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Brand spanking new laundry

Sitting in Katherine in all its glory is our new laundry unit. Since the start of the Remote Laundries project in 2018 we’ve been talking about building more laundries and putting them around the NT, and we’re one step closer to achieving that with the new unit recently finished in Katherine.

Supporting Katherine business

Similar to our first laundry, the new unit houses four washing machines and four dryers and is set in a secure, purpose-built container. A key difference this time around is where the unit has been built. We’ve been conscious of supporting local business by sourcing the whole build team from Katherine. Ten different Katherine businesses have been involved. (See below for full list). 

Design differences

Our unit in Barunga is almost two years old and we’ve learned a lot about what works well with the existing unit and what should be changed. The new unit has quite a few changes in the functionality, serviceability, and connectivity.

A key difference is how well the machines target the scabies parasite. Our new machines can kill the scabies mite by heating the water in the washing machines to 50 degrees minimum. The new machines also chemically treat the washing, targeting bacteria such as Streptococci and Staphylococcus which cause horrible skin infections and rheumatic fever.

Our CEO is pretty happy with the new setup and says its flasher than sliced bread – state of the art, but robust, durable and secure.

Casuarina based unit

The new laundry will be based in Casuarina in Darwin. We chose this location because we know it’s not only Aboriginal people in remote communities that need this valuable service. The new unit will also become a centralised training facility, where remote based laundry staff will come to Darwin for training in laundry operations, maintenance and servicing.

Expected laundry users

We expect there will be two groups that use the Casuarina based unit. Firstly, we expect to service Aboriginal people within the Darwin region particularly those who are long grassing in Darwin. Secondly, we will support Aboriginal accommodation shelters, charging a low-cost service fee to assist them to provide clean linen to their clients.

Benefits of having a visible laundry

Having the new unit in Casuarina will give us better access to demonstrate the benefits to other mobs within our region and provide sponsors with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the program, without having to travel extensively out bush.  

Whilst we understand the importance of the travel to remote communities, issues like COVID highlighted the health risks of moving in and out of communities. A Casuarina based laundry will help us to continue build stronger communities in remote communities and Darwin.

New laundry launch

There will be a soft launch of the new laundry unit on October 17 in Katherine in show of support for the local trades that contributed to this amazing new build.

A more formal launch will be in Darwin on October 26 at 32 Dripstone Road in Casuarina. People will be able to see how the laundry functions and view our new documentary showcasing the Remote Laundries Project. If you’re interested in attending either launch please contact info@aiggroup.org.au

Katherine business involved 

Katherine Laundry- Organising the Build

Solar Living Homes – construction and fit-out

NT Tiling – fit-out and painting

Ken’s Plumbing – plumbing

Yowie Contracting – electrical

Gremlin Electronics – installation of chemical pumps and remote monitoring system

Hohns Any Metal – desk, bench, chemical racks and lint trap

Macs Hire – safety equipment and signage

Whitehouse Furnishers – flooring and TV & stereo

Patow/Nighthawk – transport of container