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City of Ballarat leading the way in shared services

Sturt Street, Ballarat. eCommunity Press file photo.

The City of Ballarat could soon be leading the way in delivering more efficient and less costly shared services throughout the Central Highlands region.

Ballarat City Council will vote at its March 13 meeting on whether to apply for $5.5 million through the Victorian Government’s Rural Councils Transformation Program, which is for the implementation of large-scale transformative regional projects.

The City of Ballarat is leading the submission of a transformative project with seven Central Highlands Councils Victoria members, including Ararat Rural City, Central Goldfields Shire, Golden Plains Shire, Hepburn Shire, Moorabool Shire and Pyrenees Shire.

The program would improve each council’s financial sustainability by reducing service duplication and improving service delivery across the region.

The program would allow the seven councils to take a regional, rather than municipal, approach to delivering local services to their communities of more than 230,000 people.

Shared services models would vary but could include resource sharing, seeking joint tenders and contracts for works and services and combining resources to provide joint service provision.

Services to be shared would be delivered on shared cloud technology solutions.

The $5.5 million in funding would allow for five years of program delivery, with ongoing costs to be provided after that in Council budgets.