News & Resources

Information Management and Technology

The TSRA Information Communications and Technology (ICT) Team once again had an extremely busy year.

During 2013 - 2014 the wireless radio data links between the offices on Thursday Island were replaced as the existing equipment was coming to end of life in terms of maintenance support. Additionally links were put into place for a new leased building to bring it into the TSRA ICT network. Planning is currently underway for the next stage, where the high use link between Torres Strait Haus and the Native Title Office and Land and Sea Management Unit building will be replaced by a new link that will operate at a greater capacity.

Support for TSRA Board Members based on Island communities with poor to no mobile reception was improved with the installation of mast/ antenna/ Cel-Fi equipment.

Support for TSRA Board Members based on Island communities with poor to no mobile reception was improved with the installation of mast/antenna/Cel-Fi equipment that provided for a local mobile hotspot to improve voice and data communications. Similar infrastructure was put in place at the ranger offices on Mabuiag and Warraber. Planning has been undertaken to provide this same improved level of service to ranger offices on Poruma, Erub and Ugar.

Following a health check undertaken of the TSRA's voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephone system, a significant firmware upgrade was performed that modernised the system. Health checks are planned for all other infrastructure in 2014 - 2015.

A significant upgrade to the Torres Strait Haus virtual server environment was undertaken to build on the data centre infrastructure changes in the previous year. The virtual server environment in the TSRA Torres Haus data centre has been designed for expansion, thereby readily able to cater for an increase in the number of virtual servers. The increase in number of virtual servers was driven by the need to upgrade existing TSRA enterprise resource planning (ERP) software applications: HP TRIM (document management), Chris21 (human resource management) and AccPac (financial management). The human resource and finance systems have been upgraded to the latest versions. The document management system upgrade is scheduled to be completed in July 2014.

A number of challenges in records management continue to be addressed. Additional containers of records were shipped from various Thursday Island storage locations to a secure record archive facility in Cairns. The TSRA has completed archiving more than 80 per cent of its paper-based records. Significant improvements were made to digital records management in 2013 - 2014, including the redesign of the records management information structure. The new design is supported by the National Archives of Australia.

Improvements to the TSRA's Cairns office ICT environment were made through the installation of more robust server and appliance infrastructure that better supports file and print services as well as network communications over ADSL and WiFi.

Environmental Sustainability

Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) requires Australian Government organisations to detail their environmental performance and contribution to ecologically sustainable development (ESD). Table 4-13 provides an overview of the TSRA's environmental activities and operations in relation to Section 516A of the EPBC Act.

Table 4-13 Compliance with the EPBC Act, section 516A (Environmental Reporting)

ESD reporting requirement TSRA response
How the TSRA’s activities accord with the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

The TSRA has issued an environmental policy outlining measures to improve its ecological sustainability. During 2013 - 2014, the TSRA continued work on implementing activities identified through its environmental management system, which is focused on ensuring that the TSRA is taking all reasonable steps to reduce its ecological footprint.

The TSRA’s environmental risks are managed at the project, programme and portfolio levels and are captured in the organisation’s risks and issues registers.

The TSRA maintains an environmental legal and other requirements register.

The TSRA has established a biennial audit process for its environmental management system. The next audit is scheduled for late 2014.

Outcomes contributing to ecologically sustainable development.

The TSRA’s Environmental Management Programme contributes to ecologically sustainable development across all Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area communities. This includes:

  • employment of 45 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as trainees, rangers and senior rangers
  • partnering with Tagai State College in the Horticulture in Schools Programme
  • improving animal management and invasive species control, including management strategies for invasive fish, cane toads, feral dogs impacting on green turtle nesting sites and the development of a regional pest management strategy
  • producing biodiversity profiles, fauna surveys and fire management plans for all inhabited Torres Strait Islands
  • providing technical assistance to improve food production in the Torres Strait through a sustainable horticulture programme
  • reducing waste management issues and environmental impact
  • increasing the use of renewable energies
  • managing the effects of climate change, specifically tidal inundation and erosion.
Environmental impacts of operations

The TSRA is committed to managing its operations and those of its contractors to minimise adverse environmental impacts and protect the environment.

There were no recorded adverse environmental impacts from TSRA activities in 2013 - 2014.

Measures taken to minimise environmental impacts

During 2013 - 2014 the TSRA implemented a number of environmental initiatives, including:

  • installation of solar photovoltaic systems to three TSRA office sites, resulting in a projected energy saving of 140,000 kilowatt hours per annum or 96.5 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide
  • replacement of conventional fluorescent office lighting with low energy T8 LED tubes
  • installation of motion activated lighting to meeting rooms and low occupancy areas
  • installation of solar window tinting to reduce the need for air-conditioning
  • trial of office kitchen waste composting.

The TSRA requires its employees, contractors and suppliers to comply with the TSRA’s Environment Policy and environmental management systems by:

  • implementing conservation measures in the TSRA’s offices
  • minimising environmental impacts through better design and material selection for new staff housing
  • requiring contractors to comply with relevant environmental regulatory requirements and minimum environmental performance requirements
  • managing and reporting environmental incidents.

The TSRA monitors a range of environmental performance indicators, including energy use within TSRA offices, energy ratings of white goods purchased for TSRA staff housing, fuel consumption and vehicle performance.

The TSRA has adopted appropriate technologies to reduce travel and its dependency on paper-based filing systems. Those technologies include:

  • telephone and videoconferencing facilities
  • iPads, to be used at all formal meetings, reducing paper consumption
  • an electronic document and records management system.

The TSRA continues to modernise its computing operations through the adoption of new virtual technologies and desktop solutions. The new technology provides the TSRA with the opportunity to further reduce energy consumption and the impact of computers on the environment.

Risk Management

The TSRA has standardised its processes for the identification, documentation and management of risks and issues. All TSRA projects and managed activities include risk assessments as part of the project planning and approval process. The TSRA assesses risks in the following categories:

■ framework ■ performance ■property
■ policy ■ schedule ■ environment
■ control ■ reputation ■ flora / fauna
■ fraud ■ resources ■ land / sea
■ compliance ■ budget ■ air.
■ execution ■ people

The TSRA risk processes aim to minimise impacts in critical areas such as health, safety and the environment. The TSRA adopts a risk-managed approach to decision-making and devolves the management of risk to the most appropriate level within the organisation.

The TSRA's risk management system is:

  • dynamic – by being responsive to change and assisting corporate learning and continuous improvement
  • systematic – by being rigorous, transparent and explicit and taking into account stakeholder perspectives
  • integrated and embedded – in so far as practicable, by reviewing established management planning, decision-making and reporting processes.

The risk management system is based on the better practice principles and processes outlined in the International Standard AS/NZ ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management – principles and guidelines on implementation.

a photograph of TSRA Deputy Chairperson Mr Aven Noah and TSRA Member for TRAWQ Mr John Abednego with Queensland Premier the Honorable Campbell Newman

TSRA Deputy Chairperson Mr Aven Noah and TSRA Member for TRAWQ Mr John Abednego with Queensland Premier the Honorable Campbell Newman.