Norfolk Island Reform Update Issue 13—June 2016
Message from Administrator
The interim transition period of the past year for Norfolk Island reform concludes 30 June 2016. While reform continues into the future, much hard work and positive change has been achieved to date so it is appropriate to focus on some messages of congratulations and thanks.
First, I would like to congratulate members of the community elected to the inaugural Norfolk Island Regional Council. Rod Buffett, Lisle Snell, David Porter, John McCoy and Robin Adams will form the new Norfolk Island Regional Council from 1 July 2016.
The Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the councillors will have an important role in guiding the newly formed Regional Council and supporting efforts to grow the Norfolk Island economy. I look forward to working with the Council as it finalises and then implements the Community Strategic Plan, developed by the community for the benefit of the community, and which can promote Norfolk Island's bright future.
The first stage of the new Council Chambers at the Bicentennial Centre are soon to be completed, with future work to bring key Council staff uptown and closer to the community. In the short term, they will continue to work out of New Military Barracks at Kingston.
The recent appointment of Ms Lotta Jackson as Chief Executive Officer of the Administration means she will transition to General Manager of the Regional Council on 1 July 2016. Many other staff members of the outgoing Administration are also preparing for transition and continuation of the delivery of services to the community in new positions within the Council.
The Council will not have to fund health services as those costs will met by the Australian Government. As a result, there will be a substantial increase in health and aged care expenditure on Norfolk Island.
new Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service (NIHRACS) will deliver health and aged care services (managed by NSW Health). In addition, support for families and individuals through Medicare, and subsidised medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, will provide direct assistance and reduce financial pressures many people feel when requiring medical and associated support.
The Norfolk Island Central School will also be funded by the Australian Government from 1 July 2016 as further reforms and improvements are progressively introduced under an agreement with the NSW Department of Education.
Over the past year members of the Norfolk Island Advisory Council, through their tireless efforts have provided a forum for the community and direct feedback to myself and Minister Fletcher. They have listened to the community and encouraged worthwhile fine tuning of the reform agenda. Melissa Ward as Chair, as well as Wally Beadman, Duncan Evans, Eve Semple and PJ Wilson have made a difference and their roles will formally conclude at the end of this month.
Peter Gesling also formally finishes his appointment as Executive Director and delegated ministerial representative on 30 June 2016. As he undertakes a number of specific implementation tasks in the short term, Peter's extensive experience in local government will be available to assist the elected councillors and the General Manager as they move into their new roles.
I would also like to thank the many dozens of members of the Australian Public Service who have been involved in these reforms, especially those who have visited the Island and engaged directly with the community. Equally, I acknowledge the community in taking advantage of these visits to seek information and prepare for the future.
I encourage you to continue to engage directly with the various Australian government departments and agencies, or their local representative on the Island.
My own team headed by Robin McKenzie OAM and Richard Hay have worked hard for all Norfolk Islanders, and given my appointment as Administrator has been extended, I look forward to continuing to work with the community to represent its interests as part of ongoing reforms beyond 1 July 2016.
As the Council manages its important work, and the various Australian Government agencies undertake their responsibilities, I will focus on improving and strengthening the important KAVHA asset which remains critical to the tourism industry, and as a result, the local economy of Norfolk Island. My door remains open to all.
The Hon Gary Hardgrave
New support services for Norfolk Island residents
Residents of Norfolk Island will soon have access to Family and Relationship Services, Children and Parenting Support, and Emergency Relief, provided by Anglicare.
Family and Relationship Services
These services for Norfolk Island residents aim to strengthen family relationships, prevent breakdown and ensure the wellbeing and safety of children through the provision of broad-based counselling and education.
The Family and Relationship Services will help people who are having difficulties in their relationships and may also provide relationship education. The services can also provide counselling to children, supporting them to have healthy relationships with their parents and other family members. All families are welcome at these services, those that are together, separated or blended as well as others such as grandparents and other kin who are caring for family members.
