This past month has been dominated by extreme storm events and flooding across much of the state, so it’s not surprising to learn that Victoria had its highest ever area-average October rainfall. At VicWater, our hearts go out to all the people who have been affected by the floods and we wish them well as they start to clean up and put their lives back together again.
Several of our members have been impacted and I’d like to acknowledge and commend their efforts, not just in competently managing the operational response, but in playing a significant leadership role within their local communities as a reliable and trusted authority in times of crisis.
Even if they are not currently impacted, all Victorian water corporations are responsibly planning for an extended campaign of flood response and recovery due to the forecast impacts of the La Nina weather pattern over the rest of spring and summer. The VicWater team has been supporting our members through the coordination of mutual aid arrangements, acting as a clearing house for receiving requests for assistance and offers of assistance, and matching them up according to priority needs. As a sector we often pride ourselves on our ability and willingness to share and collaborate, and the mutual aid arrangements are really showing how our “better together” ethos delivers practical results.
On a final note, I’ll take this opportunity to welcome Stuart Craven who commenced as VicWater’s Policy and Regulation Manager in October. Stuart is well known across the sector through his long tenure at DELWP, where he was successful in managing relationships and negotiating outcomes with water corporations, government and other stakeholders in a range of different water policy and program areas. Stuart replaces David Sheehan, who was with us on a 12 month secondment from Coliban Water, and I’d like to thank David for the great work he did in progressing a number of projects and initiatives for the benefit of members.