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Media Release: The VLGA call on the incoming government to review
the rate cap imposed on councils as a matter of priority

THE VLGA CALLS ON THE INCOMING GOVERNMENT TO REVIEW THE RATE CAP IMPOSED ON COUNCILS AS A MATTER OF PRIORITY

 

Victoria’s 79 councils face different challenges due to their location, population size and ability to generate their own sources of revenue to meet community expectations. 

A report done by KPMG in late 2017 outlined the key challenges facing rural councils in relation to their financial sustainability. While the VLGA welcomes the $20 million Rural Council Transformation Fund, councils, particularly those in rural areas, must be given assurance that the rate capping policy will be reviewed as a matter of priority.

The policy was initially imposed on Victorian councils without sufficient consultation, contrary to the intent of the Victorian State-Local Government agreement. The policy is due for review in 2021.

Feedback from rural councils, supported by findings from the KPMG report, indicate that the rate capping policy is restricting councils’ abilities to generate their own sources of revenue, and despite many council’s leading the way in implementing innovative cost efficiency measures, there is a greater reliance on grants from state and federal governments.

An earlier review date of 2020 has been called for by the VLGA, coinciding with the next general council elections. This new time frame will give the new councils confidence and enough time to carefully plan for their services for their community for 2020 and beyond.

 

ENDS:

Please attribute to Chief Executive Officer VLGA Kathryn Arndt

Media Contact: Liddy 0403 542 411

 KPMG rural council sustainability report https://www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/214675/Rural-and-Regional-Councils-Sustainability-Reform-Program_Phase-1-Final-Report.pdf

Rural Councils Transformation Program https://www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/332188/Rural-Councils-Transformation-Program-Summary.pdf

 

 

The VLGA is committed to connecting communities and strengthening democracy

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