Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Warren Snowdon MP

Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Lingiari

Secure water supply for Wurrumiyanga

Joint media release
24 July 2012

Wurrumiyanga residents on Bathurst Island now have a secure water supply with the opening of a new water production and storage project today.

The Australian Government is providing $2.7 million in funding for this project one of eight in the Northern Territory receiving a total of $20.25 million under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns.

Officially opening the project today, Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, said safe and reliable water supplies will help improve the quality of life and wellbeing for the people of Wurrumiyanga.

"The consistent, year-round water supply supplied through this project has meant the local football oval's irrigation system can be repaired and upgraded," Senator Farrell said.

"That will improve the playing surface for local football matches and has flow-on effects for recreation, health, social amenity.

"The number of bores producing drinking water has been increased, more than 3.5 kilometres of higher capacity water mains constructed and a new 1.8 megalitre storage tank installed just out of town to increase storage capacity and supply pressure."

Joining Senator Farrell for the opening, Minister for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon said the project had significant health benefits for the community.

"The Tiwi Dialysis Unit and the Wurrumiyanga Wellbeing Centre will also benefit from consistent water supply and water pressure, factors essential to these life-saving facilities," Minister Snowdon said.

"As part of this project, Wurrumiyanga is also the first Indigenous community in the Northern Territory to receive a fluoridated water supply. This will help prevent dental health issues such as cavities and infections.

"In addition, the water supply for 90 new houses constructed under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing will be secured."

The improved water supply will support new housing and community services infrastructure, in support of Stronger Futures and Closing the Gap in disadvantage between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. A secure water supply will also ensure community development projects are no longer hindered by water shortages from service outages or increases in operational costs.