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Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care

Principal sponsor.


Through its overseas aid agency, AusAID, the Australian Government is making a significant commitment to helping developing countries improve health care services. A healthy population is fundamental to reducing poverty and improving economic growth. Australia works in partnership with other countries to improve the health of the poor in developing nations. To assist partner countries, the Australian Government's overseas aid program aims at improving basic health care for those groups most at risk through simple, cost-effective methods of prevention and treatment focusing on:

  • communicable and vector-borne diseases; especially HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria
  • women and children's health, including reproductive health
  • non-communicable diseases and injuries

AusAID supports a large number of health projects in the Asia-Pacific region aimed at combating a range of diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.

In Indonesia, AusAID assistance has resulted in 90% of children in five Indonesian provinces being immunised against polio and measles.

Since 1996, Australian aid has funded the immunisation of 1.5 million children under the age of five against polio and measles in Papua New Guinea.

A further 10,700 women in PNG have been immunised against tetanus.

The Australian Government is providing $60 million, over five years, to support AIDS awareness and prevention activities in PNG.

Polio has now been eradicated from the Pacific because of Australia's aid efforts.

In East Timor, AusAID supported the training of women in trauma and torture counselling.

Sydney Water

Three organizations are involved in ensuring that Sydney’s drinking water is of the highest quality. The NSW Department of Health sets the standards to be met. The Sydney Catchment Authority is responsible for the management and protection of catchment areas, for catchment infrastructure works and for the supply of bulk water. The task for Sydney Water is to be a successful business while providing drinking water that meets the set guidelines and also cares for the environment by limiting the impact of water treatment and distribution strategies.

All water that reaches consumers via their domestic taps has been thoroughly cleaned. Filtration and coagulation processes are used. Coagulation is the use of chemical agents in water to assist in binding together impurities. This makes filtration more effective. The filters are regularly cleaned off-line to ensure there is no build-up of particles. The processes of disinfection occurs next. In this step, the filtered water is mixed with chlorine which inactivates micro-organisms that have not been removed through filtration. Fluoride is added to the filtered water to meet the requirements of NSW Health and assist the prevention of dental cavities.

Sydney Water delivers around 1600 million litres a day through nearly 21,000 kilometres of water pipes, 262 reservoirs and 165 pumping stations.

Worldwide the issues of clean, safe drinking water are being extensively researched. Micro-organisms, viruses, endocrine disruptions, pharmaceuticals, and algae are examples of some of the emerging issues effecting water authorities worldwide.

Sydney Water is always interested in news from consumers. Their email address is

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