Torres Strait Treaty

The Torres Strait Treaty is a treaty signed between Australia and Papua New Guinea. The treaty defined the border between Australia and Papua New Guinea following the latter's independence from Australia in 1975. The treaty also set out the manner in which the common border area would be managed. The treaty was signed in December 1978 and came into effect in 1985.[1]

Torres Strait Treaty
Treaty between Australia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea concerning Sovereignty and Maritime Boundaries in the area between the two Countries, including the area known as Torres Strait, and Related Matters
TypeBoundary treaty
Signed18 December 1978
LocationSydney, Australia
Effective15 February 1985
ConditionRatification by Australia and Papua New Guinea
Signatories
LanguagesEnglish

The treaty is named for the Torres Strait that separates mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea.

BoundariesEdit

The treaty defines two boundaries between Australia and Papua New Guinea

  • Seabed Jurisdiction Line–Australia and Papua New Guinea have rights to all things on or below the seabed on their respective sides of this line
  • Fisheries Jurisdiction Line–Australia and Papua New Guinea have rights to swimming fish on their respective sides of the line. Both countries have agreed to share these rights.

Despite being located on the Papua New Guinea side of the Seabed Jurisdiction Line, the following islands belong to Australia:

Protected ZoneEdit

The treaty also established the Torres Strait Protected Zone. The aim of the Protected Zone is to allow indigenous Torres Strait Islanders and coastal Papua New Guinea people to maintain their traditional ways of life. The treaty "allows traditional people to move freely within the Protected Zone (without passports or visas) for traditional purposes."[1]

The following villages in Papua New Guinea have traditional rights under this treaty to enter into the Australian-controlled part of the Protected Zone. These are known as the "Treaty Villages".[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "The Torres Strait Treaty". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 24 March 2021.

External linksEdit