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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

REGIONAL GOAL

Enhance our region's wealth by creating sustainable industries and increasing employment opportunities for our people equivalent to the wider Australian community.

PROGRAMME OUTCOMES

  • Increased capability of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region to manage commercially viable businesses.
  • Improved access to capital and other opportunities to finance commercially viable businesses.
  • Increased number of commercially viable businesses owned and or operated by Torres Strait and Aboriginal people in the region.
  • Improved wealth of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region.

PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES

  • Concessional home loans.
  • Concessional business loans.
  • Business training.
  • Business support services.

PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE 2016-2017

TABLE 2-15 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE, 2016-2017
Budget
$’000
Actual
$’000
Variance
$’000
5,385 4,975 (410)

PROGRAMME PERFORMANCE

Activity Flag Status
Business mentoring support completed Business mentoring support was provided to six clients in 2016-2017 to assist them with organisational capacity building. Throughout the year, the TSR A promoted the benefits of the business support standing panel to stakeholders, resulting in an increase in the number of clients accessing the service.[PARA]Ten business owners were supported to attend conferences for professional development and to build business networks. Six attended the Indigenous Economic Development Conference and four attended Supply Nation Connect 2017. This represents a 100 per cent increase in the number of clients supported, compared to five in 2015-2016.
Community Development Programme agreement management completed In July 2017, there were 965 Community Development Programme (CDP) job seekers. This represents a fall of 252 job seekers when compared to 2015-2016. During 2016-2017,299 job seekers transitioned into paid employment. The regional employment target was exceeded in each reporting period in 2016-2017.
Economic Development Investment Strategy completed

The Torres Strait Regional Economic Investment Strategy was launched in October 2016.[PARA]The strategy supports three focal industries: Fisheries; Arts and Creative Industries; and Tourism.

As part of the strategy, the Fisheries Business Growth Package was launched. The package provides a combination of low-interest business loans, professional business support and grant funding for eligible applicants. Four Fisheries Business Growth Package applications were received.

The Arts and Creative Industries Business Growth Package was completed and will be launched in July 2017, followed by the Tourism Business Growth Package in 2018.

Into Business Workshops completed Six series of Into Business Workshops were delivered (comprising workshops A, B and C); 110 participants attended the workshops and 25 participants completed the workshop series. This represents an increase in the number of workshop series offered, when compared to 2015-2016.
Torres Strait Maritime Pathways Project completed

The Torres Strait Maritime Pathways Project (TSMPP) aims to enhance the skills and capability of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people, residing within the Torres Strait region, to operate commercial vessels and create maritime career pathways in related industries.

  • 61 participants completed (62 commenced) Shipboard Safety Skill Set training
  • 68 participants completed marine radio training
  • 76 participants completed first aid training
  • 53 participants completed (56 commenced) the Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Coxswain Grade 2 Near Coastal)
  • 42 participants completed (45 commenced) the Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 Near Coastal)
  • 10 participants completed (11 commenced) the Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 Metres Near Coastal)
  • 24 participants completed a wild harvest dive course.
Growing Our Own Tagai Transitions Maritime project completed

The Growing Our Own Tagai Transitions Maritime project is delivered in partnership with the TSRA, Tagai State College, TAFE North Queensland, and the community development provider My Pathway. The project targets years 11 and 12 students at Tagai State College and builds their capability to utilise the region's commercial maritime resources and prepares them for a smooth transition from school to work.

From 1 July 2016 to 30 December 2016:

  • eight students completed the Coxswains Certificate II (Grade 2 Near Coastal)
  • 11 students completed the Certificate II (Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 Near Coastal)
  • 15 students completed first aid courses
  • 15 students completed shipboard safety skills set training
  • 15 students completed the Certificate 1 Maritime Operations (Genera Purpose Hand)
  • 15 students completed the Marine Radio Operations (Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency).

Six of those students transitioned into employment upon completion of Year 12.

From 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017, a new cohort of students commenced the Growing Our Own Tagai Transitions Maritime project. The cohort of 14 Year 11 students and 14 Year 12 students commenced:

  • the Coxswains Certificate II (Grade 2 Near Coastal)
  • the Certificate II (Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 Near Coastal)
  • first aid training
  • shipboard safety skills set training
  • the Certificate 1 Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand)
  • the Marine Radio Operations (Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency).
Home Ownership Programme late less than 3 months No home loans were approved in 2016-2017. Complex land tenure arrangements in the Torres Strait continue to make it difficult for loan applicants to provide appropriate security for loans in Deed of Grant in Trust and reserve communities.[PARA]A funding agreement between the TSRA and Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) was finalised in February 2017. Under the agreement the TSRA provides funds to IBA to write home loans for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait region.
Tourism completed The Torres Shire Council and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council were funded for event manager positions. The funding has been provided for three years to allow for employment certainty and longer term planning.[PARA]The Torres Shire Council was funded to undertake a scoping study into the feasibility of building a tourism information centre on Thursday Island.
Website redesign completed The Economic Development Programme area of the TSRA website has undergone further improvement to enhance the user experience. The website now includes additional online applications, up-to-date information from across government and the private sector and a modified online product selector tool.
Employment and training projects completed

There were two employment and training projects in 2016-2017: the Mentors project and the Conservation and Land Management (CALM) project.

The Mentors project provided tailored assistance to support participation in the My Pathway and TSRA employment and training projects.

Two mentors were employed in 2016-2017:

  • one mentor supported the four CALM trainees
  • one mentor worked with Tagai State College students and families to assist with school attendance and career planning.

The TSRA in partnership with the Torres Shire Council and My Pathway implemented the CALM project.

Four CDP job seekers moved into paid traineeships and commenced a Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management.

Further employment and training projects are planned, including for the development of:

  • the Thursday Island multipurpose courts
  • St Pauls, Kubin and Mabuyag community halls
  • the Thursday Island cycleway
  • the Mer guesthouse
  • the Badu multipurpose office space.
Business funding support completed Two loan applications were approved.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMME SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Indicator

Flag

Status

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

late less than 3 months

In 2016-2017, two business loans were approved to support Torres Strait slander and Aboriginal businesses. In the same period business mentoring and support was provided to six clients and four Fisheries Business Growth Package applications were received.

Increased availability of approved business training

late less than 3 months

In 2016-2017, the TSRA continued to provide face-to-face business training through the delivery of Into Business Workshops.

In 2016-2017, a total of 110 participants attended Into Business Workshops:

  • 49 participants attended Workshop A
  • 36 participants attended Workshop B
  • 25 participants attended Workshop C.

A total of 25 participants completed the series. Post-course surveys indicate a very high level of participant satisfaction with the workshops. The attendance rate reflects a 7 per cent increase when compared to the previous year.

An increase in the number of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in employment

late less than 3 months

In 2016-2017,299 CDP job seekers moved from welfare into employment. Of those, 282 job seekers met employment outcome milestones:

  • 13 week outcome-161 CDP job seekers
  • 26 week outcome-121 CDP job seekers.

Job placements were in the following industries:

  • Administrative and supportservices-90
  • Construction-45
  • Public administration andsafety-42
  • Education and training-41
  • Retail-23
  • Health care and social assistance-18
  • Accommodation and food services-16
  • Transport, postal and warehousing-10
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing -4
  • Wholesale-2
  • Arts and recreation services-2
  • Information media and telecommunications-2
  • Notspecified-1
  • Otherservices-1
  • Professional, scientific and technical services-1
  • Manufacturing-1.

The overall job placement numbers have increased compared to the previous reporting period. CDP job seekers are being transitioned into job placements and more job seekers are remaining in work for a minimum of 26 weeks, compared to 2015-2016.

LEGEND

not yet started
Not yet started

completed
Completed/on schedule

late less than 3 months
Behind schedule less than three months

late more than 3 months
Behind schedule more than three months

CASE STUDY

Torres Strait Mechanics

Torres Strait Mechanics is an example of how the TSRA's Economic Development Programme is helping to enhance the region's wealth by creating sustainable industries and increasing employment opportunities.

The locally owned and operated mobile mechanic business was established by Hammond Island couple Eugene and Roxanne Dorante. In starting his own business, Eugene aspired to establish financial stability and to create a legacy that he could leave behind for his son and nephews.

