Ararat Active Link lights up for a safer Ararat New lighting upgrades have been rolled out in key locations across Ararat to help improve community safety, security, and confidence in public spaces.
Frank McGuire MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Crime Prevention, visited Ararat today to officially celebrate the completion of two key Council projects - the Ararat Active Link Safety Lighting Project and Council's Crime Prevention campaign.
Ararat Active Link Safety Project saw state-of-the-art light poles, feature lights and ground lighting installed throughout the Ararat Active Corridor, including the multi-use half-court, Ararat Dog Park, Bill Waterson Skatepark and the Alexandra Gardens precinct. Mayor Jo Armstrong said creating a safer environment for residents was an important part of a thriving community.
"Alexandra Gardens is a popular spot for early morning exercise and shorter winter days means it can be a challenge for walkers and runners to get outside while it's still light," Cr Armstrong said.
"A fully lit path provides people with more time to enjoy the precinct, particularly for those who may not have the opportunity to get outside during daylight hours."
The project was designed in partnership with the Alexandra Gardens Walking Group and the Skate Park Committee and supported by Ararat Police, who has called for improvements to improve lighting and eliminate isolated public spaces in the recreation corridor.
"Better lighting along the Ararat Active Corridor also provides additional opportunities for recreation, safer access and makes the area more inviting to the public," Cr Armstrong said.
"This has transformed the entire corridor into a vibrant activity centre for community life, while creating safe and inclusive spaces for residents to stay active.
"Today, we also celebrate the completion of Council's successful Crime Prevention Awareness Campaign to prevent crime in the municipality.
"As part of Council's commitment to crime prevention, our team sought support from local police, the Victorian Farmers Federation and the Greater Ararat Business Network to help empower our rural communities to take steps towards protecting their property.
"With theft incidents on the rise, Council wanted a way to directly engage with the community to educate people about the importance of reporting crime and taking proactive measures to deter theft and report suspicious behaviour.
"We know prevention is better than a cure and we need residents to keep an eye out for each other and if they see something suspicious, please report it."
In collaboration with the Wimmera Police Division, Victoria's Farmers Federation, and Greater Ararat Business Network, Council delivered a range of supporting crime prevention materials, including a Crime Prevention Booklet, security self-assessment documents, educational videos, and farm signs stating 'no access without permission' to support the local community.
A key highlight of the campaign was the production of three videos in partnership with Victoria Police that featured crime prevention tips for a local agribusiness, a family home on a rural property, and a rural farm. The videos had an online reach of over 100,000 on Facebook, with over 49,000 direct engagements in the video content.
"Thank you to the Victorian Government for partnering with Council to fund these projects, allowing us to expand and strengthen our safety measures within our community," Cr Armstrong said.
The funding included $231,000 from the Victorian Government's Public Safety Infrastructure Fund towards the Ararat Active Link Safety Lighting Project, along with $26,000 from Ararat Rural City Council.
The Crime Prevention Campaign has been jointly funded by Council and the Department of Justice and Community Safety ($25,000) through the Community Safety Fund Grants program.
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