Map - Torres Strait Island Region (Torres Strait Island)

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Torres Strait Island Region (Torres Strait Island)

The Torres Strait Island Region is a local government area in Far North Queensland, Australia, covering part of the Torres Strait Islands. It was created in March 2008 out of 15 autonomous Island Councils during a period of statewide local government reform. It is administered from, but has no control over, Thursday Island.

The Region was created on 15 March 2008 from 15 previous entities—the Island Councils of Badu, Boigu, Dauan, Erub, Hammond, Iama, Kubin, Mabuiag, Mer, Poruma, Saibai, St Pauls, Ugar, Warraber and Yorke. Its first election was held on the same day.

In 1984, the Community Services (Torres Strait) Act was enacted by the Queensland Government, allowing community councils to be created to own and administer former reserves or missions under a Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT). Each was responsible for local basic utilities and services such as electricity, housing and management of local CDEP programs. They also worked with the Queensland Police to provide for community police officers—hence extending well beyond the normal functions of local government. The Local Government (Community Government Areas) Act 2004 extended to community councils many of the provisions and benefits of the Local Government Act 1993 normally enjoyed by shire councils.

In 2006, the councils were involved in a consultation process which resulted in a Green Paper being produced. The State Government subsequently took over the process, and in April 2007, a White Paper entitled "Community Government in the Torres Strait: the way forward" was released, recommending both governance and structural changes to ensure the sustainability of governance in the region. The White Paper expressed concerns about workload and capacity to meet community needs, deficiencies in corporate governance and accountability and other challenges and issues. The Local Government Reform report in July 2007 recommended the creation of the Torres Strait Island council as well as the Northern Peninsula Area council to attempt to address these issues. The Queensland Government responded by proposing the Local Government and Other Legislation (Indigenous Regional Councils) Amendment Bill 2007 to bring the two new councils into line with the recommendations of both reports.

Because of the unique structure of the DOGIT areas, where a community owned the land and the council represented the community owners, concerns were raised by the councils about ownership potentially transferring to the new entities and diluting their title over it. Some councils responded by creating a private company with all community members as shareholders, and transferring the ownership to the company. This was opposed by the State Government who threatened to take legal action against the communities.

Following the elections, the Department of Local Government provided $675,000 to the Regional Council to assist with expenses relating to the post-amalgamation transfer process.

 

Map - Torres Strait Island Region (Torres Strait Island)

Latitude / Longitude : 10° 12' 5" S / 142° 16' 23" E | Time zone : UTC+10 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  

Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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