Posts tagged ‘Tony Abbott’

November 18, 2013

Thousands gather to demand climate action

Mr Thomas Sebasio & Senator Christine Milne

Yesterday, thousands of people in cities and towns across the country gathered in solidarity as part of the National Day of Climate Action.

In Brisbane, a group of Torres Strait Islanders and their supporters joined a strong crowd of 5,000 people in Queens Park, calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his government to take serious action on climate change.

Dressed in traditional dress and in island colours, and carrying signs that read: ‘Torres Strait needs Climate Action Now’ and ‘Save Torres Strait’, a small contingent of Torres Strait Islanders caught the attention of the crowd, including the Greens Party Leader and Senator Christine Milne.

Mr Thomas Sebasio from Erub/Darnley Island (Senior Elder for Brisbane – South West) spoke to Senator Milne about the uncertainty over federal government funding for the construction and repair of seawalls in Boigu, Saibai and other affected islands.

Since taking office in September this year, the Abbott Government has not confirmed whether it will honour the promise made by the former government to fund the seawalls project in the Torres Strait.

Torres Strait Islanders and their family, friends and supporters are being urged to show their support by asking the Prime Minister to uphold the funding promise via an online petition available at:

November 4, 2013

Campaign launched for promised funds

An online campaign has been launched to mobilise national and international support for the delivery of seawall funding for the Torres Strait.

The campaign calls on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to honour the funding commitment made by the former federal government towards the construction and repair of the seawalls in Boigu and Saibai Islands.

People can show their support by signing the petition available at:

The target is to reach 2,000 signatures by the end of November so everyone is encouraged to let their family, friends and colleagues know about the importance of signing the petition.

The details of the campaign will be published in today’s Torres News and broadcasted on Radio 4MW 1260AM, also today at 11.30am.

Background on Promised Seawall Funding

In June 2012, the Gillard Government pledged a total of $12 million for the construction and repair of seawalls and related sand nourishment works for the worst affected islands. This funding was matched by the Queensland Government earlier this year.

While $3.2 million has been signed off between the Torres Strait Regional Authority and Torres Strait Islands Regional Council for the preliminary design and planning stage of the Torres Strait Coastal Protection Works (Seawalls) Project so far, this is far short of the $26 million needed.

Each year, communities in the Torres Strait are severely affected by inundation from king tides and cyclonic weather.  Flooding of homes, schools, roads and other major infrastructure are a common occurrence in low lying islands of Boigu and Saibai, and the central coral cay islands of Iama, Warraber, Masig and Poruma.


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