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.

Application Process

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:

Saved applications:

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.

Key Documents

RCTP Funding Guidelines (PDF, 5.5 MB)

RCTP Funding Guidelines (DOCX, 4.2 MB)

RCTP summary (PDF, 1.6 MB)

RCTP summary (DOCX, 2.2 MB)

RCTP Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 138.5 KB)

RCTP Frequently Asked Questions (DOCX, 1.6 MB)

Expression of Interest documents

RCTP Expression of Interest Template (PDF, 388.6 KB)

RCTP Expression of Interest Template (DOCX, 121.3 KB)

RCTP Memorandum of Understanding Example (PDF, 209.8 KB)

RCTP Memorandum of Understanding Example (DOCX, 121.7 KB)

Business Case documents

RCTP Business Case Template (DOCX, 219.6 KB)

Appendix B - Entrepreneurial Powers Ministerial Guideline (DOCX, 48.0 KB)

Appendix B - Application for Ministerial Approval for the Exercise of Entrepreneurial Powers (DOCX, 46.4 KB)

Appendix B - Application for Ministerial Approval for the Exercise of Entrepreneurial Powers – Explanatory Notes (DOCX, 54.0 KB)

Important: As the Victorian State election will be held on Saturday 24 November 2018, the Victorian Government will assume a caretaker role from 6:00 pm on 30 October 2018 until such time that either it becomes clear that the incumbent government will be returned, or when a new government is commissioned.

In line with the caretaker conventions, the incoming government will determine whether to proceed with this grant process and award the grants after the caretaker period.

Applicants should be aware that:

  • all information about this grant process represents the position of the current government only, and is subject to change; and
  • the incoming government may decide to not proceed with this grant process.

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

Andrew Hagland
Program Manager - Rural Councils Transformation Program

(03) 9948 8524

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)