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They petitioned Queen Victoria, who agreed to move them to Norfolk.
Peter Maywald, who was Norfolk Island's secretary to the government from 2003-10, says the Pitcairners all moved across in 1856.'This is where the history gets murky, because the Norfolk Islanders or the Pitcairn descendants claim Queen Victoria gave them the island in perpetuity with the condition that there be no punitive taxes,' he says.'The Australian government contests that, and the paperwork is ambiguous, I would say.'But they still believe Norfolk Island was given to them, it's theirs, it's not part of Australia, and Australia contends it's an external territory.'A successful democracy Over the years the administration of Norfolk was handed between New South Wales and the Federal Government, until in the 1970s a Royal Commission recommended it be completely absorbed into Australia.
This stamp issue, released on 20 September 2016, is the first issued by Australia Post for Norfolk Island.
She says the current governance arrangements are stunting the island's economic growth.
'Each time I've been up there I've seen a further deterioration of the economic situation—more shops closed, more industries going under, and more people leaving the island, and that is of great concern,' she says.
The roadmap to being part of Australia These increasingly difficult economic circumstances ultimately brought an end to self-government on Norfolk Island.
In 2010, in a move that apparently surprised many Norfolk Islanders, chief minister David Buffett announced in the Legislative Assembly that the island would surrender its self-government in return for a Commonwealth bailout.
But, Maywald says, the locals weren't happy with that.
They communicated their feelings in no uncertain terms to then home affairs minister Bob Ellicott, who quite surprisingly agreed to make them self-governing.Captain Cook was the first European to visit Norfolk Island in 1774, and when Governor Phillip arrived in Sydney with the first fleet in 1788, he sent Lieutenant Philip Gidley King almost immediately to set up a penal colony there.By the early 19th century, the penal colony was closed, but there were problems on another small island, Pitcairn, where the descendants of the mutineers on the Bounty were struggling.Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda roseotincta) These spectacular seabirds, though largely white-feathered, are named for their two bright crimson tail quills, which they use to perform intricate courtship rituals in the air.These migratory birds are observed on Norfolk Island between October and May.'All those reviews pointed to the fact that the existing governance arrangements weren't serving the island as best they could.