The business proposed a price increase of 5 per cent in 2020-21, followed by increases of 2 per cent in 2021-22 and 2022-23 (before inflation).
The commission’s director of pricing Marcus Crudden said South Gippsland Water argued price increases were needed to upgrade water and sewerage infrastructure, improve water security, and maintain service levels expected by customers.
“The commission has carefully assessed South Gippsland Water’s claims and our draft decision agrees price increases are needed to help fund investments in key services.
“While South Gippsland Water’s prices are currently amongst the lowest in the state, we understand the impact price rises can have on the community.
We are confident South Gippsland Water’s customer hardship programs will support those having trouble paying bills,” he said.
Mr Crudden said South Gippsland Water provided the commission with a high-quality submission clearly setting out the reasons for its proposals.
“The quality of South Gippsland Water’s price submission helped us to release our draft decision earlier than planned. We are now seeking feedback from the community on our draft decision, to inform our final decision expected in early June.”
South Gippsland Water services an area in Victoria’s south-east stretching from Wonthaggi to Devon North, including Wilsons Promontory.
The commission is inviting customers to have their say on the draft decision until 24 April via Engage Victoria. A community forum will be held on Tuesday 24 March, from 12.30 to 2.30 pm at the Wonthaggi Club, 16 McBride Avenue, Wonthaggi.
The commission is also reviewing water pricing proposals for Western Water and Goulburn-Murray Water, with draft decisions on each to be released in March.