• Sandbags in front of a home on Poruma Island in the Torres Strait. (AAP)Source: AAP
With rising sea levels breaching existing the sea walls in the Torres Strait, a local councillor says overcrowding is a real issue.
31 May 2018 - 11:27 AM  UPDATED 31 May 2018 - 11:27 AM

The Torres Strait Island Regional Council deputy mayor Getano Lui says urgent funding is needed to address rising sea levels for the island communities.

He's calling on the Queensland state government and the federal government to each provide $10 million for new sea walls on Boiu and Poruma islands.

"The other islands can cope at this stage, and I'm not saying its going to get worse over the years, but at least for now that can happen," Mr Lui said.

The funding would also be used for scoping works on Iama, Masig and Warraber islands.

Mr Lui is the council member for Iama, where he says families are being forced out of their homes along the beach, leading to overcrowding on the island.

Yam Island residents had to evacuate during severe king tides earlier this year that breached a recently built sea wall.

Last week, Mr Lui and other Torres Strait Island Regional Council officials travelled to Canberra to lobby Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and other members of parliament.

He left the meeting disappointed.

"I don't like the Torres Strait being used as a political football between the state and the commonwealth about whose responsibility this is."

"Something needs to be done."

'This place is a danger zone': Torres Strait residents evacuate as tides breach new $24m seawall
Families have 'lost everything', power lines are down and water supplies are at risk of contamination in the Torres Strait, where monsoonal tides are sweeping through communities, breaching a $24.5 million seawall built just six months ago.

Mr Lui says communities are afraid of being relocated, and that a longer-term approach is needed.

"There is no way we will abandon these islands for any purposes," he said.

"If you pull the plug in the Torres Strait and it sinks, we will sink."

Mr Scullion says the federal government has contributed $26 million towards the construction of sea walls in the Torres Strait and wants an audit before investing further.

But the state government claims it contributed $12 million of that money and has promised to work with communities for a solution.

With AAP