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INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

The TSRA Board, as the accountable authority of the TSRA, presents the 2015-2016 annual performance statements of the TSRA, as required under section 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth). In the Board’s opinion, these annual performance statements accurately reflect the performance of the TSRA and comply with section 39(2) of the Act.

a photograph of signature of Joseph Elu, AO

Joseph Elu, AO
Chairperson

PURPOSE

The purpose of the TSRA is encapsulated in the agency’s single outcome statement:

“Progress towards Closing the Gap for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait area through development planning, coordination, sustainable resource management, and preservation and promotion of Indigenous culture.”

RESULTS FOR KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS AND ANALYSIS AGAINST THE 2015-2016 PORTFOLIO BUDGET STATEMENTS AND CORPORATE PLAN

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

In 2015-2016, one new Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal business was supported through a concessional business loan. In the same period, business mentoring and support was provided to two clients.

Table 2-3: Number and value of concessional business loans

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Loans 3 3 5 1
Amount $186,790 $114,909 $928,213 $20,628

Increased availability of approved business training

In 2015-2016, the TSRA continued to provide face-to-face business training through the delivery of Into Business Workshops.

In 2015-2016 a total of 79 participants attended Into Business Workshops. Post-course surveys indicate a very high level of participant satisfaction with the workshops.

Table 2-4: Into Business Workshop participation

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Courses Not offered 6 2 16
Participants 0 24 17 79

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

Progress against this indicator cannot be accurately quantified as the requirement to report catch is not mandatory for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal fishers in the region. Therefore comprehensive data to measure tangible outcomes under this indicator does not yet exist. There are ongoing discussions within the Protected Zone Joint Authority to identify and implement a more robust system of data collection; however, this is likely to be a medium-term to long-term outcome and remains a challenge for the TSRA and the Protected Zone Joint Authority.

The best available data can be obtained from the Status of Australian Fish Stocks Report 2014, produced by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Table 2-5: Tropical rock lobster catch statistics, 2012-2013 to 2014-2015

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015
Tropical rock lobster (tonnes) 128 129 151
Notes:
Fishery statistics are provided by fishing season, unless otherwise indicated. The fishing season is 1 December to 31 September. Catch reporting for the Traditional Inhabitant Boat sector is not mandatory and therefore actuals for any year may be higher than reported. The 2014-2015 figure is an estimate at the time of printing; this figure is preliminary and likely to be updated in future editions of this publication. Catch data for 2015-2016 was not available at the time of printing.

Table 2-6: Finfish fisheries catch statistics for Traditional Inhabitant Boat licensees, 2013-2014 to 2015-2016

YEAR 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Coral trout Under 1 tonne Under 1 tonne Under 1 tonne
Spanish mackerel Under 1 tonne Under 1 tonne Under 1 tonne
Notes:
Fishery statistics are provided by fishing season, unless otherwise indicated. The fishing season is 1 July to 30 June. Catch reporting for the Traditional Inhabitant Boat sector is not mandatory and therefore actuals for any year may be higher than reported. The 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 figures are estimates at the time of printing; these figures are preliminary and likely to be updated in future editions of this publication.

Table 2-7: Bêche-de-mer catch statistics for Traditional Inhabitant Boat licensees, 2013 to 2015

YEAR 2013 2014 2015
Bêche-de-mer (tonnes) 16 28.7 49.1
Notes:
Fishery statistics are provided by fishing season, unless otherwise indicated. The fishing season is 1 January to 31 December. In 2014, 0.7 tonne was caught during a fishing trial for the black teatfish (a species of bêche-de-mer). In 2015, 23.3 tonnes was caught during the black teatfish trial. While another trial may run in 2016, the fishery remains closed.
Catch reporting for the Traditional Inhabitant Boat sector is not mandatory and therefore actuals for any year may be higher than reported. The figures for 2014 and 2015 are estimates at the time of printing; these figures are preliminary and likely to be updated in future editions of this publication.

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

The 2016 Artists’ Forum: Copyright, Education and Support, presented by the Culture, Art and Heritage Programme, was held in April 2016. This forum was attended by 80 artists and cultural specialists from throughout the region and provided information on individual and communal copyright and intellectual property rights.

Table 2-8: Active artists and cultural practitioners, 2012-2013 to 2015-2016

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Active artists 90 100 110 117
Cultural practitioners 40 77 80 90

Number of Native Title 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 2016. 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 2-9: Key Native Title Representative Body results

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Active Native Title claims under consideration 3 3 2 5
Future acts received 60 64 85 66

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

The Native Title Office assisted Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) with the negotiation of and certification for various ILUAs in 2015-2106. Eleven ILUAs were registered with the National Native Title Tribunal in 2015-2016 and a further 35 ILUAs are under development.

Native Title compensation matters are on hold pending the outcomes of the Timber Creek test case, which is set to be determined by the Federal Court by the end of 2016. The Timber Creek case is historic as this will be the first time the courts will set a precedent on how to compensate loss of Native Title land.

Table 2-10: Number of ILUAs finalised

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
ILUAs finalised 5 4 12 11

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

Dugong and turtle management plans are in place for each outer island community and are being implemented by communities with the support of the TSRA. The plans integrate traditional use and contemporary science and management approaches to support the sustainable management of dugongs and turtles across the region. A dugong and turtle management plan and permitting regime for the Kaiwalagal region are under development by Traditional Owners with support from the TSRA. Working on Country plans are also in place for all communities; they were developed in partnership with key stakeholder groups in the individual communities.

Table 2-11: Community-based management plans

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Number of plans 32 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 TSRA Board members during visits to Canberra, and also engagements with ministers with the TSRA Board during visits by ministers to the region. In this reporting period, there were 36 high-level engagements with Queensland Government and Australian Government ministers and senior government officials.

Table 2-12: Number of high-level engagements by TSRA Board members

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Engagements 29 29 35 36

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

All 21 regional PBCs had met the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations compliance requirements as at 31 December 2015. Two PBCs have maintained a level of capacity which has reduced their dependency on grant funding by operating on a fee-for-service cost-recovery model.

Table 2-13: Prescribed Bodies Corporate compliance results

YEAR 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Compliance 20 of 20 20 of 20 21 of 21 21 of 21

Increased investment into new and existing regional environmental health infrastructure

Thirteen environmental health infrastructure projects will be delivered under the Major Infrastructure Programme Stage 5. All projects are on track for completion by December 2016.

The TSRA successfully secured Queensland Government and Australian Government infrastructure funding for Stage 6 of the Major Infrastructure Programme (MIP 6). Despite the funding commitment from the Australian and Queensland governments, as at 30 June 2016 there was still a $1.5 million shortfall for MIP 6. The TSRA has worked, and will continue to work, closely with the region’s three regional councils to develop the major infrastructure programme priority list. Water security for the region will be the major focus of MIP 6.