RCV is disappointed that 2022 Victorian State Budget has failed to deliver for rural Victorians.
RCV Chair Mary-Ann Brown said:
“The budget papers say there is $5.7 billion being invested in regional Victoria.
“But regional Victoria is much more than Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo where much of the Government’s focus and money is going.
“Rural Victorians face challenges with education, access to medical services, aged care, housing, employment, digital connectivity, roads, tourism, emergency management and social disadvantage to name just a few – it is only fair that rural Victorians are adequately accommodated in the state budget.
“There is nothing in the 2022 Victorian Budget to address the financial sustainability of Rural Councils, many of which serve vast areas of the state.
“These councils don’t have the same ability to raise income from things such as investments, car parking and fines that metropolitan and regional cities enjoy.
“Rural Councils Victoria have been calling on the State Government to address this issue for years.
“The Government’s own report commissioned from KPMG in 2017 identified that without action by the State Government, rural councils would struggle to provide vital services such as rubbish collection, kindergartens, supporting for our elderly and maintaining thousands of kilometres of roads.
“Once again, a state budget has failed to address this issue or provide meaningful financial support to Rural Councils and the communities they serve.
“Meanwhile,RCV will be seeking assurances from the Victorian Government that rural communities will be getting their fair share from the ‘regional’ spending in the 2022 State Budget.”