THE Federal Government will work with the Torres Strait Regional Authority on a project proposal for the construction of a jetty on Prince of Wales Island in the Torres Strait.
“Infrastructure development is vital to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in remote parts of Australia,” said Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch.
“Prince of Wales is the only island in the Torres Strait without a jetty, and its construction will help to alleviate safety issues for its residents, increase remote community school attendance and support Indigenous employment.”
Residents living on the island frequently travel to nearby Thursday Island and Horn Island to attend school, go to work and access services.
“However, at low tide they need to wade through water up to half a metre deep to get on and off a boat, and during the wet season storms and high winds can make it difficult to access the boat. Without a jetty, medical transfers to Thursday Island must also be made by helicopter,” Mr Entsch said.
“I’m pleased that our new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made these commitments – he’s listened to me and he’s understood the issues facing communities and he’s agreed to prioritise funding.”
The Government will liaise with the Queensland Government and the local community to determine their needs before finalising funding arrangements and to make sure the project delivers on Indigenous jobs.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Chair of the TSRA, Joseph Elu, and Torres Shire Council Mayor Pedro Stephen as we progress this important piece of infrastructure,” Mr Entsch said.
Northern Australia is a region of immense opportunity and a key part of the Government’s economic agenda, and this project is a clear example of the Commonwealth’s commitment to unlocking the potential of Northern Australia and improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.