City of Melbourne responses to journalists


October 7, 2016

City of Melbourne executives and media staff provide an excellent service to journalists, often providing far more interesting and comprehensive information than ever appears in public. In the interests of improving disclosure to everyone, here is a sample of almost 50 written replies to media requests for information.

Herald Sun, September 2016 - What is happening with Docklands fireworks?

  • The City of Melbourne has a long-held tradition of holding safe and spectacular fireworks displays in the Docklands precinct, including New Year's Eve and winter.

  • The City of Melbourne has not had a 9:30pm New Year's Eve fireworks display in Docklands since 2012.
  • This year we committed $300,000 to delivering the winter fireworks program, which was attended by an average of 4000 people per night across the nine Friday night events.
  • The commencement of a hotel development at Waterfront City and its associated piazza has limited access to Victoria Harbour and during the recent fireworks display, crowd safety issues occurred due to the reduced open space within this precinct.
  • We expect more than 35,000 people will attend the New Year's Eve fireworks in Docklands and we need to ensure public safety, particularly as the fireworks attract families and young children.
  • Moving the fireworks from the water to a rooftop display and relocating the live site in Docklands will bring the precinct in line with the city wide risk and safety strategy for New Year's Eve, when more than 500,000 people attend the midnight fireworks event.
  • It will also give greater opportunity for more water craft activity and activation on the harbour.

  • This change has been made following consultation with key authorities and technical experts including Police and Emergency Services.
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Herald Sun, June 2016 - Information request on busker permits

There are more than 2000 Busking Permit holders.

An application fee of $20 per year applies for all new permit applications. A reapplication fee of $10 per year applies for all permit types. An application fee of $10 applies for short term permits which are valid for three months. An annual fee of $50 applies for those wishing to sell CDs, DVDs or original artworks created while they are busking.

General Areas Busking Safety and Amenity Reviews (auditions) are held fortnightly for General Areas, with extra sessions during the school holidays and before Christmas. Approximately 30 applicants attend each session.

Bourke Street Mall Safety Performance and Amenity Review (auditions) are conducted once a month for applicants seeking a Busking Permit to perform in the Bourke Street Mall. Four to five applicants usually attend.

Circle Act – Safety and Amenity Review (auditions) is held once a month. The number of applicants vary from one to none.

For information about Reviews (auditions) see http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/arts-and-culture/film-music-busking/street-entertainment-busking/busking-permits/Pages/busking-permits.aspx

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Freelancer, January 2015 - Surging City of Melbourne residential population

The City of Melbourne's residential population was estimated to be 120,196 in 2014 and this is expected to reach 124,143 during 2015. The population has grown significantly since the early 2000s. See the table below of total population in the municipality, 2003-2013:

Year Total City of Melbourne Population
2003: 66,149
2004: 71,532
2005: 76,197
2006: 80,154
2007: 85,141
2008: 89,792
2009: 94,330
2010: 97,578
2011: 100,228
2012: 105,402
2013: 116,431

At the last count in mid-2014, there were 9,662 standalone houses and townhouses in the City of Melbourne (note these are counted together and it is not possible to identify the number of detached houses). Similarly there were 52,304 apartments in mid-2014. This includes 4289 student apartments. Additionally there were also 3277 shared accommodation beds (in student dorms, boarding houses etc.) and 4542 serviced apartments.

The City of Melbourne's Development Activity Monitor shows that 6319 new apartments were completed in 2014. This is triple the long-term average of 2100 since we began tracking residential development in 2002.

—————————————————————–CBD News, September 2016 - More residents living alone in apartments

There is a correlation between the current and predicted increase in one and two bedroom housing within the City of Melbourne, and an increase of residents living in lone households.

The resident population of the City of Melbourne is predicted to increase over 20 years from around 127,700 in 2015 to around 237,750 by 2035; an increase of 86 per cent from 2015. During this same time, the number of private dwellings is predicted to increase from around 68,700 in 2015 to around 153,164 in 2035 (an increase of around 123 per cent from 2015).

In recent years, take-up of one and two bedroom apartments has far outstripped that of stand-alone housing. This is particularly the case in the Central City areas of Southbank, Docklands and the CBD, compared to areas traditionally known for established housing stock such as North Melbourne, Kensington, and Carlton.

The current short-term trend has seen the average household size decline from 2.02 in 2013 to 2.0 in 2015. This trend is forecast to continue to around 2024 to reach 1.57 individuals per household, before slight annual increases to an estimated 1.77 individuals per household by 2036.

