IT’S the smallest town in the Corangamite Shire, but Darlington is having its moment in the spotlight.
Residents of the area, which straddles the boundary of the Moyne and Corangamite shires, have completed a community plan and work is ready to begin.
Corangamite Shire community development officer Garry Moorfield said upgrades to Darlington were small but achievable and mainly focused on “cleaning up” and improving what the town already has.
Corangamite Shire councillors voted to accept the community priority plan at their meeting on Tuesday night and Mr Moorfield said it was an exciting time for the Hamilton Highway township.
He said Darlington was the final town in the council to go through the community planning program.
“We had 18 people, about 20 per cent of Darlington’s estimated population of 80, take part in two town meetings and a town survey to have their say about the community’s future.
“There was concern that residents on the Moyne side of the creek wouldn’t feel like they should participate, so we contacted the Moyne Shire and they sent a letter encouraging residents.” Mr Moorfield said the major priority was to clean up the “unkempt” appearance of the town.
“It may involve a one-off hard rubbish collection and an investigation into the possibility of having kerb-side collection included,” he said.
“Other ideas include building a picnic area near Mount Emu Creek, upgrading the entrance road to the speedway and cemetery and installing a town information board.
“There is a long and rich history in Darlington, the buildings have long gone, but in the Mechanics Institute Hall there are all sorts of plaques and honour boards. It’s seen as very important to record the town’s history.”
Mr Moorfield said it was also hoped the shire could work with the Moyne Shire to upgrade the toilets at the speedway or build toilets at the cemetery.
He said locals were also looking forward to the reopening of the Mount Elephant Bridge Hotel, which new owners were working hard to refurbish.
“We’ll have another meeting in a couple of weeks to figure out working groups for the top five priorities and get to work,” he said.