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Greater Western Water: a new era

On 1 July 2021, Western Water and City West Water will integrate to form a new water corporation - Greater Western Water.

This is a new era for the delivery of water services across our fast-growing region.

Over the next 30 years, our customer base is expected to double.   In the last two years more than 13,000 new customer accounts have been opened with Western Water.  City West Water has also experienced significant customer growth.

This shared rapid growth has meant we have needed to look at new ways of doing things to ensure water supply security, affordable services and exceptional customer experience well into the future.

Both organisations have worked closely with the Victorian Government to make the decision to form a new water corporation in the interests of all Western Water and City West Water customers.

This is the best decision

We have worked together to find the best solution, which will lead to better servicing and bill stability for our growing customer base.

Our new name will be Greater Western Water.

Though our name will change from July next year, our focus on delivering the best customer experiences and high quality, affordable services to you will remain.

The taste of your water will remain the same and we will still be treating your waste water.

We’ll look forward to carrying on our proud traditions and creating new opportunities to partner in community life.

More information and next steps.

We now begin the work to bring Western Water and City West Water together. We’ll keep you up-to-date and involved in this over the coming months. 

Here’s a range of questions and answers about the integration to Greater Western Water and what this means for you:

Will customers have a say? Why didn’t customers (the community) get to have a say?

As the decision to integrate WW and CWW has already been determined, customers did not have a say in the selection of the preferred option of integration. Rather, the decision to integrate was informed by the advice of an independent consultant and through workings with water corporation and DELWP. A guiding principle of the decision was the customer’s best interest to ensure affordable and reliable service delivery for Melbourne’s outer west region.

Moving forward, the Joint Transition Committee (JTC) is expected to engage with key stakeholders, which includes customers and the broader community, to ensure they help ‘shape’ the look and feel of the newly integrated entity

What will happen to the City West Water and Western Water brands?

Both brands will remain in use until 30 June 2021. After this date, we will transition to a single name and brand - Greater Western Water.

Are water costs likely to rise?

The Victorian Government is committed to ensuring Victoria has sustainable, reliable and affordable water services now and into the future.

Through the integration of our organisations, we’ll be able to maintain the reliable, efficient, affordable water services that are so important to customers and community in the region.

Households in the fast-growing outer west of Melbourne will be better off following the integration of Western Water and City West Water, which will maintain bill stability — at a time when many household incomes are under pressure due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Victorian economy — and will see average bills reduced for our customers in the future.

This integration is a positive step forward for the region in servicing the needs of one of the state’s fastest growing areas. 

We’ll continue to work with the Victorian Government to ensure we best meet the needs of customers across the region now and into the future.

Will fees for permits rise?

We are committed to providing the best customer experiences and affordable services to our customers.

We’re working on a detailed plan to integrate the corporations, and will keep our people, customers and the community informed and engaged throughout the process, including any changes to fees. 

What about the community sponsorships and partnerships in place with each organisation?

Sponsorships and community partnership programs will continue as they do now. Community is at the heart of both corporations’ strategies and building on connections to community will be essential to the success of the new water corporation.

We’re working on a detailed plan to integrate the corporations, and will keep our people, customers and the community informed and engaged throughout the process.

What will happen to the current Western Water and City West offices?

The new organisation, Greater Western Water, will continue to manage sites across the existing Western Water (WW) and City West Water (CWW) regions. The Sunbury office and Footscray offices of both organisations will remain - along with all depots - in line with current coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines.

There will be strong representation from both entities in the newly integrated water corporation and at both offices.

What will happen to existing water services and works in progress?

Your water will continue to taste the same and come from the same source.

All services and works will continue as they do now. We are committed to providing the best customer experiences and affordable services to our customers.  

What is going to happen next?

We’re working through a detailed plan to integrate the organisations and will keep our people informed and engaged throughout the process.

This includes a thorough review of work programs, systems and processes as well as organisational structures between WW and CWW which will be undertaken to ensure a smooth transition to an integrated entity.

The work of bringing our two organisations together as Greater Western Water will be overseen by a Joint Transition Committee (JTC) with support from DELWP.

The JTC will have members from both City West Water and Western Water Boards and will have an independent Chair.

A project team has been formed with representatives from both CWW and WW to manage the integration process.  

Who is the integration between?

