Meet our panel

We asked some of our panel members to share their experience.
  • Samantha

    “Coliban Water has gone through an extensive pricing process that considers both the significant issues regarding water in our region, and is as fair to the many people who live and work here. As a community panel member I have been very impressed by the integrity of the organisation, and their genuine enthusiasm for safeguarding this most precious resource."

  • Don

    “The community pricing submission program was a comprehensive learning and discussion process. After four long days of education and deliberation I think the

    recommended pricing submission is fair and reasonable for both Coliban Water and its customers."

  • Jane

    “Whilst no one likes a price rise, I believe the submission is fair to present and future customers. We must take responsibility for the cost of investment today whilst also planning for the future. Recognition of hardship was also strongly supported by the panel and I commend Coliban Water for doubling the budget to support those experiencing hardship.

  • Diana

    “As a Member of the Community Panel to tackle the regions water challenges Coliban Water pricing submission acknowledges future uncertainty including climate change, strong population growth and ageing infrastructure. The region requires an adaptive and flexible approach to future planning and implementation to ensure constant supply of clean safe water."

  • Graeme

    “The Community Panel Members sought to recommend measures to Coliban Water that would achieve the difficult task of balancing prices to its customers, now and into the future.

    Coliban's main challenge is to replace, repair and upgrade the pipes etc which bring water to its customers, and take away the waste water. Some of these items are more than 100 years old. The challenge is to have customers fund them over the years in which they provide services to the community."


The Community Panel has deliberated over four full days and all of these sessions were held online. A summary of what occurred at each panel day is listed below.

Meet & Greet session - Wednesday 9 February 2022.

This was the first opportunity for the panel to get together.

The session focused on the Community Panel familiarising themselves with the deliberative process, what the task and challenge is, as well as getting to know each other and the key staff from Coliban Water and MosaicLab.

Our Managing Director, Damian Wells, welcomed the panel and highlighted some of the key challenges. The panel was also introduced to the resources that are available to assist them as they move through the process.

The session finished by checking how the panel members felt about the day, and what the next steps are.

Panel Day 1 - Saturday 12 February 2022.

The day commenced with an amazing online Welcome to Country by a representative from Dja Dja Wurrung.

There was then some work done on critical thinking, and our Board Chairperson, Bob Cameron, welcomed the panel. The panel was then provided with an overview of the pricing submission process and got an opportunity to ask questions of key Coliban Water staff.

The main activity of the day was a speed dialogue session where the panel was placed into small groups and had an opportunity to speak to eight internal and external subject matter experts on – intergenerational debt, community contributions and liveability, water security and customers experiencing vulnerability.

The panel then shared insights and made some decisions about what additional information they want for the next session. Some key speakers were identified, and we approached them on behalf of the panel to speak at the next session.

Panel Day 2 - Saturday 26 February 2022.

The day commenced with the panel recapping what they had heard and discussed on day 1, and what the format for day 2 would be.

In the morning session the panel were able to hear from the eight speakers they had nominated at the end of day 1. This was done in small groups where panelists spent time listening and asking questions to each speaker.

In the afternoon Coliban Water representatives were able to discuss some of the dilemmas and tradeoffs when trying to make things fair for everyone. There was also a question and answer session with the panel so that they could get a deeper understanding of these challenges.

The panel then spent the rest of the day starting to workshop ideas and themes that will help to form their recommendations.

Panel Day 3 - Saturday 5 March 2022.

The day commenced with the panel recapping the key ideas and themes identified at the end of day 2.

In the morning session they used most of their time to discuss and draft recommendations using the four key themes.

In the afternoon session the panel worked in small groups to provide feedback on and draft recommendations created in the morning session. The feedback was used to further refine the draft recommendations.

At the end of the day each panel members participated in a survey to help identify which draft recommendations still need the most work.

Draft recommendations were provided to Coliban Water, and they will provide feedback to the panel about these at the next panel day.

Panel Day 4 - Saturday 19 March 2022.

The day commenced with the panel revisiting the draft recommendations provided at the end of day 3.

During the morning, Coliban Water responded to the panel recommendations which covered how they interpret each recommendation, and how they would use it. This was followed by a Q&A session so that the panel could get further information from Coliban Water before finalising their recommendations.

In the early afternoon the panel worked through and refined all of the recommendations one by one. They combined some recommendations that had similar themes or outcomes.

Towards the end of the day the final recommendations were formally presented to our Board Chairperson, Bob Cameron. The panel were thanked by both Bob and our Managing Director, Damian Wells.

In closing, all participants were given an opportunity to give their thoughts on their experience throughout the process and how they felt about it.

Coliban Water will respond to the panel in person on 18 June 2022 to give details of how the recommendations will be used as part of the pricing submission.