Council chooses advocacy priorities

Posted Wednesday 20 March, 12:23pm

The East Grampians Pipeline, more housing stock and the continued Western Highway duplication are just several of the projects Ararat Rural City Council has chosen as key priorities it will lobby and advocate for during 2019/2020.

Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the advocacy program was extremely important it helps Council drive positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for the Ararat Rural City community.

Dr Harrison said Council regularly advocates on behalf of the community for funding and other support from State and Federal Governments to ensure key projects and issues are addressed.

At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, Councillors voted to accept eight projects as key priorities for this advocacy program.

“The Council has chosen the eight projects by talking with our community, our stakeholders and intergovernmental agencies,” Dr Harrison said.

“In order to maximise the impact of our advocacy work, the Council will allocate $27,500 in the upcoming budget. This includes $7,500 for advocacy collateral and $20,000 to engage professional lobbyists, who will be able to get our messages to the right people in the right government agencies.”

Dr Harrison said Council would start working on the advocacy program as soon as possible and would keep the community updated on progress.

The eight priority projects are:

  • The East Grampians Pipeline – a key project relating to the economic development of the municipality based on drought-proofing the region, increasing the productivity of available land and value adding to the agricultural product.
  • Western Highway duplication – completion of the project including the Ararat-Stawell section.
  • Ararat bypass – with increasing delays in this project rolling out, there is a need for Council to maintain pressure on government to complete this important project.
  • Ararat Hills Mountain Bike Track – in an effort to grow mountain biking as a tourism attraction, Council is keen to support local efforts to expand the world-standard tracks in the Ararat Hills Regional Park.
  • Ararat East Development Zone – this project aims to revitalise the area, which comprises Aradale and a section of land near Green Hill Lake.
  • Tunnel Track walk, Pomonal – development of the track walk at Pomonal to provide an important link to the Grampians Peak Trail.
  • Renewable energy development – this provides an opportunity for Council to continue to engage in the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy.
  • Housing – ensuring adequate housing stocks is a key element in ensuring employment growth in Ararat. Current housing stocks, particularly in the rental sector, are inadequate to meet current and future demand.

 

Photo: one of the spectacular views along the Tunnell Track walk from Pomonal to Halls Gap.