Investments in tourism, local jobs, marquee projects and roads are top priorities on the Ararat Rural City Council wish lists ahead of next week's state budget.
Recently re-elected mayor Jo Armstrong spoke to the Ararat Advertiser yesterday outlining a six-point plan for the council ahead of the highly-anticipated announcement of the state budget next week.
Like all rural councils, the road into and around the city is paramount.
"(High on our wish list is) funding to prioritise upgrades of our vast rural road network by extending the Fixing Country Roads program," Cr Armstrong said.
"As well as targeted support to upgrade heavy vehicle freight routes that our local farmers rely on to get their product to market."
Cr Armstrong also hoped the Victorian Government would continue to spur job growth in the region, especially in the tourism sector.
"(We'd like) continued government investment to underpin local jobs that will stimulate our economic recovery," she said.
"Investment in local tourism infrastructure (is needed) to provide a much needed shot in the arm for our hospitality and tourism businesses that were so heavily hit by the current health crisis.
Cr Armstrong said she'd also like to see planning reform and funding to fast-track the planning process to attract mixed-use developments in our growth corridors including the Ararat town centre and Aradale precinct.
Outside of funding specific to the COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan, the mayor also highlighted ideas to strengthen our thriving community.
"(We'd like to see) targeted incentives in regional Victoria that will secure the development of transitional and affordable housing to take advantage of the accelerated shift of people seeking to move to Ararat to pursue the fantastic employment opportunities, lifestyle and liveability we have on offer," she said.
"(As well as) further investment in grant funding programs that will support local sporting and community infrastructure such as the Gordon Street Recreation Reserve AFL Women's and Multipurpose Sporting Precinct."
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas is expected to deliver the budget on Tuesday.
The budget appeared likely to involve big-spending to stimulate the economic recovery from the COVID recession.
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