City-shaping infrastructure projects, our biggest events calendar and making the city safer, cleaner and fairer are highlights of the City of Melbourne’s draft Budget 2023-24.
Our $850.7 million draft Budget is delivering for our community today, while shaping our city for tomorrow.
In announcing the draft Budget, Lord Mayor Sally Capp said it was “designed to overcome the current economic challenges, while realising our community’s aspirations for Melbourne – the nation’s fastest growing capital city”.
“Our draft Budget 2023–24 delivers on our commitment to create a bustling, inclusive and clean city today, while investing in a more affordable, liveable and prosperous future for our community,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We’re getting on with the things that matter most – making our city cleaner and safer, building better facilities and providing vital services, and boosting business with events and support.”
We know Melburnians are feeling the pressure of mortgage and rent stress and rising household bills – and this has been front of mind through the development of this budget.
That’s why we’re doing what we can to limit the amount of increased costs that we pass on to our ratepayers.
By not passing on the full impact of inflation pressures, we will save households and families $4.2 million.
A cleaner, safer, fairer city
It’s our responsibility to get the basics right, so we’re investing a record $60.9 million to scrub the city clean, boost safety on our streets, and work closely with our communities to identify and act on the needs of each neighbourhood.
We’re investing $36.8 million to spruce up our streets and keep the city free from graffiti. This includes funding for our expanded Melbourne Clean Team along with more graffiti removal, street sweeping, and high-pressure cleaning of footpaths, roads and street furniture.
More than $28 million will be invested to collect waste from residents and businesses, while an additional $1.5 million will bolster work to remove rubbish from our streets across the city, Docklands and Southbank.
We’ll invest $5.7 million to make our city a safer place for all. CCTV cameras will be installed in seven key locations in Carlton, including along Lygon Street and at Argyle Square. The expansion of our Safe City Camera Program will boost safety and reduce antisocial behaviour in response to community feedback.
Almost $6 million will be spent on critical safety infrastructure and resources, including upgrading lighting in key precincts such as Bourke Street between Exhibition and Spring streets.
We’re working with philanthropic partners and the Victorian Government to improve housing access and affordability through Homes Melbourne. This includes $12 million towards our landmark Make Room project, which will convert a Council-owned building into safe and supported accommodation.
Our draft Budget also includes more than $1.1 million to ensure rough sleepers have access to food, healthcare and other support services through partnerships with Melbourne City Mission and the Salvation Army.
Investing in city-shaping infrastructure
Melbourne is the fastest-growing capital city in the country. That’s why we’re getting on with delivering a strong pipeline of infrastructure projects to accommodate this growth and bring vital services closer to home.
In 2023–24, we will invest $247.5 million in infrastructure, supporting up to 1,000 jobs and creating economic stimulus now, while delivering much-needed community services and facilities for the future.
A $60 million boost for the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal program will ramp up works on a range of projects including new trader and customer facilities, as well as upgrades to the Franklin Street streetscape.
We’ll break ground on our landmark Greenline Project with $17 million for the first stage of works at Birrarung Marr, creating an expanded riverside promenade. We’ll also unveil The Greenline Project Master Plan outlining our vision for the city-shaping works.
We’re investing $28 million to get on with the new Kensington Community Aquatic and Recreation Centre, set to open in early 2025. The facility will feature a rejuvenated pool area, full-sized multipurpose courts, health and wellness areas, and a wrap-around café.
A further $3 million will complete the city’s brand-new Munro library and hub, which is set to transform the precinct with a state-of-the-art, 3,100m2 library, family services and community spaces.
Our investment also includes more than $12 million for road and footpath maintenance, including $3.2 million to upgrade footpaths and $3 million to fix potholes and improve roads.
Our biggest events calendar yet
We’re planning our biggest year of events with $28.2 million in festivals, activations and cultural celebrations to bring people together in the city.
This will cement our status as the nation’s events and culture capital, boost our visitor economy and have flow on benefits for our retail, hospitality and small businesses.
