RATEPAYERS want Ballarat City Council to go back to basics.
A survey conducted over the past week by The Courier – less than three months out from the next council election – shows improving council operations and processes is so far the top priority for residents, with 25.5 per cent of the vote.
More than 600 people have already taken part in the survey, which asks them to rate the council’s performance and identify major issues of concern.
Surprisingly, the Civic Hall’s future has not yet attracted a lot of votes, with only 7.6 per cent of respondents putting it at number one.
The other top issues include jobs development (14.4 per cent), keeping rates low (13.5 per cent), economic prosperity (12.9 per cent) and improving roads (12.4 per cent).
CBD improvements (9.4 per cent) and the Civic Hall were the next major issues, with the Ballarat West Growth Zone (2.8 per cent), the saleyards relocation (0.7 per cent) and water security (0.7 per cent) attracting very few votes.
Other responses include addressing youth issues, improving traffic flow and making Ballarat’s streets safer. The survey continues at www.thecourier.com.au until Thursday night.
Mayor Mark Harris said a recent local government survey across Victoria had revealed similar results, with council operations and processes an issue across the state.
“We are a local bureaucracy and that’s what we should be focused around,” Cr Harris said.
He said the survey also showed roads, rates and rubbish were still the basics councils need to deliver.
Cr Harris also said he wasn’t surprised by the Civic Hall result because it was an issue that was still in flux.
“I think there would have been increased interest in it when all the decisions were being made about it.”
He said the low vote for the saleyard relocation probably reflected that the rural community was smaller than the urban one.
“It’s the same sort of thing as the Civic Hall. People realise there are still contractual negotiations going on.
“Some of them have more to do with timing I think.”
Next Saturday, The Courier will reveal which councillor you believe has been the most effective during this term.