QLD turns attention to Torres Strait

The Queensland Government plans to improve service delivery in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula area, notably in law enforcement.

Goals and objectives in 11 key areas are detailed in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan 2009-2029, which plans to align and integrate services provided by all three levels of government.

These aims are in economic development, housing, governance and leadership, environmental management, public health communities, art culture and heritage, native title, schooling, social services and early childhood.

Premier Anna Bligh said the State Government is chairing seven working groups to develop a plan for integrated service delivery.

Representatives of all levels of government comprised the working groups, each aligned with the Council of Australian Governments.

A key area of funding is $2.6 million to the Torres Strait Island Regional Council to support Community Police officers, an administration officer working out of Thursday Island, and a program manager working out of Cairns.

The grant would allow 38 community officers to continue working for another 12 months in 14 islands across the area.

Ms Bligh said Council employs Community Police officers who play an important role in the smaller islands of the Torres Strait, supporting sworn officers.

“They’re often the first point of contact that many people in the community have with police and are the local face of the law,” Ms Bligh said.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said the Torres Strait has a very strong presence of Queensland Police Service, Police Liaison Officers, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Police officers and community-based police officers.

“This includes 15 general duties police officers walking the beat on Thursday Island and two general duties officers on Horn Island,” Mr Roberts said.

Member for Cook, Jason O’Brien said these community police officers will be seen at schools and community groups providing information and advice about issues such as crime prevention.

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