The program began in December 2008 and is a joint initiative of the NSW Government and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC).
Aboriginal Affairs is the lead government agency for the program and the department manages the implementation. NSW Health also plays an important role, monitoring health standards for water and sewerage systems in the communities involved.
How it works
Regular meetings are held with Aboriginal community members, local Aboriginal land councils (LALC), local water utilities and NSW Health to understand what’s needed to improve the existing infrastructure and service levels.
The ACWSP provides ongoing support for service delivery, ensuring water and sewerage services continue to be operated and maintained at levels consistent with nearby non-Indigenous communities.
History of the program
The NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act came into force in 1983 and former Aboriginal reserve lands were transferred to Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs). The introduction of the Act saw LALC’s become responsible for the water and sewerage systems on their land without the technical knowledge or resources to maintain them, placing the health of these communities at risk.
In 2004 a working group was established by NSW Health to investigate infrastructure needs in discreet Aboriginal communities, and a report was published 3 years later. The report was used to form a business case for funding which was successful in 2008 and resulted in the development of the ACWSP.
Explore the communities benefiting from the program in the map below.