We connected with more than 8,000 customers and community members, as well as our people and partners, over two years to develop our price submission.
This is what we heard:
You want affordable and stable bills.
You want us to support the health of waterways and the environment.
You want everyone to have access to the same quality and consistency of water, wherever they live.
You want us to make sure unplanned disruptions don’t increase, and to better inform you when they do happen.
You want us to increase our uses of alternative water, such as fit for purpose recycled water and stormwater.
Here's what some community panel members told us about being involved in developing our price submission.
NIGEL: So before I started the process I have to admit I didn't know a lot about Greater Western Water. Like many utilities, maybe it sounds unfair, you almost want to be able to take them for granted. You want to turn on the tap and not have to think about too much where the water comes from, you just want the water to come out.
MS YANG: In the past, for me, I wasn't thinking that much in regard to saving water. It feels like the tap water in my home comes out just by turning on the tap. But I've learned useful knowledge which has made me progress a lot. I know how to save water, and I know the ways it reaches thousands upon thousands of families and households.
EBONY: It's made me more mindful of, you know, using water I suppose, and like turning on the tap whereas, before I would do it without thinking and I think I've been more willing to talk to others about water too. Like the process the water goes through, through the pipes and where it comes from. The quality, the taste and everything comes from like a massive process.
OLA: The waterway health - I didn't ever think about the desal plant that they talked to us about, the water treatment plants, how the money is spent, the disruptions. I've learned so much during this panel experience.
NIGEL: Oh it's a lot bigger than what I thought. I mean, if you think about the physical assets, you know, the catchment and the the area that Greater Western Water serves, was a lot bigger than I thought it was.
OLA: What scared me the most is how we use drinking water to flush our toilets and water our gardens and there are so many countries where they have no access to drinking water and so the talk of recycling water and using treated water or storm water for flushing toilets, for gardening, for watering parks - I was really passionate about all that.
NIGEL: I wasn't aware, when engaging with the community, the breadth of things that are considered. This is actually about the diversity of the community and the different ways that people use water, not just about how me, in my house, use water myself.
OLA: I didn't know there was any community involvement. I thought Greater Western Water and maybe the government decides these things, and what we want or say, you know, you can complain and you can write in, but I didn't think the community would ever be consulted for Price Submissions.
NIGEL: So one of the things I got out of the community panel is it's actually been a bit of fun. When I started reading the background reading, it was at that point that I realised actually there's a lot going on here that we really need to think about.
OLA: It's such a diverse group of people which I've loved. So meeting people from very different walks of life, seeing their take on things. To have people with very diverse opinions, very different ways, different values, different priorities, has been really interesting.
JOAN: I was very, very nervous coming because I thought I'm not going to fit in here and I really didn't know what it was really about. I read the manual and and still it didn't click properly, and I thought, no, and then when I came in and saw everybody and everyone was so nice, I thought I'll just go with the flow and everyone was willing to help me and I think I held my own quite well really.
OLA: Next time I get a bill I will have a much deeper view of what it is and just the team at Greater Western Water, how passionate they are. They've made such an effort to answer our questions, to get back to us if they didn't know the answer, so I have more trust in the whole system.
What will we focus on from 2024–25 to 2027–28
With help from our customers, we developed five outcomes that we will focus on achieving over the next four years:
Your water is safe, consistent and resilient
When things go wrong, we fix them
We support our diverse communities and customers
We enable growth and help businesses thrive
We heal and care for Country
Keeping water bills stable
You told us that affordability is important, so we are keeping bills stable.
For households in the central region (previous City West Water customers), before inflation and fees from other agencies, average water bills will:
decrease by $11 for owner-occupiers, then increase slightly each year, ending up $2 lower than current bills in 2027-28
decrease by $20 for tenants and remain that price until 2027-28.
For households in the western region (previous Western Water customers), before inflation and fees from other agencies, average annual water bills will:
decrease by $7 for owner-occupiers and continue decreasing, with 2027-28 bills $47 lower than current bills
increase $7 each year for tenants, with 2027-28 bills $26 higher than current bills.
For non-residential/business customers, bills will remain stable or decline over 2024-25 to 2027-28.
Investing in our services
We will invest $1.7 billion from 2024-25 to 2027-28 to help deliver our customer outcomes. We will invest in:
new water and sewerage infrastructure to support growth, such as installing new pipes connecting Macedon Ranges to Melbourne to prevent water restrictions
water and sewage treatment, including upgrading Romsey water filtration plant to improve water quality and comply with Drinking Water Guidelines
renewing and replacing infrastructure to ensure supply and reduce outages and damage
new systems and technologies to monitor our infrastructure
a new billing system to support water industry standards and communicate with customers faster through the channels of their choice.
Track our progress
You can keep track of our progress on the five customers outcomes from 2024-25 to 2027-28.
Our customer forum will meet once a year to track our performance. We also report each year to the ESC. Following this, we will publish a customer scorecard, our annual customer outcomes performance report and our mid-year update on our website.