THE City of Melbourne last week said it will deliver more than $399.41 million in services and $108.48 million in infrastructure in 2016-17 as it implements the final actions set out in its four-year plan.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the Draft 2016-17 Annual Plan and Budget accommodates for population growth and shifts in demand for council support and services.
"We're delivering on Council's four-year vision for the city's growth, prosperity and liveability," the Lord Mayor said.
"Melbourne continues to boom which creates challenges and opportunities. We are responding with planned investments in services, facilities and infrastructure.
"The City of Melbourne is a multi-billion dollar business. Our final budget cements this Council's legacy: a Melbourne that is a great place to work, live and visit."
The budget includes further funding of $8.45 million for the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project, adding to the $76 million acquisition of the Munro site last year.
"The $250 million renewal of the Queen Victoria Market Precinct is the largest project in Council's history: a world-class regeneration of a much-loved market that will improve the trader, customer and visitor experience," the Lord Mayor said.
"We're now moving from planning to project delivery and this $8.45 million will allow us to implement the Queen Victoria Market Master Plan.
"We will soon release a detailed plan outlining how key renewal projects will be managed. In the initial stages, this will include upgrades to trader facilities to address safety issues and better meet trader requirements. Detailed design work will focus on improving cooling, storage, signage, logistics and the market's environmental performance.
"We have also funded the design of pop-up markets and other activities to ensure the market remains open for business during renewal works."
The Budget includes funding for the following projects:
- $1 million to begin construction on new open space on Southbank Boulevard;
- $5 million towards switching 16,000 streetlights to energy efficient LED lights over the next three years;
- $1.56 million for bicycle improvement works; and
- $2.2 million to redevelop Lady Huntingfield Children's Centre into a 106 place integrated Family and Children's Centre.
Chair of the Finance and Governance portfolio Councillor Stephen Mayne said Council has continued a strong focus on containing operating costs, with underlying cost increases kept below CPI.
"This is a disciplined budget that minimises the burden on ratepayers and provides the services and infrastructure appropriate for a booming capital city," Cr Mayne said.
"Our underlying cost increase in this budget is less than 2 per cent, which is expected to be below CPI. This means we have minimised the burden on the community while accommodating pressures associated with the city's growth and the operation of new community facilities."
The draft budget proposes a modest rate increase of 2.5 per cent, which is consistent with the State Government's allowance and no increase in on-street parking fees. As 2016 is a revaluation year, individual rates notices will not increase by 2.5 per cent, but will increase or decrease relative to changes in property values.
More information is available from the City of Melbourne website at <http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/about-council/vision-goals/Pages/annual-plan-budget.aspx>.