The Australian Government Acting Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Honourable Brendon O'Connor, has announced Saturday 15 September 2012 as polling day for the Torres Strait Regional Authority election.
The 2012 election is the first time all Members will be directly elected to the TSRA board. Previously, 15 became members when they were elected as a Councillor to the Torres Strait Islands Regional Council in QLD Local Government Authority (LGA) elections. A further 2 representatives from Bamaga and Seisia, became members when they were elected as Councillors to the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (QLD LGA) elections. In addition to these 17 members, 3 members were directly elected to the TSRA Wards of Port Kennedy (on Thursday Island), Horn and Prince of Wales Islands, and TRAWQ (Tamwoy, Rosehill, Aplin, Waiben and Quarantine on Thursday Island) by the provisions of the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Act 2005.
The TSRA Board consists of 20 elected members who are Torres Strait Islander or Aboriginal people living within a ward in the region. They will now be elected every four years from 2012 with previous terms being three years. The wards are Badu, Bamaga, Boigu, Dauan, Erub, Hammond, Iama, Kubin, Masig, Mabuiag, Mer, Ngurapi and Muralag, Port Kennedy, Poruma, Saibai, Seisia, St Pauls, TRAWQ, Ugar, Warraber.
From Tuesday 17 July 2012 to 5pm Wednesday 15 August 2012, the Australian Electoral Commission will call for nominations of candidates who wish to contest the election.
To be eligible, prospective candidates must:
Nominations can be made by post, fax or in person, with forms available from the AEC and the TSRA (see contact details below).
All Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people living within these wards who are 18 years of age and over, enrolled on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll by 5pm on Friday 31 August 2012; and enrolled at an address in these wards are encouraged to vote.
On polling day (15 September 2012), voting will occur at a polling place in the wards of Bamaga, Ngurapai and Muralag, Port Kennedy and TRAWQ. Venues will be advised in the near future.
For electors outside the above mentioned wards, mobile polling teams will visit each ward. A mobile polling schedule with dates, times and locations will be available shortly.
Should a voter be unable to attend polling day, an early vote or postal vote can be arranged. Further details can be obtained by contacting the AEC.