Posts tagged ‘Torres Strait’

December 3, 2013

Uncertainty remains over seawall funding

Funding for the Torres Strait Coastal Protection Works (Seawalls) Project remains uncertain despite the issue being raised at the Senate Estimates earlier this month.

At the Rural and Regional Committee hearing on 18th of November, Labor Senator Jan McLucas sought clarity regarding the status of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) contracts.  In June 2012, the federal government pledged a total of $12 million towards the Torres Strait Seawalls Project, which $5 million was to be sourced from RDAF and the remaining $7 million from Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.  This funding was matched by the Queensland Government through the Major Infrastructure Program earlier this year.

However the RDAF contract between Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) and Torres Strait Island Regional Council was not finalised before September’s federal election, leaving doubts about whether the funding will be honoured by the new Abbott Government.

TSRA appeared before the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee on 22nd of November to express their concern about the funding uncertainty.

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

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:


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