Changes to customer service codes for water businesses were part of our response to one of 227 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Customer service code review 2017 (Royal Commission into Family Violence)
In response to recommendations from Victoria's Royal Commission into Family Violence, we amended our water customer service codes to require water businesses to provide assistance to customers and staff experiencing family violence.
Family violence resources
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In 2019 we plan to conduct research to find out if these policies have contributed to the well-being and safety of water customers affected by family violence. This research aims help us understand the effectiveness of the implementation of the code changes and inform our future work.
Read more about the water customer code survey on family violence updates.
Read our guiding paper for water businesses
To inform the approach a water business might take to meet these new family violence requirements we have developed; Moving towards better practice—implementing family violence policies in the Victorian water sector. This paper includes examples of policies and family violence measures, case studies, referrals and other resources.and developed material to guide water businesses in better practice approaches to family violence assistance.
This work was the result of collaboration with representatives from water businesses, community agencies, industry associations and other organisations involved in the utility sector.
While the guiding material has been prepared for the Victorian water industry, we believe it can serve as a useful resource for other service providers.
We will continue to work with the water sector and community organisations to implement the family violence provisions in the customer service codes. This will include facilitating workshops on better practice approaches to family violence, as well as updating our guiding material.
Working collaboratively to implement change
Our pioneering work with the Victorian water sector, required family violence policies and training to be fully implemented across Victorian water businesses from 1 July 2018.
During that project, we worked with family violence specialists to learn about the latest developments and partnered with water businesses to identify principles for effective family violence policies and process for the sector.
“Working with the ESC and their guidance has been an incredible opportunity for each of us to learn, grow and move forward on our journeys toward supporting the many thousands of Australians impacted by Family Violence in our communities and organisations.”
David Ryan, Managing Director City West Water
"We recognise that family violence is a problem shared by the whole community and we all have a shared responsibility to do something about it. The collaboration led by the ESC represented an Australian first that has created step change in the way the Victorian Water Industry supports those impacted by family violence."
Pat McCafferty, Managing Director, Yarra Valley Water
Read our chairperson Ron Ben David's speech from the family violence conference on 30 August, or watch his speech, below, to City West Water’s family violence conference, Moving from Awareness to Action, in May.
At that event, we invited family violence expert Lisa McAdams to speak on the importance of corporate sector involvement in addressing family violence.