In 2007, Eugene's aspirations drove him to leave his home and move to Cairns to complete his mechanic's apprenticeship. In 2012, he moved back to Hammond Island and established Torres Strait Mechanics with Roxanne, who provides support for the administration and financial management of the business.

a photograph of HAMMOND ISLAND MECHANIC AND BUSINESS OWNER EUGENE DORANTE.

HAMMOND ISLAND MECHANIC AND BUSINESS OWNER EUGENE DORANTE.

In 2017, Eugene and Roxanne completed the Into Business Workshops series through the Economic Development Programme. These free, self-paced workshop are offered to Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people who are interested in starting their own businesses. The three workshops cover Your Business Idea; Marketing and Managing Your Business; and Financial Planning and Management.

The workshops enabled Eugene and Roxanne to see their business from a new perspective, develop sound business strategies, and gain insights into best practice for managing the finances of a business, as well as the most effective way to advertise.

Eugene and Roxanne are now looking to take their services to the Northern Peninsula Area and eventually enter the Cairns market. With support from the Economic Development Programme, they are working to engage a business consultant to assist with planning, and mapping out a direction for future growth. They now have a steadily growing mobile mechanic business that provides a high-quality, low-cost mechanical service to the people of the Torres Strait, giving locals access to essential transportation.

Eugene and Roxanne say that, having established their business and seen firsthand the benefits of working for themselves, they would like to encourage other Torres Strait Islanders to consider educating themselves to find their own commercial opportunities within their areas of interest. They also want locals to know that the support from the TSRA is what helped their business grow to the next level of development.

FISHERIES

REGIONAL GOAL

Enhance our region's wealth, by managing and maintaining sustainable fishing industries and increasing employment and economic opportunities for our people.

PROGRAMME OUTCOMES

  • A commercially viable fishing industry which is 100 per cent owned by Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people.
  • Improved wealth of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people of the region.
  • Sustainable management of fisheries resources.

PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES

  • Engaging in the PZJA and supporting the engagement of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in PZJA decision-making.
  • Providing opportunities to develop the capability and capacity of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people to benefit from fisheries in the region.
  • Assisting communities to engage in programme activities.
  • Managing access to fisheries resources held in trust for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people of the region.

PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE 2016-2017

TABLE 2-16 FISHERIES PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE, 2016-2017

Budget
$’000

Actual
$’000

Variance
$’000

2,481

2,706

225

PROGRAMME EXTERNAL FUNDING EXPENDITURE 2016-2017

TABLE 2-17 FISHERIES PROGRAMME EXTERNAL FUNDING EXPENDITURE,2016-2017

Budget
$’000

Actual
$’000

Variance
$’000

7,000

3,200

3,800

PROGRAMME PERFORMANCE

Activity

Flag

Status

Fisheries communications

completed

The principal communication products this year were:

  • the Torres Strait Fisheries Guidebook-a one-stop guide to the essential information about each of the commercial species in the Torres Strait
  • Cash for Kaiar- a 30-minute video of tips and techniques for tropical rock lobster fishermen.

In 2016-2017, the TSRA introduced grant funding support for registered Torres Strait fishers' associations to assist them to develop their capacity to represent the interests of fishers in their communities. Properly functioning associations can play a key role in providing effective communications on fisheries matters within communities.

Capacity development and research

completed

The programme's capacity-building projects are designed to implement the recommendations of the region's finfish action plan. The plan is focused on helping people overcome barriers to entry into commercial fishing and increasing their participation in fisheries and fisheries-related commercial activities.

Current initiatives include:

  • assessing the feasibility of a new baitfish fishing industry
  • auditing existing fisheries infrastructure and infrastructure shortfalls in the region
  • partnering with the Fisheries Research Development Centre (FRDC) to deliver fisheries research projects in the region (projects currently underway include projects to assess the feasibility of a new barramundi, crab and jewfish fishing industry in the Gudamalulgal (Top Western) Island group)
  • assessing the feasibility of directly exporting fisheries products from the Torres Strait
  • investigating a potential value-add brand for Torres Strait seafood
  • creating a fisheries cadetship.

The TSRA has also partnered with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to deliver fisheries research projects in the region. Projects underway include:

  • assessing the traditional catch from subsistence fishing in the Torres Strait
  • revising the guide for researchers to enable them to better engage with Traditional Owners when planning and undertaking research in the Torres Strait.

Fisheries roadmap-towards 100 per cent ownership

completed

The TSRA has the lead on behalf of the Protected Zone Joint Authority (PZJA) for the development of the fisheries roadmap towards 100 per cent ownership of the commercial fisheries by Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Traditional Owners.

In 2016-2017, the TSRA purchased two non-Indigenous fishing licences in the tropical rock lobster fishery, increasing traditional ownership to 62.54 per cent.

Currently, the TSRA owns 100 per cent of the finfish and bêche-de-mer fisheries and does not have ownership of the prawn fishery.

Fisheries representation training

completed

The TSRA assists Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people who are actively engaged in the regional fishing industry to participate in PZJA decision-making.

Training programmes covering the principles of fisheries management and representational skills are delivered to new participants.

Finfish quota management

completed

Each year since 2008 the TSRA has leased licences in the finfish fishery to non-Indigenous fishers. The aim of leasing licences to non-Indigenous fishers is to maintain markets until the Traditional Inhabitant Boat (TIB) licence sector can increase its catch and meet market demand.

The Fisheries Programme provides support to the TSRA Board and the Finfish Quota Management Committee to facilitate the leasing process. In 2016-2017, the committee recommended that licences for 99 tonnes of Spanish mackerel, 69 tonnes of coral trout and 25 tonnes of other species be leased out. Those leases generated $188,000 in revenue for Torres Strait communities.

Fisheries management framework

completed

The Fisheries Programme, with assistance from the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, investigated lessons learned from the community management model applied by Maori in New Zealand.

The report, presented to the TSRA Board, outlined:

  • how a commission was set up to administer fishing entitlements on behalf of all the Iwi groups
  • how fishery assets and management of those assets are distributed between Iwi
  • how building increased ownership using existing entitlements had been successful for the Iwi
  • the similarities and differences between Maori and Torres Strait community structures.

PZJA representation

completed

In 2016-2017, the TSRA participated in:

  • one out-of-session PZJA meeting
  • one PZJA Standing Committee meeting
  • two Tropical Rock Lobster Resource Allocation Group meetings
  • one Tropical Rock Lobster Working Group meeting
  • two Finfish Working Group meetings
  • two Finfish Scientific and Technical Working Group meetings
  • two Hand Collectables Working Group meetings.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMME SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Indicator

Flag

Status

Increase in catches by Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal fishers relative to total allowable catch

late less than 3 months

The projects delivered by the TSRA Fisheries Programme are focused on increasing Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal participation in commercial fishing activities. In 2016-2017, catch reporting by Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal fishers in the Torres Strait was not mandatory and AFMA advised that there was no reliable data on catch reporting from this sector.

During the year, the PZJA initiated the community consultations required to introduce fish receiver licences in the Torres Strait. While this will not collect as much information as a full catch reporting system, it is an important first step towards measuring the Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal catch in the region. Reliable quantitative data on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander catch reporting is unlikely to be available in the next reporting period.

Number of opportunities for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people to increase their understanding and use of Torres Strait fisheries resources

completed

This indicator is being met through the finfish capacity building project and the PZJA participation project.

e

The TSR A also funds the formal participation of up to five Torres Strait industry representatives in all PZJA consultative forums.

LEGEND

not yet started
Not yet started

completed
Completed/on schedule

late less than 3 months
Behind schedule less than three months

late more than 3 months
Behind schedule more than three months

CASE STUDY

Torres Strait Fisheries Guidebook

The TSRA's Fisheries Programme develops resources that support Traditional Inhabitant fishers in their participation in commercial fishing in the Torres Strait.

In March 2017, the Fisheries Programme launched the Torres Strait Fisheries Guidebook, an at-sea tool for commercial fishing vessels in the Torres Strait Protected Zone fisheries.

The guidebook was created in direct response to calls from the fishing industry for assistance in understanding the rules and regulations that apply to fisheries in the Torres Strait. It furthers the TSRA's commitment to providing the community with access to essential information, and assists in building the region's capacity to engage in the management of Torres Strait fisheries.

To assist fishers to understand the rules and regulations for catching and carrying species found in the Torres Strait, the guidebook clearly outlines the rules on allowable catch, size limits, fishing equipment, boat size, and licence restrictions for each species.

The hard copy guidebook is waterproof and designed to be used on board commercial fishing vessels, so that fishers can easily access relevant information when at sea. An electronic copy is also available, from the TSRA website.

