The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to transform Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) to keep prices low for customers and irrigators and to support the future growth of the irrigation district across Northern Victoria.
In October last year, Minister for Water Lisa Neville announced a Strategic Advisory Panel to review the operations of GMW and from these findings, a report and recommendations has been produced.
Minister Neville visited Shepparton today to release the findings of the report, which outline a roadmap to transform the business and ensure the long-term future of the region.
The recommendations, which will be implemented by 2020, include:
- Creating a simplified business structure for better community transparency
- A transformation panel will be appointed to drive the changes necessary
- Reducing operating and capital costs to ensure prices remain affordable
- Better managing and utilising GMW assets into the future and delivery of capital projects
- A new customer engagement program to improve customer and stakeholder trust, and performance management
- Developing a more transparent reporting framework to explain costs, financial performance and project updates to customers and the Board.
The key finding of the report is that financial savings are needed to ensure GMW can continue to deliver reliable and affordable prices for its customers, irrigators and water users into the future.
It highlights the challenges facing GMW, which require significant change to ensure the future prosperity of the irrigation district. The report outlines efficiencies for improving delivery of GMW’s core business that will promote and encourage further investment in the region.
$2 billion has been invested in the Connections Project to modernise infrastructure in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID), which generates $11.6 billion in agricultural production to the economy each year.
A transition panel will work with GMW to report back to the Board and the Minister to ensure these recommendations are implemented by 2020.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“We want to support GMW to ensure it can meet current challenges, so it can maximise investment and grow the irrigation district to support jobs and vibrant regional communities.”
“We’ve got the Connections Project back on track and this is about that we now have the best plan in place to deliver reliable and efficient water into the future.”
Quote attributable to GMW Chair Jo Anderson
“This transition will support GMW in ensuring prices stay low for customers and to ensure we can continue to grow and develop the irrigation district into the future.”