On Wednesday 12 July 2023, Council was invited to the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program (ACWSP) Namatjira Raw Water Tank Commissioning.

The tanks are part of a $3 million upgrade to the raw water supply, funded by the NSW Planning and Environment Department with support from the Dareton Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), Wentworth Shire Council and NSW Public Works.

The celebration

The celebration commenced with a Welcome to Country from Pam Handy, CEO of Dareton Local Aboriginal Land Services and followed by a smoking ceremony by Damien Kennedy and traditional music from Johnno Mitchell. Local Indigenous dancers from Shantelle Thompson Dancers – the Kiilalaana group portrayed the connection of the land and water through dance.

The raw water system

The raw water system is sourced from the Murray River and pumped to the two (2x) two hundred and fifty-two thousand litre (252kl) steel reservoir raw water tanks. The pump station contains a fully remote SCADA system programmed to operate based on demand. Normal operation to provide raw water to the Namatjira community typically has a flow rate of zero point seven (0.7) to two (2) litres per second. Firefighting operation is capable of delivering flowrates beyond twelve (12) litres per second. Council looks forward to maintaining this vital community infrastructure for the many years to come, with a projected design life being fifty (50) years.

The artwork

The spectacular artwork by local artists Johnno Mitchell, Andi Mether, Jenny McCraken, Lorraine Mitchell, Sharon Kirby, Leo Uribe and Zest Artists is truly unique to this region.

The passion that has gone into the artwork shows the true beauty of the local land and stories of the community, in particular those of the connection to the land and meeting by the water.

The new pumping station mural shows local Aboriginal sporting heroes Jamie Lawson (AFL), Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (AFL) and Shantelle Thompson (Judo/martial arts champion). An excellent encouragement for the community aspirations in sports.

Showcasing local Aboriginal artist and Indigenous culture is extremely important for our region, further enhancing the progress of reconciliation within our communities.