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Have your say on what you pay

Barwon Water is seeking community input as it prepares to set its prices for 2018-2023.

Under the banner “Have your say on what you pay”, the corporation is embarking on its largest ever community engagement exercise to capture feedback on its services, prices and community expectations. 

Barwon Water General Manager Strategy and Planning Carl Bicknell said the engagement process would feed into a pricing submission to the Essential Services Commission (ESC).

“The 2018 Price Submission will provide the basis for the ESC to set the maximum prices that can be charged for the five year regulatory period commencing July 1, 2018,” Mr Bicknell said.

“Capturing community feedback and putting customers at the centre of our decision making is absolutely critical in establishing our new prices,” he said.

Mr Bicknell said it was important for Barwon Water to test what was important to customers, including what they were willing or unwilling to pay for and expected service standards.

“Our pricing submission will outline proposed expenditure over the five years, including operational and capital works, levels of service and the revenue from customer pricing that will be required to fund our operations.

“Understanding our community’s expectations and what they value about water and sewerage services will help us plan for the future,” he said.

A range of avenues are open for the community to provide input into the pricing submission, including pop-up kiosks at regional markets, focus groups, an online survey and a dedicated website.

Barwon Water also is convening a community panel comprising 30 randomly selected customers from across the region. The panel will meet four times before making recommendations to the Barwon Water Board around the new prices.

Following the community engagement activities, Barwon Water will prepare a draft pricing submission and release it for further consultation in May next year before submitting to the ESC for review and approval.

For more details on the engagement program, visit

Barwon Water last set its prices in 2013, with the ESC approving a decrease of 1.6 per cent a year, excluding CPI, each year until 2018.