Results of engagement

June 2020

In February Melbourne Water invited property owners in the Koo Wee Rup–Longwarry Flood Protection District to have their say on proposed service levels and prices for 2021-26, in relation to the special drainage and flood mitigation services we provide in the area. These works are funded by the Precept Charge.

After reviewing feedback with the District Advisory Committee, and with their agreement, we are proposing a hybrid of Options 3 and 4 (Flood protection and Waterway improvement service packages) at an average price of $252 per property, per annum. This proposal will be included in our Price Submission to the Essential Services Commission, and subject to their review and approval, the new service levels and prices will take effect from 1 July 2021.

Engagement process and service level options

A bulletin was mailed out to all residents and businesses in the District advising of the engagement process. A number of pop-up community information sessions were also held to help promote the online survey and answer any questions.

We asked residents and businesses to select their preferred level of service from one of the following five options:

Packages

Average cost

1 - Savings package: continued reactive maintenance of the District’s drains to meet current service levels

$224

2 - Proactive maintenance package: additional proactive maintenance in priority areas, as informed by the District Advisory Committee

$231

3 - Waterway improvement package: additional activities to improve waterway health, including addressing blackberries and weeds within the District’s drains in response to community concerns

$252

4 - Flood protection package: additional works to improve drainage capacity by proactively replacing high-risk assets, and upgrading low-risk assets that are not performing to floodwater conveyance targets

$252

5 - Flood & Waterway package: additional proactive maintenance activities, works to improve drainage capacity and environmental health (included under options 2, 3 & 4)

$274

Rating of level of current services

We also asked what particular services you wanted to see more or less of. Results indicate that debris removal, weed control, desilting and grass cutting were most highly rated and therefore desired.

Survey results

The survey received a response rate of 2.76%, which does not constitute a representative sample but provided some insight into preferences, as follows:

Answer choices

Percent

Ranking

1 - Savings package

8%

5

2 - Proactive maintenance package

21%

2

3 - Flood protection package

19%

3

4 - Waterway improvement package

15%

4

5 - Flood AND waterway package

37%

1

While the majority of residents and businesses selected a higher level of service, there was no clear majority.

Therefore, with the agreement from the Advisory Committee, we are proposing a hybrid of Options 3 and 4 (Flood & Waterway Packages) at an average price of $252 per property, per annum.

We will submit this service and price proposal to the Essential Services Commission, where you will have further opportunity to provide comment through their consultation process.


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
  • culverts
  • 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.