It gives me great pleasure to present the 2014 – 2018 Torres Strait Development Plan, which outlines how the TSRA will contribute over the next four years to closing the gap in disadvantage between Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the Torres Strait region and non-Indigenous people on mainland Australia.

During the period of the last Development Plan the TSRA completed an Integrated Service Delivery project, which was a partnership of key government agencies to integrate planning and improve service delivery. In 2012, we released our first community report cards, in the form of 19 community booklets, reporting on progress in delivering services which meet the objectives of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan 2009 – 2029. The community booklets identify 1,619 service gaps or unmet community aspirations across the region. In the first four years of the Regional Plan the TSRA was instrumental in closing 332 of these gaps, with work on a further 671 in progress. The remaining 616 are under review with the respective communities. The TSRA will begin an update of the community booklets in 2014. The Regional Plan provides regional goals to guide the strategic policy of all government service providers in the region.

This Torres Strait Development Plan sets out programs by which the TSRA will continue to contribute to achieving the goals of the Regional Plan. These programs are aligned with the COAG Building Blocks for overcoming Indigenous disadvantage.

The TSRA is committed to building partnerships with all tiers of government to accomplish integrated planning and service delivery. Together we can build a strong future for the region.

The TSRA acknowledges the support and assistance of the Queensland Government’s Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs (DATSIMA), the Torres Shire Council, the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council in the development of the Regional Plan. We also acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula communities for their input, which has laid the foundation for our planning processes.

Joseph Elu, AO
Torres Strait Regional Authority