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The Victorian Government supports Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) as it navigates the challenges of reduced water availability, climate change, National Water Initiative obligations, a changing customer base and irrigation infrastructure upgrades.

The Victorian and Australian Governments have invested more than $2 billion to modernise GMW’s infrastructure and build a sustainable future for productive agriculture and communities in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID).

In October 2017, the Minister for Water announced the establishment of a Strategic Advisory Panel to support GMW and make recommendations to respond to these challenges.

The Minister received the panel’s independent report in January 2018. This made 30 recommendations for GMW to transform its core business over the short, medium and long term, along with 2 recommendations for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The recommendations were to be put into action from 2018 to 2020.

Overview of Strategic Advisory Panel recommendations

The panel’s recommendations for GMW cover 5 areas to:

  • Improve financial sustainability
  • Transform GMW’s business
  • Improve asset management
  • Improve customer and stakeholder engagement
  • Improve how GMW delivers, including a review of its business functions and development of a reporting framework across the organisation.

The recommendations for DELWP cover 2 areas to:

  • Reflect GMW’s transformation outcomes in the Minister’s Letter of Expectations to outline performance improvement in priority policy areas.
  • Make sure the Strategic Advisory Panel’s recommendations about delivery share inform the Victorian Government’s delivery share review.

Auditing Progress

In February 2021, Ernst and Young’s audit of the implementation of the Strategic Advisory Panel’s recommendations confirms that all 30 recommendations have been addressed.

  • 25 of the 30 recommendations are complete.
  • Five are embedded as part of GMW’s ongoing business practices and will inform key GMW organisational strategies.

Progress on delivering these actions will be reflected in the Corporate Plan.

The 2 recommendations for DELWP were completed in 2018.

Key highlights

Significant GMW cost savings

Improvement in GMW’s financial position through a review of its capital and operational expenditure requirements.

GMW achieved beyond the Strategic Advisory Panel’s recommendations for GMW’s financial sustainability.

More affordable customer services

Reduced water prices for most of GMW’s 21,000 customers who are mainly irrigators.

Fixed charges reduced by 10% on average in 2020-21 and almost 1% for the next 3 years.

Channel-by-channel assessment

Combined all 5,870 kilometres of GMW’s channel and pipe network to inform part of a single database, adding advanced data to inform GMW’s medium and long-term investment decisions.

Page last updated: 08/09/23