23 May 2013

Concerns in Norfolk about relaxed immigration

4:47 am on 23 May 2013

Norfolk Island's Chief Minister Lisle Snell says the community has concerns about new relaxed immigration rules for Australians and New Zealanders.

Changes to the immigration rules were assented to on Wednesday which mean Australian and New Zealand citizens no longer have to apply for a permit to visit and it is easier for them to become residents.

Mr Snell says local people were not fully consulted on the changes which come as part of a deal with Australia to boost the population and stimulate the island's economy.

He says with immigration there must be control.

"Particularly if you have people coming over here on a one-way ticket, on a limited income with no health insurance, nowhere to stay, we must have character checks in place so the safety net that applies in other areas hasn't been finalised here on the island and that's our greatest concern here at this time."

Lisle Snell says a population increase could overtax the island's resources.