The Queensland and federal governments are being urged to step in as Torres Strait families move to higher ground to escape rising sea levels.
On Iama Island, fears of being washed away have prompted some families to move away from the heavily eroded beach, which local councillor Getano Lui says is creating overcrowding.
He is calling on both the state government and commonwealth to provide $10 million each in immediate funding for sea walls on Boigu and Poruma islands, and scoping works on Iama, Masig and Warraber islands.
"The other islands can cope at this stage, and I'm not saying its going to get worse over the years, but at least for now that can happen," Mr Lui said.
Mr Lui and other Torres Strait Island Regional Council officials travelled to Canberra last week to lobby Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, Leichhardt MP Warren Enstch, Labor MPs and crossbench senators.
But he says the issue is being used as a political football.
Communities fear they will be relocated or lose everything because of rising sea levels.
"I don't care what happens between the state and the commonwealth, something needs to be done," Mr Lui said.
Mr Scullion says the federal government has contributed $26 million towards the construction of sea walls in the Torres Strait and wants an audit before investing further.
But the state government claims it contributed $12 million of that money and has promised to work with communities for a solution.