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News & events of the Kaurareg homeland of Kaiwalagal, the Torres Strait homeland, and Cape York homelands of the Anggamuthi, Atambaya, Wuthathi, Yadhaykenu and Gudang Peoples
9 - 15 July 2012 • Thursday Island • www.torresnews.com.au • firstname.lastname@example.org • Edition No. 1022 • $2.00 inc. GST
Fans cheer Maroons to a Magnificent Seven
All the kids and their dogs came out for the Queensland Maroon Army March on Wednesday, July 4. Emma Brogon, a Year 6 student from Tagai Primary School, was one of thousands of Maroons supporters across the Torres Strait who watched their team record their seventh straight win in the State of Origin by the slenderest of margins. PHOTO: MATT GARRICK. See more Maroon maniacs on page 21.
Minister hands back hospital and health control By MARK ROY CONTROL of hospital and health services is being returned to local hands, with Health Minister Lawrence Springborg visiting Thursday Island last week to announce the new board members for 17 Health Boards across the state. While members have aready been appointed to Hospital and Health Boards in 16 other health districts, Mr Springborg said an administrator
would be put in place in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) pending assessment of suitable candidates. Dr Oscar Whitehead has replaced Paul Stephenson as acting health services chief executive of the renamed Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Hospital and Health Service. Mr Springborg said he took advice from the Torres Strait Health Partnership during a meeting on Tuesday, July 3
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He said the new, local board would be invaluable in guiding the future management of local health resources, focused on patient care. “With local boards in control of local health assets, clinicians and health workers will be able to work side-by-side with decision makers ,” Mr Springborg said. “They will be accountable for the performance of the Hospital and Health Boards in providing health services to meet local priorities and
national standards. “This change is long-overdue and has been welcomed across this state. “This path requires the selection of skilled locals who can help restore community confidence in local health services.” Torres Shire Mayor Pedro Stephen welcomed the commitment to put control back into local hands, but said he was concerned about the delay. Community leaders raised con-
cerns over the lack of a board at the Torres Strait Health Partnership meeting during the minister’s visit, he said. “At the meeting, community leaders expressed concerns regarding the delayed appointment of Hospital and Health Services Board and stressed that community develops appropriate future model to suit Torres Strait and NPA, and not a one-size-fits-all,” Mr Stephen said. Continued Page 4 >>
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The secretâ€™s out: Torres Strait is tops . . . OUR suspicion that we live and work in one of the most picturesque locations on the planet has been conďŹ rmed, says local tour operator Christine Connor of Peddells Thursday Island Tours. The Torres Strait has been listed as an island destination that stands head and shoulders above the rest, by none other than iconic travel publisher, Lonely Planet. In an editorial on the Lonely Planet website, entitled The Worldâ€™s Best Secret Islands, Torres Strait sits proudly at the top of the list, with Yaeyma Island, Japan and Iles du Salut, French Guiana amongst those also recognised as destinations with special appeal. â€œIt is not just the lure of the fabled Wongai fruit that lures residents and visitors back but the intrinsic beauty of the islands, surrounding turquoise waterways and of course fond memories of the people, close friendships and unique cultural heritage,â€? Christine says. She says visitors are dazzled by the sheer brilliance of the azure waterways in Torres Strait, mesmerized by the sweeping hilltop views and interested to learn this region is actually the conďŹ‚uence point for the PaciďŹ c and Indian Oceans. â€œLonely Planet has recognised that Torres Strait goes beyond visitor
expectations as an island destination, and rightly takes its place alongside other pockets of paradise around the world,â€? Christine enthuses. â€œAs far as destination advertising is concerned, this is as good as it gets!â€? The lonelyplanet.com.au website lists the top nine islands in the category, which was released last week. According to the Lonely Planet travel gurus: â€œAs far as you can go in Oz without falling off the map, the Torres Strait Islands are Australia as it might have been if Europeans had never arrived. Spilling north from the tip of Cape York, the 274 islands in the Torres Strait preserve a unique tribal culture that bridges the divide between Aboriginal Australia and Papua New Guinea. â€œThe Great Barrier Reef is right on the doorstop and there are airstrips and hotels on Thursday Island and Horn Island, but access to other islands is at the discretion of local tribal councils. The next eight islands were: 2: Yaeyama Islands, Japan. 3: Iles du Salut, French Guiana. 4: Ulleungdo, South Korea. 5: San Blas Archipelago, Panama. 6: Penghu Islands, Taiwan. 7: Bay Islands and Hog Islands, Honduras. 8: Con Dao Islands, Vietnam. 9: Ssese Islands, Uganda.
BELOW: A croc in Cape York. Photo Gregory Moine
. . . Cape York: In Top 10 for â€˜places no one has heard ofâ€™ CAPE York is the latest area to attract world-wide attention from the international website travel sites. Smartertravel.com is listed in the â€œTop 10 places no one has heard of Justin Bieberâ€?. It says: â€œCape York Peninsula is a region some deem one of the last true wilderness areas on the planet. You may not come across anyone at all here, with the exception of some very large crocodiles or dangerous snakes. â€œAccording to PlanetGreen.com, the vast Peninsula is home to less than 20,000 people, the majority of which are part of aboriginal tribes. Cape York Peninsula is part of the worldâ€™s biggest intact tropical savannah, and the local government has taken steps to have the area nominated as a World Heritage site.â€?
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