All of these data and trends are available on our Population Forecast website, as downloadable data and many also visually represented in graphical format: http://melbournepopulation.geografia.com.au/

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Multiple, July 2015 - Inside the acclaimed Urban Forest Strategy

Melbourne has long been regarded as Australia's 'garden city', but 13 years of drought in tandem with severe water restrictions left the City's urban forest in a state of unprecedented decline.

By 2009, 40 per cent of our significant trees were declining or dying.

We implemented our Urban Forest Strategy in 2012 to protect our trees, our city and our people.

We aim to double our canopy cover from 20 per cent to 40 per cent by 2040, and we a have a target to plant 3000 new trees per year. We believe that we can cool our city's summertime temperatures by 4C if we double the canopy cover.

In the past four years we have planted 12000 new trees. This season we are planting 50 trial trees representing 19 different species from around the world.

There's such strong interest in Urban Forests that this month we proudly hosted over 50 local governments from across Australia and New Zealand to undertake a master class in urban forestry, based on the highly successful Urban Forest Strategy devised by City of Melbourne. This included the launch of the 10-step guide on ‘How to Grow and Urban Forest'.

Urban Forest Visual website

The Urban Forest Visual was launched in May 2013. The website has received over 40,000 visits and we have received over 3000 emails to individual trees.

The map on the Urban Forest Visual website was developed to allow the community to develop a better understanding of our urban forest, its current condition, and health.

When undertaking a series of community engagement workshops about our Urban Forest Strategy, several people asked us to share our maps and tree data.

We decided to create a public interactive map of the more 77,000 trees that make up Melbourne's urban forest. We utilised a colour range to indicate tree lifetime expectancy – or health – to show which trees in the city are at greater risk.

Each tree has its own email address connected to an asset ID number on the map. This allows members of the public to connect with information about any given tree in the city.

The original intention of assigning trees asset numbers was to map useful life expectancy, and to help residents report tree decline, vandalism or branches dropping. The unintended but positive consequence was that people began sending emails professing their love for trees.

We know that Melburnians are passionate about their trees, parks and gardens. We were surprised and delighted to find that many people all over the world feel the same way about trees in their city.

We have received emails from as far afield as Russia, Germany, the US, the UK, Hungary, Moldova, Singapore, Brazil, Denmark and Hong Kong.

The website is a great example of how technology can be used to benefit ecology. Many people have emailed a tree in the city and said it helped them reconnect with nature and learn more about it.

A Golden Elm on busy Punt Road is Melbourne's most emailed tree.

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The Age, October 2015 - All about the mayoral robes

The Mayoral Chain is of significant cultural and historical importance and is an integral part of the State's heritage. It was handmade by early Australian goldsmiths using 18 carat yellow gold.

According to an extract from Jewitt & Hope's Corporation Insignia 1895, it was tradition amongst many important social figures to wear a chain. While the wearing of chains in the eighteenth century ceased to be socially fashionable, the practice continued amongst certain high ranking officials and community leaders, including many Mayors.

The Lord Mayor's Chain is sometimes referred to as a collar and is worn by the Lord Mayor at functions when official regalia is required. The chain is made up of 72 oval medallions on two rows (43 outer row medallions and 29 inner row medallions). Each medallion bears the central crest of the City of Melbourne and is engraved with the names of the ex-Lord Mayors and their dates of office.

The chain includes a detachable Fitz-Gibbon oval pendant medallion that bears the Coat of Arms of the City of Melbourne in polychrome enamels on a white ground. The following inscription appears on the pendant medallion: "Presented 9 October, 1884, by Edmund Gerald Fitz-Gibbon, Barrister at Law, Clerk of Committees from 6/3/1854 to 30/6/1856, Thenceforth the Town Clerk."

No new medallions have been added to the original chain since 1982 as it had become too heavy, too valuable, and too fragile to be worn regularly in public.

A replica ceremonial Mayoral chain is now worn by the Lord Mayor during the Citizenship ceremonies and other official functions. This handmade chain is made up of two rows comprising 37 silver gilt medallions. Each medallion is engraved with the central crest of the City of Melbourne, and eleven medallions bear the names of former Lord Mayors and their dates of office. The chain includes a detachable oval style pendant with the white and red crest of the City of Melbourne and the motto Vires acquirit eundo”, which means “we gather strength as we go.”

