New renewable energy plant complete for remote community

Media Release


19 March 2018

Joint release with:

Melissa Price

Federal Member for Durack
Assistant Minister for the Environment

  • New solar water treatment plant opens today in the Five Mile Community, WA
  • The plant will provide access to safe water and reliable electricity
  • The Coalition Government invested $545,700 in the project

A major renewable energy project funded through the Coalition Government's Building Better Regions Fund is now providing the Mingullatharndo Aboriginal community near Roebourne, Western Australia, with clean water and more reliable electricity supplies.

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said the new off-grid solar water treatment plant will deliver Australian-Standard quality drinking water as well as water for irrigation and waste treatment facilities.

“This project involved purchasing and installing a 100-kilowatt, ground-mounted PV solar system with battery storage, as well as smart diesel generator technology capable of using 60 per cent less fuel than conventional generators,” Dr McVeigh said.

“This project created five jobs during its construction phase as well as 10 ongoing positions all of which, we're proud to say, have been filled by Indigenous workers.”

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said the solar power facility and water filtration unit will provide 80 per cent of the community's power needs and 100 per cent of its potable water supply.

“The plant provides the around 50 people living in the Mingullatharndo with flow-on benefits including additional direct and indirect employment opportunities,” Ms Price said.

“The solar water treatment plant will also contribute to improving the overall health of the community and removes the need to drive 10 kilometres a day to Roebourne to collect fresh, clean potable water.”

The Coalition Government invested $545,700 in the project with the Unity of First People of Australia providing $181,900.