ROADS are still the biggest issue in south-west Victoria, new figures show.
For the second year in a row ratepayers gave the condition and maintenance of council-owned roads the lowest scores across Warrnambool City, Moyne, Corangamite and Southern Grampians shire councils in this year's community satisfaction surveys.
Warrnambool City's scorecard was marked down in all seven core measures including the council's sealed roads, which fell from 58 to 48.
Glenelg Shire Council will not publish its results until July 28, over five weeks later than other south-west councils, as it has not yet briefed council.
Corangamite Shire Council
Corangamite Shire Council will spend almost $1 million less on roads next budget despite its community saying roads needed the most improvement.
Roadside slashing and weed control was rated the lowest, down from 46 to 39, followed by maintenance of unsealed roads which dropped to 38.
$8.6 million has been budgeted for roads this year compared with $9.6 million the year before.
Spending on roads makes up 42 per cent of the shire's $20.2 million capital works program.
Mayor Neil Trotter said additional state and federal funding was crucial to fixing the shire's roads.
"Roads maintenance is the primary area of concern for our residents," he said.
"We live in an area with high rainfall and land instability so there's no easy solution or quick fix, we need cost-effective solutions and additional funding would help."
Corangamite Shire has 914 kilometres of local sealed roads, 1229 kilometres of local unsealed roads and 604 kilometres of state arterial roads.
The shire's performance measures dropped compared with last year, with overall performance sliding from 69 in 2019 to 65.
The state-wide average stands at 55 for large rural shires, and 58 for other councils.
Performance in most service areas also slid, however Corangamite improved in the planning and building permits and elderly support services sections.
Moyne Shire Council
Moyne Shire will spend the same figure as last year on its local roads, $9.2 million, which makes up more than half its $18.1 million infrastructure spend.
But residents rated the shire's roads the lowest of 15 survey criteria, with unsealed roads receiving 35 out of a possible 100 and sealed roads receiving 38, one point higher than last year.
The shire has more than 1600 kilometres of sealed roads and 1125 kilometres of unsealed roads, with postcodes also determining how satisfied residents are with roads. Survey results show Port Fairy residents were most satisfied with all roads while Mortlake residents were least satisfied with unsealed roads.
Moyne Shire chief executive Bill Millard said the council was "carrying the can for other agencies" with survey participants thought to confuse state government roads with local roads.
"For example you could pull up Woolsthorpe-Heywood Road. It's not one that we have fundamental responsibility for even though we lobby hard," he said.
"On our own patch I think we need to continue to explain to our ratepayers the good work we are doing."
The council scored 60 for its overall performance score, the same score as last year and above the average for similar sized councils.
"That is against a trend in local government where there's been significant decreases in satisfaction," Mr Millard said.
It scored highest on disaster and emergency planning, elderly support services and waste management, while local laws enforcement, environment sustainability and community consultation increased on last year.
Southern Grampians Shire
Roads were also the pressure point for Southern Grampians residents.
However, the council received its highest score of 43 on roads to date, but the score remains the lowest on the survey.
The council's overall performance was up three points to 56 this year but residents were less happy with the council's overall direction and its customer service while they thought its lobbying and community decisions had improved.
The survey, conducted between January 30 and March 22, asked 400 residents in each council area a range of questions relating to how they perceived the council had performed across a broad range of services.
Listen to the latest episode of our weekly podcast The Booletin and Beyond:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.