On the eve of the federal budget, south-west mayors have weighed in with their wish list of local projects they think deserve the most urgent government funding.
The state of south-west roads is a continual cause for complaint in the region, and the federal government committed $60 million to repair the Princes Highway back in 2019, but a lack of communication and coordination between state and federal governments has pushed the works back to 2023.
Corangamite Shire Council mayor Ruth Gstrein said she would like to see the federal Roads to Recovery program expanded if the shire was to keep improving its road network.
The program provides funding to local councils, which can choose the road projects the money is spent on.
"The results from having that untied funding have made a huge difference in improving our local roads," Cr Gstrein said.
She said from a "sector-wide point of view", she would like to see the Financial Assistance Grants program for local government expanded.
"The indexation on that program was frozen a few years ago, so we would in fact like to see the program increased," Cr Gstrein said.
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She also hoped for a new mobile phone tower in Noorat, where the connection was "atrocious", and nbn upgrades in Port Campbell and Simpson, where residents faced constant internet issues.
Moyne Shire Council mayor Ian Smith said mobile black spots were a huge issue in the area and desperately needed federal funding.
"Some of the internet and phone coverage is still really bad. It's well below standard and could use an upgrade when it comes to connectivity," he said.
Like Cr Gstrein, Cr Smith said roads were the biggest and most urgent issue for Moyne.
"Roads and infrastructure funding would be the main thing that the feds can really help with around the shire. The Roads to Recovery grants have got a lot of good jobs done, so that's probably the best way the federal government can make our funding go further," he said.
Both Crs Smith and Gstrein pointed to the roads critical to the dairy supply chain as some of the most pressing targets.
"Upgrading some of those bridges in the dairy areas is essential," Cr Smith said.
Cr Gstrein said Corangamite Shire had put in a $310 million request for 10 years of dairy supply chain infrastructure spending. "We've received some of that money, but we are looking for continued investment," she said.
Warrnambool City Council acting mayor Debbie Arnott was contacted for comment but did not respond by deadline.
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