Review Torres Strait Border and Border Treaty

by Fabian Hakalits – EM TV, Port Moresby

Traditional inhabitants of the treaty villages along the Papua New Guinea and Australia international border claim, their views were not captured in negotiations and agreemen’s.

What failed to be considered, they believe, were traditional boundaries and ancestral heritage rights that prevented people to hunt and fish in their own areas.

Gregory Nabaka spoke on behalf of the treaty villagers of Western Province, who also share similar sentimen’s with the Trans Fly villagers

Since the treaty ruled, it denied their rights to access food in their own land and sea.
Life was unsustainable, because people depend on the sea for food and income.

Until today, Nabaka says villages still cannot fully access their land and sea and want the treaty reviewed, to restore traditional rights that were lost at independence.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, in a statement this week said to appoint a Committee of Eminent Persons, to properly inquire and report on historical injustices relating to Torres Strait Border and Border Treaty.

Mr O’Neill hopes the Australian Government takes heed of their plight and understand, reviewing this arrangement will not impact their economy or border security.

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