AND THE WIN­NER IS:

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Front Page -

Leeann and Mark ‘Chad’ O’beirne of Hor­sham are look­ing for­ward to a $12,500 Greek Is­land hol­i­day next year. Mark won the hol­i­day pack­age for two in The Weekly Ad­ver­tiser and ra­dio sta­tions 3WM and MIXX FM’S Ul­ti­mate Greek Is­land Get­away com­pe­ti­tion. The cou­ple’s en­try was one of thou­sands that filled en­try boxes at par­tic­i­pat­ing busi­nesses across the re­gion. The O’beirnes will have to wait a few months be­fore em­bark­ing on their ad­ven­ture.

Most peo­ple across much of the Wim­mera, Mallee and Grampians will ex­pe­ri­ence cheaper water from the start of July.

Cor­po­ra­tion Gwmwa­ter, which pro­vides sup­ply ser­vices for much of western Vic­to­ria, has an­nounced it will pass on the re­sults of cost-sav­ing mea­sures to its cus­tomers.

It has con­firmed that an av­er­age ur­ban cus­tomer’s bill will re­duce by $30 a year, a ru­ral life­style prop­erty own­ers’ bill will drop by $13 and larger farm­ing en­ter­prises will ex­pe­ri­ence a $50 drop per 250 hectares.

Gwmwa­ter man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mark Wil­liams said water prices would then re­main ‘flat’ for the next four years, with an­nual ad­just­ments to ac­count for in­fla­tion, which now sits at 1.9 per­cent a year.

Mr Wil­liams said Gwmwa­ter staff had worked hard to iden­tify ar­eas for sav­ings that could be passed on to cus­tomers, while main­tain­ing suf­fi­cient rev­enue to fund an ex­ten­sive pro­gram of cap­i­tal works and net­work im­prove­ments.

“Dur­ing the next five years we will spend more than $85-mil­lion im­prov­ing and main­tain­ing the water and waste­water ser­vices we pro­vide to ur­ban and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties across the re­gion,” he said.

“The sav­ings come af­ter the Es­sen­tial Ser­vices Com­mis­sion con­sid­ered pric­ing pro­pos­als pro­vided as part of Gwmwa­ter’s 2018-23 Pric­ing Sub­mis­sion.

Mr Wil­liams said other key projects in a 2018-23 Pric­ing Sub­mis­sion in­cluded –

• Water-qual­ity up­grades for Kaniva, Elmhurst, Moys­ton and Ul­tima;

• In­tro­duc­tion of a waste­water scheme for Goroke;

• Ex­ten­sion of re­cre­ation water dis­counts to schools;

• In­tro­duc­ing a new guar­an­teed ser­vice level pay­ment of $100 for cus­tomers who re­ceived a drink­ing water sup­ply and were is­sued with a ‘boil water’ no­tice;

• Wa­ver­ing water-trad­ing fees for ru­ral pipe­line cus­tomers dur­ing the first quar­ter of 2018-19.

Mr Wil­liams said pay­roll tax con­ces­sions for re­gional busi­nesses, an­nounced in the Vic­to­rian bud­get, con­trib­uted to the price re­duc­tions for 2018-19.

He said Gwmwa­ter, in pre­par­ing for the pric­ing sub­mis­sion, un­der­took sig­nif­i­cant cus­tomer con­sulta- tion, in­clud­ing the formation of a 17-mem­ber in­de­pen­dent de­lib­er­a­tive panel, to iden­tify cus­tomer con­cerns and pri­or­i­ties and en­sure these were ad­dressed or met.

Gwmwa­ter’s ur­ban and ru­ral sup­ply sys­tem, boast­ing the Wim­mera­mallee Pipe­line, cov­ers a vast area and draws most of its water from its catch­ment head­works reser­voirs.

Fur­ther de­tails about the water changes are avail­able on­line at www. gwmwa­ter.org.au/news and www.esc. vic.gov.au.

Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

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