An Uneasy Relationship: Norfolk Island and the Commonwealth by Maev O'Collins

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By Maev O'Collins

The location of Norfolk Island, as a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia, is without doubt one of the historic anomalies in governance, which has persevered given that 1914. It displays the direct ancient linkages among the British Crown and people Norfolk Islanders who have been descendants of Pitcairn Islanders of Mutiny at the Bounty repute. but, as soon as Federation used to be within the wind, the British executive, opposed to the expressed needs of the Norfolk Island group, sought to divest itself of all accountability for Norfolk Island. there's a interestingly ‘Yes Minister’ caliber in regards to the negotiations which bring about the ultimate take-over by means of Australia, and the appointment of the 1st Commonwealth Administrator of Norfolk Island. The direct involvement of Atlee Hunt, then Secretary of the dep. of exterior Affairs, ultimately ensured the appointment of Michael Vincent Murphy. so as to accomplish that finish, Hunt needed to fend off different candidates who have been busy ingratiating themselves with the Minister for exterior Affairs Patrick McMahon Glynn and the then leading Minister Joseph cook dinner. this is often basically a learn of the relationships among governors, politicians, public servants and neighborhood leaders through the years which the take-over of Norfolk Island, and of the fight of 1 Norfolk Islander, Charles Chase Ray Nobbs, opposed to Australian administrative authority.

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Example text

He was essentially a scholar. While busy with his political and ministerial duties, he continued to memorize beautiful passages of poetic literature. “I love literature,” he said. ” He lectured frequently on literary and historical subjects. A sincerely religious man, he made an eloquent speech in the Federal Convention in favour of the insertion of the words that are now in the preamble to the Constitution, “humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God”. He made a close study of the problems of the Murray River, and wrote a very complete report on the legal questions involved.

In these circumstances, some official responses reflected the need to maintain respect for position and status on the one hand, and a desire to assert a new authority and control on the other. Discussions over the current and future status of Norfolk Island also highlighted unresolved questions over unauthorised occupancy of buildings and land. Individual Islanders who had ignored notices to sign leases or face eviction became the subject of greater attention. Due to the somewhat curious situation of Norfolk Island as an interim dependency of New South Wales, the Governor of New South Wales informed the Governor-General that it was now 21 n Uneasy elationship proposed that a Royal Commission on Land Matters should be appointed.

I do not see at present it is necessary to send anyone over but if you feel any difficulty I will send Carrodus or go across myself. E. Carey, then Private Secretary to the Administrator, and later Director of the Northern Territory. A serious industrial dispute had arisen while the Administrator, Dr J. A. Gilruth, was away from Darwin. This was not the first time that Carey had been left to resolve a simmering problem. He wrote rather despairingly to Hunt, outlining the difficulties of his situation.

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