Rural councils modernising to enhance the future
Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said yesterday’s story in the Weekly Times which calls for further amalgamation of Victoria councils, is out of touch.
Cr Gersch said rural councils are modernising their approaches through collaboration and embracing the opportunities technology brings.
“The article quotes former deputy Premier, Pat McNamara, but we are operating in a different era now and rural councils particularly are adopting modern business practices to improve our financial and operational sustainability,” Cr Gersch said.
“We don’t need to belong to one big council area in order to work together. Several rural councils are working collaboratively to share resources and therefore reduce operating costs,” he said.
Last year RCV consulted its member councils, Victoria’s 38 rural councils, regarding opportunities that can be embraced and issues that need to be addressed to sure up their long term futures.
“The strong message from our members is that they can do their business better and smarter, and we are seeing them embrace this. The priorities addressed through this consultation range from councils working collaboratively through to critical population, infrastructure and revenue concerns.”
The consultation has informed the development of the Rural Council Sustainability Project, which RCV is progressing in partnership with the State government with funding from the Victorian government’s Networked Rural Councils program.
“We are working in close liaison with Local Government Victoria and the Municipal Association of Victoria, who are working in complementary ways to support councils to maximise their performance,” Cr Gersch said.
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.
Rural Councils Victoria is supported by the Victorian Government’s Networked Rural Councils program