WATER AND SEWERAGE

NSWALC has entered into an historic partnership with the NSW State Government to provide joint recurrent funding for the operation, maintenance and monitoring of the water and sewerage infrastructure to improve the well being of residents in more than 60 former Aboriginal reserves and missions.

The partnership, known as the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program will see more than $200 million committed over at least the next 25 years to provide safe and effective drinking water and sewerage services in those discrete Aboriginal communities.

Sadly, the drinking water and sewerage services in many discrete Aboriginal communities are poor and do not meet the basic standards expected in the wider community.  The operation, maintenance and monitoring of these systems is inadequate and the health of these communities is at risk.

The drinking water and sewerage services in the communities do not meet the basic standards expected by the wider Australian population.

This initiative is jointly funded with the NSW Government providing 50% of the maintenance funds and the NSWALC Council providing the remaining 50%.

The Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program will provide:

  • water disinfection by replacing pipes and treatment plants
  • improvements to water quality
  • repairs to centralised sewerage systems and sub-surface irrigation
  • regular inspections and maintenance of pump stations and water treatment plants
  • regular maintenance and cleaning of sewer pumps and sewer mains
  • regular collection and testing of water

The partnership agreement was formally signed off by NSW Premier Nathan Rees and the NSWALC Chairperson, Bev Manton on 18 December 2008. [click here for photos of the formal signing]

Funds will be administered through the NSW Office of Water (NOW), with technical and financial assistance delivered in partnership with the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and local councils.

The NSW Office of Water has been appointed as the Program Manager. Local water utilities are the best placed service provider to deliver these services and will be the first provider approached to deliver these services.

The program commenced on 1 July 2008 with the first eight projects nominated as:

  • Toomelah
  • Gingie Reserve
  • Namoi Village
  • Baryulgil Square
  • Malabugilmah
  • Bellbrook
  • Bowraville
  • La Perouse

In 2011, the 60 discrete Aboriginal communities identified under the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program have been visited and their needs assessed.

[Click here for a brouchure on the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program.]