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Remote Norfolk Island comes under Qld's wing with services deal

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One of Australia’s most remote and historically significant communities will be drawn closer to Queensland under a services deal between the state and federal governments.

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Queensland will provide Norfolk Island in the south-west Pacific, more than 1460 km from Brisbane, with health and education services from January under the deal.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the partnership agreement would involve providing services to the island’s more than 1700 residents.

Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia, lost its self-governing status in 2015, with NSW stepping in to provide school and health services until this latest deal with Queensland.

It served as a penal settlement from 1788, with permanent residence on the island beginning in 1856 when the descendants of the Bounty mutineers were moved there from Pitcairn Island.

“Queensland already delivers world-class health and education services, including to geographically remote locations, and we are honoured to be able to deliver these services for the people of Norfolk Island,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament.

She said a government delegation to the island last April found residents had a “great affection” for Queensland.

“Almost every person the delegation spoke to has some connection to Queensland, from family living here or children studying here, to where they travel to or to access specialist health services, many saying they had a preference for Queensland health services,” she said.

The Norfolk Island Regional Council was also granted an associate membership of the Local Government Association of Queensland, giving it access to the LGAQ’s services.

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