Norfolk Island

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Australian island settled by convicts and mutineers

Norfolk Island is a volcanic island which lies north-west of New Zealand in the South Pacific. Though most of the land has now been cleared, the island still has many of its distinctive pine trees, and most of the coastline consists of cliffs. Originally a penal colony, Norfolk Island was later settled by descendants of mutineers from The Bounty who migrated from Pitcairn Island. Around 80% are citizens of Australia; most of the rest are citizens of New Zealand.

There is some agriculture, but the main source of income nowadays is tourism from Australia and New Zealand, with around 40,000 visitors per year.

Relations with Australia have at times been strained and there have been several efforts to clarify the island's status. It is not a dependent territory but an ‘integral part of the Commonwealth of Australia’.

The Australian governor-general appoints an administrator, but the island has its own nine-member legislative assembly and raises its own taxes. In 1991, the islanders voted against any change in their constitutional status. Only since 1992 have they been able to vote in Australian federal elections.

www.norfolk.gov.nf/ Government site

www.norfolkonlinenews.com/php/mainindex.php Norfolk Online - News site

People:2,100. European and Polynesian. Around 30% were born on the Australian mainland and 23% in New Zealand

Government:External territory of Australia. Capital: Kingston

Economy:Main exports: agricultural products, postage stamps

Subjects: Literature.

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