15 Oct 2014

Norfolk anger at creeping Canberra takeover

7:03 pm on 15 October 2014

A former chief minister of Norfolk Island, Andre Nobbs, says the Australian Government has removed most of the island's ability to govern itself.

He says this is what sparked, he called a dignified protest on Monday at the island's Royal Show, when the islanders' sang their own anthems while Canberra's administrator, Gary Hardgrave, asked them to sing Advance Australia Fair.

There was also graffiti put on Mr Hardgrave's accommodation.

Norfolk was for 30 years, until 2009, largely autonomous, but the global financial crisis led it to a call for help from Australia.

Mr Nobbs says since then Caberra bureaucrats have progressively removed Norfolk's self governing capacity, enforcing decisions islanders see as negative.

"The community had reached the end of its tether recently and was at the point where something needed to be said en masse, and that was that this community has a right to be consulted for constitutional change and for major change to this island."