They have their own flag, their own national anthem and even their own language but by July next year the Australia government is taking over Norfolk Island.

Norfolk Island is a two-and-a-half hour flight from Sydney and is officially part of the Commonwealth of Australia, but the 1600 residents pride themselves on being "un-Australian" and a distinct race in their own right.

The independence of the external territory, located halfway between mainland Australia and New Zealand, began to slide when it sought about $3.5million in assistance from the Australian Government following the financial global crisis, current affairs show Sunday Night reported.

"Never in a million years we would have asked Australia for money if we knew what the end result is going to be what the end result is now," one resident said.


The person appointed by the Governor General with the unpopular job of imposing Australian taxes, laws and the welfare system on the citizens of the island is former Howard Liberal MP and ex-shock jock Gary Hardgrave.

"Never anywhere in the world had I heard 'I hate Australia' until I heard it from some senior members of the community and it shocked me to think that some people have actually used the word hate in the same sentence as Australia," Mr Hardgrave said.

Norfolk Island is a popular tourist destination. Photo / Supplied
Norfolk Island is a popular tourist destination. Photo / Supplied

The late Australian writer Colleen McCullough's husband Ric Robinson is a direct descendant of the first Norfolk inhabitants and he, along with many others, want Mr Hardgrave to leave them alone.

"A dog would eat anything but they wouldn't eat him," Mr Robinson said.

"He's a professional spin merchant so he was probably the best man for the job, hatchet man, piece of low life - I don't like him."

For the first time the administrator wasn't invited to the annual Bounty Day to celebrate the island's foundation where all citizens dress in traditional clothing and the administrator would normally the judge the best dressed family.

Shops throughout the island are also displaying "Hardgrave free zone" signs in the windows.

"I have to get one,' Mr Robinson said. "We came here in 1856 as a whole people we were the first people to settle Norfolk island."


He added that the best thing Mr Hardgrave could have done is not bother moving to the island and taking the job.

Another event that he wasn't invited to was a meeting of about 250 residents at the parish hall to express their disbelief about Canberra taking over their small nation.

The room was filled with high emotions and many tears flowed while citizens were extremely vocal as they described the move as "ethnic cleansing" and "bloodless genocide".

But this attitude doesn't deter Mr Hardgrave who believes most residents will warm to the idea of the Norfolk government being overthrown.

"I reckon in the space of a matter of weeks just about everybody is going to be on board - there's a few of them that are going to hold out - but i think almost everyone is going to get on board," he said.

The Commonwealth outpost is a world unto its own where every person who drives past you gives you a friendly wave and cows have right of way, so look out because if you hit one - you will be at fault.


While the residents speak a unique language that is an unusual mix of old English and Tahiatian.

Mr Hardgrave said the infrastructure needed a significant boost on the island.

"They didn't repair the roads, they didn't run the sewage system properly, the electricity system has problems, the phone system is 25-year-old antiquated out of date stuff," Mr Hardgrave said.

'I don't drink the water - in government house we drink bottled water because there's fecal in the water here it's not very pleasant but the water is full of poo."

But Mr Hardgrave has huge plans for the 35-square kilometre island with a 20-year grand plan for condominiums to be built.

"We could have a Sydney to Norfolk yacht race," he said. "It could be the Monte Carlo of the South Pacific."


- Daily Mail