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Torres Strait Islander to be trained in quarantine

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DP IE 917334 JG . 23 December 1991.


The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments are seeking applications from Torres Strait Islanders interested in training as a quarantine officer.

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), and Queensland's Department of Primary Industries (QDPI) and Department of Employment, Vocational Education, Training and Industrial Relations (DEVITIR) are currently advertising the position in Queensland newspapers.

In a joint statement, the Federal Minister for Resources, Mr Alan Griffiths and the Queensland Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Ed Casey, said it is important that people of Torres Strait Islander background perform quarantine functions in the Torres Strait region.

"The Commonwealth's Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS), which is partly administered by Queensland, has been designed to take account of Northern Australia's unique quarantine requirements," the Ministers said.

"An essential element of the strategy is the voluntary co-operation of the Torres Strait's traditional inhabitants.

"It is therefore essential that quarantine staff in the area have a sound knowledge and understanding of Torres Strait culture, an ability to effectively communicate with all sections of the Torres Strait Islander community and be technically trained to understand the many scientific isssues of concern in the area.

Mr Griffiths and Mr Casey said the person being sought will be trained in either biological or agricultural science - the basic qualification for a quarantine officer in Queensland.

"While the objective is that the person selected will be employed by quarantine, final appointment will depend on satisfactory student performance."

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: (06) 2777480 Fax: (06) 2734154

The Ministers said the successful applicant will be required to study for two years and to perform some work experience with QDPI during vacations.

The fifth Islander Quarantine Assistant to be appointed under the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy, Mr Paul Sailor, recently took up his position on Darnley Island, after undergoing training at Bamaga and Thursday Island.

Information: Kristen Barry, Mr Griffiths office - 06 277-7480.