It is up to all fishers to play a role in the sustainable management of the Torres Strait region's fisheries, and assist in the prevention of illegal fishing practices, by knowing and following the rules and reporting any illegal activity. Using the guidebook as an educational tool and an at-sea resource will help fishers to avoid non-compliance and report any non-compliance that they see in the fishing grounds.

a photograph of THE TORRES STRAIT FISHERIES GUIDEBOOK-A ONE-STOP GUIDE TO THE ESSENTIAL INFORMATION FOR EACH OF THE COMMERCIAL SPECIES IN THE TORRES STRAIT.

THE TORRES STRAIT FISHERIES GUIDEBOOK-A ONE-STOP GUIDE TO THE ESSENTIAL INFORMATION FOR EACH OF THE COMMERCIAL SPECIES IN THE TORRES STRAIT.

CULTURE, ART AND HERITAGE

REGIONAL GOAL

Protect, promote, revitalise and maintain Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal traditions and cultural heritage.

PROGRAMME OUTCOMES

  • An active and sustainable arts and craft industry.
  • Cultural values and protocols are integrated into service planning and management practice.
  • The unique cultural heritage and histories of the region are preserved, maintained and promoted.
  • Strong, supported and respected Ailan Kastom.
  • The copyright, intellectual property and traditional knowledge of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region are protected.

PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES

  • Cultural maintenance and observance.
  • Arts industry development.
  • Gateway/hub for presenting, preserving promoting and providing education on Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal culture and arts.
  • Cultural heritage management (with links to the Environmental Management Programme).
  • Copyright and intellectual property rights.
  • Cultural values and protocols.

Programme Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-18 Culture, Art and Heritage Programme expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

4,441

4,540

99

Programme External Funding Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-19 Culture, Art and Heritage Programme external funding expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

475

472

3

Programme Performance

Activity

Flag

Status

Arts development programme

completed

The TSRA continued to contribute towards arts development initiatives for the region in 2016-2017, providing operational support to the three regional art centres on Badu, Erub and Moa.

Additionally, arts skills workshops were delivered on Horn Island and Hammond Island.

The TSRA hosted the annual Torres Strait artist meeting on Horn Island, which provided 26 local emerging artists with information on the fundamentals of progressing their careers in the arts industry.

The Gab Titui Cultural Centre (GTCC) delivered masterclasses in printmaking and workshops in jewellery making.

Culture, art and heritage grants

completed

The TSRA Culture, Art and Heritage Programme supported a total of 18 applications in 2016-2017. This included activities funded under a new funding stream, the Torres Strait significant milestone events stream.

Funded activities included support for school arts and cultural tours, music production and artist workshops, and for artists, musicians and traditional dance groups to participate in art and cultural events around and outside the region.

The significant events grant round supported the 25th anniversaries of the raising of the Torres Strait flag, and the Mabo decision.

The TSRA also contributed towards the 2016 Zenadth Kes Cultural Festival on Thursday Island.

The funded activities contributed towards the ongoing promotion and maintenance of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal art and culture in the region.

Cultural maintenance programme

completed

The TSRA continues to observe and practice cultural protocols and Ailan Kastom through all programmes and initiatives delivered in communities. The TSRA also provides guidance on cultural protocols to other Australian and Queensland Government departments and non-Government stakeholders visiting the region.

The 2016-2017 initiatives contributing towards the cultural maintenance programme included: support through grant funding for traditional music and dance groups participation at cultural events; and activities promoting and preserving cultural knowledge and traditions, such as publications and music production.

The GTCC has a changing programme of cultural maintenance exhibitions displayed in the Ephraim Bani Gallery. In 2016-2017 the exhibition programme featured Evolution: Torres Strait Masks, and the Gab Titui Collection.

Dance strategy

completed

In 2016, traditional dance teams were selected through an expression of interest process to participate and showcase Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal cultural performances at nominated 2017 events. The Arpaka Dance Company from Moa Island participated in the Yirramboi First Nations Indigenous Arts Festival in Melbourne, and the Eip Karem Baizam dance team from Thursday Island and Mer will perform at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair in July 2017. Other shortlisted dance teams performed at various TSRA and community events throughout the year.

Arts licensing and IP protection

completed

The GTCC developed licence agreements with 25 artists in 2016-2017 for the use of their images in publications and on art and craft products and products developed by the GTCC.

Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award

completed

The Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, receiving 52 entries and attracting 300 people on opening night and more than 3,000 visitors over six weeks. The art award is a flagship event for the GTCC and TSRA and attracts members of the local community, leaders, curators, representatives of collection institutions and tourists, who visit Cairns specifically for this exhibition.

Gab Titui Cultural Centre – exhibition/public programmes

completed

Evolution: Torres Strait Masks opened at the National Museum of Australia on 19 May 2017. It will tour nationally after it closes at the museum in August 2017. Through a partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the museum is reproducing the exhibition as panels, which will tour internationally. An exhibition of contemporary work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Freshwater, Saltwater, was exhibited at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre by UMI Arts. Public programmes held in 2016-2017 included school holiday programmes, jewellery workshops, screen printing classes during the cultural festival, storytelling classes and masterclasses in printmaking.

The Torres Strait language strategy

completed

In 2016-2017, the TSRA continued to work in partnership with the Australian Government Ministry for the Arts and Tagai State College to facilitate the launch of the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Plan 2016-2019 and the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Charter. Those key documents will guide the region on the revitalisation and maintenance of the two traditional languages Meriam Mir and Kala Lagau Ya and their six dialects.

The second Torres Strait Language Symposium was held at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Thursday Island in May 2017. This event showcased language activities being delivered through the region, nationally and internationally. The Torres Strait Language Reference Group dissolved at the end of this event, and a new Torres Strait Traditional Language Advisory Committee was formed to progress the implementation of the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Plan.

The TSRA and Tagai State College formalised a three-year agreement to establish a regional language centre at Yangu Pawaw Ngurpay Mudh, the existing language and culture centre at Tagai State College Thursday Island Secondary Campus.

Music strategy – Music and Dance Audit

Behind schedule less than three months

The Music and Dance Audit for the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area continued in 2016-2017. Since its commencement in 2007, 14 communities have completed their community CD and DVD productions, highlighting traditional music and dance, and cultural knowledge.

LEGEND

not yet started
Not yet started

completed
Completed/on schedule

late less than 3 months
Behind schedule less than three months

late more than 3 months
Behind schedule more than three months

Case Study

Evolution: Torres Strait Masks Tour to the National Museum of Australia

Evolution: Torres Strait Masks opened at the National Museum of Australia (NMA) in Canberra on 19 June 2017, with live performances by Alick Tipoti’s dance team, the Zugubal Dancers.

The Director of the NMA, Dr Mathew Trinca, was a special guest when Evolution: Torres Strait Masks first opened, at Gab Titui Cultural Centre in 2015. He immediately initiated negotiations to have the exhibition tour to Canberra.

The NMA was excited to have a completed exhibition, curated at the source of the work, that showed a clear connection between the historical past and live cultural practice. The NMA expects many thousands of visitors to view the exhibition over the six weeks of its display.

The future for this exhibition is to tour nationally, starting in July 2017 at the Queensland Museum and the Museum of Tropical North Queensland, and moving to the South Australian Museum in 2018. An exhibition of reproduction panels is also being planned, through a partnership with the NMA and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and will tour Australian embassies around the world starting in July 2017.

a photograph of PROMINENT TORRES STRAIT ARTIST ALICK TIPOTI’S MASK ‘KOEDAL AWGADHALAYG’ AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIA.

PROMINENT TORRES STRAIT ARTIST ALICK TIPOTI’S MASK ‘KOEDAL AWGADHALAYG’ AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIA.

10th Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award

The 10th anniversary of the Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award was a major celebration and a significant showing of the unique talents of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal artists in the region. Over 300 people attended the opening night and several thousand will see the show over its period of display, from 8 June to 28 July 2017.

The award entries were judged by the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, Mr Tony Ellwood, who was assisted by cultural advisers Mr Ron Day and Ms Louise Manas. This year’s award attracted entries from 52 artists from 18 communities.

