Biosecurity plan for Torres Strait communities

26 October 2021
  • Grant awarded to Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC)
  • Project is one of five to receive funding under round 1 of the Australian Government’s Biosecurity Business Grants
  • Grants are for Indigenous businesses or organisations working with Indigenous people to improve biosecurity

A $312,475 grant has been awarded to the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) to create a plan for waste and material biosecurity management for its local government area.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the grant would improve biosecurity management in the area and boost Indigenous employment.

“The TSIRC represents 15 unique island communities over 42,000 square kilometres of land and sea and is on the frontline of Australia’s biosecurity.” Minister Littleproud said.

“It’s an extraordinary responsibility for the Torres Strait to shoulder, and with this grant the council will develop a single, targeted Waste and Material Biosecurity Management Plan.

“This plan would bring together the waste management and biosecurity responsibilities for each community and employ a local Waste and Biosecurity Engagement Coordinator to work closely with communities to implement the plan.

“Northern Australia plays a huge role in keeping the rest of the country safe from pests and diseases, and I couldn’t be prouder to be supporting this initiative.”

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt AM said it makes sense to engage Indigenous organisations and Indigenous people to improve the nation’s biosecurity. 

“We’ve been taking care of country for 65,000 years. It’s about combining traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge with conservation training to protect and manage land and sea.” 

Councillor Phillemon Mosby, Mayor of TSIRC said the plan would consolidate the council’s biosecurity and waste responsibilities.

“We are one of the most unique local government and biosecurity areas in Australia,” Councillor Mosby said.

“This community-led approach is aimed at empowering our people through utilising their existing knowledge and building new biosecurity management skills. The protection of our ecosystems, cultural places and communities is fundamental to our role as Traditional Owners.”

Fast Facts:

  • Stakeholders in the project include the Torres Strait Island Regional Council, Torres Strait Regional Authority, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Environment and Science, Department of Health, Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (RNTBC), and freighting and logistics companies.