The Victoria Grants Commission information sheet (PDF, 1.1 MB) summarises the allocation of the financial assistance grants to Victoria’s 79 councils.

The Commission

The VGC consists of a Chairman and two members appointed by the Governor in Council. The current members are:

  • Ms Julie Eisenbise - term expires on 31 October 2020
  • Mr John Watson (Chair) - term expires on 31 October 2019
  • Mr Michael Ulbrick - term expires on 31 October 2020

Legislation

The VGC’s primary function is to allocate grants provided by the Commonwealth Government to councils in Victoria according to the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (PDF, 50.6 KB) and a set of national distribution principles.

All funds allocated by the Commonwealth are distributed to councils.

The operations of the Commission are governed by the Victoria Grants Commission Act 1976

The Act establishes the Commission for the purpose of determining the allocation of financial assistance to councils, provides for the appointment and remuneration of Commission members and specifies the general operations of the Commission, including meetings of the Commission and the annual reporting requirements.

General purpose and local roads grants

Financial Assistance Grants comprises of general purpose grants and local roads funding.

Annual reports and consultations

VGC annual reports provide an overview of the Commission's activities for each financial year.

Costs

All of the Commission's costs are met by the Victorian Government through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Victoria Grants Commission National Distribution Principles

General purpose grants are to be allocated to councils, as far as practicable, on a ‘full horizontal equalisation basis’. That is, the Commission allocates funding by assessing the needs of all councils and aiming to ensure that all councils can operate, by reasonable effort, on a similar average standard.

In allocating general purpose grants, the Commission must use an effort or policy neutral approach when assessing council finances. This means that the expenditure and revenue policies of individual councils will not affect their grant determination.

The minimum general purpose grant for a council is calculated based on a nominal per capita distribution of 30 per cent of the total funds.

This means that a grant must not be less than the amount the council would receive if 30 per cent of the total amount of general purpose grants were allocated on a per capita basis.

In allocating general purpose grants, the Commission must take into account any other relevant grants local councils have received.

Financial assistance is to be allocated to councils in a way which recognises the needs of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders within their boundaries.

Where two or more local governing bodies are amalgamated into a single body, the general purpose grant provided to the new body for the four years following amalgamation should equal the sum that the amalgamated bodies would have received if they had remained separate.

Local roads grants are allocated to councils based on an assessment of the preservation of its road assets.