Resources and Toolkits

How we do things in a rural context is different than in a regional centre or a major metro area.

RCV has commissioned series of resources and toolkits to support our member Councils to develop and implement initiatives with their rural environment in mind. These resources should be read as shortcuts to industry best practice, providing insights for resource constrained small rural councils, and highlighting issues relevant to their rural communities.

New resources will be added over time as new projects are completed.

Climate Change Toolkit for Rural Councils

This toolkit was developed by RCV to assist rural councils to start or continue to ensure that decision-making is informed by, and seeks to minimize, climate change risks as per the Local Government Act 2020. There are four modules that can be worked through with an overarching guidance note as well as a checklist.

A recording of a webinar conducted in late 2022 available in this link. Ironbark Sustainability, authors of the toolkit, took participants through the toolkit and answered questions.

Download the Climate Change Toolkit

Long term financial planning software

Following the adoption of the Local Government Act (2020), it is mandatory that councils in Victoria develop, adopt and keep in place a financial plan. This RCV project provides a simplified software template that allows rural councils to develop a useful and compliant financial plan.

Contact RCV for access to the software

Investment Attraction Program

The Investment Attraction Program aims to improve the capability of rural Councils concerning investment attraction and provide an overall understanding of the opportunities for private sector investment in rural Victoria.

Download the Investment Attraction Program report

Growing the Food Manufacturing Sector in Rural Victoria

This RCV project – the first phase of which is concluded – identified and engaged potential food manufacturing investors, which will enable a more efficient use of RCV member council resources and present a total range of food manufacturing opportunities in rural Victoria to potential investors.

Visit the food manufacturing website

Environment Protection Act 2017 Implementation Toolkit

RCV has identified the need for a toolkit to assist councils in understanding their obligations and responding to the newly implemented Environmental Protection Act 2017.

This Toolkit will guide rural councils to evaluate their existing systems in six key function areas of council.

Download the EPA Act Toolkit

Population Attraction Toolkit

RCV has identified the need for a toolkit to assist councils to embed long-term and ongoing population attraction strategies into their community and council plan.

This Population Attraction Toolkit is designed to support member councils to implement the findings of key research in rural population attraction and retention. The toolkit includes practical steps, tasks, initiatives and potential actions that Councils can undertake to attract and retain residents and ratepayers in a strategic, cost effective manner.

The Toolkit has been developed to support rural councils as they adapt to changes initiated in the Local Government Act 2020.

Community Engagement Toolkit

The publication of this toolkit is an initiative of Rural Councils Victoria. Community engagement and consultation in rural Councils is inherently different to approaches used in metropolitan and regional cities. Populations in rural communities are diverse and often dispersed over large geographical areas. Community priorities, interests and challenges are also different and unique to each Council area. Engagement approaches need to be tailored to meet the needs of rural Councils and the communities they represent.

Rural Councils also face the added pressure of having fewer resources, that are spread across a broad range of practice areas.
This Community Engagement Toolkit has been developed to support rural councils as they adapt to changes initiated in the Local Government Act 2020.

Download the Community Engagement Toolkit

Creative Industries Toolkit - A guide to creative industries in rural and regional Victoria

Victoria’s Creative State Strategy 2016-2020 undertook extensive research on why Victorian rural areas can benefit from creative industries. This research showed that people working in the creative industries are more likely to migrate out of metropolitan areas and work in regional areas due to greater quality of life, financial freedom and work freedom. So how to should rural councils be supporting people to establish creative businesses in rural areas?

Download the Creative Industries Toolkit

Grants Toolkit - A guide to preparing successful grant applications, including case studies

Each year millions of dollars in grant funding is awarded to councils and community groups throughout Victoria. Successfully attracting funding requires preparation and planning. Grants enable councils and community groups to create opportunities for people, build community and effect change, as well as acquire assets and ongoing events for the community. This toolkit aims to break down the barriers of applying for grant funding, making it simpler and giving you practical tips to be successful in its application.

Download the Grants Toolkit

Retail Toolkit - How your local council helps retail businesses survive and thrive

Retail business are the lifeblood of rural Victoria. Victoria’s retail sector continues to go from strength to strength with retail trade growing by 4.5 per cent from 2017-2018 – the highest of all states – turning over $79.2 billion and accounting for a quarter of the national retail turnover. This toolkit is designed to support those looking at establishing their own retail business in rural and regional Victoria work with their local council so that our communities can continue to grow and prosper.

Download the Retail Toolkit


RCV hosts and partners with others organisations and individuals to provide webinars from experts who are of interest to, or whose expertise will help make live better, in rural communities. Please find links below:

The Climate Change Toolkit by Ironbark Sustainability

Watch the webinar

Disaster Ready Fund

Watch the webinar


RCV has organised training to suppoort councillors and council staff in their roles. Training has been rolled out as funding and needs are identified.

Training subsidies for staff and councillors

In 2021, RCV members had access to heavily subsidised training through the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). The full Company Directors course and the Foundation of Directorship course were offered. The rationale behind subsidising courses such as these is to uplift capabilities and capacity of rural local government executives and Councillors.

Media and Communications training

Training was offered to rural council spokespeople across Victoria in 2021 to assist with building the skills and acumen necessary to deal with print, TV and radio and an understanding of the requirements, audiences and needs of the various media and social media channels that are available to their councils.

Facebook YouTube Twitter