Wannon Water commits to supporting a financially inclusive community

21 June 2017

Wannon Water is one of 30 organisations across Australia committed to supporting those in need by developing a Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP).

The FIAP program, led by Good Shepherd Microfinance on behalf of the Australian Government, was launched last November in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact (UNSW) and EY. Initially starting with 12 “trailblazer” organisations, the program has now expanded and Wannon Water is one of 18 new “trailblazers” to sign up.

Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said Wannon Water was proud to join other organisations that are working towards measurable actions to create a more financially inclusive community.

“Wannon Water’s involvement is significant given the size of our organisation and our location in a regional area. We’re joining other much larger trailblazers in the program such as the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ, NAB, the Queensland Government, AGL, Energy Australia, Origin Energy and Swinburne University of Technology,” Mr Jeffers said.

“We’ve made this commitment because the FIAP program has important links to our corporate vision of going beyond water for strong communities.

“As a regional urban water corporation, we are proud of our strong business foundations, providing secure, safe and affordable water and sewerage services that are highly valued by our customers.

“In the past 12 months we have focussed beyond these core responsibilities to strategically partner with other organisations and consider the wellbeing and prosperity of our region as a whole,” Mr Jeffers said.

General Manager Corporate and Community Services Kellie King said Wannon Water recognised that financial stress and exclusion has many root causes and its impact can be profound.

“It places people and families at risk of poverty, vulnerability to predatory lending practices and poor social, emotional and health outcomes,” Ms King said.

In the 2015/16 financial year, Wannon Water financially supported more than 500 customers and provided allowances and rebates of more than $172,000 through programs such as the customer hardship program, flexible payment plans and financial assistance incentives.

Wannon Water’s FIAP will also have measures in place to assist its suppliers, employees and the broader community.

“Our commitment to the FIAP program is the next step in shaping new initiatives to support those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. Our aim is to help them to transition to a more stable, safe and financially-secure status,” Ms King said.

Financial Inclusion Access Plan - Statement of Commitment