We are actively listening

Tuesday 6 October, 2020

In northern Victoria, irrigated agriculture generates more than $6 billion of production value annually and directly supports more than 10,000 jobs across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District - the largest and most intensely irrigated region in Australia. Now more than ever, our community is committed to supporting regional growth. Goulburn-Murray Water’s (GMW) vision is to more efficiently manage, store and deliver water, so we can drive down costs and contribute to regional prosperity.

For the past two years - underpinned by our transformation agenda – GMW’s focus has been on strengthening partnerships with its customers through meaningful and constructive engagement. Our conversations with customers, staff, stakeholders and the local community have seen us engage  on the issues and importantly, listen to feedback that we have been able to prioritise and include in our future strategic and business planning. This is enabling some of the nation’s smartest water users to better leverage the multi-billion dollar, state-of-the art delivery system that spans northern Victoria now and for decades to come.

Right now, we are undertaking our 2020 Customer Satisfaction Survey; a key pillar of our customer engagement strategy. The survey is seeking the opinions of our customers about their interactions with GMW. A diverse pool of customers is being targeted, small, medium and large from domestic and stock users to unregulated diverters, operators on the gravity system and family-run businesses.

Customer participation in the survey is randomly selected, voluntary and responses remain anonymous. The survey is being conducted via telephone, and supported by an online survey emailed to customers as well as a small number of in-depth interviews. Through the eyes of our customers, the survey is gauging our performance, areas for improvement and priorities for the future, our service standards, as well as customer pricing impacts and customer responsiveness.

Our recent pricing submission is evidence that when we engage with our customers constructively and listen, we are able to balance business and operational needs with customer needs and expectations. To inform the pricing submission, we reached more than 10 per cent of our customer base. As part of the consultation process, we achieved significant reach through more than 1000 face-to-face conversations, 3000 online visits to Your Say on the GMW website, 1300 customer conversations, 75 Water Services Committee members, 36 customer forum participants, 18 customer workshops, three major customer events, 34 drop-in days, one service standard summit day and two pricing and tariff summit days.

Through that extensive consultation, we learnt our customers wanted a fairer deal. And that is exactly what we delivered. Since 1 July this year, most customers have received a 10 per cent drop in their fees. Primary producers, investors and the environmental water holder are paying the same fee to store water and for the upkeep of our storage assets. We have reduced the Infrastructure Access Fee and Infrastructure Use Fee for gravity irrigation customers. We have implemented uniform pricing for gravity customers and simplified service point fees to treat all meters the same way.

This year has been like no other and we anticipate coronavirus (COVID-19) will continue to challenge our personal and professional lives for months to come. But as an essential service provider, we are planning for a prosperous future. By 2050, the global population is forecast to increase by two billion people and experts say food production needs will double. This presents a huge opportunity for our region and we intend to continue engaging with customers, to ensure our services adapt to reflect their changing needs.

As part of GMW’s ongoing business transformation and continuous improvement, we are committed to delivering reliable supply, fair pricing, efficient operations, responsive services, and simple systems.

If you have already taken part in the survey or are one of our customers who has spent time engaging with GMW, we thank you for your contribution. It’s a contribution to a bright future and a prosperous region.

Managing Director
Charmaine Quick