WSAA is pleased to have signed an MOU with the Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance (TCICA) in Cairns.
The Chair of TCICA and Mayor of Kowanyama Robbie Sands, together with TCICA Executive Officer Michael Miller and previous EO Melinda Eades and infrastructure and water specialist Alex Ung gathered to discuss the opportunities ahead at TCICA offices on 7 February.
The Torres Cape Indigenous Council Alliance represents 14 of Queensland’s 17 Indigenous local governments, as well as Cook Shire Council and Weipa Town Authority. TCICA operates as a collaborative partnership of councils to represent the common interests of local governing bodies within the region.
The challenges of providing clean water and sanitation for First Nations communities are significant, yet with collective wisdom, collaboration, sharing and networking across the country, these challenges can be – and should be – tackled head on.
More importantly, we need to move swiftly towards a model where opportunities to improve water services are done WITH communities, not TO communities. The Closing the Gap Review released on 7 February by the Productivity Commission stated that very clearly yesterday - the dial isn’t moving.
This MOU will create an opportunity for TCICA, its members and expert service providers to join a national network for water service providers committed to Closing the Gap and striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – with a focus on SDG6. The MOU is designed to provide access for these councils to exchange knowledge, good practice and lessons learnt and continue to develop new pathways for skills programs that have been running across First Nations communities.
Bringing TCICA in at a national level will be complementary to the great work the Queensland Water Directorate are doing with local government across the state, and the risk assessment work the Queensland Government is doing to build a robust investment and support program for First Nations communities into the future and the very strong support of Queensland Health through Greg Jackson, Brad Milligan and Chris Blake.