Remote Municipal Services

The provision of municipal services for regional and remote Aboriginal communities.
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Throughout Western Australia, households receive municipal services such as rubbish collection and local road maintenance from their local government authority. However these arrangements generally do not apply to 167 Aboriginal communities located within the boundaries of approximately 20 local government authorities (Shires) in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West and Goldfields regions. 

These 167 communities generally do not receive services from the Shire in which they are located. Instead the Western Australian Government, through the Department of Communities, funds a limited form of municipal services. Some of these services were formerly funded by the Australian Government, but Commonwealth funding was terminated during 2015, leaving the State Government to make up the shortfall.

Generally these services involve basic maintenance of a community’s internal roads, airstrip, fire breaks and landfills, and a solid waste rubbish collection.

Municipal services providers

Information on funding by the Department of Communities to provide municipal services.

The Department funds 19 Aboriginal corporations to deliver municipal services. The Department directly funds 16 community corporations to deliver municipal services to 33 communities.

Additionally, the Department funds three regional Aboriginal corporations to deliver municipal services to 134 communities, as follows:

Municipal services guidelines

Municipal services operate under guidelines based on these values.

These municipal services operate under guidelines based on these three values:

  • sustainability – balancing social, environmental and financial considerations
  • simplicity – reducing complexity
  • local focus – best practice management for the benefit of the community.

The guidelines are:

Remote community swimming pools

Swimming pools serviced by Remote Municipal Services.

In most Western Australian districts, towns or cities, the local government authority provides a public swimming pool. These arrangements do not apply for public swimming pools in the town of Fitzroy Crossing and 10 Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West and Goldfields regions. Instead, the Western Australian Government funds the operation of the local pool. 

Eight pools in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West are managed on behalf of the Department of Communities by Royal Life Saving WA. These pools were built by the Western Australian Government during the last three decades.

In the Goldfields regions the Department of Communities funds the Ngaanyatjarra Council Aboriginal Corporation to operate the public swimming pool in Warburton, Blackstone and Warakurna. These pools are community-owned, built with funds raised by each community. 

Former power, water and/or wastewater services

Current and previously responsible agencies.

From the late 1990s until 30 June 2023, the Department of Communities was responsible for power, water and wastewater services in 141 remote Aboriginal communities.

The Western Australia Government transferred responsibility for these unlicensed services to the State-owned utilities Horizon Power and the Water Corporation on 1 April 2023, with the transfer completed on 1 July 2023.

For more information about current services, including how to report a service fault, please contact Horizon Power and the Water Corporation.

Horizon Power


Water Corporation

Water Corporation webpage link

Information about the water services formerly operated by the Department of Communities, including results of its water quality testing program, is available on the Remote Essential and Municipal Services water quality testing results webpage


Transfer of remote services a licence for success

Transfer of remote power and water a licence for success