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Places and open spaces identified as the key to a better Melbourne

Places and open spaces identified as the key to a better Melbourne
June 24, 2014

A greener, better connected Melbourne that supports and inspires its residents is at the heart of the second year of Melbourne City Council’s four-year vision for the city.

Explaining the vision, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle stated “last year, Council unveiled its vision for a bold, inspirational and sustainable Melbourne. In 2014-15, we are delivering that vision.

“Creating new and improved open spaces, continuing the expansion of the city’s bicycle network, completing new facilities such as the Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre and the Kensington Town Hall are the highlights of a $99.3 million investment in infrastructure in 2014-15.

“Street by street, we are greening our city by creating new parks and increasing tree cover. Block by block we are making the city safer by installing new bike lanes and upgrading roads and footpaths, and suburb by suburb, we’re providing the very best community facilities.”

The budget includes $6.96 million to create new parks and open spaces across the municipality, including $2 million to complete Neill Street Reserve in Carlton, and $1.5 million for the installation of new tree islands.

It also includes $1.8 million for the Return to Royal Park project, which connects a new park on the former Royal Children’s Hospital site to existing parkland, and $2 million for stormwater harvesting in Carlton Square to provide an alternative water source for University, Lincoln and Argyle squares.

Other highlights of the 2014-15 capital works program include:

• $6.4 million renewing our famous parks and gardens and $1.5 million to plant 3000 new trees

• $1 million for stage two of the Carlton Baths redevelopment, including a new toddler pool

• $1 million to continue implementation of the Docklands Community and Place Plan

• $550,000 to complete the fit-out of the Docklands Family Services and Boating Hub

• $640,000 to upgrade and open the Kensington Town Hall

• $942,000 to continue engagement and develop plans for the Queen Victoria Market renewal project, and $709,000 in critical works, such as electrical and fire systems upgrades

• $125,000 to expand the City of Melbourne’s pedestrian monitoring system to five new sites

• Council will also spend $3 million to continue the rollout Bicycle Plan 2012-16 projects, including:

• $1.14 million for bike lanes on Flemington Road

• $690,000 to upgrade Arden Street cycling route and bridge over Upfield train line

• $650,000 to upgrade the shared off-road path on the south side of Lorimer Street

Councillor Cathy Oke, Chair of the Transport portfolio, said the City of Melbourne had invested in key bicycle lanes within the Hoddle Grid in the past two years, and would now focus on creating links to the city.

Councillor Oke explained “our bicycle network doesn’t stop at the Hoddle Grid. In this budget, we are focusing on the missing links in suburbs such as Carlton, North Melbourne and East Melbourne to help cyclists get into the central city to use the network we have built.”

The draft budget includes $374 million in expenditure to deliver services and an additional 116 initiatives under year two of the Council Plan 2013-17.

Continuing the City Council's commitment to growing Melbourne as an arts and cultural capital, the budget includes an increase of $330,000 to support the expansion of the Arts House program, as well as $190,000 to complete and begin implementing Council's renewed Arts and Music Strategies.

Councillor Rohan Leppert, Chair of the Council’s Arts and Culture portfolio added “we will continue to support local and emerging talent through our existing arts programs, while placing a particular focus on expanding the Arts House program to ensure its future as a hub for contemporary arts and our emerging artists."

Melbourne City Council will invest $35 million in 2014-15 to drive visitation to the city, support local businesses and retailers, and deliver City of Melbourne events and support other events throughout the year.

Councillor Beverley Pinder-Mortimer, chair of the Marketing Melbourne portfolio concluded “the retail and hospitality sector in Melbourne employs more than 60,000 people. This budget is an investment in this vital industry and retaining the mantle as Australia’s events, retail and hospitality capital.”





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