image1smallerRed Ochre Director, Adrian Azzari-Colley has just returned from the Torres Strait. Adrian has been collaborating as part of a team charged with the review of the State and Federal Government’s joint Major Infrastructure Programme established to improve environmental health outcomes by establishing critical infrastructure in Torres Strait communities. A key aspect is ensuring the supply of clean water and safe disposal of waste water.

The team headed by Greg Allard, spent a week in consultations with government personnel, Shire representatives and communities from the various islands and communities in the region.

The review examines the efficacy of the work done over the last 5 years to both build new infrastructure including water and water treatment plants as well as reviewing the implementation of upgrades and maintenance to existing water infrastructure. Adrian has been involved with the project for five years now and is still impressed by the improvements that the project has brought to the lives and health of people living in the Torres Strait.

He is also heartened by the efficiency and high level of good governance within the programme. Basically, the programme is funded by both the Queensland State Government and the Australian Federal Government in a joint effort to ensure improved health outcomes for the citizens of the Torres Straits region.

The MIP is overseen and directed by a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding, where both government bodies place their funds with a trustee who collaborates with a Program Manager to facilitate all works and associated infrastructure. The process is very successful and has resulted in increased Indigenous employment in the region, improved health standards and very focussed spending. It’s a model that could be duplicated in other parts of Australia and certainly needs to be examined closely and replicated where appropriate.

Please contact Adrian Colley on [email protected] for further discussion.


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