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State election focus: Waste management in the Torres Strait

Dedicated funding to help clean-up waste metal accumulated in the Torres Strait region has been identified as a priority issue by Queensland councils in the lead-up to the state election.

Torres Shire Council Mayor Vonda Malone said that as a far northern Queensland local authority, her region was a default hub for the entire Torres Strait.

“We’re impacted by the high volume of government services based on Thursday Island when it comes to waste management,” she said.

The issue

  • The stockpiles of waste metals including old car bodies has environmental and health implications for the Torres Strait communities.
  • Mosquito breeding, and the presence of dengue fever are important reasons for removing all waste stockpiles.
  • Disposing of waste metal in the region’s landfills also places pressure on current and future landfill capacities and also creates greater challenges in the effective management of putrescible waste at these sites.

“We’re working with the other councils nearby to look at the best approach to managing the issue. We’re in a part of Australia that’s in a protected zone – any waste moved out of our region needs to go through a quarantine process.”

Mayor Malone said the pile-up of cars and whitegoods was not only impacting the Torres Shire, but the smaller island communities in the Torres Strait.

“A solution will reduce the need for further landfill – we’re on an island with limited space,” she said. “As an isolated island environment, we need to make sure our pristine shire is preserved.”

Read the LGAQ’s 10 Point State Election Plan here.


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