Thursday, 10 May 2012
The completion of a number of ambitious infrastructure projects rounds off the four year term of the current Melbourne City Council.
The draft 2012-13 budget, presented today for consultation, contains significant capital investment in services and infrastructure, bringing the investment in city infrastructure to $402 million and a further $237.86 million spent on community services since 2008.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said Melbourne had grown and changed substantially over the tenure of this Council.
“We can be justly proud of the way in which we have responded. I would like to commend my fellow councillors for the work they have done in chairing committees and driving reform and investment in every area of council activity,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Changes in the city’s demographics and population increases have offered opportunity but also real challenges. Innovative thinking and smart management of the City of Melbourne’s finances have enabled us to be responsive to this growth. This budget is about finishing the work that we have started while ensuring that we maintain the momentum to improve our expanding city.”
The Swanston Street redevelopment and construction of the Carlton Baths and Family Resource Centre are among the key achievements of this Council’s term, as is the opening of a community centre and library at the former JH Boyd School site at Southbank.
The Lord Mayor said the City of Melbourne had positioned itself at the forefront of sustainability while focusing on important social challenges such as homelessness and city safety.
Major bike and stormwater harvesting projects, starting construction of a new library and community hub at Docklands and refurbishment of the Kathleen Syme Centre will be undertaken in the next financial year.
“A diverse range of projects from a rescue package for our drought-stricken trees, new CCTV cameras and taxi ranks, arts programs, late-night activities and grants to support small businesses have all helped made our city even greater.”
However the Lord Mayor said it was not only major infrastructure projects that had helped shape the city, as the delivery of core community services remained equally important.
“Ensuring the city maintains its vibrancy and diversity is critical in a time of growth and this council has been committed to achieving across a range of responsibilities like sustainable planning, events, and addressing social challenges. We have worked in highly productive partnerships with a number of organisations, from retailers to the Salvos to keep Melbourne the outstanding city heart that it is.
“Events like Moomba, New Year’s Eve and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week become more successful every year, drawing millions of people into the city and supporting retailers and businesses, contributing $76.6 million to the local economy
“Melbourne has a richly deserved reputation as one of the world’s most liveable cities and this Council has worked hard to maintain that standard, for both the present population and generations to come,” the Lord Mayor said.
The draft budget will be considered at a special meeting of Future Melbourne Committee and Council Meeting at 4pm today and is open for public consultation from Friday 11 May until 5pm Friday 8 June 2012. A final version will be considered by Council on Tuesday 28 June 2012.