New safeguards for water and sewerage in tiny New England Aboriginal community

New safeguards for water and sewerage in tiny New England Aboriginal community

21 October 2009

New England's tiny Aboriginal community of Summervale, near Walcha, now has new safeguards to protect its water and sewerage systems - thanks to the joint State Government/New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council water and sewerage program.

"Summervale is a community of about 35 people," said Amaroo Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO, Kim Sampson - and you could forgive them for sometimes thinking that they get overlooked and ignored.

"Not so with water and sewerage.

"At one stage it was bore water and septic tanks.  Now all septic tanks have been  removed and the community can access both town and bore water as well as town  sewerage"

Ms Sampson said Summervale was one of 60 discreet Aboriginal communities around the State that was targeted under the $200 million joint program.

"Walcha Council stepped in and carried out a great deal of maintenance and basic improvements," Ms Sampson added.

"It was the regular maintenance that was missing".

Walcha Council Director of Engineering Services, Stephen McCoy, said when Council was contracted by the State Government's Office of Water to carry out much needed maintenance work it did so quickly

"It was a case of once having gone in to ensure we continued our commitment to ensure the systems were regularly maintained," Mr McCoy added.

"Summervale is a very small community but their needs are just as important as any other residents in the Walcha Council region.   We have now entered into a commitment to ensure regular maintenance is carried out.

"We intend to honour that commitment".

Ms Sampson said the community was delighted with the improvements that had incurred since the new joint program began.

"We know NSWALC has put up $100 million dollars of its own funds to ensure this program delivers," she added.

"As far as Summervale is concerned that's most certainly the case.

"The situation has improved and looks likely to improve further.  Everyone is delighted"

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Further information: 
Kim Sampson 02 67771100 and Stephen McCoy 02 67742500