Western Australia Minister for Indigenous Affairs Kim Hames
Survey Shows Improving Services To Remote Aboriginal Communities
Victor P Taffa
The Western Australia State Government has welcomed report results which show an improvement in living conditions for Aboriginal communities, but acknowledges much more needs to be achieved.
The third Environmental Health Needs Survey report shows that since 1997, throughout Western Australia the number of people per permanent dwelling in remote Aboriginal communities has reduced from seven in 1997 to 5.3 in 2008. There have been significant increases in the proportion of WA’s Aboriginal community whose water, electricity and sewerage are provided by either mainstream utilities or via the Remote Area Essential Service Program.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Kim Hames said despite this reduction, housing and overcrowding remained the most significant environmental health concern reported by 69 % of communities.
“It is pleasing to see that efforts to improve living conditions in remote Aboriginal communities are having an effect, but much remains to be done.” Dr. Hames said.
“The programs put in place to improve services city-dwellers take for granted, like access to potable water and reliable electricity supply, need to continue and it is only through sustained co-operation we will achieve the desired results.”
The Environmental Health Needs Survey was authorised by the Environmental Health Needs Coordinating Committee, comprising representatives of service delivery agencies from three tiers of Government.