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Acts, regulations and policies

Southern Rural Water has a number of acts, regulations and policies that may be of interest to the public.

  • By-Laws

    The Act states that we have the power to make by-laws - special rules published in the Government Gazette  which apply within a specific area of Southern Rural Water's responsibility.

    Since the Water Act came into operation, we have made two by-laws:

    No.7 - Irrigation Period, 2011
    No.9 - Recreational Areas

  • 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

    To request for access to document go to our Prices and forms page and select the Freedom of information drop down. 

    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 that 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; and
    • have been submitted to State Cabinet.


    In most cases Southern Rural Water is required to provide you with a response within 30 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; and
    • 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; and
    • 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:

    Freedom of Information Officer
    Southern Rural Water
    PO Box 153
    MAFFRA  VIC 3860

    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

    If you are interested in a specific topic:

    • conduct a full search of our websites; or
    • 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
  • Health & Safety Policy

    The health, safety and welfare of our staff, contractors, visitors and community is our top priority. We will provide a safe and healthy working environment.

    We maintain effective safety systems, and continually review the way we work to find and apply safer practices. All incidents can be prevented, and we aim for an incident free and zero harm workplace.

    We will meet our legislative responsibilities and achieve good industry practice.

    We work together to understand our risks and:

    • Eliminate them where possible, or
    • reduce them through management actions.

    Each of us is responsible for safety.

    Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy

  • Procurement


    Our procurement framework is underpinned by high standards of probity, accountability, and flexibility, with a focus on:

    Organisational procurement objectives
    No. Procurement objective Objective
    1 Comply: Compliance with Victorian government procurement requirements Excellence
    2 Value: Value for money procurement outcomes occur for both individual purchases as well as at a program scale. Customer Value
    3 Social: Utilise procurement to support suppliers from disadvantaged sectors and the regional areas serviced by SRW operations. Community value
    4 Administrative efficiency: Procurement governance over-sight and support which aligns to the size, nature and risk profile of SRW. Efficient systems

    Procurement services

    Procurement at Southern Rural Water covers a broad range of portfolios including asset maintenance, construction materials and works, fleet and plant, Information Services, property and leasing and more.

    Victorian Government legislation

    Relevant Acts and policy include, but is not limited to:

    • Audit Act 1994 & Audit (Public Bodies) Regulations 2015
    • Ministerial Direction for Public Construction Procurement in Victoria (Effective Date 1 July 2018)
    • Local Jobs First Policy
    • Financial Management Act 1994
    • Water Act 1989
    • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
    • Victorian Government Supplier Code of Conduct
    • Project Development and Construction Management Act 1994 (Public Construction Procurement)


    Commonwealth Government legislation

    Commonwealth funded building and construction project activities must comply with:

    • Commonwealth Building Code 2013 (Code)
    • Building Code 2013 – Supporting Guidelines for Commonwealth Funding Entities (Guidelines).


    Activity plan

    Southern Rural Water’s planned procurement activity is summarised in the following document.

    Annual Procurement Activity Plan 2022-23 (pdf)

    All planned procurement are subject to revision or cancellation. The information in the plan is provided for planning purposes only. The plan does not represent a solicitation or constitute a request for proposal, nor is it a commitment by Southern Rural Water.



    All current Southern Rural Water tenders can be viewed on SRW’s e-procurement portal:


    Complaints management

    To lodge a complaint regarding an aspect of the Southern Rural Water procurement process, write to:

    Chief Procurement Officer 
    Southern Rural Water
    PO Box 153
    MAFFRA, Victoria, Australia, 3860

    Or email the Chief Procurement Officer at

  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012

    On 10 February 2013, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 replaced the Protected Disclosures Act 2012.

    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 Pubic Interest Disclosure Act 2012

    The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 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 ‘Public interest disclosure’?

    A public interest 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 ‘public interest disclosure’?

    You can make a public interest 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 public interest 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 public interest 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

  • Statement of Obligations

    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.

    Statement of Obligations

    Statement of Obligations Emission Reduction

  • Water Act 1989

    Water Act

    The Water Act 1989 (Vic) provides the legal framework for managing Victoria’s water resources. It is available online at the Victorian Law Today Library.

    Water Act 1989

    The main purpose of the Water Act is to:

    • promote the equitable and efficient use of our water resources
    • make sure our water resources are conserved and properly managed for the benefit of all Victorians
    • increase community involvement in conserving and managing our water resources