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RCV welcomes funding and Minister to Forum

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Rural Councils Victoria has welcomed today’s funding announcement by the Local Government Minister, the Hon. Natalie Hutchins and her commitment to open the network’s Mayor, Councillor and CEO Forum in Melbourne next month.

Earlier today, Ms Hutchins foreshadowed $5.2million in the state budget for rural and regional councils under the Roadside Weeds and Pests program.

Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said the lack of certainty that this funding would continue was raised as a significant issue by members at the Rural Summit held two weeks ago.

“Rural councils will be very relieved to hear today’s news and we thank the state government for their support and taking our feedback on board,” Cr Gersch said.

“We are also really pleased that the Minister will open our May Forum, as well as having a further two Ministers on the program – the Minister for Regional Development, Hon Jaala Pulford and the Minister for Planning, the Hon Richard Wynne.

“In addition to hearing from these and other guest speakers, members will be prioritising their main issues to set RCV’s advocacy agenda. The Roadside Weeds and Pests program announcement means this is one issue we can take off our list.”

Cr Gersch said the state government’s approach to rate capping and the loss of funding for country roads and bridges were among other issues which will be discussed.

The Forum will be held on 14 May and will be attended by about 60 representatives from the state’s 38 rural councils.
Dr Ron Ben-David, Chairperson of the Essential Services Commission will talk about the process and terms of reference for the development of the rate capping policy.

RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It supports and promotes sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities, including a program of activities focused on developing practical solutions to issues shared by the state’s rural councils and communities.

Rural Councils Victoria is supported with funding from the Victorian Government’s $3.3million Networked Rural Councils program.

The RCV Mayor, Councillor and CEO Forum is sponsored by Maddocks Lawyers.

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