Indigo Shire Council calls for significant funding from State Government for key projects to improve the essential health and wellbeing and infrastructure needs of Indigo residents.
Indigo Shire said its communities need at least $4 million annually from the State Government to help fund essential, local services and infrastructure including sporting facilities such as new netball courts at Chiltern, refurbishment of ageing significant historic buildings, and core work such as roads, bridges and drainage.
Indigo Mayor Cr Jenny O’Connor said its request for financial support from the State Government forms part of a joint submission to the 2017/2018 State Budget from 38 rural councils seeking a $150 million annual, dedicated Rural Communities Benefit Fund.
“Around one quarter of Victoria’s Gross State Product and employment is generated in rural areas. Despite this significant contribution, comparatively rural Victoria receives little support from the State,” Cr O’Connor said.
“Already our communities spend more of their income on rates than people living in the city and regional Victoria for less services. The State needs to step in and help us out because our families and their future generations deserve more.
“Like Indigo, many rural councils are under increasing financial pressure to deliver more services with fewer resources. Councils now fund some services that were once the province of the State and they have been passed to us without ongoing funding.
“Rural councils, in particular, have unique needs in the form of unsealed roads and weed management that our city counterparts don’t have to deal with. And in Indigo’s case, we have ageing, historical buildings that need extra attention.”
Cr O’Connor said increased support from the State Government was vital to continuing service delivery and to secure the long-term financial sustainability of rural Victoria.
“As part of the joint 2017/2018 Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Budget Submission, Indigo has included specific requests for using a portion of a dedicated fund for urgent and essential community services,” she said.
Proposed projects include:
- $750,000 – new netball courts at Chiltern
- $500,000 - renewal works on historic infrastructure
- $2m - roads, bridges, kerbs and culverts
- $750,000 - pathway, park and streetscape maintenance
Indigo Shire is a member of Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) which represents 38 rural councils across Victoria. The combined population of these councils is 740,000 or 15% of Victoria’s total population.
Download a copy of the 2017/2018 Rural Councils Victoria Budget Submission