Australia's assistant minister of regional development says reforms on Norfolk Island will not undermine its special character.
Jamie Briggs says removing Norfolk's federal and state powers is being done to ensure the long term viability of an island that is effectively bankrupt.
Mr Briggs says the change is costly, it brings no political benefit but the government sees it as the right thing to do.
He says there is signficant support on the island for the changes while there is cross party backing in Canberra.
"It is something that is seen through the prism of bi-partisanship here because we all absolutely respect the unique cultural contribution that Norfolk Island has given to Australia and we don't want that to be diminished, and we don't think these changes at all diminish that, but we have to also live with the reality of living in 2015."