G-MW to slash prices

By Geoff Adams

Goulburn-Murray Water is proposing to cut most water charges to irrigators as a result of taking $19 million in costs out of the business.

The water corporation has outlined proposed cuts in a pricing submission being prepared for the Essential Services Commission.

G-MW has been under pressure to cut costs following modernisation of its infrastructure and a declining throughput of water due to the transfer of water to the environment.

Most irrigators should see lower bills next year if the changes go through, according to the corporation.

The changes include simplifying accounts, scrapping the distinction between entitlement storage fee users so that all water users pay the same price, and introducing uniform charges for infrastructure access fees across all districts.

G-MW has raised the issue of the environment not paying its share of delivery fees, but has stopped short of going to the ESC with a definite change.

The corporation has concluded discussions with irrigator customers who have told them they want cheaper water, reliable supply, the right flow rates, simplified billing and more efficient operations.

Most G-MW customers can expect to see reductions in their bills from next July as G-MW seeks final feedback on its Pricing Submission, which will determine its fees and charges from 2020 to 2024.

G-MW is proposing a revenue requirement of $443 million, compared to the previous water plan which needed $504 million.

G-MW managing director Charmaine Quick said the bottom line represented a 12 per cent reduction in real terms, pending ESC approval of the pricing submission.

“At a time when input costs, including the temporary price of water, are rising for many of our customers, we intend to reduce what we charge,” Ms Quick said.

The changes proposed to G-MW fees and charges are detailed in a submission summary — A fairer deal for all — now being made available to customers.

Feedback on A fairer deal for all is now being sought from customers until 9am on Monday, November 4. After consideration of this feedback, the final Pricing Submission will be presented to the ESC with a decision expected by June, 2020.

A fairer deal for all is available at and over the counter at G-MW customer service centres. Customers can also call G-MW on 1800 013 357 for a copy to be emailed or mailed.