THE State Government is implementing recommendations from an advisory panel, aiming to keep prices low for customers and irrigators and to support the future growth of the irrigation district across northern Victoria.
In October last year, Water Minister Lisa Neville announced a strategic advisory panel to review the operations of GMW and from these findings, a report and recommendations has been produced.
The recommendations, which will be implemented by 2020, include:
■Creating a simplified business structure for better community transparency
■A transformation panel will be appointed to drive the changes necessary
■Reducing operating and capital costs to ensure prices remain affordable
■Better managing and utilising GMW assets into the future and delivery of capital projects
■A new customer engagement program to improve customer and stakeholder trust, and performance management
■Developing a more transparent reporting framework to explain costs, financial performance and project updates to customers and the board
The key finding of the report is that financial savings are needed to ensure GMW can continue to deliver reliable and affordable prices for its customers, irrigators and water users into the future.
It highlights the challenges facing GMW, which require significant change to ensure the future prosperity of the irrigation district. The report outlines efficiencies for improving delivery of GMW’s core business which will promote and encourage further investment in the region.
Two billion dollars has been invested in the Connections Project to modernise infrastructure in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID), which generates $11.6 billion in agricultural production to the economy each year.
A transition panel will work with GMW to report back to the board and the minister to ensure these recommendations are implemented by 2020.