Melbourne Water provides services integral to a broad range of development-related customer groups. These services protect new and existing properties from flooding and maintain the health of local waterways.

Latest updates

Introducing our new Managing Director, Dr Nerina Di Lorenzo, and her Strategic Delivery Leadership Team

December 1 2021 marks Dr Nerina Di Lorenzo’s first day as Managing Director of Melbourne Water.

Dr Di Lorenzo joined Melbourne Water in July 2019 as the Executive General Manager of Service Delivery and has played a critical role reshaping the organisation to provide the reliable and secure water services the community values.

Dr Di Lorenzo is committed to strengthening our joint commitment to safe, integrated land development and water management, and to working together towards a climate change resilient future for all Melburnians. She has extensive experience in asset strategy and management, and a strong commitment to the future sustainable development of Victoria.

Nerina will be a familiar partner to many in the urban planning and land development sector, having previously been CEO at the City of Moreland. She will be supported in her new role by Waterways and Catchment Operations General Manager, Dr Kirsten Shelly, and Statutory Developer Services Group Manager, Rachel Sarah Lunn.

Dr Shelly is a national water expert, leading the operational services of Melbourne Water, with over 500 staff delivering at the forefront of sustainable water, land and emergency planning and management. Previously, Kirsten was a senior State Government water advisor and has worked across Australia delivering sustainable strategy water outcomes for the community.

Rachel is a familiar name to most in the Developer Services sector, and leads the urban development and land planning strategy implementation for Melbourne Water with over 100 technical Service Managers and technical experts. With 20 years’ experience in public sector planning and developer strategy and operation leadership, Rachel worked as a Director at Ethos Urban and Deloitte, and has directed at City of Bayside and City of Greater Dandenong in the Planning, Development, Finance and Asset Management space.

Find out more: New Melbourne Water Managing Director announced

Urban Planning Coordination and Governance Framework, Refreshing the DSS Manual

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) has launched a new Refreshed Greenfield Planning Guidelines (or ‘PSP Guidelines’) that guide state, local government, communities and developers to ensure that we prepare plans and delivery infrastructure for places that enable best-practice, liveable new communities.

As a Major Metropolitan Melbourne Greenfield Infrastructure provider, Melbourne Water been a key collaborator on this important piece of work for our future.

The Greenfield PSP Guidelines are the foundation of Melbourne Water’s Greenfield DSS ‘Land Development Manual’. This contains all the strategic, financial and operational Principles and Policies, Catchment, Detailed and Functional Design Standards for IWM, Liveability and Sustainability, Statutory Permit Guidance and Legal Guidance as well as information on Safety and Construction Quality Assurance Standards.

The new PSP Guidelines launch provides a new contemporary foundation to work together across the sector in Refreshing the Greenfield DSS Manual ensure that the vision for our future communities in outer Melbourne can be realised through new DSS principles, policies, designs, plans and approvals.

Our Review of the Manual to respond to the new PSP Guidelines and incorporate Integrated Water Management and Climate Change Resilience are Actions in the October 2021 approved Flood Management Strategy for Port Phillip and Westernport (see 4.5, 4.10, 6.6 and 6.7).

We will be commencing this Greenfield DSS Refresh, along with other actions that result in land development outcomes through our new Urban Planning Coordination and Governance Framework. This is a refresh of the previous UDWAG strategic and technical group. This new framework is indented to provide a strategic and operational suite of innovative ways to bring together all stakeholders in future of Urban Planning and Development to consult, collaborate and design on how we continue to deliver the water, land and environmental visions for the Plan Melbourne period in an affordable and joined-up way.

Statutory Developer Services update on demand

To maintain the state’s supply of new jobs and homes, more Greenfield Development Services Schemes (DSSs) and Statutory Permits need to be designed and determined by our Statutory Developer Services Team.

Melbourne is developing at a rate never seen before, and due to initiatives such as first homebuyer grants and stamp duty exemptions, development and construction activity is at a historic high. This has resulted in more than a 40% increase in demand for developer services in the past 3 years, and based on the VPA Work Program, we know this current intensity and pattern of land development is set to continue.

The VPA Business Plan 2021/22, which sets out the Work Program for new DSSs, has also been released.

The increase in demand means that the timeframes for the delivery of some of our statutory developer services is taking longer than in previous years.

