Water

Changes promised for G-MW

By Geoff Adams

The changes proposed for G-MW are about being more transparent on costs, implementing efficiencies and making sure the organisation delivers the services the community wants at an affordable price, Federal Water Minister Lisa Neville says.

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 G-MW 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 G-MW can continue to deliver reliable and affordable prices for its customers, irrigators and water users into the future.

It highlights the challenges facing G-MW, which require significant change to ensure the future prosperity of the irrigation district.

The report outlines efficiencies for improving delivery of G-MW’s core business that will promote and encourage further investment in the region.

A transition panel will work with G-MW to report back to the Board and Ms Neville to ensure these recommendations are implemented by 2020.

‘‘We want to support G-MW to ensure it can meet current challenges, so it can maximise investment and grow the irrigation district to support jobs and vibrant regional communities,’’ Ms Neville said.

Asked why a panel was needed, Ms Neville said the review was asked for by the community.

‘‘We needed to come at it from another lens, to have a closer look. It has been a really useful project that has enabled us to deeply understand the challenges and opportunities and a way forward.

‘‘The board and management were in the process of some of the transformation, but what is clear is that we need to accelerate that, and this is a road map for that.’’

The report found better stakeholder communication was needed.

‘‘I have met with chairs of the water services groups and the report makes it clear that not only do we need to take the staff with us on the journey of transformation, but we need those water service committees owning these changes so we need to make those committees more strategic and more central to decision making. They are certainly up for it, according to the conversation I have just had.

‘‘They feel almost a sense of relief that we have identified the problem and we have a solution.’’

Ms Neville said the board had embraced the report’s findings and the way forward.