Western Region Water Corporation (WW) and City West Water Corporation (CWW) are two government owned water utilities that operate in Melbourne’s west and surrounding communities.  The two corporations will be integrated to support efficient, affordable and sustainable services, securing the economic future of the region as well as the quality of service to customers. 

Why is the integration happening?

Melbourne’s west is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions with sustained annual population growth rates of 3-4% per year, and over the next 30 years the region’s population is expected to double. This population and economic growth pose significant challenges for the provision of affordable and secure water supplies and wastewater services for customers. 

CWW and WW have worked closely together for many years to provide infrastructure and water resource solutions for their shared growing region. The integration will see greater opportunities for integrated water management and least cost infrastructure planning for Melbourne’s outer west.

The integration of WW and CWW secures affordable and equitable access to water services for customers. This is particularly vital for vulnerable customers.

Water corporations must maintain their financial viability to:

  • secure the delivery of infrastructure for growth in the metropolitan area and in regions,
  • provide financial support to customers via hardship programs, and
  • maintain investment programs.

What is involved in the next phase?

A thorough review of work programs, systems and processes between CWW and WW will be undertaken to ensure a smooth transition to an integrated entity.

The work of bringing our two organisations together as Greater Western Water will be overseen by a Joint Transition Committee (JTC) with support from DELWP.

The JTC will have members from both City West Water and Western Water Boards and will have an independent Chair.

A project team has been formed with representatives from both WW and CWW to manage the integration process.

When will the integration take place?

The integration will formally take place on 1 July 2021.

Prior to 1 July 2021 the two corporations will be working together to progressively align their systems and processes.   This will ensure a seamless customer experience with services to businesses and households continuing as normal.

Who is City West Water?

City West Water is a statutory water authority incorporated under the Water Act 1989. It is one of three retail water corporations in metropolitan Melbourne owned by the State of Victoria. Its core business is the supply of water, sewerage, trade waste and, where available, recycled water services to customers in accordance with our Customer Charter.

CWW service approximately 431,600 residential properties, 41,600 non-residential properties (which include schools, councils, industrial, commercial and small businesses) and more than 1.1 million customers. CWW manage $1.9 billion of infrastructure across a service area of more than 700km2.

Who is Western Water?

Established under the Water Act 1989, Western Region Water Corporation (trading as Western Water) is one of Victoria’s 13 regional urban water corporations.  Western Water provides water, recycled water and sewerage services in Bacchus Marsh, Melton, Sunbury, the Macedon Ranges and surrounds. In 2019/20, Western Water provided water, sewerage and recycled water services to 77,487 serviced properties across a region of 3,000 square kilometres to the north-west of Melbourne.

Are water services and water provision to customers in Melbourne’s West in trouble?

No, there is no risk to water quality or services. The significant challenges facing the water industry in the outer west region include water security, population growth and climate change. The integration of the two agencies will help position the industry to better respond to these challenges. 

Has there been mismanagement to cause this integration?

No. CWW and WW operate efficiently and are customer-focused water businesses. This is a prudent and strategic response to forecast changes in Melbourne’s population and economic growth.  The integration has the full backing of the boards of both CWW and WW.

Will employees lose their job?

With another 100,000 customers forecast over the next ten years, we anticipate overall job numbers will grow and Greater Western Water will have an ambition to be recognised as an employer of choice.

The new entity will retain all staff from WW and CWW. Staff will have the opportunity to take up a role within the new organisation on terms and conditions no less favourable than their current terms and conditions.

As we combine the two organisations, we will naturally transition from two leadership teams to one leadership team – one Board and one Management team - guiding the new entity.

Where will the new entity be?

The new organisation will continue to manage sites across the existing City West Water (CWW) and Western Water (WW) regions. We’ll keep a strong regional presence through the retention of the Footscray and Sunbury offices and all depots and offices of CWW and WW - in line with current coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines.

Further, the newly integrated entity is expected to increase opportunities for staff to work closer to home - across the Sunbury and Footscray offices and depots, depending on where they live and their circumstances.

The Victorian Government will commit $500,000 of funding towards upgrades to the Sunbury office, focused on creating a COVID-safe Greater Western Water Hub to support the growing region.

And there will be strong representation from both entities in the newly integrated water corporation and at both offices.

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