Giving small business a better say in major water projects

Small businesses will have more say in the way major water projects are planned as part of new guidelines launched by Melbourne Water and the Victorian Small Business Commissioner.

Melbourne Water’s Small Business Engagement Guidelines will help to better identify small businesses affected by major works managed by Melbourne Water and give business owners a say in the planning of these projects.


Speaking at today’s launch of the Guidelines, Michael Bermingham from Melbourne Water said it’s vital to engage with local businesses during the planning phase of projects.

“Melbourne Water undertakes a large number of major infrastructure projects to improve Melbourne’s water supply, drainage and sewage systems every year,” Michael said.

“Many of these projects take place in inner city or suburban areas and can impact local traders.

“We recognise this impact can be significant for small businesses and have worked with the Victorian Small Business Commissioner to develop Guidelines that give local traders the opportunity to have input into the way a project is planned.

“In many cases there are things Melbourne Water can do to minimise or eliminate the potential impact on businesses.

“This may involve rescheduling a project to avoid busy trading times like Christmas, or providing business owners with access to mentoring services so they can explore new ways to grow or market their business. 

“The Guidelines reinforce the importance of talking with small business owners to better understand their needs so we can develop solutions together,” he said.

Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Judy O’Connell, welcomed the Guidelines and congratulated Melbourne Water on the initiative. 

“The Guidelines provide a best practice guide for managing and minimising the impact of infrastructure works on small business,” Ms O’Connell said. 

“I would strongly encourage all Victorian water authorities to follow Melbourne Water’s lead and apply the Guidelines when they’re dealing with small business,” Ms O’Connell said. 

The community will be able to see the new guidelines in action when a pop up park is created in Williamstown later this year as part of a major project in the local area.

For more information about Melbourne Water’s Small Business Engagement Planning Guidelines please go to…

Media contact
David Walsh Ph: 0409 571 580