The ceremonial chain was made by Kozminsky of Melbourne and they are still the preferred jeweller should any repairs be necessary.

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Sourceable, May 2015 - No guidelines for green roofs

• We produced the Growing Green Guide, Australia's first guide to green roofs and walls, to assist the private sector to add to the city's green infrastructure and encourage innovation in urban greening.

• The guide is designed to equip planners, designers, developers and homeowners with the know-how to incorporate green infrastructure into their projects.

• We've had almost 70,000 downloads of the guide and over 59,000 visitors to the website since its release in February 2014.

• In Victoria there are no policies or regulation requiring the installation of green roofs, green walls or green infrastructure for the public or private realm.

• Urban greening policies that mandate or incentivise the use of green infrastructure in the public and private realm have been embraced in cities around the world, particularly in Europe and North America. The City of Melbourne is currently looking at policy options for encouraging green roofs and walls.

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Pitchi, July 2015 - Melbourne a pioneer for small business grants

· The City of Melbourne was the first Australian local government authority to provide direct financial support to its business community. Since the grant program began in 1996, the City of Melbourne has provided over 330 small businesses in $7.4 million in financial support.

· Initially the program was aimed at start-up businesses to attract diversity and innovation to the CBD. However over the years the grant program has been expanded to include business expansion, export entry, and micro business from specific communities.

· The grants target new and existing small business located or intending to locate in the City of Melbourne. The businesses must be innovative, creative and have a strong point of difference. They must not be duplicating the current services/products already available in the City of Melbourne. They must also be able to demonstrate a sound business model and financially viability.

· There is an annual budget of $300,000 to offer grants each year. As such, the number of grants offered is dependent on the number and quality of applications received, as well as the amount of funding available in each funding round.

· The assessment criteria are:

Innovation/Creativity
Business / export readiness
Financial viability
Benefits to City of Melbourne

Small businesses can only submit one application in each funding round. However, a small business can receive one grant from the start-up category and one from the expansion category. For the export category, up to three grants can be made to a business, with each grant occurring in three separate financial years.

· The program is open to applications from all industry sectors. However, the City of Melbourne encourages applications from key target sectors such as advanced technology, music, biotechnology, creative industries, environmental services, finance, business services, healthcare, higher education, hospitality, information and communication technologies, retail and tourism.

· The City of Melbourne has already provided $219,000 to nine Melbourne businesses as part of the 2014/2015 small business and social enterprise grants program. Fifteen unsuccessful grant applicants will also receive access to $5000 in business mentoring, counselling or coaching to assist in further developing their business proposals.

· The receipt of Small Business Grants was instrumental in opening the first Koko Black chocolate store in the Royal Arcade in 2003, and the first Suga rock-candy store in 1997.

· A City of Melbourne Small Business Grant also helped with the extensive start-up costs for the development of the KeepCup, the world's first barista standard reusable coffee cup.

· From now onwards, the City of Melbourne will offer one funding round for small business and social enterprise grants each year.

· The 2015/16 grants round closes at 5pm on 10 August, 2015.

· For more information visit Small Business Program guidelines for more details.

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Southbank Local News, February 2016 - Koorie Night Market and homelessness at Enterprise Park

The City of Melbourne has allocated $450,000 from our 2015/16 Budget to improve public amenity and activation in Enterprize Park.

The scope of work is still being finalised but will consider elements such as landscaping, pathways and infrastructure works

We are working with key stakeholders, including the Melbourne Aquarium, on the scope of the improvements.

We also recently completed a lighting audit at Enterprize Park and are currently installing new and upgraded lights to enhance the features of the area. These upgrades will be completed by mid-February.

Coinciding with the lighting upgrade, the City of Melbourne is hosting the Koorie Night Market in Enterprize Park on Saturday 13 February.

The Koorie Night Market showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, local to Victoria, as well as cultural music and dance performances.

Enterprize Park is a site of cultural and historical significance to Aboriginal people, and features the Aboriginal art installation Scarred, and meeting place for Aboriginal cultural heritage walks.

By holding the Koorie Night Market event at Enterprize Park, the City of Melbourne aims to raise community awareness about the cultural significance of the site and reconnect the site with Traditional Owners.

Enterprize Park is also regularly used by people sleeping rough as a place to shelter. Alongside service providers, we have regular contact with people sleeping rough to improve welfare and develop pathways into housing and support.

