Rural Councils Transformation Program

August 2018

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.

Application Process

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

Key Documents

Rural Councils Transformation Program Funding Guidelines (PDF, 903.2 KB)

Rural Councils Transformation Program Funding Guidelines (DOCX, 4.2 MB)

Rural Councils Transformation Program summary (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Rural Councils Transformation Program summary (DOCX, 2.2 MB)

Key Dates

  • 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.

DELWP will be hosting information sessions for councils and interested stakeholders in August 2018 at the following locations:

Benalla22 August 2018
Bendigo22 August 2018
Swan Hill23 August 2018
Horsham23 August 2018
Warrnambool24 August 2018
Geelong31 August 2018

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

Andrew Hagland
Program Manager - Rural Councils Transformation Program

(03) 9948 8524

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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, 2.5 MB)
Rural and Regional Councils Sustainability Reform Program Final Report Appendices (PDF, 1.8 MB)