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Council calls for $3 million from Victorian Government to deliver benefits to Loddon Shire community

Released on 14 March 2017

Loddon Shire Council said its communities need $3 million from the Victorian Government to help fund essential, local services and infrastructure including flood mitigation works and improvements to Yorkshire Road at Newbridge.

Mayor Cr Neil Beattie said its request for financial support from the State forms part of a joint submission to the 2017/2018 State Budget from 38 rural councils for the $150 million annual, dedicated Rural Communities Benefit Fund.

“Around one quarter of Victoria’s Gross State Product and employment is generated in rural areas.  Despite this significant contribution, comparatively rural Victoria receives little support from the State.

“Already our communities spend more of their income on rates than people living in the city and regional Victoria for less services. The State needs to step in and help us out because our families and their future generations deserve more.

“Like Loddon Shire, many rural councils are under increasing financial pressure to deliver more services with fewer resources. Increased support from the Victorian Government is vital to continuing service delivery and to secure the long term financial sustainability of rural Victoria.

“As part of the joint 2017/2018 Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Budget Submission, Council has included specific requests for using a portion of a dedicated fund for urgent and essential community services,” Cr Beattie said.

The proposed projects include:
• $1,200,000 Pyramid Hill Streetscape Project
Proposed State contribution: $600,000, Council contribution: $600,000
• $400,000 Enhancing Liveability Project to improve appearance of properties, enhance community pride and encourage potential residents to move to the Shire
Proposed State contribution: $300,000, Council contribution: $100,000
• $4,000,000 Yorkshire Road Newbridge improvements to reliability and road safety
Proposed State contribution: $1,000,000, Council contribution: $3,000,000
• $1,100,000 Flood mitigation works near Serpentine, Pyramid Hill and Boort to overcome isolation of townships in times of flood and reduce adverse flood impacts on farmland and cropping areas
Proposed State contribution: $1,100,000

Loddon Shire is a member of the RCV alliance representing 38 rural councils across Victoria. The combined population of these councils is 740,000 or fifteen percent of Victoria’s total population.

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