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The Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Water

$51.7 million to improve water and wastewater services in 17 indigenous communities

Media release
23 April 2010

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More than $50 million in funding has been provided to improve water supplies and wastewater services in remote communities around Australia to benefit more than 17,000 people.

During a visit to Darwin today, Parliamentary Secretary for Water, Dr Mike Kelly announced the Rudd Government will provide $51.7 million for 18 projects in 17 communities in the Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. (See table attached).

Funding will be used to upgrade water supply and wastewater infrastructure such as treatment facilities, increased water storage capacity and replacement of pipe networks. Funding will also support communities in the overall management of their water supply systems and in developing water conservation programs.

"Here in the Territory, $20.2 million will be invested in projects to improve the security and reliability of the water supply in the communities of Galiwinku on Elcho Island, Angurugu and Umbakumba on Groote Eylandt, Nguiu on Bathurst Island and Wadeye on the mainland south-west of Darwin," Dr Kelly said.

"The provision of safe and reliable water supplies, supported by these projects, will make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life and the well being of these communities," added Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon.

Other communities to benefit from this funding are:

"The Rudd Government recognises the particular circumstances of remote communities, and in partnership with State and Territory Government's we have committed to Closing the Gap in disadvantage between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians," Dr Kelly said.

"Addressing Indigenous disadvantage is a national priority and all Governments are driving major reforms and making significant investments in education, housing, health and community safety.

"Consistent with the COAG Strategy on Water and Wastewater Services in Remote (and Indigenous) Communities, it is pleasing to recognise that jurisdictions have agreed to put in place long-term arrangements for the operation and maintenance of the water supply infrastructure to be funded by these projects."

These projects have been funded by the Rudd Government's Water for the Future initiative, through its National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program. For more information on this program visit

These projects are also consistent with one of the recommendations made by the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce in their recent report to Government on Sustainable Development of Northern Australia. The Taskforce recommended governments should ensure that all communities in northern Australia have access to drinking water that meets appropriate water quality standards. The Taskforce report is available from 

List of successful communities to receive funding to improve water supplies and wastewater services in remote communities
Jurisdiction Community Project Funding
NT Galiwinku Water Production - equip 4 production bores and upgrade bore field rising main 1,820,000.00
NT Angurugu Water Production - remove river intake from day to day service and equip further bores 570,000.00
NT Angurugu Water Storage - supply and install new tanks to increase the ground and elevated storage capacities including a new water treatment facility 3,040,000.00
NT Umbakumba Water Production - to refurbish bores and pumps at two existing bores and develop a new production bore 880,000.00
NT Umbakumba Water Storage - to install new 380 kilolitre ground level tank 310,000.00
NT Nguiu Water storage - supply and install tanks, associated equipment including transfer pumps 2,300,000.00
NT Nguiu Water Production - equip or refurbish existing bores and refurbish borefield pipework to increase production to optimise use of existing network 410,000.00
NT Wadeye Water Storage - construct 3 megalitre of ground level storage on high ground and related pipework 10,920,000.00
NT Total 20,250,000.00
SA Amata Fitting out of a new bore and approach mains. Replacement stand for the elevated tank. Metering of existing houses, Increased capacity through training courses and a community water conservation program 3,445,000.00
SA Mimili A new reverse osmosis plant to treat groundwater to potable standard. Metering of existing houses. Increased capability through training. A community water conservation program. 1,955,000.00
SA Water Conservation program in Amata and Mimili 150,000.00
SA Total 5,550,000.00
NSW Walgett Filtered water upgrade for Walgett; improve capacity and pressure problems with raw water supply to Namoi; upgrade Walgett sewage treatment plant; install pump to pump Namoi sewage to Walgett for treatment 4,200,000.00
NSW Wilcannia Refurbish the water treatment plant; provide pre-treatment upgrade OH&S and security issues; provide a cross connection between raw water supply and bores to increase security of supply; re-line water reservoirs. Sewage works in Wilcannia and the adjacent Aboriginal communities to upgrade the sewage treatment plant including replacement of pumping stations in the Aboriginal communities replacement of effluent pumps and de-sludging of septic tanks in the communities. 2,200,000.00
NSW Total 6,400,000.00
QLD Aurukun, Doomadgee, Hope Vale and Mornington Island Long Term Capacity Building and Sustainability Strategy for Indigenous councils including support for infrastructure systems, service providers and communities, service standards, appropriate technology and water conservation. Additional $300,000 included for Wajul Wajul and Woorabinda 3,350,000.00
QLD Wujal Wujal Replacement of rising main, standby generator and installation of telemetry 866,000.00
QLD Woorabinda Replace the 11 km long Blackboy pipeline and upgrade three river crossings 4,280,000.00
QLD Total 8,496,000.00
WA Ardyaloon, Warmun Assistance to develop fully costed proposals including design 1,000,000.00
WA Ardyaloon, Warmun Implementation of full proposals following agreement between the Australian and Western Australian Governments. 10,000,000.00
Total 51,696,000.00
Commonwealth of Australia