No-one could have imagined the devastating events that have unfolded around us in 2020.
Our recovery from the intense summer bushfires was barely underway when COVID-19 emerged, its rapid spread damaging communities and economies everywhere.
Almost overnight, our liveable, loveable, luminous city was unrecognisable. The economic challenges ahead are immense. But I am confident we will overcome them together.
What was critical for the City of Melbourne was to have absolute focus and commitment to our core responsibilities – delivering essential services such as waste collection, maternal health services, feeding the elderly, and protecting people experiencing homelessness.
We could then move to helping set the community on the path to recovery. In April, we announced a local economic stimulus package to help businesses and workers affected by social distancing and closure of non-essential businesses.
The City of Melbourne’s own finances have not been immune to COVID-19 – with a combined impact of $101 million on Council’s 2020—21 Budget.
We have made the very deliberate decision to invest significantly in our economy and community to keep our city afloat. This means that the City of Melbourne will have a deficit for the first time in 30 years.
Our $632 million draft Budget is focused on supporting jobs and businesses, protecting ratepayers and rebuilding our local economy. This includes a COVID-19 Recovery Package of $50 million.
Our city has been in survival mode – but now we’re getting ready for revival.
Melbourne is, and must remain, a caring and compassionate city. The humanity and capacity of Melburnians to be resilient and offer love and support in times of extreme hardship and danger is extraordinary.
Let’s work together to get through this, and emerge even stronger, even more innovative, and even more focused on wellbeing and inclusion for all.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp