In February 2017, the Minister wrote to all 19 Victorian water corporations to outline performance expectations for the 2017-18 business planning year, taking the opportunity to communicate the government's priorities for the water sector with a Letter of Expectations (LOE).
The LOE outlines seven priority policy areas that the Minister expects the water corporations to focus attention on during the 2017-18 planning year for performance improvement.
Minister's seven priority areas
Water for Victoria positions the water sector to play a key role in supporting broader government plan for climate change adaptation and to reduce carbon emissions. This will require water corporations to continue to work towards minimising their impact on the environment, including prompt action to reduce carbon emissions and to plan to adapt to a future of warmer temperatures and reduced rainfall. Water corporations will be required to achieve net-zero carbon emissions via the government’s pledge process with specified targets and plans to achieve it.
Water corporations will communicate and engage effectively and transparently with customers and local community.
Water corporations will better recognise and manage Aboriginal values by:
- committing to include these values in water planning,
- generating economic opportunities through supporting access to water, and
- increasing Aboriginal participation in water management.
Water corporations will commit to strengthening community engagement efforts to consider shared benefits, including recreational benefits of water, in planning and management decisions.
Water corporations will commit to developing, delivering and participating in projects with liveability benefits. Liveability also includes the dimensions of affordability and support for vulnerable customers. Water corporations are therefore, expected to develop a 2018-19 price submission that will maintain downward pressure on prices and water bills, whilst managing an efficient and compliant business.
Water corporations will develop strategies and goals that will increase both gender equity and Aboriginal inclusion, participation and engagement.
Water corporations will continue to focus on efficiency and innovation in order to improve water services delivery while maintaining downward pressure on costs.