Any planned works at Enterprize Park will be done in consultation with homelessness services and people sleeping rough in the area to ensure we continue to support our city's most vulnerable.
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Docklands News, January 2016 - Why is there a pop-up bar in a public park?

A Docklands News reporter has spoken to residents who are upset that a pop-up bar known as F.T.W Mutiny on the Bay is operating in Seafarers Rest Park. The Department of Treasury and Finance has told Docklands News that Council approved the bar. Their response to the journalist is below.

A pop-up park has been licensed as part of an initiative to activate a much neglected part of the Docklands.

The three-month activation will finish in April and is designed to encourage people to visit the park. In the long term the park will be significantly updated by Asset 1 to look less like an industrial eyesore and more like a park. The current activation has been approved by the City of Melbourne.

The pop-up stall only occupies a small part of the park and we understand the community are able to access the park including the small area where there are trees.

As part of future development expected at the site hoarding has been put up in some sections around the site for security reasons.

There is no entry fee to enter any part of the park and it remains open to the public.

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The Guardian, January 2016 - What is council doing about energy efficiency?

  • In 2003, the City of Melbourne announced our ambitious goal to achieve Zero Net Emissions for our municipality by 2020. We also have a target to achieve 25 per cent renewable energy for the municipality by 2018.

  • Currently, only 12 per cent of Victoria's electricity is derived from renewable energy.

  • In playing our part, we became a certified carbon neutral organisation for the first time for the 2011-12 year and have maintained this status ever since.

  • Through the 1200 Buildings retrofit program, the commercial office program CitySwitch, and the residential apartment program Smart Blocks, we provide building owners and tenants with trusted information and access to financial incentives and grants to help existing buildings in the city to increase their uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions.

  • The suite of programs encourages the uptake of practices that improve the environmental performance of existing buildings. This is crucial as 78 per cent of our municipality's greenhouse gas emissions are generated from existing buildings. The bulk of this impact comes from the commercial sector.

  • Our 2015 Retrofit Survey identified that since 2010, over a third of commercial office buildings in the city have retrofitted for energy efficiency and another twenty-one per cent plan to do so in the next five years.

  • Today with the support of industry; Melbourne also boasts the largest concentration of green buildings in any Australian capital city, with 138 Green Star rated buildings.

  • We are hopeful that these trends will continue as we progress towards 2020 and that we can drive greater retrofit action in the future.

  • Over the last year, the City of Melbourne has facilitated the installation of over 415kW of solar on apartment buildings, single-family dwellings and commercial buildings across the municipality.

  • We also entered into an agreement with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) for $30 million in financing to fast-track a number of sustainability initiatives. Our $14.8 million investment in street lighting will see nearly 16,000 streetlights switched to energy efficient LEDs over the next three years - a move that will slash our energy bill by more than $1 million a year.

  • The City of Melbourne has committed to amend its investment portfolio so we do not invest in fossil fuels. The divestment motion was passed with unanimous support from Councillors on Tuesday 27 October. This means that for the first time, our investment policy will be changed to explicitly commit Council to not directly invest in banks or institutions that fund fossil fuel projects in the future.

  • We also recently launched the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. We have partnered with other local governments, cultural and educational institutions, and private-sector corporations to investigate purchasing renewable energy together through a group purchasing model. Our aim is to purchase 120 GWh worth of energy from new utility scale renewable energy facilities and we will release a tender early this year.

  • We were amongst the first cities to join the C40 and 100 Resilient Cities Networks. We recognise that sustainability is also about global reputation and we have been recognized with many international awards for going green. This is great for attracting business, visitors, students and international researchers.

  • The next step in terms of managing business and industry risk and seizing on green economy opportunities is the conversation started through our 100 Resilient Cities Strategy. This is really the next frontier for sustainability in asking the question ‘Is our city truly resilient to future shocks that can disrupt the economic engine room of our cities?'

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The Age, February 2016 - Managing the challenge of skaters in Lincoln Square
  • Under Council's Activities Local Law 2009, skating is prohibited in Lincoln Square.
  • Council officers have found it unworkable to enforce the skating ban due to the number of officers in comparison to the number of skaters.

  • For many years, local residents have expressed concern and distress about the behaviour of skateboarders in Lincoln Square.

