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  • $38.9 million funding to improve water service delivery in Aboriginal communities
  • Major water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades will create local employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses
  • Program delivered in consultation and partnership with Aboriginal communities

Upgrades to water services in remote and town-based Aboriginal communities will be fast-tracked as part of the McGowan Government's $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan.

Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced details of the $38.9 million in funding to upgrade and normalise water and wastewater facilities in Aboriginal communities around the State.

Improving water and wastewater infrastructure in remote Aboriginal communities and town-based communities is a priority for the McGowan Government.

This funding will help fast-track the McGowan Government's commitment to provide remote Aboriginal communities with access to the same standard of essential services enjoyed by other Western Australians.

These upgrades will see the Water Corporation become the licensed water service provider for the remote communities of Ardyaloon, Djarindjin, Lombadina and Beagle Bay on the Dampier Peninsula in the West Kimberley, with planning and investigations to also commence for some other remote communities. Water services will also be upgraded at several town-based communities throughout the State.

Ardyaloon, Djarindjin, Lombadina and Beagle Bay were identified under the Essential and Municipal Services Upgrade Program as priority communities for water and wastewater upgrades. This will ensure these communities have access to safe and reliable water services.

The Water Corporation will partner with Aboriginal communities on all aspects of the upgrade program, including opportunities to deliver improved liveability outcomes.

The upgrade program will also aim to create jobs for local Aboriginal people and businesses, including sustainable traineeships and new employment opportunities to assist with essential service delivery, operations and maintenance once the project is delivered.

Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:

"It is great news that the McGowan Government is bringing forward the delivery of high-quality drinking water to regional and remote Aboriginal communities.

"Critical to the success of this program is early engagement and a partnership approach with Aboriginal communities to deliver the infrastructure upgrades.

"We look forward to working with these communities to deliver outcomes which support and enhance their way of life."

Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:

"The WA Recovery Plan for water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades will provide health, social and economic benefits in remote and town-based communities.

"The delivery of reliable and safe services through the WA Recovery Plan funding will also create a range of employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses.

"I'm pleased that the Water Corporation will work in partnership with the Department of Communities, leveraging the knowledge and experience of both agencies to deliver best outcomes for Aboriginal communities."

Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Josie Farrer:

"One of the McGowan Government's priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to help protect the health and wellbeing of people living in remote Aboriginal communities.

"These upgrades will see the delivery of reliable and safe services that improve health and wellbeing, as well as create new job opportunities and help more people remain on country."

Water Minister's office - 6552 6100

Housing Minister's office - 6552 5300

Photo caption (l to r): Djarindjin Operations Manager Justin Pederson, Ardyaloon Chairperson Wossy Davey, Nyul Nyul PBC Chairperson Lee Bevan, Beagle Bay Futures Chairperson Arnold Sahanna, Minister for Water Dave Kelly, and Water Corporation Chief Executive Officer Pat Donovan at the announcement (5 August 2020) of $38.9m in funding for water and wastewater facilities in Aboriginal communities around the State.