Rural Councils Transformation Program

Round 2 closed 10 December 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.

Two rounds of funding have been awarded with the focus of Round One on large-scale projects and Round Two on smaller-scale projects with new and ongoing collaboration and resource-sharing arrangements.

For enquiries please contact:

Chris Phoon
Program Manager - Rural Roads Project

christopher.phoon@ecodev.vic.gov.au

  • On 23 May 2022, the Minister for Local Government announced ten successful Round 2 applications, involving 25 rural councils, had secured $6.93M in RCTP funding.
  • Projects were awarded funding for new technology platforms and solutions, aimed at freeing up council resources to focus on important frontline services
  • Projects involve a minimum of two rural councils and must be completed by 30 June 2024 under the funding guidelines.

The ten projects involve:

1.

Southern Grampians Shire Council (lead)

  • Borough of Queenscliffe
  • Northern Grampians Shire Council
  • West Wimmera Shire Council

Funding of $680,000 to collaboratively implement new records management technology.

2.

Yarriambiack Shire Council (lead)

  • Ararat Rural City Council
  • Buloke Shire Council

Funding of $750,000 to collaboratively implement new records management technology, new emergency management technology, new building and planning technology, new asset management technology and new data analytics technology.

3.

Wellington Shire Council (lead)

  • East Gippsland Shire Council

Funding of $500,000 to collaboratively implement new records management technology.

4.

Mansfield Shire Council (lead)

  • Benalla Rural City Council
  • Murrundindi Shire Council
  • Strathbogie Shire Council

Funding of $1,000,000 to collaboratively implement new records management technology, new financial management technology, new customer relationship technology and new property and rating technology.

5.

Indigo Shire Council (lead)

  • Alpine Shire Council
  • Towong Shire Council

Funding of $750,000 to collaboratively implement new building and planning technology.

6.

Golden Plains Shire Council (lead)

  • Hepburn Shire Council
  • Moorabool Shire Council

Funding of $750,000 to collaboratively implement new asset management technology.

7.

Mt Alexander Shire Council (lead)

Campaspe Shire Council

Funding of $500,000 to collaboratively implement new asset management technology.

8.

Northern Grampians Shire Council (lead)

  • Borough of Queenscliffe
  • Southern Grampians Shire Council.

Funding of $750,000 to collaboratively implement new financial management technology, new procurement technology, new property and revenue technology, new regulatory functions technology, new payroll / human resources technology, new customer relationship management technology, new contract management technology, new animal management technology and new infringements management technology.

9.

Central Goldfields Shire Council (lead)

  • Pyrenees Shire Council.

Funding of $500,000 to collaboratively implement new financial management technology, new customer relationship management technology and new rates and property technology.

10.

Gannawarra Shire Council (lead)

  • Buloke Shire Council
  • Swan Hill Rural City Council.

Funding of $750,000 to collaboratively implement new asset management technology.

  • 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