  • Large groups of people regularly congregate in the square – sometimes of up to 50 people – and complaints are regularly received about noise, skating at unreasonable hours of the night, anti-social behaviour, pedestrian safety, and skating on the Bali bombing memorial.

  • Numerous attempts have been made to resolve these issues, including meetings between representatives from Skateboarding Australia, Victoria Police, Skate Safe Ambassadors and Council officers.

  • On 28 April 2015, a Council meeting resolved that the park should be redesigned so that is no longer suitable for skating. We also want to improve the Lincoln Square for all users by making it more accessible, enhancing the frontage onto Swanston Street, and increasing tree and garden planting.

  • Our aim is to work with the skating community to find more appropriate sites where people can skate while respecting public memorials and having less impact on public amenity.

  • Our current approach when designing new open spaces, such as the recently completed Neill Street Reserve in Carlton, is to include skating in the park design, and this is proving popular with skaters.

  • We are working on a framework, Skate Melbourne, to guide the location, provision and management of skating in the municipality.

  • Consultation for the Skate Framework will start in March, 2016.
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The Age, January 2016 - Reserving spots in public parks

The City of Melbourne manages nearly 480 hectares of parks and gardens. This includes a number of bookable parks, gardens, promenades and reserves.

These open spaces are used extensively by the local community and visitors from across Australia and overseas. For example, 74 events were staged across the Domain Parklands in 2014 and more than 40 weddings.

In accordance with the Melbourne City Council's Activities Local Law 2009, a permit is required for certain events in our open spaces, including private functions where there will be more than 50 attendees.

All private event permits incur an application fee, attendee fee, and a site fee. The event fees charged depend on the type of event. Full details of fees structures, available locations and a guide to planning vents can be found on our website.

Our park rangers enforce park regulations and patrol our parks, gardens and reserves on foot and in vehicles, seven days a week. They regularly check large gatherings of 50 people or more to ensure appropriate permits have been obtained.

Our rangers are aware that arriving early to reserve a good picnic spot is a fairly common practice in our parks on busy public holidays such as Australia Day. Our rangers will often encounter families or groups that have been returning to the same barbeque spot on Australia Day for over 10 years. We recognise that our parks are important social spaces and we rarely, if ever, receive complaints regarding this practice.

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The Age, April 2016 - Saving lemon scented gums from Transurban

The CityLink Tulla Widening project is an initiative of the Victorian Government and the land affected at the intersection of Flemington Road and Mt Alexander Road is the property of VicRoads.

The proposed works by Transurban and the State Government include the removal of five lemon-scented gums from within the median strip which will create additional road space in Flemington Road.

The land affected is the property of VicRoads, however the City of Melbourne has been caring for and maintaining these trees.

Recognising the significance of the trees, we stipulated to the CityLink Tulla Widening project team that they thoroughly consider alternative design solutions to retain them.

The current proposal which requires the removal of the trees and the median strip was the only option that didn't require the acquisition of property or the redevelopment of the tram network.

In accordance with our Tree Removal and Retention Policy (2012), we have actively sought compensation on behalf of the community for the loss of the trees.

A motion regarding this decision will now be considered by Council.

If the trees are removed, we will receive compensation based on their amenity value, environmental value, and removal costs. This money will go into green projects in the vicinity of the site.

The five trees are valued at $215,939.34. The tree listed by the National Trust is valued at $132,782.77.

Public consultation regarding the Project and tree removal has been undertaken by CPB Contractors Pty Ltd, on behalf of the Victorian Government and Transurban.

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The Age, October 2015 - Concerns about planning permit for 141 Latrobe Street

VCAT granted a permit for the proposed development at 141 Latrobe Street following a review into Council's failure to decide on the application within the prescribed time period. The City of Melbourne opposed the granting of a permit.

In granting a permit, VCAT included conditions to address a number of the detailed issues raised by Council. However, a number of the issues raised in Council's submissions were not addressed, including concerns that the building is too tall for a relatively small mid-block location, that its tower setback was insufficient to distinguish it from the podium and that its side setbacks are insufficient and unreasonably shift the responsibility adequate tower separation to adjoining lots.

In addition, the City of Melbourne had significant concerns about inadequate internal amenity, which although were isolation could be deemed minor, were considered collectively problematic. These concerns apartment sizes and useable space, an unreasonable reliance on borrowed light and a lack of access to private open space because of a lack of balconies

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Sunday Herald Sun, October 2015 - Parking officer incidents

From 1 January 2013 to 23 October 2015, City of Melbourne parking officers reported a total of 104 physical and verbal assaults against them while on duty. Of the 104 incidents, 33 were physical assaults and 71 were verbal assaults.



