3D) Ongoing opportunities to express preferences and expectations - through a range of culturally-embedded engagement processes

About this project

In the past, water utilities have focused mainly on telling customers what they were delivering – now, we want to engage with you at every stage of the decision-making process to help us prioritise, plan and deliver. We’re working to embed this approach across our organisation - to ensure you are continually heard, that concerns are addressed, considered and understood, and that you can provide your thoughts, and at times, be empowered to make binding decisions.

Actions to date

It’s been a busy year for both our Annual Performance Forum (APF) and Carbon Customer Advisory Group (CCAG) members. We engaged online with many of our APF customers in 2021, running three sessions to help inform the Urban Water Strategy update - a 50-year plan to deliver a secure water supply to the towns we service.
We ran an in-depth deliberative forum during March-May to help build our next pricing submission through a combination of five online and in-person sessions. Many of our APF members were part of the forum and we recruited new members to the group. We held our usual APF online again at the end of May.
We also met online and in-person with our Carbon Customer Advisory Group - we ran two online sessions in November and toured the Shepparton Wastewater Management Facility in June, continuing to discuss continuing to discuss carbon emissions priorities and project.
The annual Customer Satisfaction Survey 2021 results show 98% are satisfied overall with GVW. Along with 6 other regional water authorities, we again participated in a survey on customer perception - we continued to perform strongly, with customers trusting us and believing we offer value for money.
As well focused engagement with our APF to inform our next pricing submission, we heard from more than 1200 customers on what services they were willing to pay for and why. This feedback underpinned the deliberative forum discussions. We were keen to get out and about with customers and community, but were again limited by COVID-19 in the later half of 2021 and start of 2022. We were not able to run the water cafes we would have liked but are certainly more practiced at delivering engagement activities online and we know that both online and in-person events suit different customer situations.

What's next?

Our engagement schedule will be full in July and August in the lead up to our pricing submission in September, as we continue to engage with customers, stakeholders and businesses to check that what we submit reflects the services they value. After a short rest we will be back into our usual water cafe delivery, seeking feedback and supporting communities across our service area.
As we go into the fourth year of our current price plan, we will continue to seek feedback on our performance, including non-potable supply, and emerging water supply and treatment issues. We are still looking for new ways to engage with our CALD communities, as well as future customers.

Our accountability for this project

The APF will review our progress against the delivery of price plan outcomes and recommend improvements where needed.

For this information in PDF form, click here to download the factsheet (PDF: 150KB)