In collaboration with community leaders and residents, the Regional Services Reform Unit has taken the first step towards improving living conditions that will provide a better foundation for family wellbeing in the 10 remote Aboriginal communities taking part in the Essential and Municipal Services Upgrade Program.
The Essential and Municipal Services Upgrade Program is a major initiative of regional services reform and a priority action in the Resilient Families; Strong Communities roadmap.
This week saw the completion of the community municipal infrastructure audits, which are a key step in the planning stage for the upgrades. The audits will inform a tailored plan for each community, which will identify potential land tenure changes and explore ways that future infrastructure upgrades and service delivery can generate employment and skills training for residents.
Executive Director, Regional Services Reform Unit, Tanya Steinbeck said the information obtained from the audits and community consultation is shaping the way we are implementing the Program.
“We have recently commissioned an Aboriginal owned and operated business to undertake a cost of living study to help inform the setting of water charges.
“These upgrades will improve the living conditions of families in remote Aboriginal communities through mutual accountability between household, communities and government” she said.
Together, the 10 communities participating in the Program comprise more than 20 per cent of the total population of remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.
CEO, Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation, Steve Austin said we are very proud to have been selected as one of 10 communities to participate in the program.
“Mowanjum Aboriginal Corporation has been actively engaged with the Regional Services Reform Unit and audit teams while they accessed our roads, streetlights, sporting facilities, community buildings and land contamination.
“Community members were employed to guide the teams through the community and we are hopeful there will be more employment opportunities when the upgrades commence.
“We eagerly await the audit results and look forward to the long overdue improvement to essential services in Mowanjum Community” Mr Austin said.
Starting in mid-2018, the State Government will progressively begin repairing and/or replacing essential and municipal services infrastructure in the first of the 10 communities.
Along with capital works the communities will also see the roll out of improved licensed arrangements for the delivery of power, water and wastewater, as well as new standards for municipal services to improve accountability and delivery.
Community infrastructure audits at Mowanjum community.