Hepburn Shire has received a $20,000 grant from the Victorian Planning Authority’s “Streamlining For Growth” program.

While the funding was welcomed by Council the result was disappointing because the grant was just 10% of the Shire’s request for $200,000.

Mayor Cr Lesley Hewitt said funds were needed for Council to undertake strategic planning work to underpin the C80Hepb Planning Scheme Amendment.

A settlement strategy and structure plans are needed for Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford, Glenlyon and Trentham. Cr Hewitt said, “This strategic planning work is needed to determine what kind of land use we want, where growth is going to occur and what our residents want for their townships”.

Additional strategic work is needed in relation to retaining the use of agricultural land, protecting our natural environment including our mineral springs and indigenous heritage.

Cr Hewitt said the cost of the review was estimated at around $500,000 so additional funding from external bodies would be sought by Council  to minimise the impact on other Council programs.

Adjoining Moorabool Shire Council received $115,000 in the VPA grant round and the City of Ballarat received $160,000.