Public inquiry into the Norfolk Island Regional Council
On 10 February 2021, the Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories (Minister) announced a public inquiry into the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC). The Minister has appointed Ms Carolyn McNally as the commissioner to hold the inquiry.
The inquiry will examine critical challenges facing the NIRC and whether the council and the elected councillors are discharging their responsibilities under the Act, with a particular focus on the NIRC's financial and asset management. These matters were identified as a major area of concern in the recent independent audit reports by Nexia Sydney Audit and Grassroots Connections Australia.
At the conclusion of the inquiry, the commissioner will present the Minister with a report outlining her findings in relation to the Terms of Reference for the inquiry (ToR). A copy of the ToR is available below.
The success of the inquiry will depend on the active involvement of the community. The inquiry will give the opportunity for different points of view to be heard and considered.
About the Commissioner
Ms McNally has held senior positions in the Australian and New South Wales (NSW) public services, including as Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment from 2014 to 2019, with responsibilities including local government. Ms McNally will have the same powers as commissioners who conduct inquiries into NSW councils.
Sharing information with the Inquiry team
The Inquiry team visited the island 13 to 15 April, to offer the opportunity for community members to speak informally with the Commissioner. A number of sessions were held.
In addition, there was the opportunity to speak with members of the Inquiry team one-on-one. Should you wish to speak with a member of the Inquiry team one-on-one we encourage you to send an email to NIRCpublicinquiry@infrastructure.gov.au and a team member will get back to you to arrange a time for a call or online discussion.
Call for submissions
The Inquiry has called for members of the public who want to provide information relevant to the Terms of Reference to make a submission to the Inquiry. Anyone who wants to make a submission will need to do so by Friday 7 May 2021.
Submissions should be made in writing preferably by email due to delays in the post between Norfolk Island and the Australian mainland.
Submissions will not be made public.
More information about submissions can be found in the Fact sheet and Information paper below.
The formal public hearings, are scheduled for the week commencing Monday 31 May. More information about the public hearings will be communicated as details are confirmed.
Information about the public hearing process and other information about the Inquiry can be found in the Terms of Reference and FAQ documents linked below.
For any other inquiries please contact the Secretariat:
- Email: NIRCpublicinquiry@infrastructure.gov.au
- Mail: NIRC Public Inquiry, Office of the Commissioner, GPO Box 594, Canberra, ACT, 2601
- Public inquiry into the Norfolk Island Regional Council Factsheet DOCX: 70 KB PDF: 781 KB
- Terms of reference for the public inquiry into the Norfolk Island Regional Council PDF: 62 KB
- NIRC public inquiry and election delay FAQ PDF: 499 KB
- Information Paper - public submissions and hearings process DOCX: 77 KB PDF: 693 KB