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Norfolk Island crying out for good government.



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DARYL MELHAM MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR HERITAGE AND TERRITORIES

• NEWS RELEASE • NEWS RELEASE • NEWS RELEASE •

4 December 2003

Norfolk Island crying out for good government

The need for reform of the governance arrangements on Norfolk Island is highlighted in a report tabled last night by the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories.

“The Committee heard convincing evidence that there are serious problems on Norfolk Island,” said the Shadow Minister for Territories, Daryl Melham. “The island is crying out for good government.”

“The Committee today made a series of recommendations that could help fix the problems on the island, including changes to its voting system and the introduction of new checks and balances to safeguard against corruption.”

“I urge the Minister for Territories to pay close attention to the Committee’s findings and to act on its recommendations.

“The Committee spoke to a lot of people on the island, and even heard some evidence in secret because islanders were fearful of retribution.

“All in all, its report paints a bleak picture of the state of governance on the island.”

“The Howard Government has responsibility for Norfolk Island and cannot afford to turn a blind eye to its problems.”

“The Government boasts of its role in helping restore good governance in neighbouring nations.”

“It should act with the same certainty in tackling the problems unearthed by the Committee in its inquiry into Norfolk Island,” said Mr Melham.

Media contact: Derek Hand (02) 6277 2054 / 0416 147 608