The Victorian Government has announced community consultation on draft council rating guidelines will conclude this week with a series of public meetings in Melbourne.

State Minister for Local Government, Jeanette Powell, said that stakeholders are being asked for their views on the application of differential rates by the state’s 79 local councils.

“The Local Government Act 1989 historically provided insufficient guidance to councils on the application of differential rates resulting in inconsistency across the sector,” Ms Powell said.

“We are committed to developing a simpler, more consistent use of differential rates by Victorian councils while making it easier for ratepayers to understand how rates are applied.”

Mrs Powell said the feedback received at the public meetings would be considered in the preparation of the final differential rating guidelines for councils.

The conclusion of the consultation period comes after the release a damming report into rates practices by the Victorian Auditor General, concluding that there are little to no guidelines on rates application and local councils have little resources at their disposal to understand the impacts of rates on their local communities.