Before inflation, a typical household’s annual water and sewerage bill will rise from the current level of $1,227 to $1,230 in 2023-24, and then remain steady until 30 June 2028.
The commission’s executive director of pricing, Marcus Crudden, said the pricing plan had focused on water quality and the environment.
“Westernport Water has outlined plans to improve water quality, invest in assets to respond to growth in its region and work to reduce its environmental impact, including accelerated plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2030,” Mr Crudden said
“It’s also proposed a working relationship with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation to strengthen cultural water values in the area.”
Westernport is one of Victoria’s smallest water businesses and services Phillip Island and surrounds.
Mr Crudden said it had prioritised affordability as a key customer outcome.
“Westernport Water has proposed increasing its use of grants and its assistance to customers to access government rebates to address affordability for customers experiencing financial difficulty,” he said.
Mr Crudden said the commission had been able to make its draft decision earlier than expected due to the quality of Westernport Water’s submission.
“We’re now inviting customers to have their say on the draft decision by lodging submissions on the Engage Victoria website or by attending a public forum, which we expect to hold in February next year,” he said.
Details of the forum will be made available on the Engage Victoria website and all feedback should be provided to the commission by 10 March 2023.
The commission’s final decision is expected to be delivered in May 2023.