a photograph of Departing for marine safety training

Departing for marine safety training. (Photo: Tristan Simpson)

How We Meet Our Outcomes

Outcomes and Planned Performance

This section provides details of performance against the key performance indicators contained in the TSRA Portfolio Budget Statements, 'Agency Resources and Planned Performance', 2013 - 2014.

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

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

Each programme report provides the following information:

  • A statement of the regional goal
  • A statement of the programme goal
  • Programme expenditure
  • A programme map, showing the linkages between programme projects, outputs, benefits, outcomes, regional goals and Council of Australian Governments Closing the Gap Building Blocks
  • A statement of the outcomes from the Torres Strait Development Plan (2009 - 2013)
  • Programme projects and achievements.

The Torres Strait Development Plan (2009 - 201 3) was developed by the TSRA under section 142D of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (Cth). The plan outlines seven TSRA programmes, listing the desired outcomes and benefits to be delivered. The plan ends on 30 June 2014 and will be replaced by the Torres Strait Development Plan (2014 - 2018). The new plan is published on the TSRA website www.tsra.gov.au.

The Torres Strait Development Plan (2009 - 2013) is derived directly from the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan (2009 - 2029). The Regional Plan was developed by the TSRA, the Torres Shire Council, the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council, in consultation with Torres Strait communities. The Regional Plan captures community challenges, priorities and aspirations. A key element of the Regional Plan is its focus on integrated development planning and Integrated Service Delivery. This process aims to coordinate the effective delivery of a range of government services to local communities while ensuring that duplication and service gaps are minimised.

a photograph of Protected Zone Joint Authority members with Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Protected Zone Joint Authority members with Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion.

Integrated Planning Framework

Figure 2-1 Torres Strait Regional Authority Integrated Planning Framework

a chart showing Torres Strait Regional Authority Integrated Planning Framework

Portfolio Budget Statements Key Performance Indicators

Measured change in Business Funding and Housing Loan outcomes

The Torres Strait Development Plan (2009 - 201 3) targets are for five new business loans and three new home loans each year. In 2013 - 2014 two business loans were approved under the Business Funding Scheme and two home loans were approved under the Home Ownership Programme. The main inhibitor to achieving loan targets is that the complex land tenure arrangements in the Torres Strait continue to make it difficult for loan applicants to provide appropriate security for loans.

The TSRA's Native Title Office (NTO) is working with Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) and Traditional Owners in the region to develop Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) that will assist to resolve land tenure issues.

In addition, the TSRA's business support services provided advisory, technical, and financial support to 32 individuals and five incorporated community organisations. Three of the incorporated organisations made successful Economic Development grant applications in 2013 - 2014.

Measured change in Industry Training outcomes

Training Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in the region has continued this year, with the training target of 50 persons specified in the Torres Strait Development Plan (2009 - 2013) being again exceeded. This training has been delivered through the Remote Jobs and Communities Programme, the Torres Strait Marine Pathways Project and Into Business Workshops provided by the TSRA in partnership with Indigenous Business Australia.

Training was provided to 237 people in:

  • Certificate I in Construction (4)
  • Certificate II in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations) (11)
  • Certificate II in Maritime Operations (77)
  • Certificate II in Retail Services (2)
  • Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations (4)
  • Certificate II in Indigenous Community Housing Maintenance (8)
  • Certificate II in Transport and Distribution (Maritime Operations) (8)
  • Certificate III in Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts (11)
  • Certificate III in Carpentry (1)
  • Certificate III in Community Services Work (2)
  • Certificate III in Fishing Operations & Wild Harvest Diver (27)
  • Certificate IV in Business Administration (2)
  • Certificate IV in Community Development (3)
  • Certificate IV in Theology and Ministry (1)
  • Certificate IV Indigenous Mental Health (Suicide Prevention) (1)
  • Maritime Operations Statement of Attainment (41)
  • Business Training Workshops (34).

Number of Indigenous artists and cultural practitioners supported

In 2013 - 2014 the TSRA Culture, Art and Heritage Programme supported 157 artists and cultural practitioners through a broad range of activities. These included grants; cultural and arts skills development projects; and the promotion and creation of sales opportunities through the Gab Titui Cultural Centre gallery, gift shop and exhibitions areas. As at 30 June 2014 there were 140 active artists who engaged directly with the cultural centre.

In 2013 - 2014 the TSRA Culture, Art and Heritage Programme supported 157 artists and cultural practitioners through a broad range of activities.

Measured change in the number of professionally active Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and active art centres in the region

The TSRA supported 35 grant applications funded by the Culture, Art and Heritage Programme. Six of those applications were funded through a partnership with the Queensland Government's Indigenous Regional Arts Development Fund. The TSRA received 122 entries in total for the sixth (July 2013) and seventh (April 2014) Gab Titui Indigenous Art Awards.

An arts industry meeting was held at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on 18 and 19 June 2014, which was attended by 55 artists from the region. All regional art forms were represented and practitioners were engaged in workshops on copyright; marketing; panel discussions and participation in developing areas of focus for the TSRA arts development plan for the next four years. Feedback was received from 32 of the participants, all indicating a positive experience.

