9th Sep 2014

Congress calls for immediate resumption of water to Whitegate

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress urges the NT Government to immediately reinstate the water supply to the Whitegate living area in order to protect the health and wellbeing of its residents.

“Congress understands that there are many complex issues regarding the land tenure for this living area and which involve multiple stakeholders, however, the reality that the only running, potable water supply has been stopped without ensuring an interim solution is in place is a public health emergency” said CEO, Donna Ah Chee.

“Potable water is the most essential pre-requisite for good health. It is up to the government to ensure that all its citizens have access to running, potable water.”
“Congress recognises the importance of the work being undertaken in the Ilpeye Ilpeye town camp however, for the work to commence without a plan in place to continue the only potable water supply to Whitegate, for what has now been a three week period, may potentially have adverse impacts on the health and wellbeing of those people residing in the area.

“The fact that even this limited water supply does not meet appropriate standards is also something that the NT government needs to ensure is addressed for its citizens. The buck must stop somewhere,” she said.

“The Aboriginal people residing in Whitegate include some of the most senior native title holders for Alice Springs and Congress supports their right to live on their traditional lands at Whitegate.”

“The water supply must be reinstated while issues pertaining to the Whitegate area are negotiated with the aim to reach an agreement that will allow these residents to enjoy all of the normal services that citizens in this country have a right to expect”, Ms Ah Chee concluded.