An Uneasy Relationship: Norfolk Island and the Commonwealth by Maev O'Collins

By Maev O'Collins

The placement of Norfolk Island, as a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia, is likely one of the historic anomalies in governance, which has continued on account that 1914. It displays the direct old linkages among the British Crown and people Norfolk Islanders who have been descendants of Pitcairn Islanders of Mutiny at the Bounty reputation. but, as soon as Federation used to be within the wind, the British govt, opposed to the expressed needs of the Norfolk Island group, sought to divest itself of all accountability for Norfolk Island. there's a interestingly ‘Yes Minister’ caliber concerning the negotiations which result in the ultimate take-over by way of Australia, and the appointment of the 1st Commonwealth Administrator of Norfolk Island. The direct involvement of Atlee Hunt, then Secretary of the dept of exterior Affairs, ultimately ensured the appointment of Michael Vincent Murphy. with a purpose to accomplish that finish, Hunt needed to fend off different candidates who have been busy ingratiating themselves with the Minister for exterior Affairs Patrick McMahon Glynn and the then top Minister Joseph cook dinner. this is often primarily a learn of the relationships among governors, politicians, public servants and group leaders throughout the years which the take-over of Norfolk Island, and of the fight of 1 Norfolk Islander, Charles Chase Ray Nobbs, opposed to Australian administrative authority.

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Sir Henry responded that:21 The British Government has offered to hand over Norfolk Island to New South Wales but in the view of the present advisers of the Crown, we should hardly know what to do with Norfolk Island, and we have not decided to accept the offer, as it would appear to be something like a white elephant. 11 n Uneasy elationship The transfer gathers momentum For the next few years, New South Wales continued to resist attempts by the Colonial Office to implement the transfer of authority for the Island.

13 n Uneasy elationship In October 1896, with Federation now a definite possibility, Premier George Reid agreed that, while Norfolk Island would not be formally annexed to New South Wales, a provisional arrangement would be made, bringing the Island under the authority of the Governor of the Colony of New South Wales. Administrative services would be provided by the appropriate New South Wales government departments. To facilitate these arrangements, the British Government offered to pay one thousand pounds towards the initial expenses, and an annual charge of one hundred pounds towards the salary of the resident magistrate.

He pointed out that criticisms of a lack of industry failed to take into account the reality that there was also a lack of markets:19 At present, the islanders fairly say, “What is the good of our raising anything except what is required for our immediate consumption? ” The Government of New South Wales was in no hurry to accept the transfer. Apart from sending two surveyors to the Island in 1886, and authorising Wilkinson to continue as a visiting magistrate, no further action was taken. However, in October 1886, Wilkinson again visited the Island.

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