Coliban Water is inviting customers to comment on its Community Draft, which is a summary of the intended levels of pricing and investment for the next five years. Coliban Water is 100% customer funded, and the corporation manages and operates all water and sewage services for the community.
A formal pricing review process of is completed every five years by the independent Essential Services Commission to ensure the outcomes reached and the bills customers pay recover only what is needed, and contains built-in measures to protect the most vulnerable in the community, and provides a balance is between delivering reasonable prices today and preparing for the future.
Managing Director Damian Wells said the draft plan considers feedback from customers, including a 32-member Community Panel.
“The Panel worked for five days to develop recommendations that have been accepted by the Coliban Water Board. The recommendations of the Panel, combined with customer feedback we have been gathering over the past five years, inform our draft pricing plan."
“The region is at a critical point in its water supply and demand. We are experiencing the effects of climate change, our population is growing and our infrastructure is aging. A key aspect of our plan is to increase capital investment to $435 million for upgrades and renewals of our water service assets including drinking water plants, sewerage treatment facilities and pipe networks in the towns we serve.”
The plan proposes to phase-in price rises from 2023 to 2028. For the average household, this results in bill increases of approximately $0.70 per week, excluding inflation. This modest increase will be invested into upgrades and renewals of Coliban Water's assets and supporting customers experiencing vulnerability, while still remaining below the national average water bill.
Customer Support Programs will also be boosted to $570,000 per year to support residential and business customers who may need assistance. The Community Draft is open throughout the month of July for customer feedback.