28 Mar 2012

Norfolk Island remains hopeful tourism will lift it out of economic depression

7:54 pm on 28 March 2012

The chief minister of Norfolk Island says tourism remains the most viable way out of its economic depression.

A recent report by the Australian Government says the Norfolk Island government's fiscal position is poor and impacting the quality of life.

It says in the past eight years, the Commonwealth has provided soft loans and direct transfers to the Norfolk Island government totalling more than 38 million US dollars.

The minister, David Buffett, says with people not in an easy situation, gaining employment is difficult, and incomes are limited.

"However the principal industry of tourism remains viable and is something that is being marketed strongly. And people are being receptive to coming to this place. There are some interesting discussion we are presently having with cruise ships, which is another dimension to the visitor industry."

David Buffett says the government is hoping to secure funding for some infrastructure changes to attract cruise ships to the island.