State Government of Victoria

Networked Rural Councils

Local government plays a critical role in influencing regional development and communicating the challenges and opportunities that regions face, as well as delivering on local economic development objectives.

Networked Rural Councils is a $3.3 million initiative to empower rural councils to address their current and future challenges. This will be achieved by building capability to plan and adapt to change and participate in decision making processes that impact on their region. The program comprises three parts:

  • Rural Councils Victoria Secretariat: Delivery of four annual Rural Summits, eight Mayor and CEO Forums by Rural Councils Victoria, as well as an initiative that supports a range of research, knowledge transfer and pilot projects that assist Victorian rural councils in delivering economic development outcomes to their region.
  • Business Management Professional Development Program: Improving business management practices in local government, ensuring staff have the skills and capacity to deliver economic development outcomes for their region to their full potential.
  • Make the Move Initiative: Attracting new residents to rural council regions and support their transition settlement by improving local council's capacity to develop and deliver 'best practice' activities that encourage and support these residents to move and remain in the region.


All 38 rural councils are eligible to participate in the initiative, with specific activities targeted at individual groups within local government, in particular, CEOs, Mayors, economic development staff and other service areas of local government that impact on economic development decision making.


The initiative is delivered through Rural Councils Victoria, located within the Municipal Association of Victoria.

Last Updated: 14 October 2014