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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this website contains images, voices and names of people who have died.

1.1 Can you help the island?

Imagine that you live on an island.

The island is divided into six roughly equal areas.

1. Draw your island on a piece of paper and divide it into six areas.

2. On your island draw and label the following features: a seaport; a dam; and an electricity supply building.

Similar sorts of people live in each area, but they all like living separately from the others.

Each area elects its own representatives to pass laws for that area. These include laws about rubbish collection, parking areas, bus timetables, shop opening hours, and what is taught in schools.

But there are three things that they cannot make separate laws about:

  • One is the water supply: everybody has to draw water from the same dam.
  • Another is the port: there is only one port and all areas have to send goods through that port and collect them from the same place.
  • The third is the electricity supply: all areas have to draw electricity from the same source.

Everybody is happy to keep making their own laws for most things. But there are complaints that some areas are drawing too much electricity, or wasting water, or are blocking the roads to the ports when they are collecting goods for themselves, and holding up everybody else.

3. Think or discuss how you can overcome this problem so that the same laws apply to the three shared areas. Should one area take over these responsibilities? Should all the areas get together and come up with the same laws? Should there be a new government that makes laws for just these three areas? What do you think is the best solution?

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