In 2008, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) entered into a partnership with the NSW State Government to provide joint recurrent funding for the operation, maintenance and monitoring of water and sewerage infrastructure in eligible discrete Aboriginal communities across NSW.

The agreement will see up to $200 million committed to the Program over 25 years. The partnership was formed after evidence showed that the drinking water and sewerage services in many discrete Aboriginal communities across NSW were poor, placing the health of these communities at risk.

The aims of the Program are to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal residents in the discrete communities, provide safe and effective drinking water and sewerage services and ensure that services are being provided to equivalent standards existing in the wider community. The Program achieves its aims through brokering and funding. Agreements are negotiated between the LALCs and the Local Council or other service providersto deliver services for the operation, maintenance and monitoring of water supply and sewerage services.

The Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program provides:

  • water disinfection
  • improvements to water quality by replacing pipes and treatment plants
  • repairs to sewerage systems and sub-surface irrigation
  • regular inspections and maintenance of pump stations and water treatment plants
  • regular maintenance and cleaning of sewer pumps and sewer mains
  • regular collection and testing of water

Funds are administered through the Department of Industry - Water (DoI Water), with technical and financial assistance delivered in partnership with NSWALC and Local Councils. The program began on 1 July 2008 and has been on-going since then. Outcomes to date from the program include (as of 28 February 2019):

If you would like more information regarding the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program, please visit the Department of Industry or contact NSWALC’s Program Implementation Unit on 02 9689 4444.