Water Minister Dave Kelly and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk today launched a code of practice requiring water service providers to support and protect customers affected by family violence.
Launched in conjunction with the 16 Days of WA, the code of practice is a tangible example of the McGowan Government’s commitment to addressing the scourge of family violence.
Under the code, residential water service providers are required to have a family violence policy to inform the community of what the water service provider is doing to address family violence. This includes:
- training to enable staff to appropriately respond to family violence;
- providing appropriate pathways for support;
- implementing processes to avoid customers having to repeatedly disclose their experience and trauma;
- ensuring information security of customer details;
- providing information and advice to customers on debt management and recovery; and
- providing assistance to customers with regards payment difficulties and financial hardship.
Further information on the code and guidance to support water service providers to develop their approach to family violence is available at
Western Australia’s fourth annual 16 Days in WA is a campaign to raise awareness of family and domestic violence, which started on November 25 – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – and continues until December 10 – Human Rights Day.
Further information on 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women can be found at https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/projects/16-days-in-wa/
As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:
“We all have a part to play in addressing family violence, whether it is through leading by example, holding our peers to account, or directly supporting and protecting those who have been affected.
“Water service providers can do all of these things by ensuring employees are well-informed and trained to respond appropriately to customers affected by family violence.
“Family violence is already recognised as a potential cause of financial hardship. Water service providers will now implement additional measures and policies to ensure their customers are supported and protected.”
As stated by Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
“Now in its fourth year, the 16 Days in WA campaign aims to raise awareness about how we can all play a role in stopping gender-based violence.
“This a clear example of the positive change that can be made when we work together to address women’s safety in our communities and across industries/sectors.
“Unfortunately, controlling behaviour in an intimate or family relationship can result in utilities-related debt, so we want vulnerable Western Australians in these circumstances to be supported when it comes to managing their water bills.
“This code will go a long way to helping survivors feel safe when dealing with their water service provider, knowing that their experiences are understood and appropriate policies are in place.”