SOUTHERN Grampians Shire Council has approved the largest rates rise in the south-west with a 6.5 per cent increase.
It follows 5.5 per cent by Warrnambool City, 5.3 per cent by Colac Otway Shire, 5 per cent by Corangamite Shire, 4.9 per cent by Moyne Shire and 4.3 per cent by Glenelg Shire councils.
Southern Grampians Shire Council adopted its 2014-15 budget last Wednesday aiming to become Australia’s most liveable provincial community.
The $13 million capital works program includes a $2.64 million upgrade at Hamilton airport, $470,000 redevelopment of Hamilton regional livestock exchange and $430,000 to complete lighting at Melville Oval.
“The entire 6.5 per cent increase will go towards maintaining service levels and capital works to renew the shire’s ageing infrastructure,” mayor Albert Calvano said.
Other budget highlights include a new council website, a business development strategy to “exploit” the roll-out of the National Broadband Network in conjunction with Glenelg Shire Council, establishment of a public art acquisition fund sourcing external sources, contributing towards the South West Radiotherapy Centre at Warrnambool, contributing towards improved education attainment rates and wastewater audits for unsewered towns.