Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Consumer Advocacy and Research Fund (CARF)

 
The Consumer Advocacy and Research Fund (CARF) was established under the Water Industry Act 2012 to support research or advocacy that promotes the interests of consumers with a disability, low-income consumers, or consumers who are located within a regional area of South Australia. 
 
Under CARF, SACOSS is funded by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to consult with key consumer groups to identify and recommend to DHS projects to be funded with the objective to ensure that SA water consumers are effectively represented in water regulatory determinations, policy making and market monitoring/development.
 
The following projects have been funded under CARF. 
 
Funding Year Project Title Project Status Funded Body
2018/19 SA Water Revenue Determination Project In Progress Uniting Communities
2018/19 Water Pricing Inquiry Project In Progress Business SA
2018/19 Tenants and Supply Charge Project In Progress Uniting Communities
2018/19 High Water Needs of Consumers Living with Disability Project Complete JFA Purple Orange
2017/18 Financial Counseling Services Guarantee for SA Water Customers Project Complete South Australian Financial Counsellors Association (SAFCA)
2017/18 Supporting Regional Customers in Financial Difficulty Project In Progress Dr Kerri Muller (NRM Pty. Ltd)
2017/18 Achieving Water Security for Sustainable Farming Families and Communities Project Complete Dr Joanne Tingey-Holyoak (UniSA)
2017/18 Multicultural South Australian Water Consumers Project  Complete Colmar Brunton Research
2016/17 Minor and Intermediate Retailers Research and Advocacy Project Complete South Australian Financial Counselors Association (SAFCA)
2016/17 Consumers with a Disability Project Complete JFA Purple Orange
2016/17 Tenants and Water Charges Project Complete Uniting Communities
 
Currently Funded Projects
 
  • SA Water Revenue Determination Project (Uniting Communities): This project is intended to provide a consumer perspective on SA Water's proposed expenditure over the 2020-24 regulatory period
  • Water Pricing Inquiry (Business SA): This project is intended to provide a consumer perspective on the Water Pricing Inquiry. Read Business SA's submission to the Independent State Water Price Inquiry produced as an output for this project. 
  • Tenants and Supply Charge Project (Uniting Communities): This project aims to review the extent to which tenants are required to pay the water supply charge. The intended outcome is to ensure policy and regulatory decisions relating to tenants give full consideration to the extent to which tenants are now required to pay the water supply charge
  • Supporting Regional Customers in Financial Difficulty Project (Kerri Muller and Jeannette Gellard): The project is intended to provide minor and intermediate retailers with improved service options for customers in financial difficulty to build the capacity of these retailers to further assist regional customers. Activities will be aimed at educating retailers on the role of financial counsellors and developing a coordinated approach between retailers and organisations who offer financial counselling.

 

Completed Projects
 
 
JFA Purple Orange led a State-wide project to research and document the particular conditions for people living with disability which necessitate high use of water in South Australia. One-on-one interviews provided insight into living with disability, what water was used on, how high use of water impacts on their lives, how families go about managing their water needs and identified what would be most helpful to them in assisting with high water needs. This project was a follow-up to a 2016/17 CARF funded project.
 
 
The South Australian Financial Counsellors Association (SAFCA) developed a proposal for a priority service arrangement that will enable SA Water customers to access fast-track financial counselling assistance. Under the model, it is recommended that customers across the state are able to benefit from face-to-face assistance, with a guaranteed appointment within two weeks.
 
 
Colmar Brunton conducted 40 in-depth interviews with water consumers from across metropolitan and regional South Australian to document the particular issues arising for SA consumers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, in respect to the use, cost, quality and access to water in order to better understand, support and service their needs.
 
Researchers from UniSA undertook research to improve the sustainability of SA’s farming families by delivering better policies and enhanced equity of water sharing from rural farm dams through the development of a Water Equity Typology (WET) model for SA.
 
 
The South Australian Financial Counsellors Association (SAFCA) undertook a research project that surveyed 200 residential home owners who receive one or both services, to understand their levels of customer satisfaction.
 
 
JFA Purple Orange conducted face-to-face interviews and an online survey of 129 South Australian residential water customers living with a disability (or have a family member living with a disability) to understand issues faced in terms of use of water, cost and quality of access to water.
 
 
Uniting Communities produced a report analysing the state of the water industry and the particular impacts current leglislation and practices have on tenants.