Project - Torres Strait Sustainable Land Use Plan (SLUP) 2010 (TSRA, RPS)

This project seeks to ensure that planning for the future development of the Torres Strait Islands is sustainable and capable of taking into account ecological and social information, assets, risk and existing infrastructure. This Plan provides the following information for each island: •identification of key environmental assets; •identification of key land management issues; •identification of key infrastructure needs; •land use mapping identifying land suitable for development and conservation; and •land use for the future sustainable management. Methodology In 2007 the TSRA invited 15 of the Torres Strait Island community to participate in the Sustainable Land Use Study, funded by the NHT (now Caring for the Country). Based on submissions received, the communities of Boigu, Dauan, Erub, Iama, Masig and Saibai were accepted to be involved in the project as stage 1 pilot project. In 2009 the TSRA, via funding from the major infrastructure project, requested the Land Use Plans be extended to the remaining 9 communities of Hammond, Kubin, St. Pauls, Badu, Warraber, Poruma, Mabuyag, Ugar and Mer. Stage 1 occurred between 2007 and 2008. Stage 2 occurred between 2009 and 2010. Preliminary Consultation The project team met with all Community Council (prior to amalgamation) and Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBC) to discuss the project objectives and methodology. Phase 1 - Fauna and Habitat Assessment. Field Study The project team undertook field studies on the islands to identify key environmental assets and associated land management issues, identify areas of conservation importance and undertake fauna identification. Phase 2 - Information Gathering & Research. The project team collated all available data for the islands to order to produce a compressive collection of information on the islands. Data included plans and surveys from major infrastructure projects, data collected as part of other TSRA projects (e.g. regional ecosystem mapping, tide levels) and well as existing State government data. Also during this phase, the project team undertook a literature review of natural resource management issues in the context of the Torres Strait. This research, along with local knowledge obtained by Community in Phase 5, provided the foundation for the best practice principles outlined in the Plan. Phase 3 - Constraints and Information Mapping. The project team produced a series of constraints and information mapping. This included: •analysis of the data collected in Phases 2&3; •analysis of existing spatial datasets, including aerial photographs, maps and satellite imagery; •analysis of Commonwealth and State legislation, policies, strategies, reports and community plans; •development and sourcing of relevant GIS data layers; •preparation of base mapping showing satellite imagery, slope analysis, coastal impacts and inundation, fauna and habitat values, bushfire risk, limited cultural heritage information, extent of service infrastructure.

The Plan focuses on the planning and management of 15 Torres Strait Islands. The purpose of the Plan is to provide support to these communities about understanding the impacts of development on these fragile islands, by: •identifying and protecting the islands’ cultural and environmental assets; •guiding the development of the islands under Council control; • moderating development in inline with available infrastructure and need; • managing the place and location of development on the islands; •allowing Council to response to land use demands in line with an agreed plan; •guiding Council and supporting agencies in relation to development that is within the acceptable ecological footprint and carrying capacity of the islands; and •providing clarity in respect to future development on the islands for all stakeholders, including Commonwealth and State government agencies and entities.

Doust, Ian RPS Group
Torres Strait Regional Authority

Data Usage Constraints
  • Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Australia
  • Datasets associated with the Sustainable Land Use Plan are made available under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial License. This license does not cover the plan documents themselves.

Tags: Land Surface | Land Use/land Cover | Land Management | marine