“The Rural and Regional Youth Inclusion grants aim to improve how young people connect with their local communities by strengthening their participation in local government decision making,” Mr Hall said.
Eligible councils will have an opportunity to apply for grants of up to $30,000 each for projects which will embed engagement and consultation of regional and rural young people in decision making and planning across all the business of local government.
Mr Hall encouraged all rural and regional councils including Bass Coast, Baw Baw, South Gippsland, Latrobe City, Wellington and East Gippsland, to apply for the new Youth Inclusion Grants.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to providing opportunities for regional and rural young people to participate in their community and this is another avenue where this can take place,” Mr Hall said.
"Young people can make valuable contributions when it comes to local government decision making and their involvement in shaping our communities can also help increase their confidence and skills.”
The Rural and Regional Youth Inclusion Grants are one component of the Coalition Government's Youth Action Strategy, which also includes regional and rural workshops, resources and research designed to increase young people's participation in the community.
"I look forward to young people having an increased say in the future direction of rural and regional Victoria," Mr Hall said.
Applications for the Rural and Regional Youth Inclusion Grants close on 26 May 2011.