Select Page

Our Procedures

Southern Rural Water has a number of procedures that may be of interest to the public


Freedom of Information

You can request access to documents held by Southern Rural Water by applying under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Before making a request, we suggest that you:

Making a request

A request for access to documents must be in writing and include payment of a $28.90 application fee.  Applicants may elect to use the Freedom of Information Request application form

All requests should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Officer
Southern Rural Water
PO Box 153

What to include in a request

You need to provide enough information for the documents you seek to be identified.

Requests should be specific and as clear as possible.

If you write your request too broadly, access to the documents sought may be refused or you may be charged for documents which you do not intend to receive.

Fees and charges

Include payment for the application fee by:

  • Sending a personal or bank cheques, made payable to Southern Rural Water
  • Pay by credit card (contact us)
  • Ask about waiving the fee if you are on a concession and can provide proof

In addition to the application fee, additional charges may be payable for photocopying, search time and other forms of access.  You will be notified if these charges are likely to exceed $50 and asked if you wish to proceed.  If the charge is less than $50, we will let you know the final charges after we process your request when we send you our decision.

You can ask for the application fee to be waived if payment of the fee would cause you financial hardship.

What’s exempt:

Some documents are exempt from release, for example if they:

  • Contain trade secrets
  • May affect legal proceedings
  • Affect personal privacy
  • Have been submitted to State Cabinet


In most cases Southern Rural Water is required to provide you with a response within 45 day after receiving a valid request.

If your request is unclear you may be asked to resubmit it so the documents you wish to access can be identified.

If a decision is made to deny access to part or all of the documents sought, you will be provided with reasons and notified how a review of the decision may be sought.

Further information

Contact the Freedom of Information Officer by telephone on 1300 139 510 or by email

Part II statement

Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 requires the Freedom of Information (FOI) Commissioner to publish a range of information about our organisation, its functions and procedures, the types of documents we keep, reports and publications, and FOI arrangements.

This information is provided below. Information about our organisation and functions can be found on our website and our Annual Report.  To locate the specific information you require, please view the site map for this site or utilise the search functions provided.

Statement 1 - Organisation and function

For information with respect to Southern Rural Water, its functions and organisation structure please refer to our website

The organisation creates a large number of documents and records in the course of its work. The department uses an electronic document and records management system to classify, store, access and manage a broad range of electronic and hard copy documents.

Statement 2 - Categories of documents

We create a range of documents, including:

  • policy, procedures and standards
  • briefings and reports
  • registers
  • correspondence
  • applications and licences
  • meeting records
  • financial records
  • audio-visual material.

Document categories

Our documents are organised under the following broad categories:

  • Assets
  • Communications
  • Corporate
  • Customer Service
  • Distribution Assets
  • Environmental
  • Finance
  • Groundwater
  • Information Services
  • Information Technology
  • Irrigation
  • Meetings
  • Property/Service
  • Risk Management
  • Rivers
  • Water Resource Management

The above examples are not an exhaustive list and provide a snapshot of information available.

Statement 3 - Freedom of information arrangements

Under the FOI Act, you have a right to request information and access documents about your personal affairs and in certain cases, our activities.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests must be lodged in writing to the relevant agency in possession of the documents. Request for documents in possession of Southern Rural Water should be made to:

FOI Officer
Southern Rural Water
PO Box 153

Further information about making a request for access to documents is available above.

Statement 4 - Publications

Publications of Southern Rural Water can be accessed and downloaded from our website. These include:

  • Rural Water Outlooks
  • Macalister Irrigation Area Weekly Snapshot
  • Atlases
  • Board Bulletins
  • Brochures
  • Today Tomorrow Newsletters
  • District Updates
  • Local Water Reports
  • Diversion Newsletters
  • Drill Torque Newsletters
  • Technical Reports

If you are interested in a specific topic:

  • conduct a full search of our websites
  • write to:
    Manager Business Services
    Southern Rural Water
    PO Box 153
    Maffra Vic 3860

Statement 5 - Rules, policies and procedures

Our Office also has a range of policies and procedures to govern its daily operations and support the administrative functions of the FOI Commissioner. These include:

See Policies at Acts, Regulations and Policies

  • Asset Management Policy
  • Allocation Trading Policy
  • Circumstance under which a Groundwater Licence Fee is not charged for Dewatering Policy
  • Compliance Policy
  • Dam Safety Management Policy
  • Disclosure of Water Market Information
  • Environmental Policy
  • Financial Governance Policy
  • Fraud Prevention Policy
  • Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy
  • Interstate and Overseas Travel Policy
  • Managing the Thomson Bulk Entitlement
  • Motor Vehicle Policy
  • OHS Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Public Consultation on Applications
  • Raw Drinking Water Policy
  • Risk Management Policy
  • Voluntary Irrigation Supply System Rationalisation Policy
  • Water Trading by Directors Employees and Related Parties
  • Sale of unallocated water in unregulated system policy
  • Conflict of interest
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Traditional Owners Policy

See Gift Register at Acts, Regulations and Policies

  • Gift Register

See By-Laws at Acts, Regulations and Policies

  • By-Law – Irrigation Period 2011
  • By-Law – Recreational Areas

Rules and Plans

Our team regularly reviews all of our policies and procedures.

