Library costs are up in Ballarat but residents are slightly happier with council decisions. These are just two of the takeaways from the recently refreshed Know Your Council website, which compares local councils across the state.
The state government website, which has just updated to include statistics from the past financial year, includes a broad range of measures from financial performance to the cost of aquatic facilities.
The City of Ballarat also counted less on loans and borrowings, the website revealed, with the total falling to around a third of the total gathered through rates.
Meanwhile the average rate per residential property stood at $1,695 for Ballarat, less than Bendigo's ($1,759) but more than Geelong's at $1,586.
Around $3,238 was spent per Ballarat residence in the previous year, higher than in Greater Bendigo ($3,158) and Greater Geelong ($2,953) but substantially less than in Mildura ($3,668)
As reported by The Courier in October, Ballarat planning applications are taking significantly longer on average than previously - now standing at 68 days compared to 59 in 2017/18. The number of missed bin collections has also risen for the second consecutive year.
Also covered in this newspaper, the number of decisions made in camera in the past financial year rose sharply.
The City of Ballarat registered the highest level of proportion of decisions made behind closed doors of all regional councils across the state.
Residents ranked the council's overall satisfaction with its decision making at 55 out of 100, slightly less than councils as a whole, but marginally more than similar councils.
Local government minister Adem Somyurek said it was "about giving Victorian households the information they need to hold their councils to account and weigh up their performance."
This is the fifth update of the performance data since the website's launch in 2015.
Earlier this year, a Victorian Auditor General-Report commended the website, but said data from councils was not always reliably recorded. It also said councils could do more to improve using the collated results and the comparisons.
- See knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au for the full data.
MORE ANALYSIS OF THE COUNCIL'S ANNUAL REPORT
- Rates and charges $200 more for average house in Ballarat compared to Geelong in 2019
- Ballarat's councillor and mayoral expenses
- City of Ballarat struggles to deliver timely planning decisions
- City of Ballarat income from parking fees, fines and charges increases
- Sharp rise in Ballarat City Council decisions made behind closed doors
- Mystery million dollars of Federal funding in council coffers
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