Yarra Valley Water – Citizens’ Jury Day 3 Vox Pops

Yarra Valley Water – Citizens’ Jury Day 3 Vox Pops


– The Citizens’ Jury is a process where we have a representative sample of the entire community that we serve and they sit in deliberation, just like a normal jury
does in a court case. Hearing evidence to recommend a solution. In this case, we’ve given
them the challenge to strike the balance
between service and price and what is fair in that regard, and they’re considering all of the issues that need to be considered,
in determining that. – I think that is a good opportunity for me to be representing
the whole community as an individual person, I think this opportunity is very rare. – I decided to become a juror because I realised in my capacity, as an engineer who has a significant role
within the water industry, that I could potentially
make a bit of a difference from a customer point of view. – I think at the moment,
we’re all grasping at the concept of
getting our heads around, trying to meet all the objectives. For Yarra Valley Water and
looking at the price structure, what we can and can’t change. – There seems to be also a challenge where people don’t seem to see eye to eye on a lot of issues and are
bringing in personal biases that I think, like myself
as well, me included, that are finding it
difficult to agree on things. The unanimous agreeances
have been hard so far. – I’ve heard so many facts and so many little pieces of information
that it has just astounded me. I have had very, very limited knowledge on water before starting this process. Even the bills. I’m a
tenant, so I’ve never seen half the cost that most
people complain about. So for me, that was quite
eye opening in itself. – The most interesting thing
I learned so far is, I get shocked by some information that I learned from the process that how many people among the
whole community that is in difficulty in paying the bills, there are 40% to 50%, I think, which is a really, really big number
from my basic understanding so, we are here to find out a way to be representing these people and then to find a way that we can get a balance between price and service to minimise the impact of the water bills. – Listening to the jurors
over the last three days, I’ve learned that
they’ve come to a realisation that there’s a lot of balance required and if you pull one lever in this whole price/service discussion, there’s another outcome somewhere else. The greatest challenge for the jurors is: breaking down all these complex issues into something that is simple, in terms of, their proposing to us, their submission to the regulator, so they’ve got to be able
to look at all of the myriad of things that are on the table and somehow, bring that together, consolidate that into some meaningful, agreed and aligned points of view.

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