Rural Victorians Deserve More — RCV’s 2017/2018 Victorian Budget Submission
Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) is calling on the State Government to establish an annual, dedicated $150 million Rural Community Support Fund in a submission to the 2017/ 2018 Victorian Budget.
Many of Victoria’s rural councils are under increasing financial pressure to deliver more services and manage significant assets across vast geographic areas, all with fewer resources.
The combined population of rural councils is about 740,000 or 15 percent of Victoria’s total population and despite contributing significantly to the State’s GSP and employment, comparatively rural councils receive little support from state government.
In fact, it is becoming an all too common trend for rural councils to defer spending on infrastructure and reduce services in order to maintain the bare minimum for their communities.
This situation is not sustainable and undermines the State’s productivity and growth potential.
On behalf of its 38 member councils RCV’s executive committee has begun strongly advocating for more support from the State, meeting with ministers and policy makers about its request for the establishment of an annual, dedicated $150 million Rural Community Support Fund.
This is the key request in the 2017/ 2018 RCV Victorian Budget Submission which each member Council has contributed to by providing a list of community infrastructure, roads and bridges and service delivery projects that need a portion of the proposed funding.
Increased State Government support via an annual, dedicated $150 million Rural Community Support Fund is urgently needed to ensure continued provision of services and the long term financial sustainability of rural councils.