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"Ryrie HQ" officially opened

Barwon Water’s refurbished Geelong head office has opened its doors.

Minister for Water and Member for Bellarine the Hon Lisa Neville today officially opened the new headquarters in Ryrie Street, which now houses all of our Geelong-based employees under one roof.

Left to right: Barwon Water Chair Jo Plummer, Water Minister Lisa Neville, Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter

Wadawurrung Elder ‘Uncle’ Bryon Powell performed the Welcome to Country ceremony, including a traditional indigenous smoking ceremony, as part of the official proceedings. 

The $32 million project saw the former building, last updated in 1977, gutted and refurbished. About 100 jobs, many of them local, were created during construction.

The building, internally referred to as “Ryrie HQ”, has a 5-star Green Star rating, making it one of Geelong’s greenest businesses. Much of the building’s original concrete and steel building structure was retained, saving more than a million kilograms of CO2 emissions by minimising the use of new materials. Additionally, 80% of material removed from the site was recycled.

The modern design features a glass-walled infill connecting the north and south sections, innovative sun-shading façade, stormwater-irrigated rain garden, roof-top terrace, community café and open-plan layout accommodating up to 350 staff.

The project has helped revitalise Ryrie Street, and provides a new connection to Little Malop Street, linking with the arts and culture hotspot.

The refurbishment will nearly halve maintenance, operational and energy costs. The project is price-neutral, with these savings and consolidation of surplus buildings funding the work. Barwon Water customer bills have not been affected.

Barwon Water acknowledges the Wadawurrung people as the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land on which the new building stands. We pay respect to Elders, past and present.

  Minister for Water media release: Barwon Water opens five-star green office 

  More photos from the official opening on our Facebook page. Follow us to stay informed!

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Forrest wastewater project announced

Barwon Water and Colac Otway Shire Council will partner with the Forrest community to investigate opportunities for wastewater improvements in the town.

The strategic partnership was confirmed at a meeting with representatives of the Forrest Wastewater Group with Barwon Water and Council agreeing to allocate resources and funding for the investigation.

The commitment acknowledges the growing role tourism plays in Forrest and the local economy, and the increasing stress this might place on existing wastewater treatment systems.

The project is a great example of a collaborative process supporting the prosperity, health and liveability of the region.

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Enabling regional prosperity

Today, Barwon Water released Strategy 2030, marking the start of a paradigm shift from a utility provider towards an enabler of regional prosperity. 

Strategy 2030 builds on our proud history, and contributes more to our customers, community and region.

Barwon Water has more than 110 years’ experience in providing excellence in water and sewerage services and infrastructure. This is what we do, and we will continue to do it well.

But we are shifting our focus. Our water and sewerage services underpin economic, social and environmental dimensions of regional prosperity. With a new vision and mission, we’re moving from a utility service provider to a regional enabler.

Strategy 2030 promises to deliver through a diverse and high-performing workforce, creating common ground for strategic partnerships, a more entrepreneurial approach to commercial opportunities, and a commitment to zero waste and zero emissions.

  Strategy 2030: Enabling regional prosperity

  Strategy 2030 (PDF 3.9 MB)


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Painkalac Reservoir community open day

Painkalac Reservoir is now open to the public.

You're invited to an open day to mark the opening of the Painkalac Reservoir for recreational use.


1.30  — 4.30 pm,

Saturday 22 April 2017


Painkalac Reservoir, Moggs Creek

Meet at the Distillery Creek picnic area off Bambra Road

 Google map

Painkalac Reservoir, located north of Moggs Creek, formerly supplied water to the nearby townships of Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven. With these towns now connected to the diverse and secure greater Geelong water supply network, Painkalac Reservoir has been opened to the public for walking, riding, bushwalking, bird watching, picknicking and recreational fishing.

Join us to explore the reservoir and learn about the facilities.

We will meet at the Distillery Creek picnic area off Bambra Road at 1.30 pm for a 1.45 pm walk in. The walk to the reservoir is approximately three kilometres and is expected to take about 45 minutes. We will also be running a mini-bus.

To register your interest and assist us with catering, please contact 1300 656 007 or email.

Please note: as the reservoir is surrounded by the Great Otway National Park, dogs are not allowed.

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Queenscliff / Point Lonsdale water main re-alignment

Customers in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale will experience reduced water pressure during work to re-align the water main supplying these towns.

The water main will be turned off for approximately 36 hours during the week beginning Monday 1 May 2017. The exact timing is weather-dependent, although we will try to complete the works early in the week and as quickly as possible.

During this time, we will connect affected customers to an alternative water supply. This will result in lower water pressure. We realise this work impacts our community, and we’re committed to working with all affected customers to minimise the inconvenience.

