The South Australian State Government has extended the Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS) for 10 years, and committed to invest over $47 million to the project which facilitates the installation of essential wastewater infrastructure in regional towns.
A review of the Funding Agreement conducted in 2016 concluded the CWMS program the fund supports was recognised as an outstanding success by industry participants, state agencies and local councils.
South Australian Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock said, “These schemes not only ensure that public and environmental health standards in our regional towns are met, but also often provide the necessary infrastructure for those communities to pursue economic development opportunities.”
“The combined $58.5 million State Government and community investment in the CWMS over the past 10 years has resulted in more than 3,000 connections to 11 new wastewater treatment facilities in our regions.
“We know there is a continuing need for new schemes. This ongoing commitment over the next decade will allow even more regional councils to install modern wastewater management facilities in their towns.”
The State Government provides $4 million a year indexed over 10 years to the Local Government Association to support the installation of new communal wastewater management systems in regional towns where urban sewer systems are not provided by SA Water.
Over the past decade, the State Government has allocated more than $38 million with local communities contributing more than $20 million since the inception of the current funding agreement in July 2008.
This funding allows councils to build new schemes which address critical public health and environmental needs. Councils can provide this service at a cost to their communities equitable with users of SA Water services.
Local Government Association President Lorraine Rosenberg said, “The CWMS program is another fantastic example of state and local government working together for the benefit of communities, and we are thrilled the Government has committed to extending this partnership.”
The benefits of CWMS are not limited to public health – these projects generate much needed regional employment through the construction phase, provide support for existing SME businesses such as pubs and caravan parks, and in some cases can open up new economic opportunities for remote and rural towns.
Local Government currently operates 172 Community Wastewater Management Systems in 45 councils and authorities across the state.
The current 10 year funding agreement expires on June 30 2017.