|While I write this column, I am flying back to Melbourne from a members meeting convened by the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). It was a joy to meet in person with people from across the industry while learning about a suite of initiatives being conducted by WSAA and its members.
A standout for me was WSAA’s presentation on the industry trends relating to the financial sustainability of our sector. This resonated strongly for VicWater having just completed a review of our sector’s financial sustainability. While our industry is efficient and high performing, confirmed by recent industry benchmarking and customer-informed performance reviews, we face significant challenges in maintaining a growing asset base induced by population growth and climate change. This is supplemented by increased input costs associated with the fulfilment of obligations and additional services.
I do not have any doubt our industry can manage these issues, but I am convinced that it will need to be done collaboratively. And that is where VicWater can help. We work collaboratively to share innovation, mitigate risks and increase sector efficiencies. And our sector has proven its ability to rapidly respond and adapt to recent crises, such as bushfires and the global pandemic, maintaining essential services, supporting the health and wellbeing of workers and communities, and contributing to the state’s economy.
VicWater is engaging closely with our members and will be making representations in regard to the revelations of this work. Through collaboration, we look forward to a positive future for our industry in view of its long-term sustainability.