The Andrews Labor government has committed record funding for the operational costs of public libraries across regional Victoria, with Minister for Local Government, Adem Somyurek, announcing that regional libraries would benefit from a flat 2.5% increase in operating funding.
This follows the findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Sustainability and Operational Challenges of Victoria’s Rural and Regional Councils, which highlighted the negative effect population based funding formulas have on smaller rural councils.
Funding in Northern Victoria includes;
- Mildura will receive $401,416, an increase of $9,791
- Swan Hill will receive $202,000, an increase of $4,927
- Buloke will receive $116,313, an increase of $2,837
- Yarriambiack will receive $117,255, an increase of $2,860
- Campaspe will receive $290,561, an increase of $7,087
- Gannawarra will receive $136,013, an increase of $3,317
- Loddon will receive $119,852, an increase of $2,923
- Greater Shepparton will receive $452,494, an increase of $11,036
- Moira will receive $247,300, an increase of $6,032
Consistent funding recognises library services are particularly important in rural areas, often providing a range of support services that would otherwise be unavailable.
The total statewide funding for public libraries is now a record $44.7 million. This funding has been allocated to ensure that all councils receive the funding to meet increased costs.
As well as providing operational funding, the Andrews Labor Government is also investing in the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program to fund better library facilities.
This has provided $41.4 million to councils over the last 10 years, supporting 58 library projects, 34 of which were in regional and rural areas. The next funding round will open in August to councils.
This funding meets the two key requests from the “Libraries Change Lives” campaign for increased operational funding and increased investment in modern library infrastructure and facilities.
Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“Libraries are wonderful public hubs, giving back directly to their communities.
“I’m thrilled to see that our regional libraries are being properly funded, ensuring that these social, learning spaces are open to all and that any member of the public can stay connected and access any service they need from their library.’