revive the stalled negotiations on the future of the island to provide certainty to the island population within 18 months of the election of a new government.

“Labor initiated the roadmap reform process, promising closer integration of the island with the mainland's taxation and social welfare system, but has failed to follow through on many of the promises that it contained,” Mr Keenan said.

“It is appropriate that I advise what Commonwealth assistance the Norfolk Island community can expect if the Coalition forms government after the election.

“The Coalition recognises the serious economic and social problems which are presently being faced in Norfolk Island, and of the need for certainty so that people can plan their lives.

“Despite the willingness of many on Norfolk Island to accept greater integration with mainland Australia, the Labor Government has not honoured many of its promises.

If elected on 7 September, a Coalition government will:

· Conclude, within no more than 12 months of the election, negotiations on all outstanding issues arising from the roadmap process with the Norfolk Island Government;

· Ensure that, within 18 months of the election, all necessary steps are taken to integrate Norfolk Island with the mainland social welfare systems, to the extent that this is agreed with the Norfolk Island Government; and

· Ensure that, within two years of the election, all necessary steps are taken to integrate Norfolk Island with the mainland taxation system, to the extent that this is agreed with the Norfolk Island Government.

“An incoming Coalition Government would be prepared to consider variations to the roadmap agreement, to take account of the unique economic and social position of this external territory, if such variations do not add to the cost, or delay implementation, of the agreement.

“Above all, we will offer certainty to the people of Norfolk Island, certainty they have lacked as Labor has dithered and backtracked on its part of the agreement.

“The Federal Coalition is determined to bring that uncertainty to an end if it is given the power to do so,” Mr Keenan concluded.

© Authorised by Michael Keenan MP, 203 Wanneroo Road, Tuart Hill WA 6060

www.keenan.net.au

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