Rural Councils Victoria was established in 2005 to coordinate the network of 38 rural councils across Victoria in their efforts to better understand, articulate and address the issues affecting them.
The vision then was to create rural communities with sustainable economies contributing to the health, character and liveability of Victoria.
State government funding was first provided to RCV in 2006 to help it communicate rural issues to government departments and determine priority projects. In December 2009 the 38 councils agreed to contribute to sustaining the network through an annual membership contribution.
In March 2011 the State Government announced funding of $3.3 million for RCV, to be delivered over four years under the Networked Rural Councils Program (NRCP). NRCP aims to:
- Promote a collective voice and coordinate liaison between (RCV) members and governments
- Enable local solutions and facilitate networking, learning, capacity building, and external communication
- Create an interactive learning hub, and contribute to the development of evidence-based policy and strategy
- Build the resilience and capacity of councils to support economic development and increase the sustainability of rural communities
- Develop strategies and initiatives to improve the attraction and retention of residents and businesses to rural areas
Today RCV has become the peak body representing and advocating for Victoria’s 38 rural councils.