This is a COVID-19 Recovery Budget, designed to support jobs and businesses, protect rate-payers and rebuild our local economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our city hard. Rebuilding our vibrant city economy will take time and hard work. But years of disciplined financial management means Council can step-up in these unprecedented times to provide much needed support to our community.
Key aspects of the 2020-21 budget include:
- Total budget: $632 million
- Rates freeze for residential and commercial properties
- COVID-19 Recovery Package: $50 million
- Fully funded $168.5 million capital works infrastructure program
- Investment in transport: $41 million
- Climate action: $32 million
- Community facilities: $12.5 million
- 49 initiatives to be delivered in the fourth year of Council Plan 2017-21
- Hardship policy at a cost of $18.9 million
- Underlying budget deficit of $57.4 million
Expenditure highlights for the coming year include:
In response to COVID-19, the City of Melbourne is investing $50 million in a rate relief and stimulus package and we will implement a freeze on rates for residential and commercial properties. This investment in business recovery will help to keep Melburnians in jobs. This recovery package includes:
- $18.9 million in residential and commercial rate relief and direct grants to small businesses.
- $75,000 in funding to recognised business associations, so they can support their members.
- $6 million will go towards extra cleaning in public areas to bolster community confidence as people return to our streets.
- Traders can also request a free service to clean and sanitise door handles and other high touch areas around their business.
We will deliver $168.5 million in shovel-ready capital works projects designed to create jobs, stimulate the economy and improve Melbourne’s liveability. Our capital works projects will construct more public open space, renew our parks and gardens, enhance our recreation and community facilities, and improve waste collection, roads, cycling lanes, laneways and footpaths.
This will include investing;
- $12.8 million to progress the redevelopment of Southbank Boulevard.
- $45 million on Queen Victoria Market.
- $6.5 million on renovating Town Hall.
- $2.6 million to rebuild the Western Pavilion at Royal Park.
- $41 million to deliver more space for pedestrians, public transport users and cyclists to keep Melbourne moving. This includes $6 million towards progressing separated bike lanes on Exhibition Street and $6.9 million to renew roadways and improve footpaths.
- $6.9 million to renew roadways and improve footpaths.
Combatting social isolation and supporting rough sleepers
Up to $2 million to support people who are homeless, as well as investing in programs to address loneliness and social isolation among seniors. This includes;
- $330,000 so Council’s daily support team can continue connecting rough sleepers with accommodation and support.
- $438,000 for the Salvation Army Night Café.
- $480,000 for Frontyard Youth Services to support homeless youth.
- $716,000 to reduce loneliness and social isolation among older residents through support programs.
We will also invest $1 million to complete the new Lady Huntingfield Early Learning and Family Services Centre, which will almost double the number of child care places available.
Action on climate change
We’re protecting Melbourne’s liveability by investing $32 million in climate action, including planting trees, creating more open space and delivering waste and recycling solutions.
- $1.8 million to plant more than 3000 trees to reduce the urban heat island effect
- $2.5 million to convert more concrete into garden beds and green surfaces
- $1.6 million to work with industry and the private sector to create more green roofs and vertical gardens
- $24 million on residential and commercial waste services
- $1 million on new waste and resource recovery hubs
Events and tourism
This budget allocates $19 million to continue supporting Melbourne’s events to ensure the city is ready to welcome people back once restrictions on large gatherings have been relaxed.
- We will invest $17.5 million in our major events and festivals over the next year including Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Moomba, Melbourne Fashion Week and Melbourne Music Week. These events attract four million people to the city and deliver an estimated economic uplift of more than $90 million each year.
- $2.6 million will also go to support approximately 60 events in the municipality including sporting, food and wine, health and wellbeing, sustainability, knowledge and innovation and creative events.
Supporting our international students and knowledge economy
We know international students have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. We’re supporting them with a range of initiatives including;
- $50,000 on helping create pathways to employment
- $10,000 on wellbeing initiatives
- $200,000 in care packages
We’re also funding programs and events which support and promote our city’s start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses. This includes;
- $1.5 million on Melbourne Knowledge Week
- $200,000 in our Startup Action Plan
- $1 million on renewing and maintaining our traditional and digital library collections
- $180,000 to further upgrade Southbank Library.
Arts and Culture
To protect Melbourne’s culture we will invest $17 million to help artists and arts organisations thrive in the coming year through grants, public art and arts programming. Key highlights include;
- $4.6 million in arts programming across ArtPlay, Signal and Arts House
- $2 million in arts grants for 200 artists
- $4.2 million annual arts program
Public submissions on the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2020-21 are open from 5pm Tuesday 19 May until 5pm, Wednesday, 17 June 2020.
To have your say visit Participate Melbourne.