Royal commission into matters relating to norfolk island


In relation to Guideline (j) Chapter 16)



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8.In relation to Guideline (j) Chapter 16)

‘The need for adequate law enforcement and judicial machinery’


  1. That non—law—enforcement activities of the Police Force be severed and handed over to Administration personnel.

  2. That a permanent police station complex be constructed at Burnt Pine, and include the following:

        • two lock—up cells with toilet facilities;

        • office accommodation;

        • provision for reception and identification of offenders;

        • space for stores, exhibits, equipment (including breath-alyser testing equipment) and amenities for staff;

        • sergeant’s residence;

        • residence for lock-up keeper (i.e. one constable);

        • garage accommodation;

        • radio communication facilities.

  3. That a course be established for training special constables and probation officers in the rudiments of their tasks.

  4. That in relation to punishment, and as an alternative to imprisonment, both the Supreme Court and the Court of Petty Sessions be empowered to impose a sentence on an offender whereby he may be obliged:

    1. To pay a fine;

    2. To compensate, to whatever extent and in whatever manner the Court sees fit, the victim or victims of his unlawful conduct;

    3. To suffer deprivation of liberty by performing community service when and as directed by a controlling body representative of the community.

  5. That legislation to enable parole to be granted in the Island be introduced immediately, along with power in the Courts to fix a non—parole period in respect of a sentence of imprisonment.
  6. That laws of the Island be updated and consolidated as soon as possible, ar~ be reviewed as part of any review entrusted to the Law Reform Commission of the laws of all Australian Territories.


  7. That those recommendations of the Weir Report not covered by this Report be considered in conjunction with the recommendations contained in this Report.

  8. That Island magistrates, in addition to Supreme Court judges, be empowered to grant bail.

  9. That jurisdiction of Island magistrates in civil matters be enlarged to the same level as that exercised by magistrates of the Court of Petty Sessions of the Australian Capital Territory.

  10. That the law library in the Island be supplemented by the addition of more works of reference.

  11. That adequate Court staffing arrangements be provided.

  12. That the Removal of Prisoners (Territories) Act 1923—1973 be amended to allow the Minister for Administrative Services, instead of the ‘Minister of State for External -Territories’, to advise the Governor-General on the removal of prisoners from Norfolk Island.

  13. That in order to give effect to the implications of the decision in the Berwick Case s.14 of the Norfolk Island Act 1957—1963 be amended to provide for all Commonwealth legislation, past or future, affecting Australia generally to be henceforth applicable to Norfolk Island unless the contrary is expressly stated.

  14. That the Commonwealth be responsible for law enforcement in Norfolk Island.

  15. That the Commonwealth Government make provision for the hearing of matrimonial causes instituted by residents of the Island under the Family Law Act.

  16. That the Commonwealth Government make provision for granting legal aid to residents of Norfolk Island.

Chapter 3

PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMISSION

  1. Counsel assisting and the secretariat

Mr C.E.K. Hampson, Q.C., of the Bar of Queensland and Mr J.F. Gallop (later Q.C.) of the Bar of the Australian Capital Territory were appointed to assist the Commission. Mr B.F.L. Crommelin of the Deputy Commonwealth Crown Solicitor’s Officer Brisbane, was appointed to instruct them. The Commission wishes to acknowledge the assistance it received from these gentlemen throughout the proceedings.

Mr L.R. Dudley of the then Department of the Special Minister of State was appointed Secretary of the Commission.. The Commission wishes to acknowledge the help received from him prior to and throughout the proceedings and in the preparation of this Report.


  1. Invitation to interested parties


Soon after the issue of the letters patent, the commission issued invitations via the press throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands to those persons and organisations interested in the subject—matter of the inquiry to give evidence to the Commission.
  1. Witnesses and exhibits


In response to the advertisements and further appeals over the Norfolk Island radio 144 witnesses appeared before the Commission to give evidence and 46 organisations and persons made written submissions to the Commission. In addition 291 exhibits were tendered, 281 public and 10 confidential. Identities of those who gave evidence are shown in Appendixes (I) and (II) and the list of exhibits in Appendix (III).
  1. Hearings and inspections

The Commission held public hearings in Norfolk Island, Canberra and Brisbane. The Norfolk Island hearings and inspections occupied nine weeks, and continued until no further witnesses or submissions were presented. Inspections were made throughout Norfolk Island and included the school, the hospital, forestry and lighterage operations, the power station, the airport, the radio station, the library, the youth centre, the garbage disposal site, the quarry sites, the timber mills and tanalith plant and the erosion on Philip Island. Visits were also made to social welfare centres. Every opportunity was afforded individuals in Norfolk Island to express their point of view on the Terms of Reference.

  1. Libraries and archives


The Commission made searches in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, in the Victorian Parliamentary Library and the Federal Archives, Melbourne, and in the National Library, Canberra. The Archives in Wellington, New Zealand, were examined and the Public Records Archives, the British Museum Library, the British Admiralty Records and the Royal Archives in the United Kingdom were also searched



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