Moorabool Shire Council's new mayor has called for western towns like Bungaree and Wallace to be connected to a modern sewerage network.
In an opinion piece for The Courier, Councillor Tom Sullivan said the region was continuing to rapidly grow, and needed funding to be connected from all levels of government.
This would benefit residents to Ballarat's east, as well as new and existing businesses within the shire.
It could also bring other benefits to the city of Ballarat, he added.
"Despite a history dating back to the 1880s, the towns are still reliant on septic tanks that limit development opportunities," he wrote.
"Council has long advocated for the towns to be connected to a sewer system.
"We have been actively working with Central Highlands Water to see how best to make this a priority for the next five years."
Cr Sullivan said a $10 million modern sewer project "could result in up to 3500 new residents moving into the area".
In 2019, Moorabool received grants to improve access at an industrial estate in Ballan, among other projects, however many businesses requested an improved sewerage system.
At the time, council's chief executive Derek Madden pointed to statistics from Victoria's Auditor-General which showed Moorabool residents were receiving just $15 each in state grant money, at a time when the shire's population is projected to grow by 36 per cent.
Moorabool deserves a fair go, he told The Courier, in infrastructure and community development funding, as well as in maintaining the shire's extensive rural road network.
"It's time that Moorabool asks for its fair share as well from the state government," he said.
Cr Sullivan called on the state government to step up and help create jobs with funding for the new network - Moorabool Shire Council would contribute $1 million to the project, and landowners may also have to contribute.
"I am a strong believer that one of the best ways to enable development in a sustainable way, that enhances liveability, is to share growth across smaller towns, rather than concentrating it in particular areas," Cr Sullivan wrote.
"There is a good opportunity here for government, water authorities, councils and the community to work constructively to grow Victoria's small towns."
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The state government's Regional Development Victoria agency referred enquiries to Central Highlands Water.
Central Highlands Water was contacted for comment.
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