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a photograph of TSRA Australian Rural Leadership Programme participant Regina Turner

TSRA Australian Rural Leadership Programme participant Regina Turner.

How We Meet Our Outcomes

Outcomes and Planned Performance

This section provides details of performance against the key performance indicators (KPIs) contained in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2014 - 15 for the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio.

This is followed by additional reporting on other activities undertaken by the TSRA’s programme areas:

  • Culture, Art and Heritage
  • Economic Development
  • Fisheries
  • Environmental Management
  • Governance and Leadership
  • Native Title
  • Healthy Communities
  • Safe Communities.

Each programme report provides the following information:

  • a statement of the regional goal
  • a statement of the programme goal
  • programme expenditure (the information provided in Table 2.12 is unaudited)
  • a programme map, showing the linkages between programme projects, outputs, benefits, outcomes, regional goals and COAG Closing the Gap building blocks
  • a statement of the programme’s performance

This process aims to coordinate the effective delivery of a range of government services to local communities while ensuring that duplication and service gaps are minimised.

The Torres Strait Development Plan 2014 - 2018 (Development Plan) was developed by the TSRA as required by section 142D of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (Cth). The plan outlines eight TSRA programmes, listing the desired outcomes and benefits to be delivered. The Development Plan is published on the TSRA web site www.tsra.gov.au.

The Development Plan is derived directly from the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan 2009 - 2029 (Regional Plan). The Regional Plan was developed by the TSRA, the Torres Shire Council, the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council, in consultation with Torres Strait communities. The Regional Plan captures community challenges, priorities and aspirations. A key element of the Regional Plan is its focus on integrated development planning and Integrated Service Delivery. This process aims to coordinate the effective delivery of a range of government services to local communities while ensuring that duplication and service gaps are minimised.

Integrated Planning Framework

Figure 2-1: Torres Strait Regional Authority Integrated Planning Framework

Figure 2-1: Torres Strait Regional Authority Integrated Planning Framework

Portfolio Budget Statements Key Performance Indicators

Increase in the number of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal owned commercially viable businesses

Five business loans with a total value of $928,213 were approved in 2014 - 2015. TSRA business loans are provided at concessional interest rates according to the level of assessed risks. One loan was provided to start a new business and four loans were in support of existing businesses. Figures on the total number of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal owned business in the Torres Strait area are not yet available.

Table 2-1: Number and Value of Concessional Business Loans, 2011 - 2012 to 2014 - 2015

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015
Loans 4 3 3 5
Amount $454,242 $186,790 $114,909 $928,213

Increased availability of approved business training

The ‘Into Business Workshop’ project commenced in 2013 - 2014 and is delivered in partnership with Indigenous Business Australia. Workshops are conducted in three phases, and participants are required to complete all phases. Two workshops were conducted in 2014 - 2015, with 17 participants completing the training.

Table 2-2: Into Business Workshop Participation, 2013 - 2014 to 2014 - 2015

Year 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015
No. of workshops 6 2
Participants 24 17

The TSRA also offers support to existing businesses through its Business Mentoring Support Project. In 2014 - 2015, two clients took advantage of this service.

Increases in catches by Torres Strait and Aboriginal fishes relative to total allowable catch, strengthening claims for increased ownership

Progress against this indicator cannot be accurately quantified at present. The requirement to report catch is not mandatory for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal fishers in the region, so comprehensive data to measure tangible outcomes does not yet exist. Discussions are continuing within the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) to identify and implement a more robust system of data collection; however, this is likely to be a medium to long term outcome and remains a challenge for the TSRA and the PZJA.

The best available data can be obtained from the Status of Key Australian Fish Stocks Reports (AFSR) 2012 and 2014, produced by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Table 2-3: Tropical Rock Lobster Catch Statistics, 2010 to 2013

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013
Tropical rock lobster (tonnes) 191 201 188 586
Note: Catch data for Traditional Inhabitant Boat (TIB) fishers is reported for 2010, 2011 and 2012. The 2013 figure represents the total catch; the actual catch by Indigenous fishers in 2013 is unknown (Status of key Australian fish stock reports 2014, p. 217). Catch data for 2014 was not available at the time of printing.

Table 2-4: Finfish Fisheries Catch Statistics for Traditional Inhabitant Boat Licensees, 2011 - 2012 to 2013 - 2014

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 - 2014
Coral trout 2.29 tonnes 1.08 tonnes Under 1.00 tonnes
Spanish mackerel 1.86 tonnes 1.64 tonnes Under 1.00 tonnes
Notes: Finfish catch reporting is voluntary for the TIB sector. Data from processors is used to provide an estimate for TIB catch. These figures are not a true representation of the total catch.

The focus of the Fisheries Programme has been to increase the capacity of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal fishers to participate in commercial fishing. To this end there has been a significant investment in accredited training through the Torres Strait Maritime Pathways Project (TSMPP). Since its inception in 2013 the TSMPP has provided an opportunity for 120 persons to gain internationally recognised accredited training. Of these, 85 participants (71 per cent) have moved into maritime-related employment.

