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Support for Norfolk Island freight needs

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The Australian Government acknowledges, and appreciates, community concerns about availability of freight, and current stock shortages of essential supplies on Norfolk Island.

The Government continues to support air freight services for Norfolk Island and is working closely with freight services providers to better meet demand at this challenging time.

It is important to remember that sea freight remains a private sector function. There is a further voyage of the sea freighter scheduled for mid-year.

The Government has now scheduled additional air freight flights throughout March, April, May and June. There will be weekly freight flights from 5 March to 25 June 2021 as well as two additional freight flights for 27 March 10 April, to assist to clear the current backlog of air freight.

Between 19 and 27 March, TOLL anticipates bringing in a significant amount of perishables and consumables. With Qantas delivering air passenger services over the next three months, there will also now be increased freight capacity on the regular passenger services.

The sea freighter with general cargo is scheduled to arrive today or tomorrow (19 or 20 March). Shortages of stock feed will not be fully relieved by the quantities on this ship and options to alleviate these pressures are being explored.

The continued availability of sea freight to Norfolk Island is a key priority of the Australian Government, which is currently pursuing options to increase sea freight capacity – including a temporary groyne at Cascade Port.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications has commissioned ARUP to complete a feasibility study for a temporary groyne proposal at Cascade. The outcomes of this study will be shared with the Norfolk Island community at the end of March 2021.

The Australian Government in consultation with the community continues to settle a Ports Management Strategy to support reliable and safe port operations in the longer-term, which is essential to the economic wellbeing and sustainability of the Norfolk Island community.

Eric Hutchinson
Administrator of Norfolk Island
19 March 2021