COMMUNITY satisfaction in the performance of the Baw Baw Shire Council has risen over the last year, an annual community satisfaction survey has found.
The Community Satisfaction Survey 2014, commissioned by the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, showed the council’s overall performance had a public approval rating of 57 per cent, up from 41 per cent last year.
The council received a score of 45 per cent in 2012.
Approval of the council’s direction jumped by 10 per cent in the past year: at 52 per cent this year from 42 per cent in 2013.
At last Wednesday’s council meeting Drouin ward coucillor Tricia Jones praised the mostly positive results.
“The whole shire is in a positive shift, so we’re headed in the right direction,” she said.
“The fact that we’ve been involved with this a few years so we can compare ourselves with previous years is good – we know where we stand.”
But the council did not improve in every category: satisfaction with street and footpath conditions dropped to 47 per cent this year from 50 per cent in 2012.
The report showed “Baw Baw significantly underperforms state and [similar council] averages” in street, footpath, sealed and unsealed road conditions.
“The road condition does seem to be a thorn in our sides,” councillor Jones said.
“Yet we spend a lot of money on the roads and are making improvements.”
A new survey section found most residents would prefer service cuts over rate rises.
Statistics showed 28 per cent preferred rate rises, while 52 per cent wanted service cuts.
Nineteen per cent said they were not sure which they would prefer.
The report surveyed 400 randomly selected Baw Baw residents and compared the region to other major rural councils, including East Gippsland, South Gippsland, Bass Coast and Wellington.
Minister for Local Government Tim Bull said in a media release today Victoria’s councils had mostly scored higher in the report this year than in previous years.
Get free email updates from the Baw Baw Citizen
Read more Baw Baw News