Rural councils seek new, sustainable way forward
Rural councils are working together to develop new ideas and approaches to secure their financial and operational futures and the economic and social futures of their communities.
Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said the Rural Council Sustainability Project has identified four priority actions to strengthen council performance and enhance their sustainability.
“We have just released a first stage report based on consultation with our members – Victoria’s 38 rural councils – documenting a range of issues and opportunities. These range from sharing positive examples of councils working collaboratively to critical population, infrastructure and revenue concerns,” Cr Gersch said.
“The strong message from our members is that they can do their business better and smarter,” he said.
The second stage of the Rural Council Sustainability Project will roll out the identified priorities:
• comprehensive and consistent data collection and analysis across all Victorian rural councils,
• improve service delivery through a program of service reviews,
• investigate the possible efficiencies that can flow from collaboration and shared services; and
• improve asset and financial management.
“We will be working in close liaison with Local Government Victoria, the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Victorian Local Governance Association, all of whom are working in complementary ways to support councils to maximise their performance,” Cr Gersch said.
RCV engaged the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government to deliver the first stage of the project and the report can be viewed here.
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