We have introduced an obligation on water businesses to report to us on breaches of our Water Industry Standards.
Reporting obligation introduced in the Water Industry Standards
Draft Decision20 November 2023
Submissions close20 December 2023
Final Decision20 February 2024
New standards to come into effect1 April 2024
We have updated our urban and rural Water Industry Standards to strengthen our reporting framework.
These updates provide clarity to water businesses on our expectations in relation to self-reporting and strengthen the family violence protections for customers. They are part of a series of measures the commission will put in place to provide consistency in how water businesses interpret their compliance obligations and to ensure timely remediation of customer issues.
The updated Water Industry Standards will apply from 1 April 2024.
Key amendments include:
- an obligation on water businesses to report to us in a timely manner when they identify an actual or potential non-compliance in relation to the Water Industry Standards.
- amending the current family violence clause to make it clear that a water business must take action to assist customers affected by family violence, in addition to having a family violence policy.
Read our final decision paper
This paper sets out our final decision to update the Water Industry Standards.
New Water Industry Standards (to commence on 1 April 2024)
The Water Industry Standards set out the minimum standards that water businesses must meet for key aspects of customer service including billing, payment difficulty support, and limits on debt collection.
The new standards apply from 1 April 2024.
How we engaged and what we heard
We received eight submissions from Victorian water businesses, which are available in the Resources tab.
Submissions were supportive of the intention of the proposed amendments and additions to the Water Industry Standards, and most were supportive of the specific approach we proposed taking with the self-reporting obligation, and with the updates to the family violence obligations.
We consider all submissions and feedback in making our final decision.
Proposal to amend the Water Industry Standards
Draft Water Industry Standards
Submissions on our draft decision
We received eight submissions from water businesses, which were generally supportive of our proposed amendments.
Stakeholder submissions commented on the following areas:
- the definition of 'material adverse impact'
- what would constitute a potential non-compliance
- the implementation period.