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Labor pledge $3.5m to rural councils

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Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) has welcomed the Victorian Labour party’s commitment to continue to fund RCV’s Networked Rural Councils Program if it forms government in two weeks’ time.

The Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Jacinta Allan, met with the RCV Executive Committee yesterday afternoon to make the announcement.

RCV Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said he was delighted with Labour’s $3.5million promise over four years, to continue the work of RCV in supporting and promoting the interests of rural councils and their communities.

“Of course we are very pleased that both of the major parties see the value in RCV, so much so that they have both made commitments before the election. In late October the Coalition government committed $3million to RCV for the next four years,” Cr Gersch said.

Cr Gersch said the pledges show that both parties parties recognise the contribution of rural Victoria to the state’s economic and social prosperity and the important role rural councils play in their communities in planning for the future and delivering key services and infrastructure.

“Rural communities have some unique concerns that need addressing and rural councils’ prioritise the attraction and efficient and effective use of resources to meet community needs and aspirations. This in turn encourages new residents and investment to the country,” Cr Gersch said.

He said the funding will allow RCV to continue providing valuable support to the 38 rural councils on shared challenges through training, policy responses and developing tools to benefit councils.

The Victorian government funds RCV’s current $3.3million Networked Rural Councils program, the initial four year tranche of which expires in June 2015.

RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It advocates for sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities and delivers projects that provide support and solutions on issues shared by the state’s rural councils.

ENDS

For more information contact:
Cr Rob Gersch, Chair, 0427 600 122
Olwyn Redshaw, RCV Policy and Program Manager on 0424 536 006
Birgit Schonafinger, Media Advisor on 0459 281814

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