It has been revealed that the Whitegate Aboriginal community – a small group of aborigines’ who live a short way from Alice Springs have had their water cut off last month and as there has been little contact the residents are concerned that this will be a long term issue.
There has been some good news for them as it has been revealed that Lhere Artepe, a local Aboriginal corporation will make sure that they have water for at least the next 12 months.
Michael Liddle who is a spokesman for the company said that this 12 month period should be long enough to make sure that there was time to organize the water supply in the long term, and would take away the fears that they had at the time.
“The corporation will be having conversations with stakeholders” Mr. Liddle said.
It appears that the problem has arisen as the land has not been gazette as an official Alice Springs town camp. It seems strange that an issue has arisen at this time as it was back in the 1970s that Felicity Hayes and the rest of her family were given a native title on the land. It is claiming that this oversight means that the residents are not entitled to receive even the most basic of services and it seems that water and electricity are included in the list.
It has been safe to say that having lives on the land for so long, it was not expected that there was suddenly to be a water shortage, especially as it happened so quickly. Ms. Hayes along with her partner Basil had gone out one morning and on their return, the water was no longer working.
Bess Price the NT Community Services Minister has claimed that this has come about as they cannot be sure about the purity of the water supply. She also claimed that it was not an official supply, but a plastic pipe that was running water from another town to the land.
There are fears that this is not the real reason and that the land is required for other purposes and Rod Moss a local resident has said it is like the third world in that area.
Since the disconnection there had been water sent in thanks to the Tangentyere Council, but they have said that it is no longer possible for them to do this due to the ongoing costs they were incurring.