A new advocate will act as a voice for Victorian water customers, as prices are reviewed over the next 15 months.
Announced today by Minister for Water Lisa Neville, the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) and the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) will be given a grant to fund a full-time advocate on behalf of water customers, particularly low income and vulnerable customers.
The Essential Services Commission’s (ESC) 2018 Water Price Review was initiated late last year, and will establish the maximum price that the state’s 17 water businesses can charge for their service over the next five years, beginning 1 July 2018.
CALC and CPRC have already been approached by various water corporations and the community to provide input, but up until now have lacked the resources to fund dedicated consumer advocacy.
The support is consistent with the Andrews Labor Government’s Water for Victoria plan, which requires improved engagement with customers and the community to better understand their needs.
The plan also supports the ESC’s new model for pricing services in Victoria’s water sector, which places a greater focus on delivering better results for customers.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“It’s vital that the voices of consumers are heard during this review process.”
“This will ensure there is an emphasis put on low income and vulnerable water users during the review, as we achieve affordable and sustainable water access for all Victorians.”