It is at this time that many of us observe the custom of wishing each other a Happy New Year. Unfortunately, the year has not commenced with happiness for many Victorians – those who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods due to Australia’s worst bushfires. This terrible event has affected our people in so many ways. And we are yet to fully comprehend the extent of its impact.
Listening to our people, I’ve learnt that our industry has managed exceedingly well despite the unprecedented conditions they are enduring. Operational teams have focused on maintaining water supply and quality with effective disaster planning measures in place. Neighbouring water businesses have been able to offer equipment and other support to meet any identified needs. And South East Water has stepped in to facilitate support to the affected members and mutual aid coordination for communities lacking water.
While we all hope that these fires will abate soon, there is the knowledge that climate change is adjusting our experiences to a new normal. Our annual water outlooks help us plan for macro-climatic and seasonal variations with the best available knowledge. The experience of these recent events will add to this knowledge and induce an increasing focus on adapting to the growing uncertainties that we face.
VicWater is here to help when the time is right for these discussions to occur. And for the time being, we are here to complement communication across the sector and provide any assistance that is needed to maintain its performance.
For us, there are some important projects underway this year to support you. These include safety leadership, priority policy development (via the new Policy Advisory Committee), a sector economics review, and progressing the activities of our Diversity and Inclusion, Finance Issues Steering Committee, OH&S Steering Group, and the various working groups involving our members.
I wish you a happier New Year that is safe and productive for our people. We look forward to working with you.
Chief Executive Officer
03 9639 8868