City of possibility: our councillors reflect

As we work to reignite Melbourne now and for the future, our councillors have shared what they are looking forward to, and why there is much to be optimistic about in Melbourne.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp

We want Melbourne to be a city of possibility and it certainly feels that way as people fill our streets with enthusiasm and elation. Melbourne has always tingled with a dynamic energy, and after a challenging pandemic period, the buzz is coming back.

It’s delightful to see the spontaneous gathering of people coming together – lingering over coffee and cocktails in tiny bohemian bars, boutique shopping after a show, and getting amongst it for a late night with friends and live music. There is a sense of discovery and delight.

From premier international events to home-grown festivals, we are making up for lost time and reminding ourselves – and everyone else – why Melbourne is the undisputed events capital of Australia.

My resolution in 2019 was to buy more tickets to shows and events, and in 2022 I am reprising that.

No other city has both a Grand Slam and a Grand Prix. There’s Hamilton, Harry Potter, Moulin Rouge, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the return of the tremendous RISING Festival.

I have a newfound appreciation for our artists and their tenacity, persevering over the past two years, and I can’t wait to get back out to support them.

In March, we have Moomba to look forward to. It’s the largest free community festival in the country and it will be wonderful to see so many Melburnians back in the city together.

Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece

Like a kid in a candy shop, I want to revisit all my favourite places at once: the City Library, the City Baths and just hang out in my favourite shopping strips like Lygon Street and Errol Street.

Some exciting new restaurants and bars have opened in the city while everyone has been away. I am keen to try them out and show our hospitality industry some support.

March in Melbourne is always a special time. There are so many events for all to enjoy. More than ever, I am looking forward to enjoying Moomba with my children. They are still young enough to get swept up in the Moomba magic and that makes it magical for me.

Councillor Dr Olivia Ball

Melbourne’s theatre scene is world-class and I cannot wait to get back to the theatre, with MTC’s true-story, high peaks adventure Touching the Void kicking off the year. There’s La Mama theatre in Carlton reopened after its devastating fire, and Hamilton to look forward to in March.

The Australian Ballet returns in February with a 21st century take on the story ballet form, an adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and we also relish the return of live music, including the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

Art is one of the biggest drawcards in Melbourne and tourists are often surprised to find our National Gallery is also free, whether behind the watery window in St Kilda Road or the Australian collection at Fed Square.

Councillor Roshena Campbell

We want to make Melbourne the easiest place to start and grow a business through the establishment of Invest Melbourne. Melbourne is ideally placed to pick up tech businesses, the next generation of advanced manufacturers and to locate headquarters.

We are also working to drive visitation to ensure all our businesses thrive through the establishment of Visit Melbourne which will showcase our cultural strengths.

We’re investing $21.5 million to reclaim our place as Australia’s events capital. It’s with great optimism and enthusiasm that we’re planning our premier events, like Moomba in March and Melbourne Knowledge Week in May.

Plus, we’re providing more reasons for people to visit the city this summer with the Melbourne Attractions Keypass, offering discounts to some of the city’s top attractions and experiences, and an incredible giveaway program with more than 10,000 prizes.

Councillor Jason Chang

Melburnians are embracing the new normal and it’s terrific to see people back in the central experience district. They’re coming back in to work, but also to dine out, to see a show, and to catch up with friends.

I’m so happy to see our hospitality businesses buzzing again. Whether they’re indoors or enjoying outdoor dining, Melbourne is reclaiming its title as the culinary capital of the country.

Events like the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and LUME are incredible magnets for drawing people into the city.

The world’s premier electronic music festival, Ultra, will take over Melbourne in March, and in November Justin Bieber heads to town. These events show that Melbourne holds global appeal, and show confidence in our city.

Councillor Mary Elizabeth Doidge

For me, reigniting Melbourne is about innovative, bold and ambitious thinking.

The city has several major initiatives that will reshape our city over time, but also, right now the City of Melbourne has launched a number of exciting events, bigger than ever, that will play a significant role in our recovery.

I’m really excited about the $250 million renewal of Queen Victoria Market. I have enjoyed shopping and eating there my whole life. This renewal will see a more accessible, safer and reinvigorated market for everyone to enjoy.

The heritage sheds are being restored along with new market facilities, a library, and construction of the city’s largest new community hub at the Munro site with affordable apartments, the new underground car park, more public open space and laneways.

Melbourne is truly an amazing place.

Councillor Davydd Griffiths

I am really looking forward to the return of everyone who loves the city. The workers, the kids from the country, the families, and the visitors.

I can’t wait for the return of our international students and the energy and life they bring to the city.

We want our international students to have the world’s best student experience. So we’re doing everything we can to entice them back to Melbourne, and that starts with offering unforgettable experiences in our great city.

We’re proud to be their home away from home and we want them to feel connected and engaged in the city. They are our brand ambassadors for Melbourne.

Councillor Jamal Hakim

Docklands really shines in summer. It’s going to be fantastic to see Victoria Harbour light up with a spectacular drone show this summer.

Docklands is a place where all people can take part. This is especially because it has universal access – for young people, older people, people skateboarding on the wide footpaths, and people with prams or wheelchairs.

That’s what we’re hoping to achieve with Council’s new neighbourhood model. We want to curate each suburb so it fits with the needs of the people who live, work and play there.

Melbourne is a kaleidoscope of different environments. You go to Lygon Street for prosecco and pasta, you go to NewQuay and the District to see the drones with your family, or shopping in the CBD or at Queen Victoria Market. We want to ensure each of these precincts are fit for purpose.

Councillor Philip Le Liu

Welcoming people back to our streets, shops, parks, and events is something I’m most excited about this year.

We have a great line-up of activations to attract people back into Melbourne and I am looking forward to many of the offerings, especially within the arts and creative sector.

But as we turbocharge the day and night in the city; we also have to be mindful of the residents living within Melbourne to ensure there is a good balance between the two.

I am proud to call Melbourne home as it is a great place to live, work, and play. That is why I am keen to see Council create more open spaces across the city with innovative designs and solutions that will be benefit everyone, especially the residents.

Melbourne is one of the world’s most liveable cities, and we have the people and the determination to make Melbourne an even better place to live and visit.

Councillor Rohan Leppert

As the city reopens, I can’t wait for Melburnians to experience new public art throughout the central city. The joy that Melbourne’s artists bring through festivals, exhibitions and surprising, provocative public art is prolific, and our community is richer for it.

The work that our Creative City branch has done with Flash Forward, showcasing the work of 80 artists in 40 laneways, is particularly exciting, and festivals in 2022 will be packed with new art.

As council embarks on our new Public Art Framework – more ambitious than ever – Melbourne’s creative practitioners will be central to redefining the role of the central city post-COVID.

Bring on a creative renaissance for central Melbourne.

Councillor Kevin Louey

Our small businesses have faced some of the harshest trading times in history, so it is pleasing to see them re-opening and visitors returning to the city.

We continue to provide support to our small businesses through our Business Concierge. We’re also delivering $1.75 million in grants to activate key precincts across the municipality.

Our City Activation Grants program will provide funding of up to $50,000 for initiatives that drive visitation to areas of the city severely impacted by the pandemic and its lockdowns.

From a series of live music performances to walking tours or temporary art installations, businesses and community members will know how to best enhance the atmosphere in their precincts. All it takes is a creative idea and we can’t wait to see it.

Find out more about our Lord Mayor and councillors.