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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.

The region along the magnificent lower Murray River in north-west Victoria is one of Australia’s most important agribusiness and horticultural areas and has been since the 1880s. Our commitment is to provide responsible and sustainable services in water and sewerage, carefully managing our environment, considering not just growth and development but also biodiversity, sustainability, extreme weather and climate change.

We live in a delicate region that has been and will continue to be affected by development, regulation and climate challenges like drought. Our goal is to understand the impacts of our activities and manage our water and environment responsibly and sustainably.

Mildura is located on the Murray River in north-west Victoria on the border of New South Wales – 550kms north west of Melbourne, 400kms north-east of Adelaide and 1080kms west of Sydney.

The Mildura region has access to sufficient water and sewerage for future business and industry growth. Water is managed in the region through various government organisations. The Murray Darling Basin Authority is the Commonwealth agency that allocates base loads of water from the overall river system. The Victorian Government through its agent, Goulburn-Murray Water, manages the transfer of water to the local corporation, Lower Murray Water. Bulk water entitlements are made available for urban users (residential and industrial), rural users (irrigation) and the environment.

Irrigated horticulture utilised 77,750 hectares of land in 2003 – an almost 24% increase from 1997.

The Mildura region economy generates $2.788 billion in Gross Regional Product (GRP) per annum and is diversified across agriculture/horticulture, advanced manufacturing, logistics and services.

The Mildura region is one of Australia’s most important areas for agribusiness (in particular, horticultural) production. For example, the region grows the following percentage of Australia’s produce:

  • 95% of dried vine fruit
  • 74% of table grapes
  • 41% of pistachios
  • 65% of almonds
  • 24% of citrus
  • 20% of wine grape crush
  • 16% of asparagus
  • 11% of carrots

Swan Hill Rural City is principally an agricultural and horticultural region deriving its income from these industries and the businesses that service them.

The municipality is bordered by the Murray River, Australia’s greatest river, for over 300 kilometres and is highly dependent on it for irrigation, domestic and industrial water supplies as well as active and passive recreational pursuits.

Swan Hill and Robinvale are the two largest service centres in the municipality, however, a number of smaller towns such as Lake Boga, Manangatang, Nyah, Nyah West, Piangil, Ultima and Woorinen South offer a variety of lifestyles.

The Gannawarra Shire is located in the Loddon Murray region in the state of Victoria, Australia and is 3 hours’ drive from Melbourne.

Gannawarra Shire is one of Victoria’s most diverse agricultural regions in the thriving Loddon Murray Region in the north of the state and comprises the towns of Cohuna, Koondrook, Kerang, Murrabit, Lalbert, Quambatook and Leitchville.

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.
Board of Directors
LMW Board of Directors
LMW Board of Directors (L-R): Greg Baker (member), Max Foley (member), Michelle Oates (member), Kate Hughes (member), Svetla Petkova (member), Warren Lloyd (Deputy Chair), Sharyon Peart (Chair), Dominic Isola (member), Anthony Couroupis (Managing Director LMW).
Sharyon Peart
Sharyon Peart
Chair of our 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.

Warren Lloyd
Warren Lloyd
Deputy Chair

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
Greg Baker
Member

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
Max Folie
Member

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.

Michelle Oates
Michelle Oates
Member

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.

Kate Hughes
Kate Hughes
Member

Kate is independent Chair, Audit and Risk Management Committee at the Department of Justice and Community Safety, and member of risk and audit committees at the Department of Transport, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and Comcare. Kate has considerable executive experience and was formerly the Chief Audit and Risk Officer at RMIT University, Chief Risk Officer, Telstra and Chief Risk Officer at the Australian Wheat Board. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce, a graduate diploma in applied finance, a graduate diploma in OH&S and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Svetla Petkova
Svetla Petkova
Member

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.

Dominic Isola
Dominic Isola
Member

Dominic has extensive experience in leading organisations, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Hume City Council, having served 13 years. He has also served in senior management positions at Hume City Council, overseeing financial and corporate governance services at Hume City Council and Wyndham City Council, and was a Banking Audit Manager, at Commonwealth Bank. Dominic was a board member of the Broadmeadows Revitalisation Board and chair of the Northern Economic Working Group. He is a former board member of Dianella Health Services and the Institute Council Kangan Batman TAFE. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Anthony Couroupis
Anthony Couroupis
Managing Director, LMW

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.

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Board of Directors
Sharyon Peart
Warren Lloyd
Greg Baker
Max Folie
Michelle Oates
Kate Hughes
Svetla Petkova
Dominic Isola
Anthony Couroupis
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Anthony Couroupis
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.

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Karen Hengsen
Karen Hengsen
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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Deb Fankhauser
Deb Fankhauser
General Manager People and Customer

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.

Deb is a Certificate Practitioner with the Australian Human Resource Institute (AHRI) and a Certified Member of AHRI, and actively supports the local HR Community as the Convenor of the Mildura AHRI HR Network.

Deb relocated to the Sunraysia region in 2012 from Ballarat, commencing with Lower Murray Water in 2016 in the Human Resources team.

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David Girdwood
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

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Troy van Berkel
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

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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.