The exhibits were of a very high standard and 28 were sold within the first week. The 18 works in the Secondary Student category were purchased by the NMA, along with Matilda Loban’s work Ngulayg Lumayk, winner of the NMA’s History Through Art Award. The Gab Titui Indigenous Art Award’s overall winning artwork, Monument at ‘Kemus Cove’ Erub by Nancy Kiwat, will also go into the NMA’s Torres Strait collection.

a photograph of NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA DIRECTOR TONY ELLWOOD WITH LOUISE MANAS AND RON DAY. IMAGE: GEORGE SERRAS, NMA.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA DIRECTOR TONY ELLWOOD WITH LOUISE MANAS AND RON DAY. IMAGE: GEORGE SERRAS, NMA.

Native Title

Regional Goal

Protect, maintain and progress Native Title rights and recognition over the region’s land and sea country.

Programme Outcomes

  • Changes to Native Title and Fisheries legislation which recognise the commercial rights as part of the Native Title rights of Traditional Owners under the Torres Strait Sea Claim Part A determination.
  • Successfully negotiated Future Acts and Indigenous Land Use Agreements.
  • Native Title claims are successfully determined.
  • Prescribed Bodies Corporate understand and met their responsibilities under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

Projects and Initiatives

  • Progress and successfully negotiate ILUAs.
  • Progress and successfully negotiate Native Title Claims.
  • Perform the functions of a Native Title Representative Body under the Native Title Act.
  • Develop proposals regarding legislation that impacts on Native Title.
  • Build the capacity of Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (PBCs).

Programme Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-20 Native Title Programme expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

4,114

4,365

251

Programme External Funding Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-21 Native Title Programme external funding expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

500

293

207

Programme Performance

Activity

Flag

Status

Native Title compensation

completed

In 2016-2017, seven ILUAs were successfully negotiated. The value of compensation for the agreements is approximately $865,500.

Since 2005, 65 ILUAs have been registered. The value of compensation is approximately $2.416 million.

The Timber Creek compensation methodology, which is currently under appeal, is expected to be applied to future compensation claims in the region.

Deeds of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) transfer

Not yet started

There were no DOGIT transfers in 2016-2017. The Queensland Government has not scheduled any DOGIT transfers for 2017-2018.

Land Holding Act (Katter Leases)

completed

There are 351 Katter Leases in the region. The TSRA has been working with the Queensland Government and the Torres Strait Island Regional Council to finalise Katter Leases on Badu Island. This work is in progress. While the Queensland Government has also scheduled work on Katter Leases for Boigu, Mabuyag, Hammond and Moa islands, there are significant resource implications for the Native Title Office which are still being negotiated.

Major Infrastructure ILUA

Behind schedule more than three months

The Native Title Office is working with the Queensland Government and the Torres Strait Island Regional Council to finalise draft 24 of the Major Infrastructure ILUA. There has been agreement to separate social housing infrastructure from other major infrastructure. This should enable the ILUA to be finalised in 2017.

Management of Future Acts and ILUAs

completed

The Native Title Office received 205 Future Acts notices in 2016-2017. Responses have been provided to 178 of these notices.

Native Title claim – Naghir Island

Behind schedule more than three months

The Native Title Office is overseeing further progress by engaging a consultant anthropologist.

Native Title claim – Sea Claim Part B (QUD6040/2001)

completed

The Native Title Office has been progressing this claim.

The Part B area is wholly overlapped by two claims. The Western Claim is filed on behalf of the Kaurareg people and the Eastern Claim is filed on behalf of the Gudang Yadheykenu people.

The Badulgal, Mualgal and Kaurareg People have agreed that the western overlap is shared sea country. However, a new authorisation meeting is required to clarify the claimants in order for this matter to progress.

Negotiations with the Cape York Land Council about resolving the eastern overlap have commenced. Further anthropological research is required to identify the Traditional Owner group for the claim.

Native Title Conference

completed

The National Native Title Conference was held from 5 to 7 June 2017 in Townsville. This conference coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision, which was celebrated throughout the Torres Strait. A Native Title Symposium was held at Mer (Murray Island), attended by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and about 100 guests.

NTRB legal services

completed

The Native Title Office provides a wide range of legal assistance to the PBCs and Traditional Owners in the region upon request. Table 2-22 provides statistical information on the level of engagement in 2016-2017.

PBC regional workshops

completed

Regional PBC workshops are conducted in conjunction with other Native Title activity that requires PBC directors to assemble. PBC chairs or their representatives had two opportunities in 2016-2017 to meet collectively with the Native Title Office legal team.

Capacity building for the Gur A Baradharaw Kod Sea and Land Council

Behind schedule more than three months

The Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council has not yet established an office or staffing in the region, and does not yet have capacity to assist Traditional Owners to manage their Native Title. The TSRA has offered to assist the council to develop this capacity.

PBC support and capacity building

completed

The Native Title Office provides support to 21 PBCs in the region to ensure that they maintain legislative compliance and can effectively engage with the Traditional Owners in their communities.

In 2016-2017, representatives of the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations visited the region and delivered training for public officers at Erub (Darnley Island) and Ngarupai (Horn Island).

Additional Programme Specific Performance Indicators

Indicator

Flag

Status

Number of reported non-compliance matters involving PBCs

completed

There are no reported non-compliance matters for the region.

Number of DOGIT transferred to PBCs with appropriate support mechanisms

Not yet started

There were no DOGIT transfers in 2016-2017. The Queensland Government does not have any DOGIT transfers scheduled for 2017-2018.

Statistical Data

Table 2-22 Performance statistics – Native Title Office

Facilitation and assistance

Number

1. THE CLAIMS EXPERIENCE

Claimant applications

Active claims represented at 30 June 2016

2

Plus claims filed this year by NTRB

0

Less claims determined 2016-2017

0

Less claims dismissed 2016-2017

0

Less claims withdrawn 2016-2017

0

(+ or -) Other disposition (describe)

0

Active claims represented at 30 June 2017

2

Number of active claims registered by National Native Title Tribunal

0

Claims in development

1

Non-claimant applications

0

Compensation claims

0

2. THE AGREEMENTS EXPERIENCE

Future Acts notices received

205

Responses to Future Acts

178

Agreements concluded

0

Agreements in development

0

ILUAs concluded and registered

1

ILUAs in development

20

Complaints and disputes

0

Complaints

Received

0

Resolved

0

Pending

0

Disputes relating to Native Title applications

1

Disputes relating to ILUAs, rights of access and other matters

5

Requests for review of decisions not to assist

Requests received

1

Reviews completed

1

Requests for review of decisions to assist

Requests received

15

Requests approved

15

Case Study

25th Anniversary of the Mabo Decision

On 3 June 1992, the High Court handed down its decision in Mabo v Queensland (No 2), which declared that ‘the Meriam people are entitled as against the whole world to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the lands of the Murray Islands’.

The Mabo Case has since been an inspiration for Indigenous people around the world, and the platform for other Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people to secure Native Title rights and interests over their lands and seas.

Over those 25 years, the TSRA Native Title Office (NTO) has assisted Traditional Owners as the Native Title Representative Body for the Torres Strait region. The anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on some achievements.

  • On 7 August 2013, the High Court overturned the Full Federal Court’s decision in the Torres Strait Regional Sea Claim Part A and found that Torres Strait Islanders do have a Native Title right to take resources from the sea for any purpose, including commercial and trading purposes.
  • 29 Native Title determinations in the Torres Strait region have been made by the Federal Court of Australia, recognising that Native Title exists in the entire determination areas.
  • 65 Indigenous Land Use Agreements in the region have been registered with the National Native Title Tribunal. These agreements deal with a range of matters, such as consent to Future Acts, compensation for Traditional Owners, and a mechanism for protecting significant sites and cultural heritage.

a photograph of SOME OF THE DELEGATES WHO ATTENDED THE MABO DAY SYMPOSIUM ON MER PAYING THEIR RESPECTS TO THE LATE MR EDDIE KOIKI MABO ON 3 JUNE 2017.

SOME OF THE DELEGATES WHO ATTENDED THE MABO DAY SYMPOSIUM ON MER PAYING THEIR RESPECTS TO THE LATE MR EDDIE KOIKI MABO ON 3 JUNE 2017.

