- Deputy Premier commits $3 million to continue Networked Rural Councils
- Coalition Government’s investment supports Victoria’s 38 rural councils
- Coalition Government building a better regional and rural Victoria
Networked Rural Councils, which provides a collective voice for Victoria’s 38 rural councils, will be funded for a further four years under a re-elected Victorian Coalition Government.
Speaking to Mayors and CEOs of Victoria’s 38 rural councils in Melbourne yesterday, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced that a re-elected Coalition Government would continue to support Rural Councils Victoria to deliver the Networked Rural Councils program with $3 million over four years.
The $3 million investment if the Coalition Government is re-elected will be provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
Mr Ryan said the Coalition Government recognised the importance of helping Rural Councils Victoria provide a collective voice for the state’s 38 rural councils.
“Rural councils have local on-the-ground knowledge to deliver initiatives that benefit our rural communities, and by sharing this knowledge and information we can make a real difference across the state,” Mr Ryan said.
“Each of our rural councils have individual and unique needs, however, there are many situations where they can benefit from networking and a shared voice.
“Whether it is the Wellington Shire, East Gippsland, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh, Northern Grampians, Benalla, Mitchell or Campaspe, our rural shires need a forum to be able to come together and speak as one – Networked Rural Councils provides this forum.
“Lobbying as one enables our rural shires to secure additional state and federal funding for local services and infrastructure, it ensures innovative service delivery solutions can be shared, and helps our rural councils attract new business, jobs and investment – particularly at a regional level.
“Today’s announcement that a re-elected Coalition Government will continue the successful $160 million Country Roads and Bridges Program for another four years is a perfect example of the benefits of a single voice.
“Thanks to strong lobbying from Bill MacArthur and others here today, our rural councils will each receive $4 million over four years to build and repair shire managed roads and bridges.
“Without our 38 councils lobbying for this initiative as one, and a Coalition Government which recognises the importance of our rural areas, this funding would simply not have been made available.
“And it certainly would not be delivered under a Daniel Andrews-led Labor government which refuses to commit to funding the Country Roads and Bridges Program, nor further funding Networked Rural Councils.
“Labor’s focus is squarely on union-led, city-based projects, that do nothing for communities outside of Melbourne.”
Minister for Local Government Tim Bull joined Mr Ryan in Melbourne yesterday to meet with the 38 Mayors and CEOs and said he strongly welcomed the four-year, $3 million commitment if re-elected, to continue the Networked Rural Councils program.
“This great program is empowering our rural councils to meet current and future challenges,” Mr Bull said.
“It is enabling them to collaborate on projects that stimulate growth and economic development.
“By working collaboratively, local councils are identifying and addressing issues they have in common and they are participating in decision making that impacts on their broader region – which makes this program so valuable.
“Only a Liberal Nationals Coalition Government is committed to supporting our rural councils.”
Media contact: Ben Bulmer 0437 547 731