The The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), in partnership with the three Councils and Queensland Department of Communities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSIS), conducted a robust community consultation process in 2008 to form the core of the Regional Plan. Public consultations were held with all communities in the Torres Strait including the Northern Peninsula Area communities of Bamaga and Seisia. The consultation topics were based on the COAG Building Blocks, State and Local Government targets as well as regional issues unique to the Torres Strait region.
The information obtained from the consultation process was presented to the Elected Representatives of the region for consideration: Elected Representatives, both TSRA and Local Government, reviewed the raw data and agreed on a vision and goal statement for the region against each topic at a Forum held at TSRA on the 6-7 November 2008.
A draft Regional Plan was prepared based on the information collected from the community consultations and the regional vision and goal statement. This draft was shared with communities and the general public for input and comments in early 2009 and additional comments were considered at a second Elected Representative’s Forum on 1 May 2009 and, where agreed, incorporated.
- For an equal start in life, Indigenous children need early learning, development and socialisation opportunities. Access to quality early childhood education and care services, including pre-school, child care and family support services such as parenting programs and supports, is critical.
- A healthy home is a fundamental precondition of a healthy population. Important contributors to the current unsatisfactory living conditions include inadequate water and sewerage systems, waste collection, electricity and housing infrastructure (design, stock and maintenance).
- Indigenous people (men, women and children) need to be safe from violence, abuse and neglect. Fulfilling this need involves improving family and community safety through law and justice responses (including accessible and effective policing and an accessible justice system), victim support (including safe houses and counselling), child protection and also preventative approaches.
- Indigenous people need to be engaged in the development of reforms that will impact on them. Improved access to capacity building in governance and leadership is needed in order for Indigenous people to play a greater role in exercising their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
- Economic participation needs to extend to disadvantaged job seekers and those outside of the labour market. Access to land and native title assets, rights and interests can be leveraged to secure real and practical benefits for Indigenous people.