About the Victoria Grants Commission

The Victoria Grants Commission can only provide funding to Victorian local governing bodies (councils). The Commission cannot provide grants for businesses, individuals or community groups.


The Victoria Grants Commission's (VGC) primary function is to allocate grants provided by the Commonwealth Government to councils in Victoria according to the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 (PDF, 50.6 KB, 21 pp.) and a set of national distribution principles. All funds allocated by the Commonwealth are distributed to councils.

The Victoria Grants Commission Act 1976 is the State legislation that governs the operation of the Victoria Grants Commission. The Act establishes the Commission for the purpose of determining the allocation of financial assistance to councils, provides for the appointment and remuneration of Commission members and specifies the general operations of the Commission, including meetings of the Commission and the annual reporting requirements.

All of the Commission's costs are met by the Victorian Government through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The Commission

The VGC comprises a Chairman and two members appointed by the Governor in Council. The current members are:

  • Mr John Watson (Chair) - term expires on 31 October 2019
  • Mr Michael Ulbrick - term expires on 31 October 2020
  • Ms Julie Eisenbise - term expires on 31 October 2020

National Principles

Horizontal equalisation

General purpose grants are to be allocated to councils, as far as practicable, on full horizontal equalisation basis. This aims to ensure that each council is able to function, by reasonable effort, at a standard not lower than the average standard of other councils in the State/Territory.

Effort neutrality

In allocating general purpose grants, an effort or policy neutral approach is to be used in assessing the expenditure requirements and revenue raising capacity of each council. This means as far as practicable, the policies of individual councils in terms of expenditure and revenue efforts will not affect the grant determination.

Minimum grant

The minimum general purpose grant for a council is to be not less than the amount to which it would be entitled if 30 per cent of the total amount of general purpose grants were allocated on a per capita basis.

Other grant support

In allocating general purpose grants, other relevant grant support provided to local governing bodies to meet any of its assessed expenditure needs is to be taken into account.

Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders

Financial assistance is to be allocated to councils in a way which recognises the needs of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders within their boundaries.

Council amalgamation

Where two or more local governing bodies are amalgamated into a single body, the general purpose grant provided to the new body for each of the four years following amalgamation should be the total of the amounts that would have been provided to the former bodies in each of those years if they had remained separate entities.

Local roads

Local roads grants be allocated to councils as far as practicable on the basis of the relative needs of each council for roads expenditure and to preserve its road assets.

Page last reviewed on 26 October 2016

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