What is the Rural Councils ICT Infrastructure Support Program?
The Rural Councils ICT Infrastructure Support Program is an initiative to support rural councils in improving their information technology to facilitate remote governance and community engagement.
As part of the Victorian Government’s assistance to rural councils, $3.8 million will be provided to support rural councils in improving their information technology to facilitate remote governance and community engagement.
The Rural Councils ICT Infrastructure Support Program recognises that remote working caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created added pressure on rural councils due to the costs of providing appropriate and timely facilities, infrastructure and services to effectively support the introduction of virtual meetings and remote working by councillors and council staff. Rural councils generally face lower levels of digital connectivity, limited budgets to provide virtual meeting facilities, equipment and services and greater distances between council facilities.
As part of this, Victoria’s 38 rural councils will each receive a grant of up to $100,000 to enhance their ICT facilities, equipment and services and undertake training.
Funds can be used for, but not limited to:
- The purchase of infrastructure, hardware and software to facilitate virtual council meetings and community engagement
- Delivery of services remotely using IT and focusing on community engagement and governance to enable the community to access services remotely
- Set up of remote locations for the purpose of delivering virtual council meetings or community engagement
- Labour costs for technicians to be present during streaming of virtual council meetings or community engagement
- Training costs for councillors and relevant council staff
- The purchase of service support eg: to assist with IT hardware/software
- One-off service or capital costs to increase bandwidth or capacity
- Any eligible equipment/infrastructure costs incurred from the State of Emergency declaration on 16 March 2020, which have enabled or enhanced council’s ability to deliver services, virtual council meetings or hardware/software.
Grants will only be available to the following rural councils:
|Alpine Shire Council||Mansfield Shire Council|
|Ararat Rural City Council||Mitchell Shire Council|
|Bass Coast Shire Council||Moira Shire Council|
|Baw Baw Shire Council||Moorabool Shire Council|
|Benalla Rural City Council||Mount Alexander Shire Council|
|Buloke Shire Council||Moyne Shire Council|
|Campaspe Shire Council||Murrindindi Shire Council|
|Central Goldfields Shire Council||Northern Grampians Shire Council|
|Colac-Otway Shire Council||Pyrenees Shire Council|
|Corangamite Shire Council||Borough of Queenscliffe|
|East Gippsland Shire Council||South Gippsland Shire Council|
|Gannawarra Shire Council||Southern Grampians Shire Council|
|Glenelg Shire Council||Strathbogie Shire Council|
|Golden Plains Shire Council||Surf Coast Shire Council|
|Hepburn Shire Council||Swan Hill Rural City Council|
|Hindmarsh Shire Council||Towong Shire Council|
|Indigo Shire Council||Wellington Shire Council|
|Loddon Shire Council||West Wimmera Shire Council|
|Macedon Ranges Shire Council||Yarriambiack Shire Council|
Applications close 20 July 2020.