Working together for a sustainable future

Tuesday 19 October, 2021

As we near the end of another year, we begin to reflect on the challenges we have faced as a community.

It has been a period unlike any in living memory; of isolation, outbreaks, events held and cancelled, schools open and closed – and the same with many workplaces.

Like many organisations, the pandemic has challenged our business, especially for our staff, with most working from home or starting their day from home for extended periods.

Impacting how we engage with farmers.

However, it is one of those rare moments in history where every single Australian and in particular our regional communities is being confronted with the same challenges; and we all want to end up in the same place – an economically viable world.

As Australia’s largest rural water corporation, we know a sustainable GMW means sustainable farming for our irrigators.

This is why we are focused on keeping prices down for you.

Water allocations look promising this season and we are committed to delivering a reliable service for our customers over the long-term.

Because of the very nature of our business, having fixed infrastructure in place incurs a significant running cost – the channel delivery network (including maintenance), renewable/upgraded channels, pipes, regulators and bridges.

As with all water corporations, providing a service to a property, regardless of water availability, costs money.

And it is a cost that has to be mostly shared by its customers because without that financial responsibility, the potential revenue shortfall flows back up the system resulting in higher costs.

Which means managing your debt needs be seen as a priority.

We are pleased to report that is how most customers manage their water costs and their support has been pivotal in helping to achieve savings during our last pricing submission.

However, that is based on the balance of our customers also taking positive steps to settle their water debt; to better protect the vast majority doing the right thing.

And to better protect GMW so we can continue to improve its delivery services for the benefit of all customers.

Clearly it is our role to work with customers and their debt position to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Our customers, and the wider community, have an expectation we will always deliver our services as efficiently as possible and act in a commercial manner, which includes managing debt exposure.

While we understand this is a challenging time for everyone, it is an opportunity for us to work together towards the same result.

And that is a fair and affordable irrigation system for a productive and sustainable region.

As such, we are committed to ensuring transparent, fair and equitable debt management principles.

Our Revenue team and Customer Experience team are working proactively behind the scenes with customers to effectively manage their debt.

We take an empathetic approach to customers’ debt and are always looking for ways to work with them to ensure payment plans are in place and achievable.

We have about 260 customers on payment plans and these plans are monitored and customers contacted if payments are missed.

We will continue to support our customers and improve access to payment plans and further understand hardship trends.

Just as we work in good faith that all our customers will take all reasonably-available measures to settle their debts – and we will work with them fairly and consistently to do so.

You can read more about GMW’s debt management approach including payment assistance and procedures at www.gmwater.com.au

Giving us all the reassurance that GMW will be in a position to deliver for our region now and into the future.