Barwon Water celebrates regional forum success

More than 50 leaders and community members from around the region came together online on Monday to help refine Barwon Water’s 2023-28 Draft Price Submission.

More than 50 leaders and community members from around the region came together for a regional forum to refine Barwon Water’s 2023-28 Draft Price Submission.

Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter said the deliberative forum brought together feedback and learnings gathered over the five years of community engagement.

“It was the final step to share and check in with everyone in attendance. We need to see how we fairly balance our costs and services and the prices our customers pay during the 2023-28 price period.”

“Over the past five years, we have been listening and responding to our customers’ suggestions and feedback. Their key priorities are generally on affordable bills, delivering safe and secure water supplies, caring for the environment and ensuring reliable and innovative services.

“The regional forum was a unique and exciting opportunity to bring many voices together to help finalise our plan for the future.

“We know we can design solutions to the challenges we face on our own. We know we get better outcomes when we work in partnership together and with our community.”

Regional forum hear from many stakeholders

Slatter thanked all attendees. They included Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, G21 region mayors and deputy mayors, Geelong youth deputy mayor and other young people, and community group leaders from around the region. Every attendee made valuable contributions to help influence Barwon Water’s 2023 Draft Price Submission ahead of it being submitted to the Essential Services Commission in late September.

The forum was led by an independent facilitator. They helped capture feedback while Barwon Water staff and attendees presented ideas and discussed local challenges.

There was strong support for various priorities. It includes investing in water efficiency and climate-resilient water supply options, supporting catchment and river health, and improving our use of technology and data to enhance the services provided. About 90 per cent of participants were comfortable with the approach outlined in the draft 2023-28 Price Submission.

Slatter said she was really impressed by the range of informed feedback provided by attendees. She appreciated their understanding of what Barwon Water was trying to achieve as it delivered its essential services.

“Our priority is to strengthen our region’s economic, social, cultural and environmental prosperity. We want to deliver sustainable, affordable, innovative and reliable water and sewerage services.”

Key highlights of the draft 2023 Price Submission include:

  • Average residential homeowners and business customer bills will not increase, beyond Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustments
  • Increasing our customer support program to $4.8 million to help customers in need
  • Investing more than $400 million to repair and upgrade infrastructure. It will cater for our growing region and support greater use of recycled water
  • Investing more than $27 million to improve the environment and waterway health. We want to deliver emission-reduction and renewable electricity projects. It also provides an opportunity to implement smart networks and digital metering at key locations
  • Pursuing improvement initiatives such as our Regional Renewable Organics Network, which will help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and create clean renewable energy
  • Unlocking recreational, social and environmental opportunities through our Bellarine Basin and Porronggitj Karrong projects

For more information on our draft 2023 Price Submission, please visit

About Price Submissions

All Victorian water corporations, including Barwon Water, must develop and submit price submissions every five years. It outlines the prices customers pay for water, sewerage, and service standards. It also accounts for infrastructure and operational investments over a five-year period (the next period being 2023 – 2028)

Submissions are reviewed and determined by the Essential Services Commission which acts as an independent “umpire.” It was established by the Victorian Government to regulate providers of essential services so that their prices are fair and reasonable for consumers.

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