  • 21 Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (RNTBCs) in the region have been registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations. The NTO currently assists the RNTBCs through a project to develop their capacity to improve organisational governance and maximise fee-for-service opportunities.
  • The NTO assists Traditional Owners to work together with the various stakeholders in addressing Future Acts issues, such as social housing development and other infrastructure development required for service delivery in the Torres Strait region.
  • In 2012, the NTO assisted the Mer Gedkem Le (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC with the transfer of the Mer Reserve, which includes the islands of Mer, Dauar and Waier, from the Queensland Government to the Meriam people.
  • In 2014, the TSRA introduced a two-tier funding model to enable RNTBCs to deliver services that they are capable of performing on behalf of the TSRA, their communities and other RNTBCs that require assistance. Two RNTBCs in the region have entered into a memorandum of understanding for Tier One support and are operating on a fee-for-service basis.
  • In 2015, the NTO assisted the Ugar Ged Kem Le Zeuber Er Kep Le (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC to resolve any disputes about land boundaries and map out the traditional boundaries on Ugar. The corporation was able to negotiate various critical community projects, including a community hall extension, new helipad lighting, a new desalination plant and a new fuel bowser.
  • In March 2017, the NTO assisted the Malu Ki’ai (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC to resolve land disputes and map out the traditional boundaries of the totem groups on Boigu.

a photograph of DOUG PASSI, CHAIR OF MER GEDKEM LE (TSI) CORPORATION, CASSIE LANG, SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER TSRA NATIVE TITLE OFFICE, AND GREG MCINTYRE QC, SOLICITOR TO MABO PLAINTIFFS.

DOUG PASSI, CHAIR OF MER GEDKEM LE (TSI) CORPORATION, CASSIE LANG, SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER TSRA NATIVE TITLE OFFICE, AND GREG MCINTYRE QC, SOLICITOR TO MABO PLAINTIFFS.

Environmental Management

Regional Goal

Our natural and cultural environment is an asset that is protected, preserved and enjoyed through sustainable management.

Programme Outcomes

  • Strengthened sustainable use, protection and management of natural and cultural resources.
  • Improved community adaptation to climate change impacts, including sea level rise.
  • Increased uptake of renewable energy for Torres Strait.
  • Support community sustainable horticulture.

Projects and Initiatives

Land:

  • Biodiversity planning and management
  • Invasive species
  • Sustainable horticulture.

Sea:

  • Turtle and dugong planning and management
  • Marine biodiversity
  • Water quality
  • State of the environment report card.

People:

  • Ranger project
  • Indigenous protected areas project
  • Traditional ecological knowledge project
  • Traditional owner engagement.

Coasts and climate:

  • Climate change adaptation and resilience
  • Renewable energy.

Programme Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-23 Environmental Management Programme expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

4,926

4,531

(395)

Programme External Funding Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-24 Environmental Management Programme external funding expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

10,636

10,531

105

Programme Performance

Activity

Flag

Status

Invasive species management

completed

The TSRA coordinated the development of the Torres Strait Regional Biosecurity Plan 2017-2022. Queensland Government funding was secured for a 12-month project to manage feral animals and weeds on key islands across the region through a partnership approach with local government. Major weed programmes are underway to control leucaena, lantana and rubber bush on several islands, including Moa, Boigu, Saibai, Mer, Erub, Warraber and Dauan.

Invasive feral cat and rodent surveys have been conducted on 13 uninhabited islands in Torres Strait. Aerial surveys have been conducted for wild horses and deer on three islands. The Torres Shire Council has been contracted to conduct wild dog, feral cat and cane toad control programmes on Thursday Island and Horn Island.

The TSRA also entered a partnership agreement for shared service delivery with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for the provision of biosecurity services, which has created fee-for-service opportunities for TSRA rangers. The TSRA also participates in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Biosecurity Working Group.

Sustainable horticulture project

Behind schedule less than three months

The Environmental Management Programme works closely with the TSRA’s Healthy Communities and Safe Communities programmes to support communities with horticulture activities in the region. A regional landcare facilitator is employed to coordinate project activities, including facilitation of workshops on outer islands to provide practical and technical demonstrations on food gardening, to assist with the re-establishment of family garden plots and backyard gardens, and the development and maintenance of plant nurseries. The regional landcare facilitator provides a monthly garden column in the Torres News, and also supports the Thursday Island Garden Fair with a stall promoting traditional food gardening and sustainable practices.

Ranger project

completed

TSRA employs 49 rangers, as well as support staff, across 14 outer island communities. Working on Country plans, endorsed by Traditional Owners, are in place to guide the local cultural and natural resource management activities of rangers, who participate in a comprehensive training programme to equip them for their scope of works. A large part of the programme is based on maritime operations and it operates nine vessels located across the region. Future prospects include roles in intelligence gathering and compliance activities, within both customary and government regulatory frameworks.

Environmental education project

completed

This project supports the employment of an environmental education coordinator to lead and coordinate the development and delivery of environmental education programmes within Tagai State College campuses. A school camp base has recently been established at Bamaga to support traditional knowledge transfer through teaching arts, crafts, cooking, dancing and hunting.

Dugong and turtle management

completed

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 dugong and turtle across the region. A dugong and turtle management plan for the Kaiwalagal region has recently been approved by Kaurareg Traditional Owners. The TSRA Environmental Management Programme is now leading annual turtle nesting and hatchling surveys at index rookeries across the Torres Strait for each species that nests in the region.

Biodiversity planning and management

completed

Baseline biodiversity surveys have been carried out on 13 inhabited islands and more than 20 uninhabited islands. A plant and animal book and video have been produced for Badu Island. Mangrove and water quality monitoring projects have been undertaken on Boigu and Saibai. Seasonal calendars are under development for two islands.

Marine ecosystem monitoring

completed

Rangers have been trained in seagrass monitoring techniques and are actively carrying out intertidal monitoring in seven communities. Coral surveys and assessment of the extent of coral bleaching were undertaken in 2016-2017. The TSRA continued to support rangers to conduct biannual surveys of coral reefs. Remote weather stations at four locations across the region continued to be maintained and collect weather and marine data. Research is underway to investigate the impacts of Fly River pollution on the marine resources of Torres Strait. The TSRA also participated in a recent shipping forum to consider the impacts of shipping in the region and risk mitigation options.

Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) project

completed

Three IPAs have been declared and are being actively managed in the Torres Strait region: Warul Kawa IPA, Pulu Islet IPA and Warraberalgal Porumalgal IPA. The TSRA, including rangers from associated communities, continues to actively support the implementation of management plans for all IPAs in the region. A review of the IPA plan of management for Warul Kawa is currently underway.

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) project

completed

The TEK project supports participating Torres Strait communities to utilise a TEK database for the collection, protection and controlled sharing of cultural and natural resource information whilst ensuring adherence to cultural protocols. Nine Torres Strait communities on eight islands are participating in the project. A review of the TEK project was undertaken in early 2016 to explore how to increase the uptake of the TEK system, how to better incorporate TEK into land and sea management, and how to best utilise project resources.

Future funding and investment prospectus

completed

The Land and Sea Management Strategy for Torres Strait 2016-2036 was launched in August 2016. The strategy is the guiding framework for environmental management in the region, through a collaborative approach with Traditional Owners, all levels of government and other partners. An investment prospectus is under development to support the TSRA’s efforts to secure ongoing funding, and to guide and inform future management, monitoring and evaluation of the region’s key values.

Climate change adaptation and resilience

Behind schedule less than three months

Development of the Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan 2016-2021 (launched in December 2016) was a priority action in 2016-2017. Community workshops were continued in 2016-2017 and local adaptation and resilience plans were drafted for endorsement by 13 Torres Strait communities.

Renewable energy

Behind schedule more than three months

Ergon Energy has indicated strong interest in working with the TSRA to progress the uptake of renewable energy in the region. Discussions on the development of a regional energy strategy did not progress in the reporting period as the focus was on targeting opportunities to increase the use of regional energy. Ergon is progressing a 35 kW solar farm construction project at Poruma that will be integrated into the island’s isolated system. The TSRA also commissioned a feasibility study for solar power energy to supplement power for local desalination units.

Additional Programme Specific Performance Indicators

Indicator

Flag

Status

Number of actions in the climate change strategy and associated action plans implemented

completed

26 actions from the regional adaptation plan are now being progressed.

At least two new renewable energy initiatives commenced by 2018

Behind schedule less than three months

Two renewable energy initiatives were begun in the reporting period.

Number of inhabited islands with active food producing community gardens in place

Behind schedule less than three months

While community interest in horticulture activities is high, participation in community gardens has been low. In 2017-2018, efforts will be refocused to provide support for the establishment of family gardens and revitalise more sustainable community gardens.

