Rural Councils Transformation Program

Round 2 Open from 7 October 2021

The $20 million Rural Councils Transformation Program (RCTP), funded in the 2018-19 State Budget, is designed to help rural councils meet their financial and operational challenges through incentivising the implementation of regional service delivery and shared services. For example, joined-up service delivery of corporate services, procurement and asset management. The adoption of regional service delivery models can help to achieve greater service benefits for rural communities through increased collaboration across councils and the delivery of greater efficiencies. The RCTP removes barriers for councils unable to invest in these transformations without financial assistance.

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.

On 6 October 2021, the Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane MP, announced the opening of applications for Round Two of the Rural Councils Transformation Program (RCTP) - open from 7 October 2021 to 2pm on 10 December 2021.

While Round One focused on large-scale projects, Round Two seeks to encourage more smaller-scale projects that include new and ongoing collaboration and resource-sharing arrangements. A minimum of two rural councils must be involved and projects will have to be completed within two years. For further details on the application requirements please refer to the funding guidelines.

For enquiries or to discuss a possible application please contact:

Andrew Hagland
Program Manager - Rural Councils Transformation Program

rctp.round2@ecodev.vic.gov.au

0437 105 737


All applications must follow the funding guidelines and be emailed to rctp.round2@ecodev.vic.gov.au by 2pm Friday 10 December 2021.

  • Application period opens - 7 October 2021.
  • Presentation of project concepts – 1 November 2021 to 12 November 2021
  • Application period closes – 2pm, 10 December 2021.
  • Funding notifications completed by February 2022.
  • Funding distributed from February 2022 onwards.
  • 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: 'Tender 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 stopped.

‘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 stopped.


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