ARARAT Rural City Council has revealed the key projects it will continue to lobby the state and federal governments for support over.
At its March ordinary meeting the council released its 2019-20 advocacy program, which listed eight major projects for the region's development.
Those projects are: the East Grampians Pipeline; the Western Highway Duplication; the Ararat Bypass; the Ararat Hills Mountain Bike Track; the Ararat East Development Zone; the Tunnel Track Walk at Pomonal; renewable energy development; and ensuring adequate housing in the area.
Council chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said the advocacy program was extremely important as it helps the 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.
"The council has chosen the eight projects by talking with our community, our stakeholders and intergovernmental agencies," he 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 also said some of the projects would feed into the development of the tourism industry across the area, such as the Tunnel Track Walk at Pomonal.
"The aim there is to build some collateral, get some maps done around that trail and get it into the public imagination that this is a way of getting into Halls Gap," he said.
"Pomonal is a town that's really well positioned to take some advantage of the Peak Trail development and there's a nice artisan community growing up around Pomonal.
"It's about how we, as a municipality that's engaged in Grampians Tourism, can build those connections into the Peak Trails."
Regarding the controversial Western Highway Duplication project, which is the subject of ongoing protest by Indigenous activists, Dr Harrison said council supported it.
"Council looks forward to the roadway being completed," he said.
"The majority of the community supports it and we support them."
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