In March 2012 the long awaited native title peak body for the Torres Strait was finally established with the ORIC registration of the Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council Torres Strait Islander Corporation.
Since 2007, during the first in a series of regional PBC meetings in the Torres Strait, there has been discussion about the idea of a peak body for the Torres Strait region to represent the collective interests of the regions’ Traditional Owners. This has now evolved into the concept of a Torres Strait Sea and Land Council. The benefit of a peak body, as with any peak body, is the ability to respond and have input into policy and program development in the region.
If whole-of-community consultations were embedded in a culture of governance in the Torres Strait and reflected Ailan Kastom, such a peak body could monitor the structural engagement and involvement of native title holders in decisions that impact on their rights and interests.