LEGEND

not yet started
Not yet started

completed
Completed/on schedule

late less than 3 months
Behind schedule less than three months

late more than 3 months
Behind schedule more than three months

Case Study

Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change – Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan 2016-2021

In December 2016, the TSRA – in partnership with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) and the Torres Shire Council (TSC) – launched the Torres Strait Regional Adaptation and Resilience Plan 2016-2021. The plan highlights specific challenges that climate change poses to life in the region, and identifies a suite of actions required to enable the region to adapt and respond.

The Torres Strait is on the front line of climate change impacts, particularly the impacts of sea level rise on low-lying island communities. Communities that are geographically isolated and suffer from a range of socioeconomic vulnerabilities, such those in the Torres Strait, are likely to be more severely affected than communities that do not have those vulnerabilities.

The regional adaptation and resilience plan emphasises that climate change has important implications for the region’s economy and infrastructure and the health, way of life and culture of Torres Strait communities. The plan focuses on reducing climate risks and building community resilience.

a photograph of TSRA RANGER JOHN WIGNESS AND A COMMUNITY MEMBER AT A CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOP IN KUBIN.

TSRA RANGER JOHN WIGNESS AND A COMMUNITY MEMBER AT A CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOP IN KUBIN.

The plan is the result of a very thorough assessment of regional vulnerabilities and consultation with regional leadership and government and research agencies. The TSC and TSIRC had input into and endorsed the plan. The two-year planning process included a series of regional workshops, attended by leading experts on climate change science and adaptation measures, as well as Torres Strait elected representatives and community members.

The partners involved in the planning process successfully pioneered a detailed and innovative risk assessment and planning response. The pioneering elements included the very strong focus on building community resilience, the mapping of pathways to outcomes, and innovations in the categorisation of actions to build greater appreciation of a systems approach.

The plan has been acknowledged as a leading example of best practice adaptation planning by both Australian and international adaptation practitioners.

The plan highlights that fully integrating sustainability and resilience into community development is critical to building adaptive capacity and resilience within communities. Responding to climate change will require strong integration and collaboration across our region, along with adequate resourcing and a coordinated, whole-of-government response.

Local adaptation and resilience plans will be developed for individual communities. These plans will influence and inform future development planning and actions to mitigate the most pressing climate change risks and impacts being experienced by communities.

Governance and Leadership

Regional Goal

Effective and transparent self-government, with strong leadership.

Programme Outcomes

  • Implementation of the National Indigenous Reform Agreement service delivery principles.
  • Appropriate Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal participation in decision-making.
  • Improved communication, cultural competence and service delivery within a community development framework across governments.
  • Strong Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal organisational leadership and governance.

Projects and Initiatives

  • Governance capacity building.
  • Leadership capacity building.
  • Integrated Service Delivery coordination.
  • Community engagement.
  • Women’s leadership program.
  • Youth leadership program.
  • Tertiary education assistance.
  • Regional broadcasting support.

Programme Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-25 Governance and Leadership Programme expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

4,909

4,777

(132)

Programme Performance

Activity

Flag

Status

Community consultation and engagement

Behind schedule less than three months

During 2016-2017, community engagement was conducted in seven Torres Strait communities by the Chairperson and CEO. Further community visits are planned for 2017-2018.

Integrated Service Delivery community booklets

Behind schedule more than three months

No community booklet refreshes were undertaken in 2016-2017.

Media and communications support

completed

This is a contracted activity through Zakazukha Marketing Communications. In 2016-2017, 45 media releases were produced.

Internal and external audit support

completed

Both the external and internal audit programmes were completed. Audit recommendation tracking and status reports were provided at four Audit Committee meetings.

Assistance with Tertiary Education Scheme

completed

Eleven tertiary scholarships were offered in 2016-2017.

Board and Chairperson support

completed

Four executive meetings, four Audit Committee meetings and four Board meetings were conducted in 2016-2017. Executive assistance was provided to the TSRA Chairperson.

Board Strategic Workshop

completed

All Board Members attended the TSRA’s Board Strategic Workshop in November 2016. The focus of this workshop was to develop the TSRA’s priorities going forward. In May 2017, 18 Board Members attended a further strategic workshop to identify the Board’s priorities for the Torres Strait Development Plan for 2019-2022.

Indigenous leadership

completed

During 2016-2017, one person was supported to undertake the Australian Rural Leadership Programme and three people were supported to undertake the Training Rural Australians in Leadership programme.

Support to regional broadcasting

completed

The Torres Strait Islanders Media Association met their broadcasting hours and local content targets.

Women’s and youth leadership

completed

Six participants were supported in the youth leadership programme and the women’s leadership programme increased to 10 participants.

Additional Programme Specific Performance Indicators

Indicator

Flag

Status

Achieve a minimum of 20 per cent increase in access to services over the life of the Torres Strait Development Plan 2014-2018 measured from the 2012 baseline regional plan community booklets

completed

The Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan (2009-2029) identified 1,608(1) service gaps.(2) In 2012-2013, 372 (23 per cent) had been fully addressed. This increased to 773 (48 per cent) in 2013-2014 and 1,034 (64 per cent) in 2014-2015. In 2015-2016, new issues were identified from the refresh of 13 community booklets. The issues that have been fully addressed remain at 1,064 (64 per cent).

Increase in Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal Women with the capacity to participate in leadership roles in the region measured from the 2012 baseline

completed

The Torres Strait Women’s Leadership Programme is delivered in partnership with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

The 2012 baseline was six. Since then, the following participants have been supported.

  • 2013-2014 – 4 women
  • 2014-2015 – 4 women
  • 2015-2016 – 7 women
  • 2016-2017 – 10 women.

Increase in Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal youth (18-25) with the capacity to participate in leadership development activities measured from the 2012 baseline

completed

Training Rural Australians in Leadership:

  • 2013-2014 – two male/one female
  • 2014-2015 – three male/four female
  • 2015-2016 – one male
  • 2016-2017 – two male/one female.

Torres Strait Young Leaders Programme:

  • 2013-2014 – one male/three female
  • 2014-2015 – one male/three female
  • 2015-2016 – two male/four female
  • 2016-2017 – three male/three female.

Both programmes are delivered in partnership with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

1. The service gaps were identified in 2009-2010 as part of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan (2009-2029) development process.

2. The community consultations conducted in 2014-2015 identified that some community booklets contained duplicate entries of gaps in services. Five duplications were removed, reducing the baseline from 1,613 reported in 2013-2014 to 1,608 this year.

LEGEND

not yet started
Not yet started

completed
Completed/on schedule

late less than 3 months
Behind schedule less than three months

late more than 3 months
Behind schedule more than three months

Case Study

TSRA Board Elections

The TSRA is required to hold elections for Board members every four years, under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (Cth). Members are elected for each of the TSRA’s 20 wards: Badu, Bamaga, Boigu, Dauan, Erub, Hammond, Iama, Kubin, Mabuyag, Masig, Mer, Ngarupai and Muralag, Port Kennedy, Poruma, Saibai, Seisia, St Pauls, TRAWQ, Ugar and Warraber.

On 29 April 2016, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion, gazetted 30 July 2016 as the polling date for TSRA elections. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) conducted the 2016 elections, through its Indigenous Electoral Participation Programme (IEPP).

In the lead-up to polling, the AEC’s IEPP teams conducted two information sessions for interested community members in all TSRA wards. In the first round of information sessions, members of the TSRA’s Governance and Leadership team accompanied the AEC teams, to provide information on the roles and responsibilities of TSRA Board members and how to nominate as a candidate for the election. The second round of information sessions focused on voter eligibility, and assistance was provided to voters to ensure that they were correctly enrolled on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll.

Six TSRA wards were uncontested – that is, only one candidate was nominated in each ward – and the AEC IEPP teams conducted polling for the remaining 14 wards. The opportunity to vote in person on polling day was available to voters in the wards of Bamaga, Port Kennedy and TRAWQ. Voters in other wards were able to vote in person at mobile polling stations which visited the wards before polling day. Voters were also able to cast absent, pre-poll or postal votes if they were unable to vote in person in their own wards on polling day.

While taking part in TSRA elections is not compulsory, there has been a marked increase in interest and participation among both candidates and voters. In the July 2016 election, 63 per cent of eligible voters participated, which represents a 6 per cent increase from the previous election. Forty candidates, including 10 women, stood for election.

