RCV has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of $8 million to support Victoria’s 38 rural councils to deliver exciting projects that improve services and provide value for money for local communities.
Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane announced the opening of a $8 million second round of the Rural Councils Transformation Program on 6 October.
The State Government said the program was launched in 2018 to enable rural councils to work with other councils to improve services and reduce costs.
Round one focused on large-scale projects including the Rural Councils Corporate Collaboration, led by Horsham Rural City Council, which joined forces with three other councils — Hindmarsh, Loddon and West Wimmera — to adopt integrated systems to manage their business processes, including finance, payroll and procurement.
This project received $5 million from the program and is now in the tender phase.
Round two is focused on smaller projects that include new and ongoing collaboration and resource sharing such as shared workforce planning and asset management systems. Projects will be funded up to $1 million, with a maximum of $250,000 for each rural council involved.
While funding is not awarded for metropolitan or regional council involvement, all Victorian councils can participate in the program – a minimum of two rural councils must be involved and projects will have to be completed within two years.
Applications for the Rural Councils Transformation Program close on 10 December 2021. For more details and funding guidelines visit localgovernment.vic.gov.au.
Rural Councils Victoria Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown said:
“Rural Councils Victoria welcome this announcement.”
“We are pleased that the Victorian Government consulted with Rural Councils Victoria on the design of the program and as a consequence have made the program more accessible for rural councils.”
“Rural councils across the state have a well-earned reputation for working closely together via the Rural Councils Victoria network.”
“This fund will empower rural councils to further benefit rural communities by providing the resources to innovate, share resources and find new ways to benefit rural communities.”
Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane said:
“Rural councils play a vital role in supporting country Victorians and this funding will improve the capacity of councils to meet the needs of their local communities.”
“I encourage councils to be innovative and bold as they consider the opportunities this program provides to do things differently and better.”
Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas said:“By working together, rural councils can take their operations to the next level – and local families, businesses and community groups will be the winners.”