To respond to this recent increase in demand for our services, and prepare for the challenges of the future together with our partners, Melbourne Water is transforming our service delivery model as well as bringing in significant new skilled and experienced urban planning and engineering experts in land development.

The current Statutory Developer Services operational leadership team of skilled and experienced Service Managers – David Reginato, Raffaela Arico, Ken O’Neill, Kerrie Homan, Stacey Rees and Kate Kinsella – all remain in place, ready to continue to work with developers as normal. They will now be supported by more than 25 additional experts in their service areas. We’re funding this innovative resourcing improvement using the increase in fees we receive to provide these types of statutory services.

Current service levels

Local governments across metropolitan Melbourne have also been providing their statutory services at 60-75% on time through the COVID pandemic. During the same period, Melbourne Water’s Statutory Developer Services have been provided at 70% on time, and we will be working to improve this performance over the coming months.

Statutory Developer Services will be able to fulfil our obligations by receiving permit applications through the holiday period, but will be unable to allocate or process those applications received from 20 December 2021 onwards, until on or after 11 January 2022. We’ll also be pausing our free informal pre-application checking service over the summer holidays so we can focus on paid services.

This is to enable improvements during our Melbourne Water shut down and allow our colleagues to take a break after this busy year.

Land development timelines

The following statutory and non-statutory services can be expected to be delivered in the timeframes shown in the table below.

If your application for one of these services exceeds the current expected timeframe, please contact your allocated case officer for information on how to progress your concerns. 

Sub services Q1 (September) expected timeframes Current timeframes
Statutory permit pre-application check 44 36
Provision of scheme plans 7 7
VicSmart assessments 30 21
Planning permits to local council 28 25
Consent to Certification of plan   21 15
Design certification functional design comments and acceptance  50 40
Offer of conditions (works)  125 110
Offer of conditions (non-works) 44 38
Stormwater quality offsets 14 21
Statement of Compliance statements (non-works) 7 8
Flood levels 10 6

Capital Works Assessments delivery timelines

The following non-statutory services can be expected to be delivered in the timeframes shown in the table below.

If your application for one of these services exceeds the current expected timeframe, please contact your allocated case officer for information on how to progress your concerns. 

Sub services Current expected timeframe
Inspection after request 28
Practical completion 21
Detailed design comments and acceptance 42
Endorsement of maintenance agreement once content has been agreed to by Melbourne Water and Local Council 21
Calculation of reimbursements 14

Application and approvals for development delivery timelines

Melbourne Water's consent is required for any structures built over, or, near any of our underground assets or easements. 

Assets include:

  • pipes
  • drains
  • water mains.
Sub services Minimum expected timeframe
Build overs 28
Stormwater connections 28
Utilities installations 28
Shared pathway agreements 28
Fencing 28
Right of way requests 28
Maintenance of existing levees 28
Jetty build/construction 28

General enquiry timelines

Enquiry type Response time
Telephone messages (call-backs) Close of business the following day
Email correspondence (excluding applications) 2 business days

For more information on all our planning and building services, visit the building and works section of our website.

Access to information: further improvements

We will shortly be launching improvements to our online Statutory Permit Application Requirements and Decision Making Information to enable self-service of many of our everyday enquiries for most types of development.

This webpage provides information about our normal Application Requirements, how to obtain the Waterway and Flood Design Parameters that architects, building designer and flood experts will need to design your building, and information about the criteria we use to assess your application to determine whether your proposal can be permitted or whether changes are required. We will also be improving our contact details so who to contact will be transparent.

These improvements, and major upcoming other alignments between Melbourne Water and Local Government systems and processes, will provide faster and more consistent determinations for our customers and our colleagues across the statutory decision making system in 2022 and beyond.

Meeting with us

Staff members are available for meetings on request.

Please contact the relevant team to schedule an appointment during business hours (8.30am to 5pm) on 131 722. We will nominate a date and time for the meeting.

Complaints and disputes

If you have a complaint, compliment or suggestion, please contact our Customer Service Centre:

 131 722

 contact us online

 Customer Service Centre, Melbourne Water, PO Box 4342, Melbourne 3001

Find out more about resolving complaints with Melbourne Water.

Last updated:
9 December 2021