Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


‘Geoffrey Robertson QC appears for Norfolk Islanders … ‘

The Norfolk Island community has launched a legal challenge with the United Nations, alleging the Australian Government has breached an international covenant on civil and political rights following the forced takeover of the island’s governance.

The case is being run by high-profile international human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC on behalf of the president of the Norfolk Island Council of Elders, Albert Buffett.

The matter will now be investigated by the UN Human Rights Committee — part of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights — to examine whether the Australian Government has breached the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The action (see attached documentation) alleges that the people of Norfolk Island have effectively been disenfranchised, with laws covering health, education, and criminal matters imposed from NSW, where they are not allowed to vote.

The case outlines the fact that the island has been left in legal limbo given it is not part of an Australian state or territory, is not mentioned in the Australian constitution, and is not able to access judicial review of the actions of the Australian Government or its appointed administrator.

Also highlighted are the efforts of the Australian Government to suppress the indigenous history and culture on the island, including by: seizing historical artefacts and parliamentary records; commandeering the local radio station; and imposing rates on family land granted to the descendants of the Bounty mutineers.

Norfolk Island was self-governed from 1979 to 2015 before then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott abolished the local parliament and handed full control of governance of the island to an appointed administrator, former Liberal MP Gary Hardgrave.

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  1. Clive Stott

    March 15, 2018 at 4:32 am

    Can only wish them well.
    And I often wonder where their bare-footed Rod Buffett (Burnie High School) is now?

  2. Russell

    March 14, 2018 at 10:47 am

    It’s so sad that there is just one Barrister or QC in the whole world that I know of who takes on such cases against government or corporate oppression.

    It should be mandatory that all Barristers-to-be take on such cases fee-free for one year as part of their attaining such a qualification.

  3. Noel Todd

    March 13, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Doomed to failure as the Island has not left the hands of NSW since being handed over by the British Royalty.

    Various forms of Governance have been tried and failed especially self-governance. While they are Territorians they come under the rights and protections of one of the best countries in the World, and as such their lot has improved dramatically.

  4. Peter

    March 13, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Yes, and Eric Hutchinson – one of our own failed ‘amigos’ – is the current Norfolk Island administrator. Just another of the many post-election Jobs for the (Liberal) Boys.

    ABC NEWS – 03.03.17

    A former Tasmanian federal MP is headed to a new island, and this time he will be running the whole show on a salary of over $300,000.

    Eric Hutchinson has been appointed administrator of Norfolk Island for two years, and will reside in the island’s Government House.

    Mr Hutchinson was unseated in last year’s (2016) federal election after serving three years in Lyons.

    He then took up a highly paid position as an advisor to Senate President Stephen Parry.

    Mr Hutchinson will succeed Gary Hardgrave in the administrator’s role from 1st April 2017.


  5. John Biggs

    March 13, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Delighted to see this action. What was done to Norfolk Island was nothing short of an illegal invasion.

  6. john hayward

    March 12, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    With its spotless record of adherence to UN conventions on refugees, climate, etc., its seat on the UN Human Rights Council, the moral heft of Tony Abbott , and the financial stewardship of Gary Hargrave, I’m betting on Australia again finding the low road through this mess.

    John Hayward

  7. Lynne Newingtongton

    March 12, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    A brilliant mind, and who better? No-one or nothing deters him.

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