Number of native title determinations, native title compliant land and sea outcomes, and number of future act notifications facilitated in the Torres Strait

The NTO finalised one determination in 2013 - 2014 and has two active determinations in process and one claim under development.

The Torres Strait Regional Sea Claim Part A was finalised in the High Court of Australia on 7 August 2013.

In summary, in granting the appeal, the High Court of Australia held:

  • That the native title rights to access or take resources (including marine resources) are not restricted to traditional use only and can be for commercial use. Fisheries and other legislation did not extinguish native title rights to trade commercially.
  • That otherwise the decision of Justice Finn stands, in that native title exists in the determination area and that the native title rights and interests are subject to the traditional laws and customs of the native title holders and the laws of Queensland and the Commonwealth.
  • That the native title rights and interests are non-exclusive, which means that the Traditional Owners cannot prevent anyone from lawfully accessing the determination area, nor does this prevent any person who has a fishing or other licence from engaging in that activity in the area.

Number of Indigenous Land Use Agreements finalised

In 2013 - 2014 the NTO provided assistance with the finalisation and execution of four ILUAs. The NTO received 64 future act notifications which were forwarded to the relevant PBCs. The NTO provided the PBCs with advice regarding future act notifications and native title matters.

Ranger groups have been established in 14 outer island communities, employing Torres Strait Islander people to manage their islands and sea country sustainably.

Number of communities participating in natural resource management activities

There are 15 communities participating in natural resource management (NRM) activities. The Environmental Management Programme is assisting all Torres Strait communities to participate in NRM. Ranger groups have been established in 14 outer island communities, employing Torres Strait Islander people to manage their islands and sea country sustainably and to undertake a wide range of local cultural and NRM projects. The TSRA has also been working with the Kaurareg Traditional Owners in the Kaiwalagal region to establish a management framework for dugong and turtle, and to control cane toads and other invasive pests.

Number of ranger groups in place to assist communities to carry out land, sea and cultural resource management activities

There are 45 Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginals employed as trainees, rangers and senior rangers, with additional staff employed in administrative and management roles. Collectively, the Land and Sea Ranger Programme delivers natural and cultural resource activities across 14 communities on 13 islands across the Torres Strait.

Over $42 million in funding has been secured under the Working on Country Programme (administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) until 2018 to support the continuation of the ranger programme.

Ranger Working on Country plans have been developed for all communities that have rangers. The plans guide ranger activities and future project proposals to ensure on-ground work is aligned with community priorities and the best available scientific information.

Three Torres Strait Islander trainees were employed and successfully completed training to gain a Certificate II in Conservation and Land Management. All three trainees have now transitioned into other roles within the ranger programme.

Three new Indigenous ranger supervisors at the APS 5 level have been recruited and are located on Boigu, Badu and Poruma. The career progression of local Indigenous staff through the Land and Sea Ranger Programme is proving to be a valuable benefit from the longer term commitment to the programme.

All rangers are involved in essential training needed for safety at work, such as workplace health and safety, chemical handling, chainsaw use, elements of shipboard safety, marine radio and first aid.

Rangers have been involved in training in Certificate II in Indigenous Leadership Training, Australian film and television training, supervising your team with confidence and writing skills in the APS. Rangers have also attended the World Indigenous Network Conference, Indigenous leadership forum, Puliima National Indigenous Language and Technology Forum, the National Landcare Conference and ranger exchanges.

Ranger vessels have been deployed to the Badu, Boigu, Saibai, Mabuiag and Iama communities. A further two will be delivered in late 2014, one each to the Erub and Mer communities.

Number of sustainable land use plans developed

Fifteen Torres Strait communities have sustainable land use plans in place and are using them in local planning decisions. A local government planning scheme is under development for the outer islands, which the TSRA has supported through providing technical input and spatial data. Terrestrial biodiversity profiles have been completed for all outer island communities.

Level of legislative compliance and measured change in capacity of Prescribed bodies Corporate in the region

The Malu Lamar Registered Native Title Body Corporate was established in June 2014 following the Torres Strait Regional Sea Claim Part A determination. The TSRA's NTO assisted with both the Sea Claim (Part A) determination and the establishment of this new PBC. As Malu Lamar did not operate as a PBC until the last weeks of the reporting period it has not been included in the performance reporting below.

All 20 PBCs in the region met the minimum levels of compliance required by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations by submitting their general report by the due date.

Twelve PBCs held Annual General Meetings (AGMs) within the reporting period and three were granted extensions. One PBC has been granted approval to conduct its AGM on a biannual basis. The remaining four are scheduled to hold their AGMs by the end of the calendar year. In 2013 - 2014 the TSRA completed compliance and capacity-building surveys with all PBCs for inhabited islands. These surveys systematically measure levels of capacity within PBCs to meet their obligations under both the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth). The surveys will enable more targeted assistance to be provided.

The TSRA has revised its PBC support model to recognise the varying levels of operational capability among PBCs. A two-tier support model is being implemented in 2014 - 2015 and will be trialled with the PBCs on Mer and Badu Islands.

