About RCV

About RCV

Rural Councils Victoria represents Victoria's rural councils, supporting and promoting sustainable, liveable, prosperous rural communities

Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) represents Victoria's rural councils. We believe that liveable, sustainable and prosperous rural communities are fundamental to the ongoing success of Victoria.

Representing the one in nine Victorians who live in rural communities, RCV has 34 member councils right across the state.

In Victoria, 38 of the 79 councils are classified as 'rural'. Victoria’s rural councils are responsible for 79 per cent of Victoria’s land area (June 2011), and have a combined population of approximately 745,000 people (Census 2016). Our rural areas and communities are critical to the liveability of Victoria. They are also key to a thriving state economy.

We work to:

  • Heighten awareness and understanding of issues that impact on rural communities
  • Use policy, strategy, advocacy and evidence-based research to secure better outcomes for rural councils and in turn, for the whole of Victoria
  • Promote a collective voice and to be an avenue of communication and liaison between our member councils and State and Federal governments
  • Enable local solutions and facilitate networking, learning, capacity building, and external communication
  • Contribute to the development of evidence-based policy and strategy
  • Build the resilience and capacity of councils to support economic development and increase the sustainability of rural communities
  • Develop strategies and initiatives to improve the attraction and retention of residents and businesses to rural areas
  • Assist with building the capacity of rural councils to meet the challenges they face.

Our History

RCV was established in 2005 to coordinate the network of rural councils across Victoria in their efforts to better understand, articulate and address the issues affecting them.

The vision then was to create rural communities with sustainable economies contributing to the health, character and liveability of Victoria, and this vision has strengthened in the years since.

State Government funding was first provided to RCV in 2006 to help it communicate rural issues to government departments and determine priority projects. In December 2009 rural councils agreed to contribute to sustaining the network through an annual membership contribution.

In March 2011 the State Government announced funding of $3.3 million for RCV, to be delivered over four years under the Networked Rural Councils Program (NRCP). A further $3.5 million was committed to RCV to continue this work under the auspices of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).

In 2016, RCV became an Incorporated Association operating independently, with a three year funding commitment of $3.5 million from Regional Development Victoria (RDV). We continue to work closely with MAV, RDV, Local Government Victoria (LGV) and other state and federal agencies as we deliver our program of work.

Today RCV ise the peak body representing and advocating for Victoria’s rural councils. Further information on the RCV Governance structure and processes can be found in the Rules of Incorporation.

Raising an issue for RCV support

We know there are a number of pressures and issues impacting individual member councils across Victoria.

Click on this link for information on how to approach RCV for advocacy support on an issue.

Annual Reports

Each year RCV prepares and published an annual report on the proceedings, achievements and other details of RCV's work and position in the previous financial year. The latest annual report, previous years' annual reports and the RCV Rules of Incorporation are available in the links below.

Our Committee and Members

Rural North West Region

This region is currently represented by Cr Rob Gersch, Councillor at Hindmarsh Shire Council, and Tammy Smith, CEO of Yarriambiack Shire Council.

Rural North East Region

This region is currently represented by Cr Laura Binks, Mayor of Strathbogie Shire and Dom Testoni, CEO of Benalla Rural City Council.

Rural North Central Region

This region is currently represented by Cr Jane Ogden, Councillor at Gannawarra Shire Council, and Darren Fuzzard, CEO of Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Rural South Central Region

This region is currently represented by Cr Robert Vance, Councillor at Pyrenees Shire Council, and Eric Braslis, CEO of Golden Plains Shire Council.

Rural South West Region

This region is currently represented by Committee Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown, Councillor at Southern Grampians Shire Council, and Treasurer Andrew Mason, CEO of Corangamite Shire Council.

Rural South East Region

This region is currently represented by Cr Sonia Buckley, Councillor at East Gippsland Shire Council, and David Morcom, CEO of Wellington Shire Council. 

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