Torres Strait Treaty

The Torres Strait Treaty (TST) was signed by representatives of PNG and Australia in December 1978 but not ratified by both countries until February 1985. The treaty sets the boundary between PNG and Australia; establishes agreements on the exploitation of marine resources and minerals; protects the customary rights of inhabitants on either side of the border; and includes environmental safeguards. A Joint Advisory Council (JAC) on the implementation of the treaty includes representatives of the Australian and PNG governments, the government of the Australian state of Queensland, the government of PNG’s Western Province and those whom the Australian and PNG governments recognize as traditional inhabitants of the Torres Strait islands. In 1988 the JAC established an Environmental Management Committee (EMC). A PNG¬†representative based at Daru and an Australian representative based on Thursday Island consult regularly at the local level.

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