The TSRA has provided direct financial assistance to 12 PBCs in the region since starting the grants programme in 2011. In 2013 - 2014 the TSRA assisted 10 PBCs:

  • Mer Gedkem Le (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) – both funding rounds
  • Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC – both funding rounds
  • Erubam Le Traditional Land and Sea Owners (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC
  • Porumalgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC
  • Kulkalgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC
  • Maluilgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC
  • Badu Ar Mua Migi Lagal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC
  • Malu Ki'ai (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC
  • Goemulgaw (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC
  • Masigalgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation RNTBC.

Measured change in regional communications capacity

The TSRA sponsored the operations of the Torres Strait Islanders Media Association (TSIMA) for the provision of Indigenous broadcasting services to the region. This includes the operations of Radio 4MW, which operates on Thursday Island and is re-broadcast to all communities in the region. TSIMA also operates as the Regional Indigenous Media Organisation (RIMO) for the Torres Strait with responsibility for the Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Service (RIBS) operators.

TSIMA maintained the high level of local broadcasting achieved in 2012 - 2013, with 168 hours per week of local programming (this is the maximum possible) and an average of 77 hours per week of local production. This is a significant improvement from 2011 - 2012, in which only 46 per week hours was locally produced and programmed and 122 hours was rebroadcast from other sources.

There has been a decrease in RIBS operations in 2013 - 2014. RIBS is currently the responsibility of the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC), with the TSRA providing funding according to the level of operations they are able to support. In 2013 - 2014 the TSRA worked with TSIMA to take operational responsibility for the RIBS network from the TSIRC. TSIMA has been funded to re-establish the RIBS network, with six stations scheduled to be fully operational by 30 June 2015, four stations scheduled in 2015 - 2016 and four in 2016 - 2017. This will complete the refurbishment and operator training for the 14 RIBS facilities throughout the region.

Measured change in outcomes from social support services active in the Torres Strait

The TSRA's outcomes in social services are achieved through the targeted funding of non-government organisations in the region to deliver programmes. The key service delivery organisations are: the Mura Kosker Sorority Incorporated, Port Kennedy Association Incorporated, Kaziw Asesered Le Association, Torres Strait Islanders' Regional Education Council, Lena Passi Women's Shelter, Relationships Australia (Queensland), and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service.

Table 2-1 shows the progress being made in Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage in the Council of Australian Governments Building Blocks for safe communities, health and healthy homes. These figures are based on the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan (2009 - 2029) Integrated Service Delivery community booklets as at 30 June 2014.

Table 2-1 Progress Towards Closing the Gap in the Healthy and Safe Communities Programmes

Healthy and safe Communities Programmes
Building BlockSafe CommunitiesHealthHealthy Homes
Service issues by yearIdentified shortfallsIn progressIdentified shortfallsIn progressIdentified shortfallsIn progress

The Mura Kosker Sorority Incorporated delivers a range of social service programmes, including the Indigenous Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service; child and family support services; the Emergency Relief Programme; the Old People's Action Programme; the Torres Strait Healthy Ageing Programme (delivered to the communities of Warraber, Moa, Dauan and Masig); and Broadband for Seniors.

In 2013 - 2014 the Mura Kosker Sorority was funded to complete a Regional Community Safety Referral Plan. The implementation of the plan is currently underway and is scheduled for completion in 2014.

The Port Kennedy Association Incorporated provides a number of programmes for communities. These include: Vacation Care Services; the Mura Kaimel Playgroup; an after-school childcare programme; the Flexible Respite Care and Day Service Programme; the Disability Support Service; the Family Support Programme; a Recognised Entity Service under the Child Protection Act 1999 (Cth); and the development and coordination of community events.

The Port Kennedy Association was funded to investigate a social services hub which would be a liaison and coordinating centre for all organisations delivering social services to minimise duplication and identify gaps. This is part of the TSRA's role in monitoring the integration of service delivery throughout the region.

The TSRA provides funding support and works closely with the Attorney-General's Department in order to provide legal aid for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal residents in the Torres Strait and the Northern Peninsula Area region through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service.

The TSRA is working with service providers to provide further evidence-based reporting which will enable the measurement of changes in social outcomes for the communities in which services are delivered.

Appropriation programme expenditure 2013 - 2014 budget as compared to actual

A summary of the TSRA's financial performance for each programme area for 2013 - 2014 is provided in Table 2-2.

Section 5, Financial Statements, provides further information about expenditure for each programme area as of 30 June 2014.

Table 2-2 Appropriation Programme Expenditure 2013 - 2014, Budget Compared to Actual (unaudited)

Culture, Arts and Heritage4,3534,209144
Economic Development13,06413,00361
Environmental Management5,9995,797202
Governance & Leadership5,4765,505-29
Native Title Office2,9592,89861
Healthy Communities12,86112,80952
Safe Communities7, 3757,403-28
Notes: The Fisheries Program outcomes are reported as part of the Environmental Management Program

a photograph of Michaeline Fauid and Valda Sabatino at Gab Titui Cultural Centre 10th Anniversary

Michaeline Fauid and Valda Sabatino at Gab Titui Cultural Centre 10th Anniversary.