By Tanya Plibersek

14 March 2024







Thursday 14 March 2024


Over $50 million for more reliable water in the Top End

The Federal and Northern Territory Labor governments are delivering clean, reliable water to more communities across the Top End.

Water is vital for the future economic development of the Territory but, first and foremost, it needs to be used in a manner that does not compromise environmental and cultural values.

That’s why we’re investing an extra $53.1 million in water security projects to provide safe, reliable and sustainable water for the Northern Territory.

  • In Maningrida we’re together investing $21 million for three infrastructure upgrades to increase the reliability of the local water supply network. This work will increase water storage capacity via the construction of a water tank, new pipes to move the water from the water storage to the community, and upgrades to the water network.
  • On the Gove Peninsula we’re together investing $8.9 million. This funding will upgrade a water pipeline in Yirrkala, to save water that is currently being lost, and includes a water infrastructure assessment for Gunyangara to identify water infrastructure needs.
  • In Numbulwar we’re together investing $3.2 million in planning and investigation work, such as investigative drilling, to identify new water supplies.

These projects are an important next step in the Albanese Labor Government’s $150 million investment to make sure remote First Nations communities have access to clean drinking water. It follows $26.7 million previously announced for Yuendumu and Millingimbi, where work on these projects has also created numerous economic and community benefits including the ability to build much-needed new housing.

We also know that reliable water is vital for tourism and economic development too. That’s why in Yulara we’re together investing $18.2 million, along with $5 million from Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, to construct the Yulara Water Supply project. The project will provide water security for what is the primary service centre for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the wider Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara regions.

The Albanese Government is also investing $1.8 million towards science and research projects to help plan for future water management.

Quotes attributable to the Federal Minister for the Environment and Water the Hon Tanya Plibersek:

“In a country like Australia, there are things that most of us take for granted. Like when we turn the tap on at home, safe drinking water will come out.

“But for more than 25,000 people in remote Australia, that isn’t the case. These Australians live in places without access to water that meets basic health guidelines. And another 600,000 people live in places without access to water that meets recognised standards – relying on water that’s murky, or contains unsafe levels of minerals, heavy metals and chemicals.

“This is simply not ok. That's why we're investing in projects to deliver critical water infrastructure projects in First Nations remote communities.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to Close the Gap on water security, and we cannot do it alone.

“That’s why our government is working closely with our state and territory partners and First Nations organisations and representatives across the nation to identify, plan and deliver water security projects.”

Quotes attributable to the Northern Territory Minister for Water the Hon Kate Worden:

“Providing secure and reliable water supply to these regional and remote will improve the quality of life for many Aboriginal Territorians.

“Water is an incredibly important resource for Territorians and plays a part in the Territory Labor Government’s plan to develop our economy to $40 billion by 2030.

“We can make these investments into our water infrastructure because these assets are owned by Territorians.

“Only a Territory Labor Government will keep these assets in the hands of Territorians.”