Your guide to our Council Plan and Budget

After a year of significant disruption, the City of Melbourne has been working closely with the community to deliver the services and support that people need now, while developing a plan that reflects the community’s aspirations and priorities for Melbourne’s future.

In late June, the Melbourne City Council — the Lord Mayor, the Deputy Lord Mayor and nine councillors — endorsed the Council Plan 2021—25, which sets out what Council will achieve during its four-year term to further the community’s vision for Melbourne.

This four-year plan is delivered in yearly increments — the first of which is the Budget 2021—22 — which details the Council’s funded activities for the coming financial year. The Budget was also endorsed by Council in late June, after a period of community feedback.

Planning for the future

The Council Plan brings together recent community insights to help us preserve and progress the city in six key areas:

1. Economy of the future
Building a strong and adaptive city economy and a sustainable future city.

2. Melbourne’s unique identity and place
Celebrating the places, people and cultures that make this a vibrant and creative city.

3. Safety and wellbeing
Ensuring everyone feels safe and included as they participate in community life.

4. Access and affordability
Reducing inequality by ensuring access to housing, core services and information.

5. Climate and biodiversity emergency
Acting immediately to reduce our emissions and waste, and adapt to climate change.

6. Aboriginal Melbourne
Ensuring that First Peoples’ culture, lore, knowledge, and heritage enrich the city’s growth and development.

These six key areas will be brought to life with initiatives such as support to help businesses adapt and thrive, infrastructure and capital works projects, improvements to recreation facilities and more.

As always, we will continue to deliver all council services including waste and recycling collection, library and community services, maternal and child health services and many more.

The Council Plan is a ‘living document’ and Council will report to the community on progress made, as well as any adjustments needed to meet our targets or adapt to new circumstances.

A healthy city for all

As part of the Council Plan, every four years we include an approach for how we will support our city’s health and wellbeing. A liveable city is a healthy city and, since the last plan was created in 2017, Melbourne has gone through immense change.

Last year we completed an extensive review that highlighted key issues for health and wellbeing. In March this year we asked Melburnians to help us rank these topics and share whether anything was missed.

This feedback, along with data and insights, has shaped the focus areas for our Health and Wellbeing Plan: public health and safety, housing and homelessness, and mental wellbeing.

These topics have been integrated into the Council Plan 2021—25, and are the ongoing focus of many services and programs we provide to the community.

A long-term vision

Also included in the Council Plan is the Community Vision — your 10-year vision for the city.

In March and April of this year, we heard from more than 1400 people who live, work, study, visit or own a business in the municipality, to prioritise the community aspirations that were most important to them.

Their insights informed the Community Vision, which is a refresh of Future Melbourne 2026, our existing 10-year vision for the city that was released in 2016.

Overall, the community’s aspirations were for a city that:

  • is healthy and safe
  • considers climate change in everything that we do
  • is inclusive, accessible and affordable.

Over our annual, four-year and 10-year plans, we will work closely with the community, and partner with other levels of government, as well as the public and private sectors, to realise this vision.

Budget invests in stronger economy

A rates discount, a boost for recreational facilities, job creation through capital works and a new recycling program are highlights of the City of Melbourne’s Budget 2021—22, which was endorsed by Council at the end of June.

After helping to steer the city through tough times, the City of Melbourne has a detailed plan to lead Melbourne’s recovery from the global pandemic.

The $789.9 million city-shaping Budget puts people first and delivers essential services and programs to rebuild and strengthen the local economy.

Record infrastructure spending of $244.7 million will create jobs now and set the city up for future generations, while a $21.5 million investment in events will attract people back to the city and boost business across the municipality.

Economic recovery

The City of Melbourne has achieved a $31 million turnaround since delivering a $57.4 million deficit in last year’s COVID-19 recovery budget, with a forecast deficit of $26.2 million for 2021—22.

We’ve stepped up to support our business community as it faces the toughest trading conditions in decades.

We are proud of our response to COVID-19 – and we believe the city is emerging in better shape because of our economic stimulus support and fast action to deliver inventive programs like expanded outdoor dining.

We’re focused on drawing more people in, bringing back the buzz and making sure the city remains a great place to live, work, visit and do business.

Our core services remain a priority — these include waste and recycling services, keeping the streets clean, and providing community services such as libraries, maternal and child health support, childcare, and support for older people.

In addition, the Budget includes significant progress on city-shaping projects.

We’re working to progress Greenline which will deliver one of the biggest transformations of the city since the opening of Federation Square in 2002.

We want the Yarra River’s northern bank to become one of the city’s premier destinations for workers, residents and visitors.

The Queen Victoria Market precinct renewal is well underway and the Brens Pavilion in Royal Park is to be upgraded.

We’re also investing more than $10 million in the Kensington Community Recreation Centre redevelopment, which is due for completion in 2022.

Reducing waste and cleaning the city

We will invest more than $50 million to get rid of waste, clean the city, remove graffiti, and improve lighting and safety.

Our bread-and-butter operations are essential to keeping our city running smoothly — we collected 45,000 tonnes of waste and recycling last year, which included more than 10,000 mattresses and 5 million cigarette butts.

For the first time we’re introducing a food and organic waste collection, which will reduce landfill and create compost that can be used on our parks and gardens.

Keeping rates low

After delivering a recovery Budget last year that included a freeze on rate increases, this year we are continuing to keep rates low.

In recognition of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, and to support businesses and the community during the city’s recovery, we have made the unprecedented decision to absorb this year’s 1.5 per cent rate increase by applying a rates discount.

The City of Melbourne will surrender $4.8 million in rates revenue by applying the rates discount.

Fast facts

  • Total Budget 2021—22: $789.9 million
  • Record infrastructure investment: $244.7 million
  • Rates discount: $4.8 million surrendered in revenue
  • Deficit: $26.9 million
  • Return to surplus: 2022—23
  • Borrowings: $147.7 million.

To find out more, please visit About Council.