Children and Parenting Support services
These services focus on supporting families with children up to 12 years old, but can also support children up to 18 years old in some circumstances.
The Children and Parenting Support services will work with families to build parenting skills and provide tools and activities to make sure children get the best start in life. Parents and carers will be able to get help to nurture their children so they grow into strong, resilient adults. The Children and Parenting Support service will be tailored to meet the needs of the Norfolk Island community, but may include playgroups, home visiting services for families, parenting skills courses, school-readiness activities, or a peer support programme.
Emergency Relief services
Norfolk Island residents will also have access to Emergency Relief. These services can help people experiencing financial distress or hardship and who have limited means or resources to help them alleviate their financial crises. Emergency Relief organisations provide immediate financial and/or material support to people in financial crisis. This support may constitute food parcels, clothes, bedding or household items. Emergency Relief organisations may also provide budgeting assistance and/or referrals to other services that help address underlying causes of financial crisis.
Organisations delivering Emergency Relief build strong networks within their local communities to assist individuals to minimize potential dependence on assistance.
National Debt Helpline
From 1 July 2016, the National Debt Helpline will be available through the free call number of 1800 007 007.
Financial counselling services via the Helpline are free and delivered by community and local government organisations to help people in personal financial difficulty address their financial issues and make informed choices. People who contact a financial counsellor may be facing complex financial issues, such as multiple debts, fines, getting behind on mortgage payments or possible bankruptcy.
Residents should be aware that financial counsellors do not provide financial planning advice, financial lending, endorsement of specific financial products or services, business or small business advice, or legal advice.
Infrastructure works continue
Taylors Road Footpath and associated road works underway
Road works continue at Channers Corner and on the Queen Elizabeth Avenue footpath, with sealing of Channers Corner to commence in the week commencing 13 June 2016, depending on favourable weather.
Inclement weather has slowed progress on some elements of the road works. However, weather permitting, it is anticipated that work on the footpath will be completed by mid-July 2016.
We can already see how this important road improvement, one of several scheduled for completion over the coming years, will improve pedestrian and car safety and access to our main business area.
Cascade Pier extension and refurbishment
Considerable "behind the scenes" detailed technical work continues to be undertaken to ensure the Cascade Pier extension and refurbishment project can commence as planned on 17 July 2016.
Representatives from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Worley Parsons visited Norfolk Island during the month and met with representatives from the Norfolk Island fishing industry, to discuss Cascade Pier access arrangements during the construction phase of the Cascade Pier project.
Access arrangements to Cascade Pier during the construction period will be published through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's website.
Important information for Norfolk Island business owners and those starting a business
From 1 July 2016, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will be responsible for providing business registration services for Norfolk Island. ASIC is responsible for the national Business Names register.
Business name registration
A business name is simply a name under which you conduct a business. Unless you trade under your own name or fall within an exemption you must register a business name.
The national register collates, stores and makes available information from businesses across Australia. The ASIC online service (ASIC Connect) helps those wanting to register an available name, or wanting to identify who has a business name.
For those who do not have access to, or experience poor internet service, we can help you register a business name.
Under the national Business Names legislation:
- You only need to register a business name once to have national effect.
- When you sell your business, your business name can be transferred to a new owner.
- There are different types of 'holders' of business name, including family trusts, partnerships and joint ventures which can be recorded on the national register.
- Register or renew a business name for one (1) or three (3) years.
Your business name registration will continue
If you have a registration recorded on the Norfolk Island Register, you will not need to apply to register the name with ASIC.
ASIC will update the National Business Name register to record your registration
Under the transitional provisions enacted to support the transfer of registered Norfolk Island business names to the ASIC national Business Names Register, ASIC has until 5 September 2016 to complete the transfer of your registration details.
What you need to do:
Step 1 - between 1 July and 4 September 2016
Check the information recorded on the Norfolk Island business name register is up to date. Updates to the Norfolk Island register close on 4 September 2016.
If your business name renewal falls due in this period, you will need to renew your business name registration with the Norfolk Island Companies Office.
If you need to update the details of your business name registration during this period, you will need to update your details with the Norfolk Island Companies Office.
It's important we have up to date contact details for you and accurate information is recorded ahead of the transfer of registration information to the ASIC national Business Names Register.
Step 2 - from 5 September 2016
The transfer of your business name registration to the ASIC register will be complete.
You will receive your next renewal notice from ASIC by post, or by email where we have an email address.
It is a good idea to create an online account with ASIC to update your registration details with an ABN (if you have one) and an email address we can use to contact you. Set up your online account now by visiting www.asic.gov.au/connect
From 1 July 2016 new businesses must first have an ABN, or be in the process of applying for one from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), in which case the ATO will provide an ABN reference number to register a business. To learn more about registering a business name, visit the ASIC website www.asic.gov.au/bn-before-you-start
Companies registered under Norfolk Island law do not need to have an Australian Company Number (ACN) or apply to be registered as an Australian company under Australian Corporations law. The law for Norfolk Island companies has not changed. Companies currently registered under Norfolk Island law will remain and new companies will continue to be registered with the Norfolk Island Companies Registrar. The same will also apply to associations registered under Norfolk Island law.
Sign up for email updates from ASIC about the Norfolk Island Reforms by sending your name, organisation* and an email address to email@example.com (*optional).
To unsubscribe from receiving updates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Enquiries relating to business name registration can be directed to ASIC by email to email@example.com or by telephone 1300 300 630 or +61 3 51 77 3988 when calling from Norfolk Island.
A new jobactive provider will be working on Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016 to help job seekers and employers. The jobactive provider is experienced and knows how to find jobs, how to help job seekers get ready for work and how to match job seekers to employer needs.
jobactive is the Australian Government's employment service which helps connect job seekers with employers.
If you are a job seeker who will receive income support payments from the Department of Human Services, such as Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance (other), or Parenting Payment, and have mutual obligation requirements (that is, you need to meet certain requirements to keep receiving income support) then you will generally receive the full range of jobactive services.
Some people will also be able to volunteer to receive help from the Norfolk Island jobactive provider; the type of support they receive will depend on their circumstances. Job seekers are encouraged to discuss their circumstances with the jobactive provider from July 2016.
Most job seekers who have mutual obligation requirements will also need to complete Work for the Dole or another approved activity for six months every year, in order to keep receiving their income support. Work for the Dole places job seekers in activities where they can gain skills and experience which give back to the community and can help them find a job. Not-for-profit organisations operating on Norfolk Island may be interested in being a host for Work for the Dole activities.
An initiative that can help job seekers to become self-employed business owners is the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (also known as NEIS). This program has been operating for 30 years and is part of jobactive. NEIS can provide eligible job seekers who are on income support with accredited small business training, income support for up to 39 weeks and business mentoring. More details about the jobactive provider will be published on the Department of Employment's website at www.employment.gov.au/NorfolkIsland
Federal Election Day is Saturday 2 July 2016
Make your vote count.
The Australian federal election is to be held on Saturday 2 July 2016. At the federal election, you will be voting to elect people to represent you in the two houses of the Australian Parliament: the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Where can I vote?
Saturday 2 July 2016 (polling day)
- Rawson Hall – for electors enrolled in the ACT Divisions of Canberra and Fenner
- 36 Taylors Road – for electors enrolled in all other Divisions
The above polling places will open at 8am and close at 6pm sharp.
Thursday 30 June and Friday 1 July 2016 (pre-poll voting)
- 36 Taylors Road – for electors who are unable to make it to a polling place on election day (all Divisions)
On Thursday 30 June the pre-poll centre will be open from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
On Friday 1 July the centre will be open from 8.30am to 6pm.
When you vote, you will receive two ballot papers: a green one to vote for a representative of your electoral Division in the House of Representatives, and a white one to vote for a representative of your state or territory in the Senate.
'How to vote' instructions are listed at the top of each ballot paper as well as on signs located throughout each polling place. Don't worry if you make a mistake, you can ask a polling official for another ballot paper and start again.
Voting rules for the Senate have changed this federal election. You'll have new ways to decide your preferences on your white Senate ballot paper:
- If you choose to vote above the line you now need to number at least six boxes, from 1 to 6, for the parties or groups in the order of your choice; or
- If you choose to vote below the line you now need to number at least 12 boxes, from 1 to 12, for individual candidates in the order of your choice.
Remember, once you are enrolled it is compulsory to vote.
For more information, visit www.aec.gov.au, or call +61 2 6160 2600
KAVHA Site Master Plan
Eric Martin and Associates, working with SGS Economics and Planning and the Stafford Group, have been engaged to undertake the first phase of a Site Master Plan for KAVHA. Eric Martin has been involved in the development of similar master plans in Australia and will be familiar to many Norfolk Islanders as he has worked extensively on the Island, including as a Conservation Architect. He is currently reviewing and updating the KAVHA Maintenance Manual. SGS Economics and Planning produced the 2015 Economic Development Strategy for Norfolk Island which identified opportunities to diversify and broaden the Norfolk Island economy. The Stafford Group has extensive experience in tourism planning and development and has previously worked on tourism development initiatives in the Cook Islands and Lord Howe Island.
The focus of this first phase of the project is to consult with the community, tourism operators and others with an interest in KAVHA. A report will be prepared that identifies a range of short, medium and longer terms initiatives that could be implemented to promote economic development on Norfolk Island, conserve significant heritage values, improve the quality and range of authentic experiences for visitors and ensure KAVHA remains relevant and accessible to the local community. This will include considering potential community, not for profit and commercial interests in existing buildings and structures. A key priority for the master plan will be to identify the priorities for preparing the site to manage the expected increase in cruise ship passenger arrivals, following the completion of the Cascade Pier in late 2017.
There will be a range of opportunities provided for representatives of the community to contribute to this phase, including targeted sessions for stakeholder groups, small group and open forum discussions and online and paper surveys. Details on the opportunities available for the community to contribute will be advertised. The project report will be made publicly available.
The second phase of the master plan will evaluate the feasibility, costs and benefits of the concepts and initiatives identified in Phase 1, and consider other opportunities that have been applied in other heritage and tourism sites.
Department of Human Services Agent Services - Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island Business Solutions will deliver Agent services on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Human Services from Friday 1 July 2016.
An Agent is an organisation in your community that has been trained to help you to do business with us. The facilities provided by the department are free-of-charge.
At the Agent you can:
- use the computer to access a range of government payments and services
- use the telephone to speak to the department, access the department's phone self-service options, claim Medicare benefits and to call prospective employers and,
- fax and photocopy documents.
- respond to general questions on payments and services
- show you a quick and easy way to do your business using self service
- help you complete forms and other paperwork, and
- arrange referrals to specialist services.
Agents are not Department of Human Services staff and this means that they cannot make, review, assess or vary your payments, or issue Electronic Benefits Transfers, Concession Cards, or Medicare Cards.
Norfolk Island Business Solutions is located on Taylors Road, Burnt Pine. Face-to-face services will be available Monday to Friday, from 9am to 12pm. Self-service options will be available Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.
You can use Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support online accounts to report, update or view your personal details, make claims, report employment income and download forms.
The easiest way to access the department's online accounts is through myGov. A myGov account lets you access a range of government services online with one username and password. Create a myGov account at my.gov.au
If you need help with creating a myGov account, Department of Human Services' staff will be available at Norfolk Island Business Solutions from 4 to 28 July 2016, between 9am–12pm and 1–4pm
Norfolk Island joins Australia's largest logistical peacetime operation, the Census of Population and Housing for the first time on Tuesday, 9 August 2016.
The Census will provide an accurate snapshot of Norfolk Island and its characteristics.
The information Islanders provide will help plan the future of Norfolk Island's services and infrastructure, including housing, education, healthcare and the environment.
From 29 July 2016, Census Field Officers will begin delivering Census materials to households and non-private dwellings across the island, to make sure people are counted on Census night. Islanders must make sure forms are completed fully and accurately on Census night.
In 2011, Norfolk Island's Census data showed there was a total population of 1,796 people, 892 occupied private dwellings and an average yearly household income of $29,000. To put that into perspective, only 10 years prior in the 2001 Census, the Norfolk Island population was 2,601 with 994 occupied private dwellings and an average yearly household income of $20,800.
The Census is compulsory for all Australians on both the mainland and external territories, including Norfolk Island. The information provided will not be shared with any third party or other government agency.
More information on the Census can be found at www.census.abs.gov.au
Visit by National Archives of Australia Conservator
Between 18 and 22 July 2016 Suellen Bailey, a conservator at the National Archives of Australia, will visit Norfolk Island to assist the Regional Council with the preservation of its important historical records. While the exact date of the earliest records is unknown, it is thought that some records may date back to the mid-19th Century or earlier.
Under the Archives Act 1983 there are access and preservation obligations. The National Archives promotes good government recordkeeping and encourages community awareness and use of valuable Australian Government records in its care. Preserving records means ensuring that they are accessible for as long as required.
There are numerous records on Norfolk Island that are at risk of deteriorating and the rate of deterioration of paper, photographic, digital or audio visual records depends on the preservation actions that are applied. Ms Bailey will be able to provide support and technical advice on preservation, handling and storage requirements including correct handling of flat paper items to aid their long-term preservation.
Changes to your postal services
As you are aware, Australia Post is introducing some changes to your postal services – here are some of the key things you need to know before July 1 2016.
Your Post Office is being relocated
On 30 June 2016, the current Post Office will close.
From 1 July 2016, your new Post Office will open at its new location within P&R Groceries at 6 Taylors Road.
Post Office Boxes
From 1 July 2016 you can collect your mail from your Post Office Box at the new location. You will have access to your PO Box 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There are no changes to your PO Box address and you can continue to use your existing key.
You will have new Post Office managers
Your new Post Office managers will be Dean Graham and Raewyn Baker. They will be responsible for delivering postal services for the Norfolk Island community on behalf of Australia Post.
Post Office products and services
The Norfolk Island Post Office will offer a range of convenient products and services for the community, including domestic and international letter and parcel products and passport services.
The price of stamps will change
From 1 July 2016, current Norfolk Island postage stamps will no longer be valid for postage. All mail will need to have the appropriate Australia Post stamp affixed.
If you would like to get in touch with Australia Post, ask a question or tell them how they're doing, please email NorfolkIsland@auspost.com.au
New Rules for Norfolk Island
The Minister for Territories, Major Projects and Local Government made six new Rules for Norfolk Island, which will commence on 1 July 2016. The Rules relate to long service leave, diagnostic imaging and pathology, the transfer of records and other information, immigration, and business names registration. The rules are administrative in nature, and implement previously announced government decisions in relation to the reform process. The following provides a summary of the Rules. The official versions will be available on the Federal Register of Legislation once published.
Norfolk Island Applied Laws Amendment (Long Service Leave) Rule 2016
Ensures that long service leave under the Long Service Leave Act 1955 (NSW)(NI) accrues from 1 July 2016, without removing existing long service leave entitlements of eligible employees on Norfolk Island. Also ensures that Norfolk Island public holidays are recognised for the purposes of long service leave accrual.
Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act Transitional Rule (Diagnostic Imaging) 2016
Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act Transitional Rule (Pathology) 2016
Allows Medicare rebates to be claimed for diagnostic imaging and pathology services provided by the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service Facility from 1 July 2016 when Norfolk Island enters the Australian social security, tax and Medicare systems.
Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act Transitional Rule 2016 (No 1)
- Transfers immigration and customs records held by the Administration of Norfolk Island (ANI) to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). These records are required for operational reasons.
- Substitutes the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development for the ANI as a party to the agreement with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for policing services in the Territory.
- Ensures that existing contracts and other instruments to which the ANI is a party can continue with the Norfolk Island Regional Council (Regional Council).
- Substitutes the Regional Council for the ANI in a number of proceedings pending before the courts.
- Ensures the ANI's financial statements for the 2015-16 financial year can be audited.
- Transfers records relating to the Legislative Assembly and the Norfolk Island Advisory Council to the Commonwealth to ensure preservation of these historic documents.
Norfolk Island Legislation (Migration) Transitional Rule 2016
Transitions residents of Norfolk Island and certain permit holders (i.e. not those who hold a Visitor Permit), along with newborn babies of certain permit holders, to the visa system under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) on 1 July 2016.
This is because Norfolk Island will be integrated into the Australian migration zone and the Immigration Act 1980 (NI) will no longer apply from 1 July 2016. Therefore, all non-citizens on Norfolk Island will need to hold a visa under the Migration Act 1958.
Residents and certain permit-holders will be transitioned to the following visa subclasses under this Rule:
- Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa;
- Subclass 159 (Provisional Resident Return) visa; or
- Subclass 808 (Confirmatory (Residence) visa.
This Rule also deems those in Norfolk Island on 1 July 2016 to have entered Australia and to have been immigration cleared.
Territories Legislation Amendment Transitional Rule (Business Names Registration) 2016
Facilitates the transfer of the Norfolk Island business names register to the national Business Names Register following the extension of the Business Names Register Act 2011 to Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016. The transfer process is consistent with the way various other state and territory registers were transferred to the Business Names Register. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Registrar for the Norfolk Island business names register will provide information directly to relevant businesses.
Did you know?
The Passenger Movement Charge Act 1978 amendment extends the passenger movement charge to people departing Norfolk Island for another country. Departure from Norfolk Island to another country is treated in the same way as a departure from anywhere else in Australia. The charge does not apply to flights from Norfolk Island to the mainland.
Accessing Information about Australian Government programs and services after 30 June 2016.
In last month's newsletter the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development advised that after 30 June 2016 the Australian Government Information Centre at Burnt Pine would no longer operate as a drop-in centre.
From 1 July 2016, it will become home to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
From 1 July 2016, each government department has responsibility for providing information about its programs and services to the Norfolk Island community. Some departments, including the Department of Human Services, Department of Social Services and Department of Employment, have engaged local representatives who will have a physical presence on the Island, whilst all other departments have information available on their websites.
A comprehensive list of government departments, their range of services and website details can be found below. This information is also available on the Department of Infrastructure's website
Programs and Services
|Department||Services||Website Contact Details|
|Australian Electoral Commission||Federal electoral arrangements, including enrolling to vote||www.aec.gov.au or
|Australian Bureau of Statistics||National statistics, including five yearly Census of Population and Housing||www.abs.gov.au|
|Australian Federal Police||Policing, including National Security Hotline and Crime Stoppers||www.afp.gov.au|
|Australian Passport Office||Australian passports||www.passports.gov.au|
|Australian Securities and Investments Commission||Business name registration||www.asic.gov.au or
|Australian Taxation Office||Taxation and superannuation||www.ato.gov.au or
|Department of Agriculture and Water Resources||Biosecurity arrangements
Farm Household Allowance
|Department of Education and Training||Early childhood and childcare
Child Care access
Child care and family payments
|Department of Employment||Employment services||www.employment.gov.au or
|Fair Work Ombudsman||Workplace Relations information||www.fairwork.gov.au or
|Department of Health||Health, including Medicare Benefits Schedule and Private Health Insurance Rebate||www.health.gov.au or
|Private Health Insurance Ombudsman||Information about private health insurance and funds||www.privatehealth.gov.au or
|Department of Human Services||Social security programs, payments and services||www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/contact-us or
|Department of Immigration and Border Protection||Immigration and customs, including visas||www.border.gov.au or
|Department of Social Services||www.dss.gov.au or
|Department of Veterans' Affairs||Veterans' entitlements||www.dva.gov.au|