Collaborating Councils

Collaborating Councils - Sustainability Fund Partnerships Program

Local Government Victoria and Collaborating Councils: An Evaluation 2008-16 

Local Government Reform Strategy 2013-14 

Local Government Reform Fund 2011-13 

Council resources & links 

Collaborative Councils - Sustainability Fund Partnerships Program

The Collaborative Council – Sustainability Fund Partnerships (CCSFP), formerly known as the Sustainable Business Capacity Program, provides opportunities for councils to collaborate on projects focussed on an environmentally sustainable outcome.

Grants give councils the opportunity to collectively increase procurement or shared service delivery, invest in more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable technologies, reduce waste and support innovation in recycling.

The program provides targeted funding to councils who are already working on or exploring collaborative opportunities, and gives councils, with less experience with collaborative projects, opportunities to develop mutually beneficial relationships with neighbouring councils and assistance in preparing CCSFP funding submissions.

Under the Program, Local Government Victoria (LGV) facilitates and administers funding for collaborative projects.

Round 2: Successful activities

On 6 October 2016, the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Natalie Hutchins MP, announced funding for the following project under Round 2 of the Collaborative Council – Sustainability Fund Partnerships program:

  • Waste-to-Energy Micro-Power Station Network - Hepburn Shire Council (lead)

Other successful projects under Round 2 are:

  • Joint Resource Recovery Centre Feasibility Study - Northern Grampians Shire Council (lead)
  • Smart Light Feasibility Study - Manningham City Council (lead)
  • Building a case for Electric Vehicles in regional council fleets - Greater Shepparton City Council (lead)
  • Collaborative Waste & Resource Recovery Infrastructure Development Goulburn Valley - Mitchell Shire Council (lead)

Round 1: Successful activities

Solar Rates Program – Maroondah City Council (lead council)  Visit the project webpage here or the Solar Rates Program - Project Summary or Solar Rates Program - Project Summary

Shared Organics Facility Feasibility – Glenelg Shire Council (lead council)
Education & Behavioural Change Program - Golden Plains Shire Council (lead council)
Joint Regional Landfill Solution - Benalla Rural Council City (lead council)   

Round 3 is now closed.  Applications are currently being assessed.

Round 4 closing date is 30 June 2017.

 Additional funding round closing date is:  Round 5 - 31 December 2017

 Sustainability Fund Priorities

Funded by the Victorian Government's Sustainability Fund, the CCSFP will provide funding to councils to collaborate with each other on a joint business case, feasibility study or project to achieve positive business and environmental outcomes.  As part of the funding criteria, each application must outline how their project will contribute to either or both of the Sustainability Fund's Objectives:

  1. Fostering environmentally sustainable uses of resources and best practices in waste management to advance the social and economic development of Victoria;
  2. Fostering community action or innovation in relation to the reduction of greenhouse gas substance emissions or adaptation or adjustment to climate change in Victoria

More information on the Sustainability Fund and the Priority Statements can be found at:

The funding criteria further aligns with the Victorian Government's Ministerial Statement on Local Government (2015):

ACTION 5:  Improvements to the integrity, capacity, performance, sustainability and value delivered by local government for Victorian families.

The CCSFP will support projects that seek to further efficiencies in areas such as local government procurement, waste management, planning, infrastructure investment and human services. Support in these areas will aim to accelerate implementation of collaborative procurement and shared services to reduce performance deficits, link councils to share best practice and raise standards across the sector.


LGV invites joint applications from groups of councils for initiatives that:

a)   provide innovative solutions to procurement or shared service delivery which will improve the social, economic and environmental  sustainability of participating councils

b)   invest in more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable technologies, facilities and services

c)   support councils to reduce waste and dispose less waste to landfill

d)   support innovators in the waste management and recycling industry

e)   remove logistical and systemic obstacles to recovering commercial value from otherwise abandoned material.

LGV offers project support and may participate in project steering committees.  Precise roles and responsibilities will be negotiated on an individual project basis. Successful projects must provide progress reports and an evaluation report at the completion of the project.  It is expected that projects will be completed within a 12 month period.

How to Apply

Joint proposals from groups of councils that meet the program criteria (outlined in the application form) will be funded up to $75,000 to develop a business case or feasibility study, with the group to match $1:$1 by in kind services or financial contribution.

A total funding allocation of approximately $350,000 will be available in Round 4 with multiple funding rounds continuing through to 2018.

Funding will support business cases or feasibility studies with the expectation that they will lead to councils investing in project implementation themselves without additional Victorian Government support.  Proposed business cases or feasibility studies should be fully costed, and include the articulation of expected benefits and measurement criteria to support collaborative efforts.

Noting that the requirements of eligibility are specific, LGV provides support and advice to local governments considering proposals.  This will include examples of past successful projects, and provision of materials from the current suite of resources for joint procurement and shared services.

Assessment Criteria:   CCSFP Program Assessment Criteria or  CCSFP  

Applications for Round 4 are now open and must be lodged online via the DELWP GEMS system by 5.00pm on 30 June 2017.

To register an application visit:

For those with an existing GEMS user profile, just visit

For further information regarding the program or to discuss a possible proposal please contact:

Leighton Vivian
Manager, Policy Development, Local Government Victoria
Email: Phone: 03 9948 8533

Local Government Victoria and Collaborating Councils:           An Evaluation 2008-16

LGV has recently released the report - Local Government Victoria and Collaborative Councils: An Evaluation 2008-2016.

