GLENELG Shire chief executive Sharon Kelsey has defended Rural Councils Victoria (RCV), claiming the organisation is an important voice for country municipalities.
Her comments follow a push within Moyne Shire for council to leave the lobby group due to frustration over a planning review impasse.
Ms Kelsey said she recognised that RCV gave an important "voice" to rural councils, which had different policy concerns to larger regional centres.
"Glenelg Shire recognises the need to be part of something bigger than ourselves," she said. "RCV enables representatives to exchange views, respect differences and work together on the important things that impact on and ultimately improve our rural communities.
"We need improvements to our roads and bridges, to attract industry and ensure job security and to retain and expand existing services and facilities. RCV provides this leadership."
Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas raised the idea of withdrawing from the lobby group after attending a function staged by the RCV for mayors and chief executives.
Councillors Doukas and Bernie Harris told The Standard they believed the RCV conference was more focused on socialising than policy discussion after the meeting failed to resolve a long-running debate over farm zoning.
Ms Kelsey said the gap alluded to at the Moyne Shire meeting was due to a last-minute cancellation by Deputy Premier Peter Ryan . "While it was unfortunate that the Deputy Premier was a last-minute apology, the RCV has shown it can get access to the right people to hear our rural voice," she said.