Media releases

Growing a greener, more sustainable city   

15 May 2023
  • $26.5 million for parks, gardens and tree maintenance
  • $16.5 million for new open space
  • More than $3 million for sustainability and gas-free transition
  • $1.5 million for Power Melbourne
  • $1.1 million to expand FOGO services

The City of Melbourne will be a greener place to live, work, study and visit through a $51 million investment in the sustainability sector that will create more green spaces and support a range of new jobs.

The draft Budget 2023–24 includes $26.5 million to protect and maintain the city’s parks and gardens, to boost community health and wellbeing and make Melbourne one of the greenest cities in the world.

An additional $2.4 million has been committed to grow the city’s urban forest – including $1.7 million for Council’s annual tree planting program to add 3,000 trees across the municipality.

The City of Melbourne is charging ahead with plans to combat climate change and achieve net zero emissions, investing $1.5 million in the landmark Power Melbourne project – an additional $850,000 compared to last year.

Work will ramp up in the coming year to install the first neighbourhood scale battery at Library at the Dock, providing 100 per cent renewable energy to the community under the landmark Power Melbourne project.

Council will spend $16.5 million to secure new open space across the municipality, including two pocket parks for Chapman Street, North Melbourne and Miles and Dodds Street Reserve in Southbank.

In the next 12 months, construction will start on the Bedford Street Pocket Park, adding an extra 2,000m2 of open space in North Melbourne – the size of two Olympic swimming pools. In partnership with the Victorian Government, the project will deliver new play and picnic facilities, 48 new trees and safer pedestrian crossings.

Over half a million dollars will be spent on the Climate Adaption Streetscapes Renewal Program to create new and improved spaces for trees in city streets, with an additional $150,000 to support soil remediation works in median strips to help more trees grow.

With support from the Victorian Government, $2.3 million will be spent on a stormwater harvesting project to drought-proof Princes Park.

Council will invest $1.1 million to continue the rollout of its 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 in 2022, diverting more than 1,500 tonnes of organic waste from landfill.

To create more sustainable buildings and support the city’s transition to gas-free operations, more than $3 million will be provided as Council works towards becoming a zero-carbon city by 2040.

In 2023–24, the City of Melbourne will release its Zero Carbon Buildings Plan, accelerating retrofits across the municipality. Buildings currently account for almost 70 per cent of the city’s emissions.

Council is also taking bold action to raise the planning standards for environmentally sustainable design, introducing stronger planning controls for developments – greening more buildings and reducing energy costs for businesses and homes.

The draft Budget will provide $2.85 million on sustainability and gas-free initiatives at Council-owned facilities, including the North Melbourne Baths, Carlton Baths and the Boyd Community Hub. Work will focus on transitioning to renewable electricity to help slash emissions.

Council will invest more than $100,000 to help better prepare for natural disasters including floods, pandemics and heatwaves, and fund new technology solutions.

The draft Budget 2023–24 will be announced on Tuesday 16 May, with public consultation to follow until midnight Thursday 8 June.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“We’re investing $51 million to create a greener future for Melbourne – planting the seeds for tomorrow, while caring for our city and its people today.”

“As our population grows, it’s vital we create new open space, support cleaner jobs and continue combatting climate change. That’s why we’re committed to delivering projects like Power Melbourne, FOGO and zero carbon buildings.”

“This draft Budget also recognises the important role our parks, gardens and open spaces play in making Melbourne one of Australia’s most liveable cities – boosting the health and wellbeing of those who live, work and visit.”

Quotes attributable to Environment portfolio lead Councillor Rohan Leppert

“We’re investing nearly $36 million to protect and expand nature in the city. The climate and biodiversity emergency demands that we plan and build a city that’s resilient to floods and heat.”

“Melbourne’s urban forest, parks and gardens are some of our most valuable assets, and a key tool in our efforts to combat climate change – so greening our city has never been more important.”

Quotes attributable to Sustainable Building portfolio lead Councillor Elizabeth Doidge

“We know cleaner energy and sustainable building reduces operating costs and makes city infrastructure more resilient in the face of climate change.”

“We want to see our city buildings zero carbon ready by 2040 or sooner – and we’re confident this draft Budget supports our ambitious goal.”

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