Increase in the number of emerging and professionally active artists and cultural practitioners that have access to information and support to ensure copyright and intellectual property rights

With the further development of the Torres Strait art industry it has been increasingly important to focus activities with a view to enhancing the protection, copyright and intellectual property rights of both the individual artist and the cultural groups who share their knowledge.

With the further development of the Torres Strait art industry it has been increasingly important to focus activities with a view to enhancing the protection, copyright and intellectual property rights of both the individual artist and the cultural groups who share their knowledge. All artists and cultural practitioners who engage with the TSRA’s Culture, Art and Heritage Programme are informed of their rights in the promotion and publication of their work.

This is a standard practice achieved through various ways, including by providing information directly to artists and cultural practitioners when they become suppliers or exhibiters at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre; communicating regularly through quarterly newsletters; informing dance teams prior to dance events; and informing all participants in the Music and Dance Audit project before they make their recordings. Information on copyright and intellectual property rights is also incorporated into sales and licensing agreements with the TSRA which covers the sale or reproduction of works.

In 2014 - 2015, there was an increase in specific information provided to artists and cultural practitioners through tailored workshops and individual meetings with the Arts Law Centre of Queensland, which focused on wills, resale royalties and the Indigenous Art Code. Table 2-5 reflects the increase in artists and cultural practitioners engaging with the TSRA.

Table 2-5: Active Artists and Cultural Practitioners, 2011 - 2012 to 2014 - 2015

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015
Active artists 70 90 100 110
Cultural practitioners 20 40 77 80

Number of Native Title determinations claims successfully determined

The Native Title Representative Body in the Torres Strait is operating predominantly in a post-determination environment with 29 native title claims successfully determined as at 30 June 2015. The claims currently being determined within the region are:

  • QUD6040/2001 Torres Strait Regional Sea Claim Part B
  • QUD6005/2002 Warral and Ului
  • QUD266/2008 Kaurareg People #1
  • QUD267/2008 Kaurareg People #2
  • QUD362/2010 Kaurareg People #3.

Table 2-6: Key Native Title Representative Body Results, 2011 - 2012 to 2014 - 2015

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015
Active native title claims under consideration 4 3 3 2(1)
Future Acts Received 105 60 64 85
(1) While there are five current native title claims in the region, the three Kaurareg claims are briefed out due to potential conflicts in representation. Two claims are classed as being active and under the management of the TSRA’s Native Title Representative Body.

Number of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA) that have compensation or other benefits as part of ILUA terms

The main ILUA activities undertaken throughout the Torres Strait in 2014 - 2015 were focused on social housing outcomes. Agreements were reached for 76 housing lots across the communities of Badu, Masig, Mabuiag, Mer, St Pauls, Poruma, Warraber and Ugar.

Other ILUAs were agreed for infrastructure projects on Masig, Poruma and Saibai, which had two.

Table 2-7: Number of ILUAs Finalised, 2011 - 2012 to 2014 - 2015

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015
Agreements 5 5 4 12(1)
(1) Includes eight social housing ILUAs.

Number of endorsed community based management plans for the natural and cultural resources of the region being actively implemented

Each community in the outer islands is implementing a community-based management plan for dugong and turtle, with the support of the TSRA. The plans combine the traditional uses of these species with modern management arrangements and the sustainable use of dugong and turtle across the region. A dugong and turtle management plan for the Kaiwalagal region is under development by Traditional Owners and the TSRA.

Ranger Working on Country plans have been updated with community input across the region, and these continue to form the basis of ranger activities. Working on Country plans are developed with Traditional Owners who identify their priority natural and cultural resource management issues for a three-year period. The three Indigenous protected areas in the Torres Strait have management plans (either finalised or draft) that guide on-ground activities.

Table 2-8: Community-Based Management Plans, 2011 - 2012 to 2014 - 2015

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015
Plans 17 32 32 32

Increase the level of engagement of elected Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal leaders in policy development and decision-making

The primary indicator of the level of engagement is the number of meetings between the elected members of the TSRA and Government Ministers. This includes engagements by the TSRA Chairperson and Board members during visits to Canberra, and also engagements with Ministers by the TSRA Board during visits by Ministers to the region. In 2014 - 2015, one of the significant commitments the TSRA sought from government was a commitment to the aspirations of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal fishers to attain 100 per cent ownership of the Torres Strait fishery. The TSRA acknowledges the support of the Minister for Indigenous Affairs in this achievement. In 2014 - 2015, the TSRA purchased the last non-Indigenous licence in the bêche-de-mer fishery, which increased ownership of the hand collectables fishery to 100 per cent. More detail on the bêche-de-mer fishery can be found in the case study attached to the Fisheries Programme section in this report.

Table 2-9: Number of High Level Engagements by TSRA Board Members, 2011 - 2012 to 2014 - 2015

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 -2014 2014 - 2015
Engagements 20 29 29 35

Number of PBCs that achieve Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) compliance as at 31 December each year

All 21 Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate/PBC in the Torres Strait area achieved the required levels of compliance in 2014 - 2015.

