Plans to transfer service delivery in one of Australia's most remote territories have been finalised, with Queensland to take on health and education responsibility in Norfolk Island from next year.
Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had signed an agreement with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce for Queensland to take over from NSW from January 1.
"This agreement will provide greater clarity and certainty for the more than 1700 residents who call Norfolk Island home," Ms Palaszczuk said.
The cementing of plans follows a delegation led by state education minister Grace Grace to the volcanic island 1440 kilometres east of Brisbane earlier this year.
"Almost every person the delegation spoke to had some connection to Queensland," Ms Palaszczuk said, saying many residents had family living or studying in the sunshine state.
Mr Joyce described the agreement with the Commonwealth as a "landmark moment" for Norfolk Island.
"The Queensland government has extensive experience in delivering high quality health and education services to remote and island communities across the state, and they will now be bringing that knowledge and expertise to Norfolk Island," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
The agreement also provides for the federal and Queensland governments to consider other state services over time.
Norfolk Island was a self-governing territory for 36 years. Its nine-member parliament was abolished in May 2015 by the federal government despite widespread opposition from residents.
The legislative assembly was replaced with a local government administration, similar to a regional council, and became part of NSW which managed health and education services on the island in return for federal government funding.
Australian Associated Press
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