Joint Standing Committee Reports on way forward for Norfolk Island Governance


The Albanese Government welcomes the report of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories (JSCNCET) into Norfolk Island governance.

The JSCNCET has been inquiring into appropriate models of local government for Norfolk Island and equitable revenue sources to support those models.

Its report, released today, makes seven recommendations to provide the foundation for a new democratically-elected governing body to be established on the island.

This includes recommending the creation of a new bespoke governing body, which would consist of a majority of locally-elected members, who would work with representatives appointed by the Australian Government.

The report also recommends inclusion of a preamble in the governing legislation to recognise Norfolk Island’s distinct culture and the nature of the relationship between Norfolk Island and Australia.

The Government will now work through its consideration of the recommendations in partnership with the Norfolk Island community.

In line with the JSCNCET’s recommendations, the Norfolk Island Governance Committee (NIGC) will play a lead role in further consultation with the community on the future governance model.

For a copy of the report and more information on the inquiry, visit:

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain MP:

“From my commencement as Minister, I’ve heard loud and clear that Norfolk Islanders want local democracy returned – and their voices to underpin local decision-making.

“It’s why we established the Norfolk Island Governance Committee, and why we will now work closely with the NIGC and the broader community as we consider the recommendations of this report.

“It’s important we work towards developing a model that is financially sustainable and appropriate for Norfolk Island’s distinct challenges and opportunities – and the community will be central to this process.

“I thank the Joint Standing Committee for their important contribution to our ongoing commitment to re-establish democratically-elected governance on Norfolk Island.”

Quotes attributable to the Federal Member for Bean, David Smith MP:

 “Improving local community engagement and hearing their voice has been a priority for me since I became the Member for Bean and I welcome the constructive way the committee has engaged with the Norfolk Island community. 

“Allied with the election of the Governance Committee this has restored optimism in the community about local representation and capacity building.”

Restoring Democracy

November 2023

© Commonwealth of Australia 2023
ISBN: 978-1-76092-589-5

View the report as a single document:

View the report as separate downloadable parts:



Terms of reference


List of recommendations

Chapter 1 – Introduction

  • Background
  • Previous Committee reports
  • Norfolk Island Governance Committee
  • Scope and limitations
  • Report outline
  • Acknowledgements

Chapter 2 – Background

  • History of Norfolk Island
  • Committee comment

Chapter 3 – Norfolk Island Regional Council

  • Establishment of the NIRC
  • Operation of the NIRC
  • Dismissal of the NIRC
  • Committee comment

Chapter 4 – Revenue

  • Norfolk Island economy
  • Revenue collection on Norfolk Island
  • Alternative sources of revenue
  • Committee comment

Chapter 5 – Governance models

  • Possible models

Chapter 6 – Governance principles

  • International experience
  • Principles
  • Capacity building
  • Legislative basis
  • Committee comment

A. Submissions

B. Public Hearings

Additional comments by Senator Andrew McLachlan CSC

Additional comments by Senator David Pocock

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 4355

Federal parliament’s National Capital and External Territories Committee will be visiting Norfolk Island on the 3rd to the 5th of April as part of its inquiry into self-government on the Island.

We caught up with Chair of the Committee, Ms Alicia Payne MP and Deputy Chair, the Hon Nola Marino MP, to find out more about the inquiry.

For more information about the inquiry visit

Read Submissions here :