Table 2-10: PBC Compliance results 2011-2012 to 2014-2015

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 - 2014 2014 - 2015
Compliance 20 of 20 20 of 20 20 of 20 21 of 21

ORIC compliance is the minimal level of measurement of the capacity of a PBC to perform its functions under the Native Title Act 1993. To comply, PBCs must conduct an annual general meeting in accordance with their respective rule books and submit a general report by the due date. PBCs with incomes greater than $100,000 must also comply with additional financial reporting requirements.

The TSRA’s relationship with each PBC depends on the level of capacity the PBC has to manage its own affairs without assistance. This is measured using a PBC capacity maturity model which enables targeted assistance to be provided to PBCs for specific functions. The TSRA employs a PBC Support Officer to work with PBC directors and focus on capacity development. The TSRA also operates a PBC capacity-building grant facility which provides some operational funding to assist PBCs to establish and operate an office within their community.

In 2014 - 2015, the TSRA was successful in moving two of the higher functioning PBCs from reliance on grant funding, to a fee-for-service model. This is covered further in the case study attached to the Governance and Leadership Programme section in this report.

In 2014 - 2015, the TSRA was successful in moving two of the higher functioning PBCs from reliance on grant funding, to a fee-for-service model.

Partnerships with other capacity building agencies have been important contributors to developing capability within the region. The TSRA has worked with ORIC, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), the Aurora Foundation and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to coordinate and deliver training to the region.

A further measure of the capacity of PBCs is their effectiveness in engaging with Traditional Owners on native title matters. This is a qualitative assessment for which the only data available is the numbers of Future Acts and ILUAs which are successfully negotiated for each community. This data alone does not provide a measure of effectiveness as the quality and currency of the data varies between communities. The TSRA has not yet developed a meaningful measure of effectiveness and proposes a study with AIATSIS to develop those.

Increased investment into new and existing regional environmental health infrastructure

Major Infrastructure Programme Stage 4B (MIP 4B) has been completed and Stage 5 (MIP 5) has started, with a target completion date of 31 December 2016.

The TSRA is currently working with the three local governments in the region to identify and prioritise projects for a proposed follow-on stage of MIP for the period 2016 - 2020.

The TSRA in the past has secured funding for infrastructure projects that address key environmental health concerns and safe transport and access issues. In 2014 -2015 a range of projects were completed. Under the MIP 4B tidal gauge project four tidal gauges and one sea level gauge at Boigu, Kubin, Iama, Ugar and Thursday Island were installed. A tidal gauge and weather station was installed on the Thursday Island jetty. MIP 5 will deliver 13 environmental health infrastructure projects throughout the region.

The Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) successfully delivered four projects in the region, completing Hammond Island pavement and drainages works, ramp repairs for the St Pauls community and the Saibai Island jetty, airport drainage and pavement repairs on Northern Peninsula Area airstrips and jetty lighting and electrical reticulations for the Seisia community.

Table 2-11: Measures of Investment (by Project Numbers) for Regional Environmental Health Infrastructure, 2011 - 2012 to 2014 - 2015

Year 2011 - 2012 2012 - 2013 2013 - 2014 2014 - 20153
MIP projects1, 2 21 21 16 23
(1) MIP stages 4 and 4B ran from 2007 - 2008 to 2013 - 2014 and delivered health infrastructure projects totalling $113.0 million.
(2) The TIDS delivered safety infrastructure related projects from 2011 - 2012 to 2014 - 2015, totalling $3.8 million.
(3) The total budget for MIP, seawalls and TIDS in 2014 - 2015 was $47.9 million.

a photograph of cargo delivery, Mer Island

Cargo delivery, Mer Island.

Appropriation programme expenditure 2014 - 2015 budget as compared to actual

A summary of the TSRA’s financial performance for each programme area for 2014 - 2015 is provided in Table 2.12.

Section 5, Financial Statements, provides further information about appropriation expenditure for each programme area at 30 June 2015.

Table 2-12: Appropriation Programme Expenditure 2014 - 2015, Budget Compared to Actual (unaudited)

Programme Budget$’000 Actual$’000 Variance$’000
Culture, Art and Heritage 4,630 4,499 131
Economic Development 13,407 13,358 49
Environmental Management 4,579 4,699 (120)
Fisheries 4,546 4,550 (4)
Governance and Leadership 5,412 5,336 76
Healthy Communities 14,716 14,629 87
Native Title Office 3,760 3,792 (32)
Safe Communities 4,487 4,375 112
Total 55,537 55,238 299 (1)
1. The total variance represents 0.54 per cent of budget.

External funding programme expenditure 2014 - 2015 budget as compared to actual

Two programmes received external funding.

Table 2-13: External Funding Programme Expenditure 2014 - 2015, Budget Compared to Actual (unaudited)

Programme Budget
$’000
Actual
$’000
Variance
$’000
Culture, Art and Heritage 337 250 87
Environmental Management 9,747 9,655 92
Total 10,084 9,905 179