All the city’s favourite events will return bigger and better than ever – Christmas Festival, New Year’s Eve and Melbourne Fashion Week, along with a special anniversary celebration to mark 70 years of our much-loved Moomba Festival.
All the fun begins on 30 June when Firelight Festival will light up Docklands for a three-night celebration of the winter solstice, followed by our new Now or Never Festival in August with immersive experiences of art, ideas, music and technology in a series of free and ticketed events over city streets and venues.
Backing business and attracting investment
We’re making it easier and more attractive to do business in Melbourne by cutting red tape and streamlining processes. A $12 million boost to Invest Melbourne will bring new ventures and create jobs for the city.
Small business owners are the heart and soul of our city, so we’re expanding our Business Concierge service to support and an exisitng city business with a $500,000 investment.
Since January , the Business Concierge team has provided free advice and mentoring to more than 15,500 city businesses – reducing the time it takes for a business to start up in the city and supporting them as they embrace Melbourne’s new rhythm.
Our draft Budget also includes $1.2 million for precinct associations to create more opportunities for business networking, education and training, and initiatives to encourage visitation and local spending.
We’re making it easier to business, with $2.4 million to complete the Digital Permits Project, fast-tracking permit approval timelines and cutting red tape for traders and buskers.
We’ll also continue to back the hospitality and retail sector with $540,000 to continue efforts to reduce shopfront vacancies.
The Shopfront Activation Program has played an essential role in reducing the city’s shopfront vacancy rate from 31 per cent in November 2021 to 15 per cent. A total of 67 spaces have been activated with pop-up shops, creative offerings and bespoke displays.
A greener more sustainable city
Our draft Budget includes a $51 million investment to create new open space, protect parks, charge ahead with Power Melbourne and cut emissions.
We love our parks, gardens and open spaces, they play an important role in making Melbourne more liveable which is why we’re investing $26.5 million to maintain them.
We’ll spend $16.5 million to secure new open space across the municipality, including pocket parks for Chapman Street, North Melbourne and Miles and Dodds Street Reserve in Southbank.
Construction will start on the Bedford Street pocket park, adding an extra 2,000m2 of open space in North Melbourne. In partnership with the State Government, the project will deliver play and picnic facilities, 48 trees and safer pedestrian crossings.
We’ll also improve storm water harvesting across the municipality, collecting water from drains and roads to help irrigate and drought-proof the city’s parks and gardens. With support from the State Government, $2.3 million will be spent on a stormwater harvesting project to drought-proof Princes Park in Carlton.
We’ll invest $1.1 million to continue the rollout of our popular Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) collection services into mixed-used residential and commercial buildings.
The program was introduced to more than 23,000 households and apartments across the municipality last year, diverting more than 1,500 tonnes of organic waste from landfill.
We’re also charging ahead with plans to combat climate change and achieve net zero emissions, investing $1.5 million in our landmark Power Melbourne project.
This year, we’ll install the first neighbourhood battery at Library at the Dock, providing 100 per cent renewable energy to the community.
Rates keep our city running
Our teams work around the clock to deliver essential services – from waste and recycling collections to road works and street cleaning, public health and safety, and keeping our parks and gardens in great shape for everyone to enjoy.
Every Victorian council is facing the challenge of inflation rising faster than – and above – the current Municipal Rate Cap.
After two years of rates relief for residents and businesses and a modest increase this year, in 2023-24 we will implement the State Government’s 3.5 per cent Municipal Rate Cap.
Rates change every year as property values change. Property valuations are market-driven and determined by the State Government.
We will help ease the burden on pensioners by providing a rates discount of up to $253.
Any ratepayer can apply for rate relief through the City of Melbourne Rates Financial Hardship Policy.
Have your say
Feedback on the draft Budget 2023–24 can be provided on Participate Melbourne until 11.59pm on Thursday 8 June.
After a special meeting of the Future Melbourne Committee on Tuesday 20 June to consider community feedback, the final Budget is expected to be endorsed by councillors on Tuesday 27 June.
Have your say at Participate Melbourne.