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Shaping change on Norfolk Island

11 December 2015

As part of the constructive work to address economic growth, community protection and progressive sustainable governance, I am pleased to announce changes to some Norfolk Island laws.

His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, made the Norfolk Island Continued Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No.1) Ordinance 2015 yesterday.

The introduction of Random Breath Testing (RBT) powers for police on Norfolk Island completes intended changes to laws by the former Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly.

Lowering of the blood alcohol content limit for persons operating a vehicle or vessel will also be introduced but not commence until 1 December 2016. Changes relating to the blood alcohol limit are deferred to enable the community to fully understand their responsibilities, consistent with practices in other states and territories.

Other modifications to laws allow for advancement and planning in key growth areas include the integration of the functions, assets, and liabilities of the Norfolk Island Government Tourist Bureau, into the Administration of Norfolk Island; and enhancing oversight and governance of the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority.

Minor amendments to the administration of enactments and the Criminal Code, and the amendments for gaming, the Norfolk Island Government Tourist Bureau and the provision of random breath testing are expected to start following registration of the Ordinance on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments in coming days.

Changes to the Census and Statistics Act 1905 will result in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) incorporating Norfolk Island in the next Census of Population and Housing on 9 August 2016.

In 2011, the Administration of Norfolk Island conducted a Census of Population and Housing at the same time, and with very similar questions, to the Australian Census.

The 2016 Census will provide an important snapshot of Australia's people and their housing, including Norfolk Island. The Census helps estimate Australia's population, which is used to distribute government funds and plan services, including housing, transport, education, industry, hospitals and the environment, for all communities. The ABS will work closely with the future Regional Council and the community to implement the Census, with further information available in the coming months.

The Hon Gary Hardgrave