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    Barkly Street, Ararat.

Business insight sought for Ararat plan

Ararat business owners and employers will have an opportunity this week to help provide direction in how Ararat might plan to adapt to a changing socio-economic future.

They have invitations to attend an Ararat in Transition information session at Leopold Hotel in Barkly Street at 5.30pm tomorrow.

Ararat Rural City Council is leading the Ararat in Transition planning study based on a need to consider what the city and district can do to capitalise on and cope with evolving circumstances.

Some of the issues listed as potentially having a major impact on everyday life in Ararat district landscape include a planned Western Highway bypass of the city, highway upgrades, changing cultural and recreational infrastructure needs and public and private investment opportunities.

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Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Tim Harrison said there was a need for further residential, commercial and industrial development to address expected changes.

“The council is keen to develop a strategic plan for this development and it is vital to get the input of key stakeholders such as service authorities, business owners, landowners and developers,” he said.

“The key objectives of the project include developing a plan to promote residential development in Ararat for the next 10 years, and an action plan to promote a sustainable economy that does not rely solely on Ararat’s traditional ‘highway town’ characteristics. 

“The project will also identify opportunities to increase housing stock and provide greater housing diversity and affordability and aim to unlock development sites for commercial and business investment.”

Dr Harrison said the first stage of the project was targeted consultation with stakeholders including tomorrow night’s information session with business owners and employers.

He said information gleaned during the session would help form the basis of the action plan.

“The council will invite government agencies and service authorities to meet with us to review the draft plan to ensure we understand how the various parts of the project intersect,” he said.

“Business owners and employers are a vital part of this project, so we hope they can come along tomorrow night.

“As a key employment driver directly impacting and impacted by these changes, we want to hear from them about the role they play in Ararat’s future population and economic growth.” 

The information session will include a presentation from project team members, followed by a group discussion.

The entire February 12, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!