The establishment in July 1994 of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) within the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) has allowed Islander political leaders great latitude in shaping Torres Strait's political and economic destiny. Given that the majority of communities in the Torres Strait region are located on separate islands, the TSRA faces the issue of accommodating quite different community dynamics with overall regional considerations in mind. This paper examines one community in Torres Strait, Saibai Island, comparing demographic economic and labour characteristics over the past 20 years and looking at the sorts of economic choices Saibai Islanders have made recently. The consequences of historical trends and recent choices are explored in relation to regional economic aspirations. In conclusion a prediction of the economic, demographic and labour characteristics of Saibai Island community in 20 years time is offered.
ISBN: 0 7315 1754 7