Councils and communities in rural and regional Victoria will play an integral role in shaping the Andrews Labor Government’s fair go rates cap.
Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins, today speaking at the Rural Councils Victoria Forum, said that the Labor Government understood that councils in rural and regional areas faced their own unique challenges.
The Essential Services Commission (ESC) has been tasked by the Labor Government to undertake consultation on the fair go rates cap framework, which will come into effect from 2016-17 and cap rates to inflation.
As part of the consultation process, Ms Hutchins will also establish a Reference Group that includes Rural Councils Victoria and ensures the state’s 38 rural councils can have their say on the rate cap framework.
In addressing the Forum, Ms Hutchins said that many rural and regional councils were doing the right thing and managing their budgets and revenue responsibly.
Ms Hutchins said it was vital that those councils had their voices heard and were part of the ESC’s consultation process.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins
“Our fair go rates cap is about tackling waste and ensuring a fair go for local residents. It’s not about cuts to important jobs and services.”
“In establishing the ESC Terms of References, which will help guide the fair go rates cap, we made sure the challenges faced by rural and regional councils were taken into account.”
“We’re making sure we get this right. Through consultations with councils and local communities, the process will be flexible enough to provide for all councils – from biggest to smallest.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020