The new TSRA Board consists of three women and 17 men, and includes seven members who are serving on the Board for the first time.

a photograph of AEC IEPP TEAM READY FOR POLLING AT THE PORT KENNEDY COMMUNITY HALL, THURSDAY ISLAND. IMAGE: AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION.

AEC IEPP TEAM READY FOR POLLING AT THE PORT KENNEDY COMMUNITY HALL, THURSDAY ISLAND. IMAGE: AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION.

Healthy Communities

Regional Goal

To enhance both healthy communities and our living environment and achieve the provision of adequate, appropriate and affordable housing.

Programme Outcomes

  • Secure whole-of-government investment for infrastructure to support healthy homes and healthy living environments.
  • Policies support community managed delivery of primary and public health care services and are based on regional needs and priorities.
  • Improved access to affordable fresh and healthy foods.
  • More active and healthy communities.
  • Affordable home ownership available across the region.

Projects and Initiatives

  • Support community market garden and horticulture initiatives (in conjunction with the Environmental Management Programme).
  • Engage with food suppliers and retailers to increase supply and variety of healthy food options.
  • Support health education initiatives, including physical education, nutrition, obesity, diabetes, motivation and substance abuse programmes.
  • Fund sport and recreation activities and minor infrastructure.
  • Contribute funding and provide policy advice for the delivery of essential services and infrastructure to support healthy living environments.

Programme Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-26 Healthy Communities Programme expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

6,218

6,249

31

Programme External Funding Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-27 Healthy Communities Programme external funding expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

7,500

7,500

0

Programme Performance

Activity

Flag

Status

Seawalls

completed

The joint Australian Government and Queensland Government initiative to increase coastal protection in low-lying Torres Strait communities continued throughout the financial year.

Construction of the seawall on Saibai Island reached practical completion on Monday 22 May 2017. Seawall construction work on Boigu Island is due for commencement in late 2017.

Major infrastructure projects

completed

Thirteen environmental health infrastructure projects were delivered under the Major Infrastructure Programme Stage 5 (MIP 5). All MIP 5 projects have been completed.

The TSRA successfully secured $30 million from the Australian Government and the Queensland Government for Stage 6 of the Major Infrastructure Programme (MIP 6). The funding will deliver 12 environmental health infrastructure projects.

The TSRA continues to work closely with the three regional councils to implement the MIP 6 projects and associated employment and training outcomes for communities.

The TSRA also secured $6 million in infrastructure funding from the Australian Government for the Prince of Wales Safe Landing Facility project, which will provide safe access for the community.

Regional water operations and support

completed

The TSRA continued its contribution to the Torres Strait Island Regional Council Water and Waste Water Management Programme through 2016-2017 to ensure that services are adequately maintained for outer island communities.

The TSRA provided funding to enable the council to purchase five emergency desalination units to mitigate critical water shortages, due to a poor wet season, in Torres Strait communities. The desalination units have been purchased and are used to supplement fresh water supplies.

Major Infrastructure Program trust and other infrastructure projects

Behind schedule less than three months

The TSRA continues to work with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council to identify infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions to allow for all-tide safe access to Ugar community.

The TSRA provided funding for a Ugar infrastructure project, environmental assessment, and fuel bowser and helicopter pad upgrade.

Healthy fresh food and horticulture

completed

The Healthy Communities Programme continued to support the Environmental Management Programme’s delivery of horticulture initiatives through the provision of grant funding to community organisations to support market garden activities.

Sport and recreation activities (grant funding)

completed

The TSRA funded several local council minor sporting infrastructure projects, including upgrades to Erub Stadium and Masig Stadium.

The Torres Strait Youth and Recreational Sporting Association continued to administer sports subsidy funding on behalf of the TSRA throughout the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area region.

The TSRA also provided support to the association to build its organisational capacity to improve service delivery. This included training and development of staff and committee members in areas of administration and accounting.

Six major local sporting carnival events were supported.

The TSRA provided 73 sport and recreation grants to encourage participation in a range of sporting and recreational activities, including sporting events at state and national levels.

Of a total of 3,134 participants in sport and recreation during the period:

  • 1,026 were in the 0-12 age group
  • 818 were in the 13-25 age group
  • 1,159 were in the 26-54 age group
  • 131 were 55 years or older.

Waste and landfill projects

Behind schedule more than three months

The Healthy Communities Programme continues to work with key stakeholders in local and state government and Australian Government agencies to address waste management issues in the region.

The Torres Shire Council received funding from the TSRA’s Community Minor Infrastructure Fund that will enable the council to commence a recycling initiative in 2017-2018.

Horn Island affordable housing project

Behind schedule more than three months

Construction of subdivision works is yet to commence at the proposed site on Horn Island. This project was delayed due to Native Title matters. Those matters have been resolved and the Torres Shire Council is finalising the land tenure.

Works on the subdivision are expected to commence in 2018.

Health promotion and community education projects

completed

The TSRA provides operational funding to the Torres Strait Youth and Recreation Sporting Association. The association provided support to sporting events in the region and worked closely with event organisers and stakeholders, such as Queensland Health, to deliver health and nutrition education initiatives.

The TSRA funded a community waste education programme as part of the Torres Shire Council’s Waste Management project.

The TSRA also influences policy for health programmes across all tiers of government, through participation in the:

  • Torres Strait Cross Border Health Issues Committee
  • Department of Health: Implementation Plan Advisory Group
  • Department of Health: Aged Care Master Plan
  • James Cook University Torres Strait Island Health Sciences Consultative Committee
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Partnership.

Additional Programme Specific Performance Indicators

Indicator

Flag

Status

Increased access to fresh and affordable foods in Torres Strait communities

Not yet started

The Environmental Management Programme’s Mekem Garden Sustainable Horticulture Project delivers food garden initiatives and workshops to increase knowledge and practice of traditional gardening activities and promote the growing of fresh foods in Torres Strait communities.

The Healthy Communities Programme complements the project by providing grant education sessions in conjunction with the Mekem Garden workshops conducted by the regional Landcare facilitator, to encourage communities to access TSRA grant funding opportunities for gardening and horticulture activities.

Increase in participation in structured sport, recreation and healthy lifestyle activities

completed

Six major local sporting events were supported and 73 grants for sporting and recreational activities were approved. A total of 3,134 participants were supported in 2016-2017.

Increase in serviced land and infrastructure to support housing for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people

Behind schedule less than three months

The TSRA continues to support the Torres Shire Council to deliver a subdivision on Horn Island. The TSRA has contributed funding to establish the subdivision and in-ground services for 24 housing lots. Issues with Native Title previously delayed this project; works are now expected to commence later in 2017.

LEGEND

not yet started
Not yet started

completed
Completed/on schedule

late less than 3 months
Behind schedule less than three months

late more than 3 months
Behind schedule more than three months

Case Study

Safe Drinking Water Supply for the Torres Strait Region

The Healthy Communities Programme recognises the importance of meeting basic living standards as part of having healthy people in our communities. This includes ensuring the availability of fresh, potable water for communities across the Torres Strait region.

Since the Major Infrastructure Programme commenced, in 1998, the TSRA has provided a total investment of over $16 million through various infrastructure projects that have contributed significantly to the delivery of safe drinking water throughout the region. Through partnerships with local government, the TSRA’s assistance has supported a wide range of activities, including infrastructure development, investigations to identify sustainable water supplies, and emergency responses to critical water shortages.

The fresh water sources in the Torres Strait are typically rainfall and desalination. Larger communities – such as Thursday Island, Horn Island and St Pauls – have large reservoirs for water storage, while storage on smaller islands is restricted. Rainfall is very sporadic and extended dry seasons are common.

Torres Strait communities recently experienced severe drought conditions which saw the potable water supplies of many outer islands hit critical lows. The TSRA provided grant support to enable the Torres Strait Island Regional Council to purchase five desalination units to mitigate critical water shortages. The desalination units have been purchased and are in use.

In 2016-2017, the TSRA secured funding for Stage 6 of the Major Infrastructure Programme, which will provide additional infrastructure investment to improve the availability of potable water in the region. The programme is jointly funded by the TSRA, the Australian Government and the Queensland Government to deliver environmental health infrastructure to communities in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area region. Previous stages of the programme helped to improve quality of life in communities through building water treatment and desalination plants, sewerage treatment plants and waste management facilities.

a photograph of MOBILE DESALINATION UNIT.

MOBILE DESALINATION UNIT.

