Good employment opportunities remain a huge concern for Ballarat residents.
A survey of Ballarat City revealed on average residents rated the city 6.1/10 for job opportunities.
It was the lowest rating of 12 categories, with good access to public transport and safety rounding out the bottom three.
Those two categories rated on average 6.5 and 6.7 out of 10 respectively.
Commerce for Ballarat chair David Wright said businesses were optimistic about future growth following some big job announcements earlier this year.
“Last year there was a perception of poor employment opportunities because the only big announce was the growth of the Ballarat West Employment Zone,” he said.
“But now 12 months on we have seen a lot more government announcements for Ballarat, which creates a lot more optimism.”
Council also recorded an increase in the number of Central and South Ward ratepayers who approved of Ballarat’s overall direction.
However this was countered by a slight drop in North Ward residents’ approval of Ballarat’s direction.
North Ward councillor Grant Tillet said 25 years of poor planning at Miners Rest and the construction of the new saleyards at the town had caused the drop.
“There is no overall plan for the development of Miners Rest - it is being developed by developers, not council plan,” he said.
“If there had been a Miners Rest plan, there probably would not have been a saleyards, because people would have understood what was needed.”
Central Ward saw the most significant rise in approval, with an average rating of 7.1 out of 10, up from 6.6 in 2016.
Ballarat City deputy mayor Mark Harris said the issues in the Central Ward were different to North and South Wards.
“They are not the city and they have different concerns, so perhaps we are not addressing them as well as we could,” he said.
The survey also revealed the long-running Begonia Festival was the most well-known event among ratepayers.
More people knew about it than recent additions to the city’s events calendar, such as White Night and the first AFL game at Mars Stadium.
Despite this, White Night received an average 9/10 approval rating.
There were 800 residents surveyed with a 3.3 per cent margin of error.