Local government will be under the microscope at a forum in Ararat on Thursday.
Ararat Rural City will host the forum to examine possible improvements to local government.
Participants will also be able to assess how new partnerships between councils could help improve performance.
More than 10 regional councils, including Northern Grampians Shire, Horsham Rural City and Ballarat City, will meet at Gum Sam Hall.
Ballarat City Cr Mark Harris is one of the guest speakers scheduled for the forum.
Others include governance experts and state government Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism and Regional Development Danielle Green.
East Grampians Health Service chief executive Nick Bush, associate professor Dr Ken Coghill and Infrastructure Victoria executive director Dr Jonathan Spear will also attend.
The day-long forum will start at 10.30am, with guest speakers, panel discussions and workshops making up the schedule.
Ararat mayor Paul Hooper said mayors, chief executives and councillors had been invited to the forum to work on ways to improve council performance for the community.
“We also want an update from state government experts and other councils on shared services, training for new Councillors and the big plans for infrastructure development in rural Victoria,” he said.
“We are delighted that government MP Danielle Green is opening the forum and taking part in the panel.”
The forum will look at new ways to measure local government performance, such as the MyCouncil website, which compares and rates councils across the state.
it will also investigate how councils can share services or make purchases to get to drive down costs.
Ararat deputy mayor Glenda McLean said the forum would bring experts to the country.
“What we want to say is people in rural areas are committed to their work, and we wanted experts to come to us,” she said.
“Rural Victorians have good ideas, they think deeply about their work.
“A lot of stuff happens in Ballarat or Horsham, and we are in the middle, but we have got some quality people who produce quality products.”
The forum will start with a morning tea, before Cr Hooper opens proceedings at 11am.
Dr Coghill will then be the first speaker, followed by a panel discussion at 11.30am, workshops at 12.25pm and speaker Dr Spear at 2pm.
Ararat Rural City Australia Day award winner Dianne Radford will also speak, as well as Municipal Association of Victoria member Steve Goldsworthy.
Cr McLean said to call her on 0417 103 151 for more information on the forum.
Northern Grampians Shire Council have not responded to questions asked by the Times-News about the upcoming forum.
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