The City of Melbourne has released a high-investment 2022-2023 draft budget, totalling an $837.8 million spend across Melbourne. If implemented, the budget will be the largest investment ever motioned by the council in Melbourne.
Port Melbourne, Southbank, and West Melbourne are set for significant population growth by 2040. The draft budget dedicates $254 million to infrastructure investments supporting this growth, and improving connectivity between City of Melbourne suburbs.
Over $50 million is allocated to parks, gardens, and open spaces, particularly in North Melbourne and Southbank.
The passion project of Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp, the Greenline project features prominently in the draft budget, with $140 million proposed towards it over the next four years. The Greenline project will transform the north bank of the river with a series of riverside-integrated parklands for an uninterrupted, six-metre-wide pedestrian promenade from the MCG to the Docklands.
This transformation will spread across five precincts spanning four kilometres between Birrarung Marr and the Bolte Bridge. Over 500 meters of tree canopy will be improved along the riverside, and $40 million will be put towards developing Yarra River wetlands. Greenline will also galvanize Aboriginal history and culture initiatives throughout the area.
The draft budget also dedicates $130.7 million to new asset acquisition, $51.4 million to asset renewal, $53.3 million to upgrades, $5 million to expansion works, and $13.7 million to asset maintenance.
Queen Victoria Market has a $50 million allocation for the next stage of its precinct upgrade. A newly appointed Design Review Panel and Design Excellence Advisory Committee will oversee design quality and innovation.
A record $33.6 million will go towards City of Melbourne safety initiatives such as extra lighting, and towards city cleaning and graffiti removal.
In an effort by the council to bolster Melbourne’s reputation as an international arts and cultural hub, the draft budget also involves a $33.7 million spend on events, festivals, and local creative industries. The Moomba Festival receives $4.9 million from the draft budget, Melbourne’s New Year’s Eve $3.9 million, Melbourne Fashion Week $2.9 million, and Melbourne Music Week $1.4 million.
The Victorian economy is expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, with a return to surplus forecast for 2023-2024. A joint council and Victorian State Government $300 million investment for the Melbourne City Recovery and Revitalisation Funds will facilitate economic recovery.
The draft budget also progresses Invest Melbourne for businesses, and Homes Melbourne for residents, incentivizing longer-term investment in the city. The Power Melbourne initiative is also progressed, guiding Melbourne towards a zero-carbon future.
Melbourne residents and business representatives can lodge their feedback on the draft budget before it proceeds to council voting. Feedback can be lodged up until June 14 via Participate Melbourne.