Regional Forum success, report now available
More than 50 leaders and community members from around the region came together online on 25 July to help refine Barwon Water’s 2023-2028 Draft Price Submission.
Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter said the deliberative forum brought together feedback and learnings gathered over the five years of community engagement.
“It was the final step to share and check in with everyone in attendance on how we fairly balance our costs and services and the prices our customers pay during the 2023-2028 price period.”
“Over the past five years, we have been listening and responding to our customers’ suggestions and feedback about their key priorities for affordable bills, delivering safe and secure water supplies, caring for the environment and ensuring reliable and innovative services.
Check out the below video to hear more from what our customers have been saying:
“The Regional Forum was a unique and exciting opportunity to bring many voices together to help finalise our plan for the future.
“We know we can design solutions to the challenges we face on our own, but we know we get better outcomes when we work in partnership together and with our community.”
At the forum, three key dilemmas facing Barwon Water over the coming five years were presented to attendees, these included:
- Ageing infrastructure
- Growing region, changing climate
- Changing community expectations
There was strong support for a range of priorities addressing these dilemmas including, investing in water efficiency and climate-resilient water supply options, supporting catchment and river health, and improving our use of technology and data to enhance the services we provide, with close to 90% of participants comfortable with the approach outlined in the draft 2023-28 Price Submission.
Ms Slatter thanked all attendees – including Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, G21 region mayors and deputy mayors, Geelong youth deputy mayor and other young people, and community group leaders from around the region – who made valuable contributions to help influence Barwon Water’s 2023 Draft Price Submission ahead of it being submitted to the Essential Services Commission in late September.
The forum was led by an independent facilitator, who helped capture feedback while Barwon Water staff and attendees presented ideas and discussed local challenges.
Ms Slatter said she was really impressed by the range of informed feedback provided by attendees and appreciated their understanding of what Barwon Water was trying to achieve as it delivered its essential services.
“Our priority is to strengthen the economic, social, cultural and environmental prosperity of our region through the delivery of sustainable, affordable, innovative and reliable water and sewerage services.”