Friday, March 20, 2015

"Mutiny on the Bounty" Descendants Likely To Lose Control of Their Island


Things have gotten contentious on Norfolk Island:

Residents of the remote Pacific island of Norfolk Island, home to descendants of the sailors who launched mutiny on the Bounty, are poised for their own fightback over plans to end its self-rule.

The island has been plagued by financial issues for years, and relies heavily on assistance from Canberra, but many of the islanders are protective of its independence and the island’s chief minister, Lisle Snell, has declared the proposed changes tantamount to a return to “colonial” rule.

The move by the Australian government, announced by assistant minister for Infrastructure and Rural Development Jamie Briggs, will see the island’s parliament abolished and replaced by a regional council, while personal and business taxes will be introduced. The island has self-governed with a four-member government and a parliament of nine people since 1979. In return, the 1,800 inhabitants will be able to access healthcare and social security benefits. “The infrastructure on Norfolk Island is run down, the health system not up to standard”, Mr Briggs said.

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