Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New guide on essential infrastructure in remote communities

A commonsense, practical guide will be distributed in remote Indigenous communities to help manage and maintain essential infrastructure services such as energy, waste, water, storm water, telecommunications and transport.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today launched the new National Indigenous Infrastructure Guide in Alice Springs.

According to the latest statistics, there are more than one thousand Indigenous communities located in very remote areas and many are not connected to town services including water, electricity, sewerage and telecommunications.

Providing essential infrastructure in small, isolated communities involves the challenge of distance, climate and workforce skills not usually encountered in larger settlements.

This makes it all the more important to have the relevant facts from the start when decisions are made on the selection of infrastructure systems and then with ongoing management and maintenance.

For example, included in the new guide is practical advice on choosing the right sized water pumps, the most appropriate way to manage and use storm water and how to construct a landfill site.

The guide, developed by the Centre for Appropriate Technology, is based on 30 years direct experience working in remote communities as well as consideration of relevant codes and standards, resources and research.

It emphasises how important it is to work with people on the ground in the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects to make sure they are appropriate for each community’s different circumstances and conditions.

The guide is an excellent resource for people involved in the design, installation, operation and maintenance of infrastructure in remote communities.

It covers a wide range of infrastructure challenges faced in remote communities – from choosing the appropriate wastewater system and reducing energy use and costs to identifying the best place to install community phones and designing and constructing safe and affordable access roads.

The National Indigenous Infrastructure Guide will be distributed to communities and stakeholders involved in the field. For a copy, please visit the Centre for Appropriate Technology website ( or phone 1800 050 009.