Melbourne Water lodged our Price Submission 2021 with the Essential Services Commission on 9 November 2020. Our Submission includes proposed prices for special drainage and flood mitigation services in the Koo Wee Rup–Longwarry Flood Protection District, which are funded by the Precept Charge.
The Commission released their draft decision on 25 March 2021 and will now conduct their own consultation and review process, with their final decision expected in June 2021. Our new prices and service standards will subsequently take effect from 1 July 2021.
Proposed prices for 2021-26
In light of the impacts of COVID-19, in September 2020 we conducted additional engagement on measures to ease bill impacts by delaying the service level and price increases previously proposed. This approach was supported by the majority of District Advisory Committee members and property owners who responded to a survey.
We are therefore proposing to maintain current (2020-21) prices and levels of service for at least the first year of our Submission. We will continue monitoring customer preferences with the intent of revisiting our approach the following year, subject to further engagement.
When customers indicate they are comfortable, we will increase service levels for flood protection and waterway improvement works at an average rate of $237 per property per annum. This uplift in services was supported by residents, businesses and the District Advisory Committee during engagement conducted in February 2020.
For further details on the contents of our Submission or engagement with District ratepayers, please view the summary documents below. Our full Submission will be available on the Essential Services Commission’s website.
More about services and prices
Our services and responsibilities
Melbourne Water provides an increased level of drainage service exclusive to the Koo Wee Rup–Longwarry Flood Protection District. This unique area is a former swampland that was gradually drained from the 1800s, providing farmland crucial for Victoria's expanding economy.
Each year we invest $1.2 million in maintaining purpose-built drainage infrastructure that helps to manage the risk of flooding in the area. This includes:
- local and main carrier drains
- floodgate structures
- flood warning systems
- various bridges and fences.
Our service standards, rights and responsibilities are detailed in our Customer Charter (PDF, 2.04MB). This has been endorsed by the district’s Advisory Committee, a group of business owners and residents who provide us with ongoing advice and feedback on matters relating to the area.
How prices are determined
Residents and businesses within the Flood Protection District pay a Special Precept Charge, instead of the Waterways and Drainage Charge billed to property owners in metropolitan Melbourne. The precept charge funds works to maintain and improve:
- local precept drains – watercourses built specifically to drain the district
- carrier drains (also half-funded by the Waterways and Drainage Charge) – larger waterways starting upstream of the district, which take water from the precept drains and carry it through the area.
Our prices, including the precept rate, are reviewed and set for a period of up to five years by the Essential Services Commission – Victoria’s independent regulator. This is done through the Price Submission process, where we put forward our proposed service standards and prices informed by engagement with customers and the community.