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That year, Neil Pope, a former Victorian Labor MP and conflict resolution expert, went there as administrator to negotiate what was known as the Norfolk Island Road Map, so the island could become part of both the Australian taxation system and social safety net.'We would be propping up their budget, but only on the basis that they were able to deliver on various aspects that were included in the roadmap,' Pope says.'They needed to raise their revenue, and so it was things like trying to introduce property tax, which they had never had.They might be incidentals but basically their only real revenue raiser was a 12 per cent GST which was on everything.'He says the vast majority of people on the island were in favour of joining the Australian tax system, but the loss of self-government was a sticking point.'The way it is being portrayed is as if self-government has always existed on Norfolk Island.
In 2014 the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories undertook an inquiry into economic development on Norfolk Island, with a particular focus on tourism.The Norfolk Island Act was passed in 1979, giving the island limited autonomy.After the passing of the Norfolk Island Act, a legislative assembly—similar to one that governs the ACT—was established.As an advisor to this government, Maywald says he was surprised at how well the system worked.'I thought it was the best functioning direct democracy I've ever seen,' he says.'They had citizen-initiated referendums, they had no political parties, so all members were elected on their own policy platform and expected to deliver when they got in.