Our Organisation

Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Authority was created under the provisions of the Water Act 1989 via Order in Council effective 1 of July 2004. It assumed the whole of the property, rights, liabilities, obligations, powers and functions under the Water Act 1989 of the Lower Murray Region Water Authority and Sunraysia Rural Water Authority. LMW reports to the Minister for Water, Environment & Climate Change Ms Lisa Neville.

The Water (Governance Act) 2006 varied the form and title of Lower Murray Water and established new governance arrangements effective from 1 July 2007. Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Authority is now Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Corporation.

On 19 August 2008 a Ministerial Determination under Section 87 of the Water Act 1989, appointed Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Corporation to take over the whole of the functions, powers and duties of First Mildura Irrigation Trust under the Act, including its functions in respect of all of its districts under the Act.

Our core business is to meet the present and future needs of our customers and community by providing reliable and secure water services.

We operate along the Murray River, from Kerang to the South Australian border, in the municipalities of Gannawarra, Swan Hill and Mildura. We provide this extensive region with urban water and sewerage treatment, supply and disposal; river quality water for stock and irrigation; and collection and disposal of subsurface irrigation drainage. Our goal is to contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of our region and its many communities with environmentally responsible and sustainable water management.

Our Objectives and Strategies

Customer Focused – right service, right time.

Maintaining compliant performance while improving cost effectiveness of operations and assets.

Increasing use of modernised infrastructure across the Corporation.

Increasing the resilience of services to changing and extreme weather.

Managing the Corporation in accordance with expected standards of corporate behaviour.

Managing the Corporation’s assets and finances responsibly and sustainably.

Providing an engaged, skilled and diverse workforce to deliver our vision and mission.

Providing our services equitably and with respect to a diverse community.

Our Vision

The Board envisages that LMW will become the leading regional water corporation in Victoria by:

  • Close engagement with our community and customers.
  • Being resilient in times of adversity and change.
  • Being a regional leader.

We will deliver outcomes to our communities by:

  • Catering for sustained growth in our urban business.
  • Promoting growth in our rural business.
  • Being sustainable, measured by finance, a productive culture and a lighter environmental footprint.
Cheryl Rix
Chair of our Board of Directors

Cheryl is the Corporate Services Officer and Chief Risk Officer at Mildura Health having previously been the Program Manager for Northern Mallee Leaders and the former General Manager Western Murray Irrigation Ltd.

Cheryl was the Chair of the Lower Murray Darling Catchment Management Authority (New South Wales). Cheryl is a past member of the National Community Bank Strategic Advisory Board for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Community Bank Network and is also a past board member of Wentworth District Capital Limited and Mildura Development Corporation.

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed the Mastering the Boardroom program. Cheryl is a Chartered Accountant Fellow and a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

Sharyon Peart
Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors

Sharyon moved from Melbourne to the Mallee in 2005, where she lived on a large citrus, dried fruit and wine grape growing property at Nangiloc.

Sharyon’s background in corporate business, sales, marketing and team management gave inspiration to the small business she currently owns and operates. She has been the sole director since she created the company in 2005, specialising in retail consultation, managing women’s health and well-being.

Sharyon served Mildura Rural City as a Councillor for nine years and gained much experience as portfolio councillor for art and education, later community services and well being, and governance and finance. Currently, Sharyon is the Chair of the Mallee Catchment Management Authority, Deputy Chair of Vic Catchments, member of LaTrobe University Advisory Board and a member of the Victorian Agricultural Advisory Council.

Sharyon has sound experience in corporate governance, floodplain management issues, financial management, environmental management, agricultural water use and associated impacts on the environment, strategic planning, community engagement, relationship building and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

Rob Fowler
Lead Adviser, Essential Change Advisory Services

He is a Faculty Member of the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, and has been a non-executive Director of Tilling Group for 10 years, and a member of the Gold Standard Foundation board, a not-for-profit international standards body focused on project-level interpretation of global sustainability goals, for eight years.

He has previously held senior advisory and management roles with Booz and Company, the New South Wales (NSW) Cabinet Office, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW and LEK Consulting, with a focus on energy, carbon markets, climate change and sustainability.

Mr Fowler holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering.

Michelle Oates
Senior Solicitor with MIR Lawyers, Mildura, specialising primarily in commercial and property law.

Michelle is also Deputy Chair of the Chaffey Aged Care Board, a committee member for Chances for Children and a Director of Mallee Family Care.

Ms Oates has commercial law experience in primary industry, water management and land transfers, and advises clients and stakeholders on corporate governance.

Ms Oates holds a Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice (Hons) and a Bachelor of Justice and Society.

Warren Lloyd
Member of the Board of Directors

Warren Lloyd has been the Manager of his family owned dried fruit farm since 2005, with considerable expertise in horticulture and irrigation.

