RCV leads regional Victoria’s push for greater Federal Government support

Monday 1 July 2024

RCV’s submission to the Federal Government’s inquiry into Local Government Sustainability, published today, calls for Commonwealth support toward permanent solutions to unlock housing supply, fix local roads and build back better following natural disasters in regional Victoria.

RCV has also reiterated earlier calls for the Federal Government to do more to attract and retain critical workers to Victoria’s regions, highlighting the local government sector is experiencing extreme workforce challenges due to a statewide shortage of planning building and engineering staff.

RCV’s submission stressed that regional council expenses outstripped inflation, small populations did not always cover costs of services required, and legislative impediments – like rate capping – constrained capacity to raise revenue.

Comments attributed to RCV Chair Cr Shane Sali, Mayor of Shepparton, who is attending the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly conference Building Community Trust in Canberra this week:

“Regional cities are the heart of our nation – underpinning regional economies and supporting the nation’s growth, liveability and access to services for people living in regional and rural areas.

“We absolutely want to make it quicker, easier, and cheaper for people call regional Victoria home – and for it to be safer in the face of ever-present natural disasters.

“We just can’t meet the expectations of government commitments to grow our regions and improve liveability if we don’t have the professionals to do the work – such as planners, engineers, building surveyors and project managers – or the funding and investment to make it happen.

“Local governments are keen to help Australia grow – it means more homes and more jobs for our regions – but consistent, reliable and responsible funding from the Commonwealth is critical to ensuring we can function.”

RCV represents more than 800,000 Victorians that live in the regional centres of Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Horsham, Latrobe, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Wodonga.

Public hearings for the inquiry, being conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Development, Infrastructure and Transport, are now under way.

Read RCV submission here. Terms of reference for the inquiry here.

Media contact: Emily Broadbent – 0413 133 627