The report is an assessment of a selection of collaborative procurement and shared service activities, involving local governments and Local Government Victoria since 2008. The report examines the extent to which these activities have had a lasting or sustainable impact upon local government operations and their organisations.

This evaluation also aims to inform future policy and collaborative approaches by the Victorian Government toward local governments and by local governments themselves.

To read the report, just visit LGV & Collaborating Councils : An Evaluation 2008-16 (PDF 1.1 MB) or  LGV & Collaborating Councils : An Evaluation 2008-16 (DOCX 688.2 KB)

For more information regarding the report please contact: 

Leighton Vivian
Manager, Policy Development, Local Government Victoria
Email: Phone: 03 9948 8533  

Local Government Reform Strategy (LGRS) 2013 - 14

Following the success of the projects under the Local Government Reform Fund (LGRF), reallocation of funding from the Sustainability Fund enabled further projects to be undertaken.

There were six council groups that received a combined total of $400,000 to complete the following projects.

  • Golden Plains, Pyrenees and Hepburn shires' joint feasibility study for the conversion of heavy fleet to biodiesel determined that each council would be able to reduce heavy vehicle emissions by around 170 tonnes by working together.
  • Banyule, Boroondara, Knox, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse, Nillumbik, Yarra Ranges and Manningham councils identified joint opportunities in tree pruning and line marking.
  • Kingston, Bayside and Glen Eira reviewed their major parks services to improve contract management and make budget savings.
  • Buloke, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Gannawarra, and Loddon shires appointed a single WorkCover agent, attracting a strong field that resulted in highly competitive bids for better services.
  • Northern Grampians, Horsham, West Wimmera, Hindmarsh and Yarriambiack shires reduced costs through a joint bituminous road resealing contract.
  • Alpine, Indigo, Towong and Wangaratta worked together to identify shared services opportunities, prompted by Towong's successful rates delivery program on behalf of Indigo.

Local Government Reform Fund (LGRF) 2011 - 2013

The LGRF invested $1.5mil in local government reform under the theme of 'Aligning Capacity, Strategy and Sustainable Outcomes'. The program assisted councils to improve their financial and resource management capabilities and business practices.

The LGRF projects are designed to deliver a broad range of cost savings and process improvements that make a positive contribution to the financial viability of councils.
Projects funded under the LGRF were designed to deliver a broad range of cost savings and process improvements that provide a positive contribution to the financial viability of councils. 

The LGRF program:

  • Supported the continuation of the reform agenda across local government;
  • Addressed known shortages and capacity challenges in rural and regional councils;
  • Engendered collaboration between councils in achieving delivery of community outcomes;
  • Surpassed existing compliance requirements and practices to strengthen transparent and strategic decision making in councils;
  • Developed of a toolkit for collaborative procurement (see below);
  • Created understanding of the limitations of shared service activities;
  • Enabled projects to be duplicated across the state;
  • Built capacity within councils for future sustainable outcomes.

To learn more about reform fund projects please visit the one page project summaries below.  

Collaborating Councils Project Overview (PDF 533.0 KB) or  (DOCX 17.5 KB)

Conversion of Heavy Fleet to Biodiesel or   (DOCX 19.2 KB)

Eastern Metro Line Marking & Tree Pruning (PDF 415.9 KB)or (DOCX 17.3 KB)

Workcover Agency Services (PDF 535.9 KB) or  (DOCX 16.5 KB)

Bituminous Road Resealing Project  (PDF 352.5 KB) or  (DOCX 17.3 KB)

Engineering Standards Manual  (PDF 420.6 KB) or  (DOCX 16.5 KB)

A current example of councils working together to investigate opportunities in sharing a service is the Greater Bendigo/Central Goldfields Shire Procurement Unit Co-location Unit Trial.  To read more about this innovative project please following the link below.

Procurement Co-location Unit Trial (PDF 669.4 KB) or  (DOCX 17.4 KB)

Council resources & links

These projects delivered successful aggregated procurement and developed templates for use by the broader sector. The templates are a valuable source of information for councils and provided on the basis that users make their own assessment on how best to use the information they contain.

Strategic Procurement Plan (PDF 200.2 KB) or (DOC 371.0 KB)
Conflict of Interest (PDF 283.3 KB) or (DOCX 31.7 KB)
Deed of Confidentiality (PDF 165.7 KB) or (DOC 340.0 KB)
Procurement Probity Plan (PDF 358.0 KB) or (DOC 1.2 MB)
Procurement Conduct Plan (PDF 330.0 KB) or (DOC 1.3 MB)
Tender Evaluation Plan (PDF 241.7 KB) or (DOCX 55.8 KB)
Tender Documentation (PDF 608.0 KB) or (DOCX 104.3 KB)
Tender Evaluation Report (PDF 329.4 KB) or (DOC 1.2 MB)

MOU for Councils collaborating on a project - short form letter or   (DOCX 23.9 KB)

For more assistance regarding environmentally sustainable resources and information please follow these links.

Sustainability Victoria       

Waste Resource and Recovery Groups  

 Victorian Greenhouse Alliances

Climate Change and Victoria 

These resources and links are updated or added to from time to time.

Page last reviewed on 23 March 2017

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