Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Critical water infrastructure upgrade for remote communities in Western Australia

A $10 million investment from the Gillard Government will improve the quality and security of water supplies in Ardyaloon and other remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water Senator Don Farrell said the funding will upgrade and replace critical water infrastructure.

“Ensuring remote Indigenous communities have the critical infrastructure they need is a priority for the Gillard Government,” Ms Macklin said.

“This investment will secure safe and reliable water supplies for these communities into the future.”

“As well as improving the security and quality of the water supplies in Ardyaloon, this project will upgrade water services and related infrastructure in up to 21 other remote communities, to be selected on the basis of the urgency of works required,” Senator Farrell said.

“The Australian Government is committed to securing a sustainable and safe water supply for all Australians.”

Today’s announcement builds on existing investments of over $25 million for the Municipal and Essential Services Program that supports the delivery of services such as power, water and sewerage to approximately 19,000 Indigenous Australians in 240 communities across Western Australia.

Ms Macklin said important projects such as these build on the Australian Government’s unprecedented investment to Close the Gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

In Ardyaloon alone, the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing has delivered 19 new houses and refurbishments to 24 existing houses.

This is in addition to nearly $5.5 million delivered in Ardyaloon, Djarindjin and Lombadina through the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Program to provide important community infrastructure, including:
o a family and early learning centre;
o an upgrade to community basketball courts;
o a subdivision and stormwater diversion; and
o road works.

Senator Farrell said the project to upgrade critical infrastructure in remote Indigenous communities in Western Australia is being funded through the Australian Government’s National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns, a key component of the Water for the Future initiative.