Regional Development Australia Focuses Spotlight on Torres Strait

QLD, Australia – ( September 10, 2012

Regional Development Australia Focuses Spotlight on Torres Strait

Regional Development Australia Focuses Spotlight on Torres Strait

Representatives from the Far North and Torres Strait Island chapter of Regional Development Australia, (RDA FNQ&TS) will today embark on a two day road show to the Torres Strait visiting Boigu and Saibai island communities that in July this year secured Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) Round 2 Funding for its sea walls project.

The chief executive officer of RDA FNQ&TS, Sonja Johnson said the delegation comprising committee members, Brett Moller and Elizah Wasaga, would travel to the Torres Strait  for a series of meetings with the proponents of the sea walls project,  Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) and Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA).

“This visit is just one in a series of road shows we have undertaken in regional communities to introduce ourselves and the role of Regional Development Australia in building partnerships to address social, economic and environmental issues affecting regional communities.

In this instance, our visit naturally focuses on the sea walls project along with three of our 12 implementation strategies focussing on climate adaptation, the business resources growth package and importance of strong local governance.”

Ms Johnson said today’s program included informal meetings on Boigu and Saibai Islands before returning to Thursday Island in readiness for tomorrow’s briefing presentations to TSRA and TSIRC.

The RDA FNQ&TS delegation will also meet with Torres Shire Councillors to ensure community alignment with the Regional Roadmap and to commence dialogue in preparation for RDAF Round 3.

The two day program culminates in a hosted dinner at the Jardine Hotel for stakeholders and media.

TSIRC secured $12 million in Round 2 of the RDAF; the largest Round 2 Funding allocation in Queensland to ensure the viability and safety of two highly strategic island communities on Australia’s most northerly border with Papua New Guinea.

The communities of Boigu and Saibai are located just 3 km off the coast of Papua New Guinea and are regularly and nationally strategic communities with respect to customs, quarantine and defence issues.

The project will deliver key elements of coastal infrastructure required to help these communities from ongoing and increasingly destructive coastal erosion.

The project will construct an overtopping wall along the length of the existing seawall on Boigu Island.  The project will also rebuild a critical section of degraded seawall on  Saibai Island from the main airstrip to the main tidal drain.

Both projects are considered high priority to the communities involved.

Regional Development Australia at a Glance

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a partnership between Australian, State, Territory and local governments to strengthen regional communities.  The national network of 55 committees which delivers RDA have been appointed and are open for business.

The committees are made up of local leaders who volunteer their time to work with government, business and community groups to deliver better services to their regions.  The committees work with their communities to find ways to deal with the economic, social and environmental issues affecting them.

The regional plans, produced by the local RDAs, will guide the committees in supporting improvements for their communities.  The Australian Government funds these committees and so do State, Territory and local governments in some jurisdictions.

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