Transfer of remote power and water licence for success

  • Transfer of power and water services in 141 remote Aboriginal communities 
  • Initial $200 million upgrades to essential infrastructure and services, benefiting long-term health and wellbeing outcomes  
  • Funded by McGowan Government's $350 million Remote Communities Fund  

The State Government has announced the transfer of responsibility for power and water services in Western Australia's remote Aboriginal communities from the Department of Communities to licensed specialists Water Corporation and Horizon Power.

Under the transfer which commences from 1 April 2023, 141 remote communities currently serviced by Department of Communities will transition to improved and more reliable power and water services, enhancing wellbeing outcomes for the around 12,000 residents.

The transfer includes an initial $200 million investment for upgrades and continued improvements to power and water infrastructure and improvements to water quality, which is being funded by the McGowan Government's $350 million Remote Communities Fund. 

Delivered through a collaboration between Water Corporation and Horizon Power, the upgrades, which will be phased in, will bring services into line with comparable communities in WA.  

The outcomes of the transfer will see the State Government advance its commitment to Outcome 9 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, as well as address elements of the Aboriginal Empowerment Strategy and State Infrastructure Strategy. 

As stated by Housing Minister John Carey:

"We've invested $350 million in the Remote Communities Fund, which will support and improve water and power as well as upgrade housing in remote Aboriginal communities.

"Reliable essential services are important for the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities and are the foundation for healthy and sustainable communities. 

"Horizon Power and Water Corporation are specialist and licensed utilities that are expertly placed to manage power and water services.

"Now no matter where you live in Western Australia, it's clear which utilities are responsible for managing power and water services."

As stated by Water Minister Simone McGurk:

"Working closely with Horizon Power, the transfer will see Water Corporation commence a long-term program of upgrades to water and wastewater services in the 141 remote Aboriginal communities.  

"This will improve health, amenity and economic outcomes for residents, which we know are fundamental to address the inequalities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people." 

"The previous Liberal-National Federal Government withdrew crucial and long-standing financial supports to Aboriginal remote communities. In contrast, the McGowan Labor Government is putting in practical and real resources to support Aboriginal people in regional and remote communities."

As stated by Energy Minister Bill Johnston:

"Horizon Power has a proven track record of working with remote Aboriginal communities to deliver services that improve outcomes. 

"Transitioning power services to Horizon Power will also mean more remote Aboriginal communities will have the opportunity to benefit from the integration of renewables into their power systems." 

Ministers office: 6552 5300

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