Safe Communities

Regional Goal

Safe, healthy, respectful and progressive communities, based on Ailan Kastom and Aboriginal traditions, and strong families and safe and healthy communities that are guided by cultural and traditional lore.

Programme Outcomes

  • Effective community and social service support.
  • Families and individuals are safe in home and community.
  • Public areas are safe and accessible for community members.
  • Communities have access to appropriate transport infrastructure.

Projects and Initiatives

  • Support Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal women, men and children through social development and support programmes; and child and family safety programmes.
  • Support safe and accessible community infrastructure; land and sea communication systems; and community capacity building.
  • Participate in interagency and Integrated Service Delivery meetings and forums to discuss issues of community and domestic safety and to contribute to shaping planning and service delivery in the region.

Programme Expenditure 2016-2017

Table 2-28 Safe Communities Programme expenditure, 2016-2017

Budget $’000

Actual $’000

Variance $’000

4,519

4,822

303

Programme Performance

Activity

Flag

Status

School attendance and learning initiatives (grants)

completed

The TSRA provides funding support for projects that improve the delivery of social services in the Torres Strait and the Northern Peninsula Area.

In 2016-2017, the TSRA continued supporting Ensuring a Strait Start, a project developed by the Torres Strait Islanders Regional Education Council to improve access to early education support in the Torres Strait communities.

Ensuring a Strait Start is currently being delivered in Thursday Island, Badu, Poruma, Boigu, Iama, Erub, Kubin, Masig, Mer, Saibai, Dauan and Horn Island communities. The council is working towards implementing the project on Warraber and Mabuyag.

Community safety partnerships

completed

The TSRA has a range of key partnerships related to community safety, with relevant local and state government and Australian Government agencies. The TSRA is a member of the Torres Strait Child and Family Committee, the Social Justice Interagency Group and the Torres Strait Maritime Safety Programme.

Community safety projects (grants)

completed

The TSRA provided two community safety grants through its common funding rounds in 2016-2017.

Funding supported the inaugural Torres Strait domestic and family violence conference and an early intervention project through the Thursday Island Community Justice Group.

Law enforcement partnerships

completed

The TSRA provides funding support for the delivery of legal services for residents in the region through a partnership with the Attorney-General’s Department. The service is provided by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service.

The TSRA and the Attorney-General’s Department have partnership arrangements in place until 2019-2020, which will ensure that key legal services support continues to be provided for the region.

In 2016-2017, 584 cases relating to duty lawyer, criminal, family and civil casework were supported, and 1,091 cases were supported for advice and minor assistance. The Community Legal Education Officer role continues to assist clients to understand the legal process.

Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme

completed

The TSRA continued to work with the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads through a memorandum of understanding to deliver the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS). In 2016-2017, TIDS delivered a schedule of works covering land, sea and air transport infrastructure on Torres Strait outer island communities.

The works included:

  • barge ramp repairs on Kubin, Dauan, Masig and Hammond islands
  • construction of road signage and safety barriers on Moa and Hammond islands.

In addition to the TIDS schedule of works, the TSRA and the department contributed funding in 2016-2017 towards the upgrade of the wharf infrastructure on Hammond Island. Works are set to commence in 2017-2018.

Social services delivered by non-government organisations (NGOs) – Port Kennedy Association and Mura Kosker Sorority

completed

Core operational and service support funding was provided to the Mura Kosker Sorority and the Port Kennedy Association to continue to deliver important community social support services. With this support, the organisations deliver programmes such as child and family support services, after school and holiday care programmes, and domestic and family counselling. Both organisations act as auspicing bodies for individuals and unincorporated bodies that apply for community grants.

PKA currently employs 20 Indigenous staff and MKS currently employs 12 Indigenous staff in roles including administration, counsellors, outreach workers and programme coordinators.

Coordination of infrastructure planning

completed

The TSRA works in partnership with key Commonwealth and state government agencies to secure and maintain funding relationships that contribute to key regional infrastructure projects.

In 2016-2017, the TSRA rolled out the Community Minor Infrastructure Fund. The first round of funding provided joint funding for 11 projects.

The TSRA worked closely with the three local government councils and the Queensland Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning to coordinate the delivery of Stage 6 of the Major Infrastructure Programme.

The TSRA is also a member of two local council technical working groups which facilitate information sharing on regional infrastructure planning and coordination.

Community capacity building (grants)

completed

Four grants were provided to individuals and community organisations to encourage community safety awareness and capacity building in the current social services providers to improve the wellbeing of communities.

Social and economic engagement partnerships

Behind schedule less than three months

In 2016-2017, the TSRA worked with key partners to improve social and economic community engagement. The Safe Communities Programme contributed to integrated service delivery forums as well as interagency social service forums.

Social services delivered by NGOs (grants)

completed

The capacity building implementation project undertaken by the Mura Kosker Sorority and the Port Kennedy Association has been completed. This project built governance and administrative capacity in the two organisations and improved the delivery of social support services in the Torres Strait region.

The Port Kennedy Association received funding to continue its community after school care programme in 2016-2017.

Additional Programme Specific Performance Indicators

Indicator

Flag

Status

All Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people employed in the TSRA-supported social services sector in the region have appropriate accreditation

completed

The TSRA provides the Mura Kosker Sorority and the Port Kennedy Association with an annual operational budget that includes appropriations for training and accreditation. The organisations have appropriate accreditation to effectively perform their duties within the social services sector. These include certificates in Aged Care and Disability Services, Children’s Services, Community Services, and Business Administration; the Associate Degree in Indigenous Community Management and Development; and the Diploma in Financial Counselling.

All TSRA funded service delivery organisations in the region provide quality services and operate in accordance with relevant standards

completed

Social support services are effectively delivered in the region by the Mura Kosker Sorority and the Port Kennedy Association and are operated in accordance with relevant standards under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld), and within the TSRA funding guidelines. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service delivers legal services in the region in accordance with relevant standards and guidelines under the Indigenous Legal Assistance and Policy Reform Programme of the Attorney-General’s Department.

Reduction in service referrals, response timeframes and waiting lists for social service providers

completed

The amount of service referrals varies depending on clients’ individual circumstances. The programmes delivered by the Mura Kosker Sorority and the Port Kennedy Association include child and family services, the Disability/Flexi-Respite Programme and the Old People’s Action Programme.

All responses to clients and waiting lists are managed in line with the service provisions of those organisations.

Increased participation in TSRA-supported community events by residents and TSRA-funded service organisations

completed

The number of residents and TSRA funded organisations participating in various community events has increased to 400 participants, compared to an average of 300 participants in previous years.

Community events coordinated by the Mura Kosker Sorority and the Port Kennedy Association include events related to International Women’s Day, Domestic Violence Prevention Month, White Ribbon Awareness Day, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day, and Child Protection Week.

LEGEND

not yet started
Not yet started

completed
Completed/on schedule

late less than 3 months
Behind schedule less than three months

late more than 3 months
Behind schedule more than three months

Case Study

Saibai Seawall Project

Sea level rise is a major issue for low-lying communities in the Torres Strait region. Tidal inundation can negatively impact on important community infrastructure such as housing, schools, health clinics and community-use buildings and facilities. Essential services infrastructure that supports environmental and public health, such as fresh water storage and supply systems and sewerage, can also be impacted by tidal inundation.

Seawall construction in the Torres Strait is technically complex and logistically challenging, given the remoteness and geographically dispersed nature of the affected island communities.

In 2014, the Australian Government and the Queensland Government announced a joint funding commitment of $26.2 million for coastal protection works in Torres Strait communities. Since 2014, the Torres Strait Island Regional Council has completed two seawall projects, on Saibai and Poruma, with the majority of the work occurring on Saibai.

The Saibai seawall project reached practical completion on 22 May 2017. The project constructed 2,284 metres of seawall and 2,062 metres of bund wall, and installed 1,870 metres of wave return wall. Improvements were made to roads, drainage and access stairs at various points along the seawalls. These completed works will assist in addressing the tidal inundation and coastal erosion that affect the Saibai community on an annual basis.

The Indigenous training and employment outcomes of the project significantly exceeded agreed targets, delivering 8,211 hours of training (the target was 4,501 hours) and 17,512 hours of employment (the target was 7,501 hours). Two trainees obtained the Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations.

a photograph of THE NEW SAIBAI SEAWALL.

THE NEW SAIBAI SEAWALL.