Rural Councils Transformation Program

Rural and regional councils can obtain support for the creation and implementation of new regional service delivery models for their communities with the opening of the $20 million Rural Councils Transformation Program (RCTP).

On Tuesday 14th August 2018, Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz MP, announced the expression of interest period opening and released the Victorian Government’s guidelines to help councils apply for the program funding.  The 48 rural and regional councils can form partnerships of 3 or more councils to submit an expression of interest for funding a project.

The RCTP, funded through the 2018-19 State Budget, is supporting the implementation of large-scale transformative projects on a regional level, such as joined-up service delivery, corporate services, procurement and asset management. The RCTP is designed to seed fund transformative projects requiring approximately $2 million to $5 million in funding.

The program aims to:

  1. Improve the financial sustainability of rural and regional councils by achieving economies of scale including through regional service delivery or collaborative procurement;
  2. Promote more efficient and improved service delivery through collaboration and innovation;
  3. Facilitate benefits for rural and regional communities, with priority given to those for rural communities; and
  4. Demonstrate potential efficiencies to be gained through regional service delivery.

For further information or to discuss a possible application please contact:

Andrew Hagland
Program Manager - Rural Councils Transformation Program

andrew.hagland@ecodev.vic.gov.au

0437 105 737


All applications must follow the funding guidelines and be submitted via Grants Online.

Expressions of Interest must be submitted by 15 November 2018.  To complete a new application or to access a saved application please use the following links.

New Expression of Interest: 
https://delwp1.force.com/publicform?id=a0h0B00001R4gzW

Saved applications:
https://delwp1.force.com/grantsportallogin

  • Expression of Interest (EOI) period -  14 August 2018 to 15 November 2018.
  • Business case submission period - 30 November 2018 to 31 March 2019.
  • Funding notifications completed by 19 May 2019.
  • Funding distributed in June 2019.
  • On 2 July 2019, the Minister for Local Government announced four successful applications, involving 19 rural and regional councils, had secured $18.5M in RCTP funding.
  • Owing to the complexity of these projects, consortiums have continued to refine scope, costs and risks under the funding agreement by preparing an addendum to the approved business case. This approach to the continued refinement of scope, costs and risks is consistent with the Victorian Government’s model for the accuracy of estimates in business cases and aligns to the ‘Preliminary Design phase’ and ‘Tender phase’.
  • LGV and the RCTP board are working closely with the nineteen participating councils through the effects of bushfires in January - February 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic from March 2020.

‘RURAL COUNCILS CORPORATE COLLABORATION’ AWARDED $5.0M

  • Horsham Rural City Council (Lead Council)
  • Buloke Shire Council
  • Hindmarsh Shire Council
  • Loddon Shire Council
  • West Wimmera Shire Council
  • Yarriambiack Shire Council

A five-year program to initially deliver two shared services across a regional gouping of six Wimmera Southern Mallee councils by implementing a fully integrated ERP solution across councils, building a platform for additional shared services.

STATUS: Commenced ‘Tender Phase’

‘SOUTH WEST COUNCILS ICT ALLIANCE’ AWARDED $4.5M

  • Corangamite Shire Council (Lead Council)
  • Moyne Shire Council
  • Warrnambool City Council

A five-year program to deliver eleven shared services across a regional grouping of three South West councils by implementing a fully integrated ERP solution will be implemented across councils.

STATUS: Finalising ‘Preliminary Design Phase’

‘CENTRAL HIGHLANDS COUNCILS TRANSFORMATION PROJECT’ AWARDED $4.5M

  • Ballarat City Council (Lead Council)
  • Ararat Rural City Council
  • Central Goldfields Shire Council
  • Golden Plains Shire Council
  • Hepburn Shire Council
  • Pyrenees Shire Council

A five-year program to deliver fourteen shared services across a regional grouping of six Central Highlands councils. Ballarat City Council’s existing development of Microsoft Dynamics will be leveraged across partner councils.

STATUS: Progress halted.

‘GIPPSLAND SHARED SERVICES PROGRAM’ AWARDED $4.5M

  • Wellington Shire Council (Lead Council)
  • South Gippsland Shire Council
  • East Gippsland Shire Council
  • Bass Coast Shire Council

A five-year program to initially deliver two shared services across a regional grouping of four Gippsland councils by implementing a fully integrated ERP solution across councils, building a platform for additional shared services.

STATUS: Progress halted.


Rural & Regional Councils Sustainability Reform Program

A $1 million commitment from the 2017-2018 Victorian State Budget provided for the establishment of the Rural and Regional Councils Sustainability Reform Program.  The Program aimed to identify the barriers and challenges, and to propose options to provide long-term financial and operational sustainability for rural and regional councils.

KPMG was commissioned to undertake a body of work, which was completed under the guidance of a Steering Committee comprising representation from Rural Councils Victoria, Regional Cities Victoria, Municipal Association of Victoria, Local Government Professionals, Victorian Local Governance Association, Department of Treasury and Finance, Department of Premier and Cabinet and Regional Development Victoria.

A copy of the report and appendices can be found at:

Rural and Regional Councils Sustainability Reform Program Final Report PDF, 2561.11 KB
Rural and Regional Councils Sustainability Reform Program Final Report Appendices PDF, 1806.38 KB