RESIDENTS in the Mount Alexander Shire are paying more in rates than most residents in central Victoria.
Victorian government Know Your Council data, released on Monday, showed residents in the shire paid on average $1953.66 in rates for 2018-19.
That was compared to the $1,731.02 residents in similar councils paid. The average across all Victorian councils was $1,669.82.
The only council in the region where rates were higher was the Macedon Ranges Shire Council, where rates were $2,081.76 on average.
The Mount Alexander Shire Council did not detail to the government why its rates were higher than other parts of the state.
But the shire did perform better than average in the category community satisfaction with community consultation and engagement.
The council was rated 56 out of 100, which was higher than the similar council average of 53 out of 100.
In the category of community satisfaction with council decisions, Mount Alexander Shire rated 52 out of 100. That score was the same as the similar councils average.
In the government report, the shire said council had endeavoured to "raise public awareness of its decisions and activities" through media releases and presenting council meetings on live video feeds.
The council also said it was "actively encouraging community involvement in projects".
The cost of governance per councillor in the Mount Alexander Shire was also significantly lower than the average at similar councils and across the state.
The Mount Alexander Shire's councillors cost $31,987.29 in 2018-19, which was about $13,000 less than the similar councils' average and about $17,000 less than the state average.
But the costs were higher than the previous financial year, where it was recorded at $30,009.29.
The shire noted in the report three separate councillor vacancies in the 2017-18 period resulted in reduced costs like councillor allowances for that year.
Costs returned to more normal levels in 2018 -2019 with a full representation of councillors in the shire.
Central Goldfields Shire Council
Central Goldfields Shire councillors were also at a higher cost to council than other parts of Victoria.
Councillors were at a cost of $128,692 for 2018-19, which was considerably higher than the similar councils' average of $43,254.39
The shire attributed the increase to the introduction of three administrators in the council, who received a higher remuneration than elected councillors.
Central Goldfields residents were also paying higher rates than residents in other parts of the region, with rates hitting $1,516.46 on average in 2018-19 compared to $1,452.56.
That was also an increase of more than $400 from the average rates in 2016-17.
But the shire detailed in the report residential garbage charges were excluded from the calculation in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 reports.
The correction from 2017-2018 resulted in higher rates, the council spokesperson said.
The Central Goldfields Shire did improve in the category of community satisfaction with community consultation and engagement.
In the 2018-19 period, the council rated 55 out of 100, which was an increase from the 45 out of 100 in 2017-18.
The shire said the improvement was the result of adopting a community engagement framework and improving its methods of engaging with the community.
A council spokesperson said there had been a large amount of work undertaken to improve the community and stakeholder engagement.
The council has also improved its transparency with council decision making.
In the 2018-19 period, the council made all of its decisions in open council meetings, with zero per cent of decisions made in meetings closed to the public.
Similar councils made on average 11.92 per cent of decisions in closed meetings, while the state average was 9.55 per cent for 2018-19.
Central Goldfields Shire council's results for the past year were a significant improvement from 2017-18, where 7.26 per cent of decisions were made in closed council meetings.
The shire told the government it had "moved to a practice of hearing contractual matters in open council meetings as much as practicable".
The report also found all Central Goldfield Shire sealed local roads were maintained to condition standards in 2018-19.
While the state average was 96.48 per cent, the shire has maintained a 100 per cent success rate in the past two years.
But community satisfaction with sealed local roads remained consistently low, at 48 out of 100.
The state average was 57 out of 100, while the average of similar councils was 52 out of 100.
Campaspe Shire Council
Community satisfaction in the Campaspe Shire Council has improved for 2018-19.
While the shire still rates below the state average for community satisfaction with council decisions, the council was rated 47 out of 100 in the latest government report - higher than the previous year at 46 out of 100.
In the category of community satisfaction with community consultation and engagement, the Campaspe Shire rated 51 out of 100 which was again below the state and similar councils' average.
The shire told the report the trend across the past four years had generally remained steady and that council was committed to listening and engaging with the community to improve satisfaction.
Councillors were also at a higher cost to council in the Campaspe Shire.
Councillors were at a cost of $51,514.78, which is higher than the similar councils average of $44,461.78 and the state average of $48,340.83.
The shire told the report the marginal increase in costs was due to the appointment of consultants who were undertaking a governance review.
Rates were also higher than the state average in the Campaspe Shire, with residents paying on average $1,866.48.
That was also an increase of more than $150 on the previous year.
The shire said while there had been a slight upwards trend over the past four years, the larger increase in the 2018-19 period was the result of a rise in property valuations.