Not a word from newly elected Labor Member and Torres Strait resident Cynthia Lui
China is set to move a part of its commercial fishing fleet into the Torres Strait after a deal was struck in Port Moresby between China and Papua New Guinea last week.
Torres Strait Islanders are up in arms because the agreement could see 25 per cent of the Australian tropical rock lobster resource and 40 per cent of the allowable Torres Strait Spanish mackeral catch end up on Chinese dinner plates.
The deal would castrate the northern fishery leaving Torres Strait Islanders starving and further decimate the Island economy.
All sectors of the northern fishery have reacted angrily to the plan for the establishment of a “comprehensive Multi-functional Fishery Industrial Park project on Daru Island.
Under the agreement, Chinese-funded PNG fishermen can enter the Torres Strait under PNG’s treaty rights to take commercial species of fish.
Chairman of the Torres Strait Sea and Land Council Gur A Baradharaw Ned David told the Cape and Torres News his people were extremely concerned.
“I think we are going to have to sort out a few things on our side of the border,” Mr David said.
“We would like to see the level of monitoring and restrictions the Commonwealth has taken on the border for Covid 19 continued in terms of policing and presence to ensure that nobody is pilfering and plundering our resources on our side of the border.”
The Chinese government’s Ministry of Commerce website details the controversial deal:
“The Minister of Fisheries Hon Lino Tom, the Governor of Western Province, Hon Taboi Yoto and Yan Aiwu the authorised representative of Zhonghong Fisheries signed the memorandum.”
The Chinese Ambassador to PNG Xue Bing and other dignitaries witnessed the signing.
“Minister Tom said PNG encourages foreign investment to enter the fishery sector in order to realise the potential of PNG fishery.
“Under the influence of China’s One Belt One Road policy Zhonghong Fishery Company decided to invest in PNG……”
Liberal Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch said PNG was an independent nation and was entitled to do business with whom it liked.