A DONALD community group has launched an incentive scheme aimed at boosting the town's economy and population.
The scheme offers to pay for Buloke Shire Council rates for new commercial and residential buildings for two years.
Industry, business and community development group Donald 2000 is offering the building incentive project.
The group aims to boost the town's population from 1700 people to 2000.
Project chairman Graeme Harris estimated people could save up to $4000 in two years, depending on a property's value.
Donald 2000 decided to adopt the incentive scheme after council dropped a similar scheme from its 2012-2013 budget.
Mr Harris said council supported his group's willingness to take on the scheme.
He said the project aimed to attract five or six new properties during the year.
"We have launched it with real estate agents when they sell a block of land for housing, and Donald builders," Mr Harris said.
"There is already a tentative application to build a house and we launched the scheme in mid-December.
"The community bank is supporting it too and a solicitor has also offered some incentive with conveyancing.
"The project encourages Donald builders and tradesmen to get the benefit out of building a home.
"It says that the Donald community is doing something to encourage people to relocate here.
"People can buy a fully-serviced block of land in Donald for $20,000.
"It's a very viable option."
Donald 2000 will operate the incentive scheme for two years before reviewing it.
Mr Harris said the group raised money through fundraising activities.
"Donald 2000 has had some great developments over the years," he said.
"We hope to grow Donald's population up to 2000 people; it's 1700 now."
Mr Harris said incentive scheme application forms were available from Donald businesses including the town's Bendigo Bank branch.
He said people could call 0419 547 897 for more information.
Buloke Shire Mayor Reid Mather said it was a simple decision for council to no longer offer the building incentive scheme.
"I don't think it actually gives us any more housing stock than we would have already had in Buloke, and not necessarily the housing stock type we need in the shire,'' he said.
"Council decided that in this instance it was not a good use of ratepayers' money."
Cr Mather said council welcomed feedback about its decision.
He said council aimed to have a new economic development policy before the end of June.