State government appoints municipal monitor to Ararat Rural City Council for two years to 2019

THE state government has appointed a municipal monitor to Ararat Rural City Council for two years as the municipality works to improve its rating strategy and consultation methods.

Former City of Ballarat chief executive Janet Dore has been appointed as Ararat monitor, effective Thursday, and she will hold the position until August 23, 2019.

Ms Dore will be responsible for assisting and reporting on council’s progress in implementing the recommendations.

Victorian Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins decided to appoint a monitor to Ararat Rural City earlier this month after assessing the findings of a Commission of Inquiry report.

Ms Hutchins said Ms Dore had extensive senior executive experience in local and state government enterprises and boards, including as a recent chief executive of the Transport Accident Commission and past chief executive of the City of Newcastle in New South Wales.

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Ms Hutchins started the inquiry to look into the processes undertaken by the Ararat Rural City Council in the development of its rating strategy and draft 2017-18 budget, which proposed to abolish differential rates.

The proposal would have seen a considerable increase in the amount of rates paid by farmers but offered varying discounts to residential, commercial and industrial properties.

“The municipal monitor will serve as an important asset for council and provide guidance where needed on its rating and consultation process,” Ms Hutchins said.

"It's great to see the councillors have voted to retain their 2016 rating strategy and implement all of the recommendations put forward to them."

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