Cape York and Torres Strait Regional Resilience Strategy - Progress update

Project purpose

By 2022, every region across Queensland will be part of a locally-led and regionally-coordinated blueprint to strengthen disaster resilience. Regional resilience strategies and local resilience action plans will help to keep Queenslanders safe by providing a coordinated approach to identify and prioritise disaster resilience actions.

Multi-hazard approach

The Regional Resilience Strategy for the Cape York and Torres Strait Region will use a locally led, regionally coordinated and state facilitated approach with multi-sector stakeholder participation to address the following hazards:

  • cyclone (severe storm and wind) 
  • bushfire 
  • flood 
  • heatwave
  • pandemic and other hazards
  • earthquake.

The Strategy will be drawn from on-country engagement with Councils and community members, and focus on the key regional resilience priorities of: 

  • critical infrastructure – its importance and flow on effects if not functioning;
  • disruption, isolation – climate and man made 
  • cultural connection– informed by traditional knowledge, connection to family, landscape and across communities; 
  • leadership – enabling change and trade-offs; and
  • biosecurity and food security - threats to what we value and our quality of life.

Steering committee

  • The Project Steering Committee is comprised of the Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance (TCICA) and Torres Strait Islands Regional Council (TSIRC).

Region

  • The geographic extent of the Cape York and Torres Strait Region Resilience Strategy is the boundaries of the 13 member councils of the TCICA and the TSIRC.

Council partners

  • The Regional Resilience Strategy for the Cape York region is a partnership with the following councils:
  • Aurukun Shire
  • Cook Shire
  • Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire
  • Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire
  • Lockhart Rivery Aboriginal Shire
  • Mapoon Aboriginal Shire
  • Mornington Shire
  • Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council
  • Northern Peninsula Area Regional
  • Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire
  • Torres Shire
  • Torres Strait Island Regional
  • Weipa Town
  • Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire

Progress update

Completed project actions

  • endorsement of Terms of Reference by the Steering Committee (May 2021)
  • co-design workshop with partner councils in Cairns (March 2021)
  • online project briefing TCICA (December 2020)
  • initial project briefing Executive Officer of TCICA in Cairns (2020).

Next steps

  • project deliverables include: a community profile; a multi-hazard, multi-sector approach; Queensland Emergency Risk Management (QERMF) Process 1 support as required; Department of Environment and Science Sector Adaptation Plans; a Regional Resilience Strategy; and a Local Action Plan per council.

Image: Cape York Regional Resilience Strategy, 'Big map workshop' Cairns, March 2021.

TCICA big map workshop Cairns, March 2021

Stakeholders

The Regional Resilience Strategy will be formulated through information gathering from stakeholders who have the ability to contribute knowledge skills and actions towards resilience improvement. QRA's Resilience team will consult with local government on participation by stakeholders outside their organisations. For the Cape York and Torres Strait Region, the stakeholders may comprise:

Federal  

  • Torres Strait Regional Authority
  • Biosecurity Australia

State  

  • representatives from regional branches of state agencies such as the Department of State Development Infrastructure Local Government and Planning or the Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships; Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES); Queensland Police Services; Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy; Department of Transport and Main Roads; and Queensland Health
  • representatives from regional jurisdictions of statewide asset owners or providers such as Telstra and Ergon Energy
  • representatives from local government bodies such as the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ)
  • invited representatives with special expertise such as Department of Environment and Science, Land and Sea Rangers, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service or University experts

Regional 

  • Torres and Cape Indigenous Councils Alliance (TCICA)
  • Regional Emergency Management Coordinators (QFES)
  • Cape York Natural Resource Management (NRM) 
  • Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) – Regional Liaison or Recovery Officers
  • Community Enterprise Queensland (CEQ)

Local  

  • local government staff with responsibilities across the lines of resilience and at various levels of seniority
  • business, landowners or leaseholders
  • community groups or enterprises
  • local and regional traditional owner groups and corporations
  • local and regional disaster management professionals.

The primary stakeholder group in each local government area is suggested to be the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG), which should provide a suitable cross-section of those already aware of the disaster resilience issues and challenges in the local areas.