The sixth edition of council performance data has revealed that Ararat Rural City Council tracked on par with similar councils in its road management, waste collection and child and maternal health services.
According to the annual Know Your Council figures, Ararat was deemed a small shire and compared with Northern Grampians, Buloke, Central Goldfields and Hindmarsh, among others, to inform the results.
Sealed roads in Ararat were maintained to condition standards 100 per cent of the time during the 2019-20 reporting period, compared to the state's average of 96.43 per cent.
The cost of road works in the shire was $51.62 per square metre of sealed road, compared to $73.85 in similar councils.
Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Dr Tim Harrison said council recognised that safe and reliable roads are important.
"Our roads are vital to our agricultural businesses that need to move large volumes of freight and also for local families that travel long distances on them every day," Dr Harrison said.
Community satisfaction in local sealed roads has increased 12 per cent compared to 2018/19, meeting the state average.
"The 12 per cent community satisfaction increase recognises that we are maintaining roads to a higher standard and delivering better value for rate payers," Dr Harrison said.
Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane welcomed the data, which he said showed councils have stepped up to support their communities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Know Your Council is all about building accountability and improving the information Victorians have available to assess the performance of their council," Mr Leane said.
In Ararat, 81.45 per cent of the eligible population participates in maternal and child health services, compared to 82.41 per cent in similar councils.
The percentage of council decisions made closed to the public spiked during 2019/20 to 33.82 per cent, more than triple the state average of 9.84 per cent.
Council said the variance in 2019/20 is due to a decrease in the number of resolutions made at council meetings and an increase in contracts for works being presented to council that were made in confidence.
In 2018/19, the majority of capital works were carried out in-house, with just six contracts negotiated in confidence.
This figure increased to 26 contracts in 2019/20.
Dr Harrison said council has undergone a significant period of transformation, with rates cut and service improvements across the board.
"People have a right to expect value for money from the rates they pay," he said.
"While these results tell us that we're heading in the right direction, we can always do better and will continue working hard to ensure we do better."
The full Know Your Council dataset can be accessed by visiting knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.