Water and Sewerage Program
The NSW Government is supporting the capital upgrade and operation, maintenance and monitoring of the water and sewerage systems in eligible
Aboriginal communities to improve services.
In December 2008 the NSW Government and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) agreed to a funding partnership for these essential
services in eligible discrete Aboriginal communities – former missions and reserves.
Under the agreement, the NSWALC pays for 25% ($1.050) of the Operation and Maintenance costs and the NSW Government pays for 75% of these
costs plus all program management and capital costs. This joint funding will total approximately $200 million over 25 years.
A total of $89.1 million has been spent from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2022 with a further $8.58 million forecast to be spent in 2022-23.
While Aboriginal Affairs is the lead agency, the Department of Planning and Environment Water is responsible for managing the water and
sewerage service delivery. NSW Health also plays an important role by monitoring health standards for water and sewerage systems in the
The program ensures infrastructure and maintenance agreements are in place to operate, maintain and monitor the water and sewerage systems
in eligible discrete Aboriginal communities.
Water and sewerage management plans are in place for each community and identify potential risks to the water supply and sewerage systems,
leading to better management and fewer breakdowns. The water supply in eligible communities is tested in accordance with the Australian
Drinking Water Guidelines.
Eligible discrete Aboriginal communities involved in the program
The 61 Eligible discrete Aboriginal communities and 3 special purpose communities involved in the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage
||Boona Road (Condobolin)
||Crescent Head (Loftus Rd)
||Collarenebri Reserve (The Walli)
||New Burnt Bridge
||Enngonia Reserve (Clara Hart)
||Pippi Beach (Nyguru Village)
||Box Ridge Reserve
||Brewarrina West (Dodge City)
||Wallaga Lake (Koori Village)
||Alice Edwards Village
||Balranald Reserve (Endeavour Dr)
||Cabbage Tree Island
The 3 special purposes Communities are:
- The Farm – Worimi
- Gulargambone Mission
In 2004, NSW Health established a working group to investigate infrastructure needs in discrete Aboriginal communities.
The 2007 report of the working group led to a full water and sewerage survey in each discrete Aboriginal community.
A business case for NSW was then established and funding sought, resulting in the current partnership between the NSW Government and NSWALC
to deliver the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program.
Water and sewerage services have improved in eligible discrete communities since the introduction of the Aboriginal Communities Water and
The Department of Planning and Environment monitors, repairs and maintains the water supply and sewerage systems. NSW Health conducts
regular water collection and testing to ensure drinking water is safe and waste is being removed and disposed of properly.
The negotiation of long-term service agreements and management plans will ensure these higher service standards are maintained.
What does the program cover?
The program covers community infrastructure but not houses or housing infrastructure. Housing providers are responsible for maintaining
their properties, including the plumbing systems for water and sewerage within the property’s boundary.