Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek has kicked-off a series of meetings with Victoria’s rural councils to learn more about their municipalities, communities and challenges.

Minister Somyurek spent yesterday with Benalla, Strathbogie and Mansfield councils and is visiting Castlemaine today to speak with Loddon Campaspe Councils – engaging with Mayors, councillors and CEOs to gain a sense of each of the municipalities and get input on local government reform priorities.

The Know Your Council website – which enables government, councils and community members to compare local councils’ performance across a range of measures such as animal management, waste services and financial performance – has revealed some interesting facts about the Councils visited:

  • The people of Benalla love their public pools, with an average visit of at least seven times a year per person last year.
  • Strathbogie Shire Council has worked hard to improve the time taken to decide on planning applications, reducing the average time to 34 days last year: one of the lowest in Victoria.
  • Mansfield Shire Council have improved their response times to both food safety complaints and animal management requests by more than 20 per cent, through the introduction of portable devices.

Minister Somyurek will continue engaging with rural councils over the next few weeks to discuss reform priorities and understand in more depth the issues faced by the smaller rural shires.

This week Minister Somyurek will meet with Hepburn, Ararat and Pyrenees Councils.

Minister for Local Government Victoria Adem Somyurek said  “Meeting with councils across rural Victoria provides valuable insight into how each municipality functions and how the Know Your Council tool is helping communities better understand their council.”

“Rural and Regional Councils are doing a great job of delivering for their communities.”