As the provider of essential services in water, sewerage, waterways and drainage, our revenue is set by the Essential Services Commission – Victoria’s independent regulator. Learn more about the Price Submission process, who’s been involved, and what it means for you.
Melbourne Water and the Price Submission
Melbourne Water is a statutory authority owned by the Victorian Government. We provide wholesale water and sewerage services to Melbourne's retail water businesses, and partner with councils and other organisations to deliver waterway and drainage services to the Greater Melbourne region.
The following map shows the area we service:
All water businesses in Victoria must prepare a Price Submission detailing the service standards and prices they propose for a period of up to five years. This is reviewed by the Essential Services Commission, the independent regulator, who then determines the amount of revenue we can earn over the Price Submission period.
For further details about our last Price Submission, visit melbournewater.com.au/2016-price-review
As the designated waterway and floodplain manager for Greater Melbourne, Melbourne Water must also prepare a Waterways and Drainage Investment Plan, which is included in our Price Submission. The Plan is a requirement of the Statement of Obligations issued by the Minister for Water, and details our responsibilities, goals, levels of service and programs of work for waterway management, flood management and drainage.
As a wholesale service provider, we work with Melbourne’s retail water companies to provide water and sewerage services to the community. Our costs contribute to just over half of the water and sewerage charges on your bill – as well as the entirety of the Waterways and Drainage Charge, which is a direct charge from us that the retailers collect on our behalf.
While we are still finalising our proposed expenditure program and associated costs, we understand the need to focus on affordability and our intent is to keep prices as low as possible.
Developing our 2021 Price Submission
Our draft Submission has been shaped by extensive engagement with our diverse customer groups. This includes 20 formal customer representatives from the water sector, government, the development industry and community organisations, who met more than a dozen times over a 16-month period to provide input as part of two Customer Councils we established for the Submission.
It also includes more than 260 Melburnians who took part in focus groups, workshops and panels in person and online, and nearly 4,000 residents and 385 business owners who were surveyed on their investment preferences. Participants were recruited from a mix of backgrounds (including age, gender, education and income), in order to be representative of the broader community we service.
As a provider of essential services, we strive to operate as efficiently as possible while delivering the quality services our customers and community expect. While our five-year planning period provides some flexibility to absorb such shocks, affordability has always been a focus of our Submission – and we are drawing on research and insights into the impacts of COVID-19 as we finalise our Submission.
We understand members of the community are feeling significant financial pressures right now, and that increased numbers of people are seeking bill support. We are continuing to work closely with the retail water companies and will monitor the situation.
Our 2021 Price Submission marks a significant shift in the way we engage customers in service planning and delivery. As part of our commitment to being more transparent and accountable, we are proposing to publish an annual report on performance against Customer Outcomes on our website.
We are also seeking to maintain an ongoing conversation with our customers through a forum of customer representatives. This will be used to report on our performance and ensure our priorities continue to align with customer preferences, informing our services throughout the Price Submission period.
The key proposals for our Submission can now be viewed online, and are open for final feedback via our online survey until 13 July 2020. All comments received during this feedback period will be considered alongside the range of views we have heard throughout our engagement program.
The proposals in our summary document reflect our current thinking and are still a work in progress, and further changes will be made as we continue reviewing and refining our Price Submission. Your final views are important to us as part of this process, before we finalise our Submission and lodge it with the Essential Services Commission.
We will keep the Price Submission website updated so you can continue to track our progress – follow the project to be notified when the full Submission is available. If you have further questions, please email [email protected].
Our Submission is due to the Essential Services Commission by 9 October 2020. The Commission will then commence a formal review process, including asking for public comment, and is expected to release their draft determination in early 2021. Once we have responded to this, the Commission will issue their final price determination and the new prices will come into effect on 1 July 2021.