20 Nov 2017

Norfolk Island's economy in a state of crisis, report

6:36 am on 20 November 2017

A new report says Norfolk Island's economy is in a state of crisis and many businesses have suffered since its governance changed in 2016.

Australia abolished the island's self-government in July last year, and its 1,900 residents now governed by a regional council under the auspices of New South Wales.

But the report's author, retired economist and Norfolk resident Chris Nobbs, said the imposition of expensive mainland regulations have burdened families and businesses, increasing costs substantially.

Dr Nobbs says the island was also required to pay its own way, but its means of revenue generation have been stripped and tourism promotion - the main industry - has been scaled back.

"The difficulties have arisen, in my view, because the Australian government has come in and said Norfolk Island must pay its way and Norfolk Islanders must become like mainland Australians in terms of their obligations and expectations, and it's those two different things which are crushing the island's economy in the middle," he said.

Chris Nobbs said the island needs a breather from reforms, and he wants a public inquiry from the Australian Productivity Commission.

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Photo: Norfolk Government