So why do we fell this independent pine of Norfolk Island?
Matthew Lesh, The Australian November 21, 2017
Most Australians know little of Norfolk Island. It is, after all, a small island territory with just 1700 inhabitants located 1400km from our mainland. Nevertheless, we should be concerned about the disastrous economic and social consequences following the Australian government’s elimination of Norfolk’s self-rule. The Australian government has thrown out basic principles of self-determination and good government in a brazen Canberra-knows-best takeover.
In June 2015, Australia abolished Norfolk’s government, legislative assembly and public service, and appointed an external administrator and an advisory council. The island also has been incorporated into NSW, though it has no say in the state government.
The takeover, which was undertaken against the wishes of 68 per cent of Norfolk residents, has inevitably had devastating consequences.
Government by the people and close to the people is best placed to deliver good governance. Local decisions can democratically reflect local preferences, as well as competencies and knowledge. Knowledge is not held by a central planner — it is dispersed among the populace, which is best placed to make decisions about people’s lives and governance….
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Matthew Lesh is a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.