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Australia's Torres Strait islanders fear over $200m Chinese fishery handshake with PNG by Kristy Sexton-McGrath December 16,2020   |  Source: ABC

Torres Strait Islander leaders in Far North Queensland say they are "incredibly nervous" about China's plan to build a fish processing plant on their doorstep, and are seeking urgent talks with the Australian Government.

China's ministry of commerce has announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Papua New Guinea to build a $200-million "comprehensive multi-functional fishery industrial park" on Daru Island, in PNG's western province.

The proposed fishery is a mere five kilometres to Australia's Saibai Island, or a six hour boat-ride to Thursday Island, just off the northern-most tip of Australia.

Torres Shire Mayor Vonda Malone, who is based on Thursday Island, said the prospect of the Chinese moving into the area was "very, very concerning".

"We have to stand up and voice our concerns about it because it will be on our doorstep. It will affect our communities, our people, our families, our resources," Ms Malone said.

"We are dealing with a country that does not have the same values as us."

She said she was "not convinced" the multi-million-dollar development would be a fishery at all, given there were few fish in the area.

"It's a considerable investment there. Our community members are very worried," Ms Malone said.

"The talk is 'why are

 

© ABC

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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