If you are searching for a specific topic, more thorough results may be obtained by conducting a full search of our website or by contacting us directly.

Statement 6 - Report literature

This section illustrates examples of where Southern Rural Water publishes final reports and records of decisions relating to policy.

These include:

  • Corporate Plan
  • Annual Reports Corporate
  • Annual Reports Other
  • Water Plan
  • Statement of Obligations


Protected Disclosures (whistleblowers)
On 10 February 2013, the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 replaced the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001.

The new law enables people to make disclosures about improper conduct within the public sector without fear of reprisal.

Southern Rural Water does not tolerate improper conduct. Neither does it tolerate reprisals being taken against those who come forward to disclose such improper conduct.

Compliance with the Protected Disclosure Act 2012

The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (PD Act) enables people to make disclosures about improper conduct by public officers and public bodies. The Act aims to ensure openness and accountability by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do.

What is a ‘protected disclosure’?

A protected disclosure is a complaint of corrupt or improper conduct by a public officer or a public body.

SRW is a “public body” for the purposes of the Act.

What is ‘improper or corrupt conduct’?

Improper or corrupt conduct involves substantial:

  • mismanagement of public resources; or
  • risk to public health or safety or the environment; or
  • corruption.

The conduct must be criminal in nature or a matter for which an officer could be dismissed.

How do I make a ‘protected disclosure’?

You can make a protected disclosure about SRW or its board members, officers or employees by contacting IBAC on the contact details provided below.

Please note that SRW is not able to receive protected disclosures.

How can I access SRW’s procedures for the protection of persons from detrimental action?

SRW has established procedures for the protection of persons from detrimental action in reprisal for making a protected disclosure about SRW] or its employees. You can access SRW’s procedures on this website.


Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) Victoria
Address: Level 1, North Tower, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000.
Mail: IBAC, GPO Box 24234, Melbourne Victoria 3001
Phone: 1300 735 135

Make your disclosure to:
The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
Telephone – 1300 735 135
GPO Box 24234
Melbourne VIC 3000

More information
The Protected Disclosure Coordinator for Southern Rural Water is the Manager Human Resources
Telephone – (03) 5139 3171
PO Box 153
Maffra VIC 3860

Sale of unallocated water in regulated systems plan 2015-17
Debt Management and Hardship Procedures

The Debt Management Procedure sets out the rights and responsibilities of Southern Rural Water (SRW) and our customers in relation to the management of outstanding debt.

The purpose of this procedure is to establish transparent, fair and equitable debt management principles for customers to support them in understanding our debt management approach.

Download Debt Management and Hardship Procedures

Keep up to date and subscribe now

If you would like to receive newsletters from Southern Rural Water, please sign up here.

WaterMatch - online trading

Watermatch is a free online service, designed to help people trade water.

Once you have registered, you can advertise to buy or sell water.

Depending on the water that you wish to trade, choose from the Groundwater, Surface Water (rivers and creeks) and Irrigation District forum.

Select a new topic to create your ad. Your ad can be to buy or sell water, and must describe the source of your water, quantity of water you want to buy or sell, how long you want to trade for and your contact details. If you are happy to put a buying or selling price, this can be included here too.

If you want to respond to an ad, you can use the email link or contact the advertiser direct.

It is an online trading forum, and can also be used by people who are not on the internet, with help from our staff.

Watermatch allows you to register your interest in either buying or selling water in southern Victoria.

  • the Macalister, Werribee and Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District
  • Groundwater systems in southern Victoria
  • Rivers and creek systems in southern Victoria (other than those managed by Melbourne Water around the Port Phillip region).

Who can use it?
Anyone can use watermatch. You may be an existing licence holder who wants to sell water, or buy more water.

You may not currently have a licence, but you want to buy water in the region.

How does it work?

  • click here to enter Watermatch
  • register as a user (a very simple process)
  • go to the system or district you are interested in and check current entries
  • add in any entry for any water you want to sell or buy

What information should I include in my ad?

  • If you are wanting to buy or sell
  • your name
  • phone number
  • name of river, creek, groundwater management area or irrigation district
  • how much water is to be traded
  • If the trade is temporary or permanent
  • term of the trade (Maximum term is 5 years)

Things you need to know
We are always looking for ways to improve our customer service. If you would like to provide feedack or suggested improvements please click here.

it's important to note that Southern Rural Water is not acting, and will not act, as a water broker.

We cannot advise you on price of water or match you individually with a buyer/seller.

Buyers and sellers still need to go through our normal application process.

Trading applications must be submitted to Southern Rural Water and approval granted before water is taken. A water transfer application form can be downloaded from our application page.

If you want to trade upstream, please speak with one of our Assessment Officers prior to submitting an application.

To check if a buyer or seller can trade with you, call us on 1300 139 510 and ask to speak to an Assessment Officer.

Not a water broker

It's important to note that Southern Rural Water is not acting, and will not act, as a water broker.

We cannot advise you on price of water or match you individually with a buyer/seller.

Buyers and sellers still need to go through our normal application process.

Click here to download our Fact Sheet