The re-alignment is a result of roadworks associated with constructing an entrance to The Point development from the Bellarine Highway.

For more details, please refer to the Queenscliff / Point Lonsdale water main re-alignment project page

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Solar contract awarded

Our first solar energy project is a step closer with the contract to design and build a megawatt-rated solar farm at the Black Rock environmental precinct awarded to Beon Energy Solutions.

The 2,880-panel solar array will feed renewable energy directly to the water reclamation plant — our most power-hungry asset.

The project will generate around 1,300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity  sufficient to power
about 300 homes  and save around 1,500 tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually. The solar farm will mean about 13% of the treatment plant’s electricity is supplied from a renewable source. We are aiming to power our sites with 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

The solar project will save more than $130,000 in annual operating costs; more if grid electricity prices rise. The project is expected to pay for itself within 11 years.

With completion expected by December 2017, it is on-track be the first megawatt-scale solar farm in southern Victoria.

  Media release: Solar project contract awarded (23 March 2017)

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Board positions 2017: Expressions of interest

Have you considered being on a Victorian water corporation board?

The Victorian Government is committed to community engagement and increasing diversity in water sector leadership. This will encourage new ideas and ensure we best reflect our diverse communities.

With the terms of 89 existing water corporation directors, including seven chairpersons, expiring on 30 September 2017, the Minister for Water, the Hon Lisa Neville MP, is inviting expressions of interest in these positions.

If you have experience in one or more of the following disciplines, you should consider contributing your skills on a water corporation board:

  • financial and commercial management
  • community engagement
  • land and water management
  • climate change
  • strategy and business management
  • infrastructure and project management
  • corporate governance

Applicants are required to apply online via the Get on Board website. Here you will find further information regarding the recruitment process, the roles and information on the Victorian water sector.

Applicants with further enquiries or those with difficulties in accessing the documents should contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Applications close Monday 3 April 2017.

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Community panel convened

Ever wondered how Barwon Water sets prices for water and sewerage services?

This weekend provides a chance to understand the process, with the corporation inviting customers and the wider community to register as observers as a Community Panel meets to help shape future water prices.

Convened as part of Barwon Water’s 2018 Pricing Submission process, the panel of 30 randomly selected customers will come together on Saturday and Sunday to consider the questions: “what do you value most about your water and sewerage services and what do you expect in the future”.

The 2018 Price Submission will provide the basis for the Essential Services Commission to set the maximum prices that can be charged for the five-year regulatory period commencing 1 July 2018.

Following this weekend’s meeting, the panel would come together for a final session to prepare a report for the Barwon Water Board containing its recommendations on prices.

Observers are welcome at Saturday and Sundays panel meetings. If you’re interested, please register online.

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Parkland proposal for historic aqueduct

We are planning to open up 66 hectares of public parkland around the historic aqueduct in Breakwater.

The plan was revealed today by Parliamentary Secretary for Water Anthony Carbines on behalf of the Victorian Government.

Parliamentary Secretary for Water Anthony Carbines and Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter at the aqueduct site.

Under the proposed plan, the majority of the heritage-listed ovoid aqueduct will be retained, with some spans removed to allow safe access from land and water.

The proposal would unlock the environmental and recreational values of the Barwon River, while preserving an important part of Geelong’s history.

The 756-metre long aqueduct was commissioned in 1916 and provided the means for Geelong’s first main outfall sewer pipe to cross over the Barwon River on its way to Bass Strait. It was decommissioned in 1992 when a new sewer line was built under the river.

Access under the structure – on land and water – has been prohibited since 1995 due to the risk of falling concrete.

The parkland proposal also provides for walking tracks, viewing platforms, signage and seating on the north side of the river.

We have been working closely with the Barwon River Parklands Steering Committee, Heritage Victoria and other agencies, and we’re now seeking feedback from the broader community.

  Your say: Aqueduct Park proposal

  Victorian Government media release: Parkland proposal For Geelong’s historic aqueduct

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New Managing Director begins

Barwon Water has welcomed Tracey Slatter as new Managing Director.

Tracey was appointed to the role in October 2016 and began official duties on Monday 16 January 2017.

A highly qualified senior executive, Tracey has more than 20 year’s experience in local government and the public service.

Most recently, Tracey was Chief Executive Officer at the City of Port Phillip. She is delighted to return to the region, having lived and worked previously as Chief Executive Officer at Colac Otway Shire and Head of Claims at the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

Tracey’s priorities include customer affordability and customer service with a growing focus on climate change, regional growth, liveability, environmental stewardship, community engagement and workplace diversity.

  Media release: new Managing Director begins

  Management and Board

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