Politics of Norfolk Island

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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Norfolk Island

Politics of Norfolk Island takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic entity. Norfolk Island is the only non-mainland Australian territory to have achieved self-governance. The Norfolk Island Act 1979, passed by the Parliament of Australia in 1979, is the Act under which the island is governed.

In a move that apparently surprised many islanders the Chief Minister of Norfolk Island David Buffett announced on 6 November 2010 that the island would voluntary surrender its self-governing status in return for a financial bailout from the federal government to cover significant debts.[1]


Executive branch

The Australian Government maintains authority on the island through an Administrator (currently Owen Walsh) who is appointed by the Governor-General of Australia. Four of the members of the Assembly form the Executive Council, which devises policy and acts as an advisory body to the Administrator. This council is headed by the Administrator of Norfolk Island.

Legislative branch

The Norfolk Legislative Assembly is elected by popular vote for a term of not more than three years, although legislation passed by the Australian Parliament can extend its laws to the territory at will. The Assembly consists of nine seats, with electors casting nine equal votes, of which no more than four can be given to any individual candidate. It is a method of voting called a "weighted first past the post system". All seats are held by independent candidates as Norfolk Island does not have political parties. Local ordinances and acts apply on the island, where most laws are based on the Australian legal system. Australian common law applies when not covered by either Australian or Norfolk Island law. Suffrage is universal at age eighteen.

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