Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP and the Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Olympics, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, today signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), for the provision of state services to Norfolk Island, marking the beginning of an enduring partnership for the delivery of essential services to one of Australia’s most remote communities.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce welcomed the signing of the IGA as a landmark moment for Norfolk Island.
“With the signing of this IGA between the Australian and Queensland Governments, the essential health support and school education services currently delivered by the New South Wales (NSW) Government will transition to Queensland from 1 January 2022, heralding a new and sustainable future for state-type services on Norfolk Island,” Minister Joyce said.
“The Queensland Government has extensive experience in delivering high quality health and education services to remote and island communities across the state, and they will now be bringing that knowledge and expertise to Norfolk Island.
“Our Government is committed to ensuring continuity of essential services during the transition to Queensland as delivery partner.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the finalisation of the IGA, reaffirming the Queensland Government’s commitment to collaboration with the Commonwealth and NSW governments to support the Norfolk Island community.
“With the signing of the IGA between the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth, we can now progress the work of transitioning essential services, to provide greater clarity and certainty for Norfolk Island’s more than 1,700 residents,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
“We look forward to continuing our discussions with the Commonwealth on the next steps for transition and future arrangements, with both governments focused on service continuity.
“I’m proud of the Queensland Government’s long history of delivering world-class services to geographically remote locations, and we look forward to tailoring future delivery models to address the unique and long-term needs of the Norfolk Island community.”
The next steps will be the development and finalisation of services schedules for health and education services and detailed transition planning and implementation ahead of the end of 2021.
The agreement also provides for the Australian and Queensland governments to continue to consider other state services progressively over time.
Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, Nola Marino, confirmed the Australian Government’s commitment to working with the Queensland Government to ensure a smooth transition of services.
“The Australian Government has been working closely with the Queensland and NSW governments over the past months to support Norfolk Island residents through the initial stages of this transition,” Mrs Marino said.
“As we now move forward, we will be prioritising the delivery of education and health services, to ensure the best outcomes for students, patients, staff and the broader community.
“Our Government is committed to ensuring that Norfolk Island has access to high quality state services comparable to mainland communities, and funds all costs associated with state service delivery to Norfolk Island.”
The Norfolk Island community will continue to be informed and engaged as transition progresses.