Rural Councils Victoria has welcomed the State Government’s recognition of the unique needs of rural communities with the announcement today of $4.5 million for the Living Libraries Fund.
The Chair of Rural Councils Victoria, Cr Mary-Ann Brown said:
“We welcome the fact that many libraries in rural Victoria will receive government support without the need for the local council to provide funding.
“Libraries are a vital resource for rural communities across Victoria. They are about more than just books. Libraries serve as community hubs, provide a range of essential services that facilitate a whole range of positive activities.
“Libraries, particularly in our rural communities, are a resource for early and lifelong learning, child and adult literacy, online access to government services and business and entrepreneurial skills development.
“These resources are particularly important in Victoria’s rural communities where internet access is all too often slow and where there is a lack of community resources generally.”
In making the announcement, Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek said:
“These funds will help meet the needs of our growing state, supporting local councils to deliver the facilities and services people need to thrive.”
The small rural councils that won’t need to make a contribution include:
Alpine, Ararat, Benalla, Buloke, Central Goldfields, Gannawarra, Hepburn, Hindmarsh, Indigo, Loddon, Mansfield, Murrindindi, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Queenscliffe, Strathbogie, Towong, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack.
Rural and regional councils that will need to provide $1 for every $3 they receive from the Living Libraries Fund are:
Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Campaspe, Colac-Otway, Corangamite, East Gippsland, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Macedon Ranges, Mitchell, Moira, Moorabool, Mount Alexander, Moyne, South Gippsland, Southern Grampians, Surf Coast, Swan Hill and Wellington.