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Volume 617: debated on Wednesday 23 November 2016

Norfolk Island

I rise to present a petition to the House for no fewer than 866 of Her Majesty’s most loyal subjects who live in the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island. I know that you support Norfolk Island, Madam Deputy Speaker, having visited the territory some years ago. Today’s petition coincides with this year’s visit to Norfolk Island by me and the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Paula Sherriff) and my hon. Friend the Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski). We visited the island to see what is happening about the right of self-governance being removed from the people of that territory.

As hon. Members will know, we cherish the fact that territories and dependencies should have the right of self-determination. As we uphold that for our territories, so should Australia uphold it for the people of Norfolk Island. The petition also coincides with the visit to the United Kingdom of the former Chief Minister of Norfolk Island, the Hon. Andre Nobbs, and the President of the Council of Elders of Norfolk Island, Mr Albert Buffett.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the UK,

Declares that on behalf of residents of Norfolk Island, there is an identified historical, cultural, legal and constitutional relationship which Norfolk Island and the Norfolk Island people have celebrated since 1856 with the United Kingdom and the British people.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges Her Majesty’s Government to support the people of Norfolk Island to be able to uphold their right of self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Charter specific to decolonisation and humbly request the same right of self-determination as afforded to the people of the British Overseas territories.

And the petitioners remain, etc.