Days after Moorabool Shire's chief executive called for a "fair go", a $450,000 infrastructure grant will help support employment in Ballan's industrial estate.
That's a positive step, according to Paarhammer Windows and Doors's Tony Paarhammer.
He said he's been in Ballan for about 30 years, and he's watched employment shrink as the lack of infrastructure prevented business from expanding, or even considering Ballan.
"In the early '90s, there were more people employed here than there are now," he said.
His window factory, which supplies European-style fixtures along the eastern seaboard, and components to New Zealand, has quietly built itself up over the years, but it hasn't been reliant on a gas connection.
He's hoping that as well as road upgrades, which would keep large trucks out of the middle of town, connecting gas to the estate will give businesses more options to invest and grow.
"Having the gas in the industrial estate should help us, but primarily new entrants who have an opportunity to establish a business that could only exist if there's gas," he said.
"I know in the last 30 years of a number of businesses that wanted to move to Ballan but couldn't because of the lack of gas in the industrial estate."
With the funding released from Regional Development Victoria, and this development is going out to tender, Moorabool is still crying out for more investment.
A few kilometres away from the shire's border with the City of Ballarat, the venerable Kryal Castle is planning for its future after general manager Melissa Dimond took over the business two years ago.
Medieval history is part of the year eight curriculum, and when combined with the other resources in Ballarat, there's a lot to offer school camps, she said - but the business can't expand into group accommodation until it connects to the sewerage main.
"The plans that are in currently are stalled, because until we fix things over here, they can't sign off on it," she said.
"We're trying to work it out - ideally, you'd tap into the mains, and Warrenheip is the next closest one, going straight down the Western Highway."
This would also unlock the potential for more investment in Bungaree and Wallace, she said, jumping on the growth spreading west-ward from the city.
"We bought there because of the growth - you can see what happened in Woodend, Gisborne, Kyneton, the next one that's got to go has to be on the Western Highway, so we're looking long term, and Bacchus Marsh is growing," she said.
"Dunnstown's just around the corner, there's Bungaree - imagine if they could put more houses and everything at Bungaree and really create a nice little community, not over-developed, but keep that country feel that everyone in Melbourne wants."
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