Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the standard draft decisions released by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) as part of the 2023 Water Price Review.
Consumer Action has actively engaged throughout the 2023 price review, including through meetings with staff from the water businesses and the ESC, attendance at public forums, providing comments to media, and making written submissions.
This feedback follows on from our earlier submission in November 20221. As with our previous submission, we offer high-level observations applicable to all the standard draft decisions. Where we have identified areas of concern (or good practice that we believe should be more broadly applied) we have referred to the specific businesses concerned. Otherwise, our comments can be taken as applicable to all businesses.
Several comments are also directed to the ESC to consider as part of future reviews. This submission comments on the impact of the draft decisions on prices and customer bills, businesses’ approach to customer engagement, their proposed hardship responses, service standards and Guaranteed Service Levels, the data used to model demand, and the benefits associated with a uniform regulatory period.
More detailed comments on these issues are provided below.
Read the full submission (PDF).230505 – Draft decisions 2023-28 water price review