Chapter 19

Chapter 19


19.1      Whether considering health issues, law and order, conservation, biosecurity, climate change, border protection or economic development in the Torres Strait, the committee found that a number of clear messages emerged during the course of its inquiry. They underscored the importance of:

19.2      These messages are evident in the committee's recommendations which have been grouped under the key subject headings as set out in this report.

Provision of health services

19.3      The committee recommends that:

Australia’s development assistance to Western Province

19.4      The committee recommends that:

This analysis must provide an accurate and quantifiable account on the effectiveness of Australian aid provided to Western Province in the Torres Strait region. Special consideration must be given to the outcomes of Australian Government initiatives in the region, including both technical achievements and outputs and changes in attitudes and behaviour; (recommendation 4, paragraphs 4.62–63)

Policing in the Torres Strait

19.5      The committee recommends that:

Conservation and biosecurity, community management plans and community involvement in protecting the environment and in sustainable management

19.6      The committee recommends that:

Border protection

19.7      The committee recommends that:

Climate change

19.8      The committee recommends that:

Commercial fishing in the Torres Strait

19.9      The committee recommends that:

Governance, consultation and service delivery

19.10         The committee recommends that:

Consultative mechanisms under the Treaty

19.11         The committee recommends that:

Commonwealth responsibilities—infrastructure and waste management

19.12         The committee recommends that:

19.13         Although the committee has made a significant number of recommendations, they do not necessarily reflect adversely on the Treaty or the efforts of government agencies to make the Treaty a success. The recommendations are intended to build on the good work already being achieved in the Torres Strait, to strengthen support for the Treaty and to encourage further the development of constructive and cooperative relations between all who work and live in the region. It should be noted, however, that in the view of the committee the Australian Government should give close attention to three areas of special concern—the perception by local inhabitants that government agencies are not responding adequately to breaches of Treaty provisions, the effectiveness of Australia’s development assistance to Western Province and the apparent slowness and lack of coordination in responding to local concerns about the effects of changes in climate on communities in the region.

Senator Helen Kroger

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