Torquay has the largest population of any township in the shire.
Surf Coast Shire has two townships designated for growth – Torquay and Winchelsea. Torquay’s next designated growth area is Messmate Road, while Winchelsea is planning for a population of 10,000 by 2050. We’re part of a bigger picture, where growth in these areas supports national and statewide population increases.
For our growing communities, there is a need and an expectation for us to deliver core services and infrastructure. State and federal governments have a role to play, whether it’s helping fund large infrastructure projects or expanding services such as healthcare and education. However councils are largely responsible for delivering essential infrastructure such as roads, drainage and streetscapes, as well as places like parks and sporting facilities. When built, we have to continue to maintain these assets which places a lot of pressure on our resources and finances.
In places like Torquay and Winchelsea, we have funding programs where development contributes revenue for community infrastructure. This investment is obligated to be spent in these communities.
We recognise that in areas where population is static, the community also has expectations and aspirations. We want to maintain existing assets to the standard residents expect, but rising construction costs are constraining our capacity to tackle a wide variety of projects.
We also time capital projects to funding opportunities, such as state and federal government election cycles. It’s what we’ve done with the Surf Coast Aquatic and Health Centre, which will service community members from across the shire. And this is the approach we are taking with the Deans Marsh Community Hall and Cottage, completing the necessary strategic work so we can advocate for external funding to help deliver this community hub in a future budget.