He was previously a secondary school teacher for 19 years. Mr Lloyd has chaired the Lower Murray Urban and Rural Water Corporation’s Strategic Advisory Committee since 2016 and chaired the Corporation’s Customer Services Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2014.

He has been a Board Member of Dried Fruits Australia since 2010.

Mr Lloyd holds a Bachelor of Education.

Greg Baker
Member of the Board of Directors

Greg is a Director and the Principal Consultant at Severn Consulting Pty Ltd, specialising in advising asset intensive organisations in the manufacturing, logistics and utilities sectors on strategy and commercial negotiations. He has extensive senior executive experience in rail freight and in the chemical industry, including as Director- Interstate Intermodal at Aurizon, GM of Strategy and Marketing at Pacific National Rail, and Head of Strategy and Corporate Affairs at Qenos.

Greg has been a board member of the Victorian Transport Association and the Victorian Freight & Logistics Council, as well as not-for-profit organisations including Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services, and The Trading Circle.
He holds degrees in Chemical Engineering and Commerce, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Max Folie
Member of the Board of Directors

Max Folie is an Audit Committee Member of Mildura Rural City Council and a highly experienced international General Manager with a depth of business experience managing Risk and Improvement drivers in large global complex commercial businesses.

Max developed and improved Internal Audit operations, systems and reporting. Established effective reporting systems for Board Committees and Executive Management.

He also has extensive offshore experience through South East Asia, South America, Canada, Europe, UK, USA, PNG, West Africa.

He holds a Diploma of Auditing from RMIT; Diploma of Business from Monash University.

Svetla Petkova
Member of the Board of Directors

Svetla is a member of the Southern Alpine Resort Management Board, Audit & Risk, and Remuneration and Workplace committees; Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group Board Directors.

Highly skilled Executive, People and Asset Manager with expertise managing services, projects and programs with GWM Water, Gippsland Water, City West Water, Isaac Regional Council and more recently with Swan Hill Rural City Council.

Excels in the development, coordination and management of multi-million dollar assets and programs, maintaining compliance and meeting governance requirements. Adept at containing costs through the implementation of systems and procedures that streamline efficiencies. Consultative approach with a strong record of performance collaborating with management teams, boards and committees, building effective client and stakeholder relationships.

As a leader, she fosters unity and motivates teams towards the attainment of goals. Respected professional with a strong network of industry contacts.

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Anthony Couroupis
Managing Director

Anthony is Sunraysia born and has recently returned to the region, commencing as Lower Murray Water’s Managing Director in July 2019. Anthony has almost 30 years’ experience in water and natural resources management, primarily associated with irrigation in southern NSW. This experience included both commercial and government roles.

Anthony is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

David Girdwood
General Manager Infrastructure Services

Works and Services

Operations and Property Services

Capital Works

Water and Wastewater Treatment

Asset and Maintenance Management

Southern Area Customer Services

Deb Fankhauser
General Manager People

Deb has over 20 years’ experience in management and human resource management across government, not for profit and private sectors including Health Services, Education and Training and Aboriginal Services.

Also a Member of the Australian Human Resource Institute and is currently completing her practicing certification through AHRI.
Deb relocated to the Sunraysia region in 2012 from Ballarat, commencing with Lower Murray Water in 2016 in the Human Resources team.

Troy Van Berkel
General Manager Service Delivery and Operations

Engineering Services

Water and Wastewater Treatment

Asset and Maintenance Management

Capital Works

Environmental Services

Trade Waste

Karen Hensgen
General Manager Business Services and Performance

Karen is a Certified Practising Accountant with over 25 years of experience in financial management, business consultancy and corporate business services. Karen has worked with numerous not-for-profit, government agencies, private and public companies in a broad range of industries. Having started her career as an external auditor, Karen soon moved into corporate service and financial management roles providing her with extensive experience in strategic financial management, as well as broader business management.

Karen leads a team of professionals across LMW’s corporate services function including Finance, Information Technology and Governance to ensure a long-term commercial and sustainable approach to deliver improved performance. Karen is advancing the change agenda of the organisation and plays a key role in collaborating with all levels of management in implementing, monitoring, and reviewing organisational strategy.

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Statement of Obligations

Under s. 4l of the Water Industry Act 1994, the Minister for Water may make and issue statements of obligations to water corporations.

These statements specify the obligations of Victoria’s water corporations in relation to the performance of their functions and the exercise of their powers.

Statement of Obligations (General)

This statement sets out a broad range of obligations and guiding principles applicable to all water corporations. It revokes and replaces all previous statements of obligations made and issued to a water corporation under s. 4I of the Water Industry Act 1994, with the exception of the Statement of Obligations (System Management) issued by the Minister for Water on 16 January 2015.

Statements of Obligations (Emission Reduction)

This statement sets out the water sector’s emissions reduction obligations to be achieved by 2025.