Farm Guide VIC : 2010 - 2011
54 Essential Services Water The Essential Ser vices Commission sets prices for the 18 water businesses that provide urban and ru ral water across Victoria. In 2007-08, the Commission approved the water pla ns of rural and urban water businesses in regional Victoria for the 2008-13 period. Further to this review, in 2010 the Commission considered proposed r ural pipeline tariffs submitted by Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater) and ru ral tariffs proposed by Goulburn-Murray Water. In addition, Coliban Water submitted to the Commission a review of its prices approved in 2008, citing uncertain or unforeseen events. Every year, the Commission releases a comparative performance report assessing the perfor mance of the urban water authorities against a range of indicators. Rail During 2009-10, the Commission conducted a review of the Victoria n rail access regime, which covers rail freight. It recommended that the rail access regime be retained for rail infrastructure services, to facilitate competition between the providers of rail freight, but the regulatory regime should be scaled back to a light-handed regime. Following its 2008-09 revew of grain handling regulation, the Commission no longer has regulatory power over the State's export grain handling terminals. An undertaking approved by the Australian Competition and Consu mer Commission (ACCC) now applies to the Portland and Geelong grain terminals. Local Government and other reviews In October 2009, the Essential Ser vices Commission was cha rged by the Victorian gover nment with the responsibility of developing a performance monitoring framework for local government in Victoria. Following a period of extensive consultation with councils, the Commission reviewed the indicators being reported by Victoria's 79 councils in their an nual reports. This review identified more than 1200 indicators in 32 ser vice categories, and proposed a set of 65 indicators in 26 council ser vice categories. A draft report released in March 2010 by the Commission recommended that the reporting obligations for local government be phased in over a two-year period beginning in January 2011. The report also discussed the opportunities to streamline and rationalise some existing reporting requirements imposed on local govern ment. In addition to local govern ment, the Commission has been cha rged with a new role in monitoring the pricing of domestic building insurance in Victoria. And in 2009-10, the Commission conducted a review of Victoria's accident towing and storage charges. Contacting the Essential Services Commission The Essential Services Commission is located at Level 2, 35 Spring Street, Melbou rne and can be contacted on (03) 9651 0222 or 1300 664 969. The Commission is always keen to hear customers' views as part of consultation processes conducted during its ongoing reviews and inquiries. Reports and publications a nd information on cur rent reviews of the ESC are available at www.esc.vic.gov.au.
2009 - 2010