Total

2013

2014

2015

Total Physical and Verbal Assaults:

104

48

36

20










Total Physical Assaults:

33

18

10

5

Physical Assault* resulting in a Code 1**:

11

5

4

2

Physical Assault not resulting in a Code 1:

22

13

6

3











Total Verbal Assaults:

71

30

26

15

Verbal Assaults resulting in a Code 1:

14

4

6

4

Verbal Assaults not resulting in a Code 1:

57

26

20

11

* Physical assault includes all physical contact such as spitting, pushing or grabbing.

** A Code 1 alert is a call from an authorised officer requiring immediate assistance because he/she feels physically threatened or are reporting an emergency situation.

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The Age, July 2016 - Pedestrian safety


Melbourne is a busy city and it is getting busier, with around one million people using our city streets every day.

We know that as many as four in five fatalities in the City of Melbourne involve vulnerable road users – cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists – so it's incredibly important that we remind people of the risks, but more importantly, give them some first-hand practical advice about what they can do to make their journey in the city safer and more enjoyable.

To that end, we have engaged with road users through campaigns like Share our Streets, which encourages road users to show courtesy and respect, making their journey safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

In recent years we have made a number of improvements to streetscapes across the city. Examples include widening footpaths, installing pedestrian refuges in centre of road locations, working with VicRoads to improve the operation of existing traffic signals, installing additional mid-block pedestrian crossings in busy city streets which have high pedestrian activities, adding double height medians to deter people crossing the street mid-block on arterial roads and improving public street lighting at key intersections.

VicRoads is the authority responsible for traffic signals. While we are not aware of any immediate plans to change pedestrian traffic signals, we will continue to work with VicRoads and Victoria Police on ways to improve pedestrian safety.

In 2015, 19 pedestrians sustained serious injuries, 32 pedestrians sustained other injuries and one person was fatally injured in the central city (Hoddle Grid).

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The Citizen, October 2015 - Inspecting food premises

The City of Melbourne inspects all registered food premises at least once a year. These visits are unannounced to ensure that the normal practices of the business can be observed. Food courts are generally visited multiple times each year as registrations of food businesses are staggered across the four quarters of the year, and the inspections are conducted prior to renewal of registration.

All food related complaints are investigated by Council. All investigations include a thorough on-site inspection of the implicated food business.

Council investigates all complaints and ensures that all registered food businesses are inspected at least annually. Council received approximately 550 requests for service in the 2014-15 financial year. The average response times vary depending upon the type/nature of the complaint, and the potential risk determines the priority the request is given (for example, a food poisoning complaint is responded to within 24 hours).

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Herald Sun, October 2015 - Banning horse drawn vehicle


Does the City of Melbourne have the power to ban horse drawn carriages?

No. Horse-drawn vehicles are regarded as vehicles under the Road Safety Act and may be legally driven on the road. The carriage is not required to be registered and the driver does not need to hold a current Victorian drivers licence but must obey the road rules.

Some people say COM could stop issuing permits to operators thus stopping them operating. Is this correct?

The permit relates only to operators' rights to conduct a business transaction on the street. The permits in no way relate to the ability of a horse-drawn vehicle to operate on the street. Removing the permits would only make it a breach of the local law for them to trade on the street. It would not prevent them from driving on the street, picking up pre-paid fares or even parking in a fee-paying parking bay (provided they paid the fee). Only when they began touting for business without a permit they would be in breach of the local law and could be fined.

How many horse and cart operators are there in the City of Melbourne?

There are seven permit holders that can operate up to three carriages each.

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Herald Sun, October 2015 - Two levels of basement parking not built as permitted by Brady Group

The City of Melbourne is aware that two levels of basement parking have not been constructed in accordance with original plans for the development at 500 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

The development at 500 Elizabeth Street was approved by a former Planning Minister, as the responsible authority, in 2009. The City of Melbourne is the planning enforcement authority.

The developer has applied to the Minister for Planning to amend the plans to reflect its failure to build the two levels of car parking. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has asked the City of Melbourne for its opinion and officers are presently reviewing the revised plans.

The City of Melbourne will also review the permits and plans relating to the basement levels to establish what was approved by the relevant private building surveyor.

There is a range of enforcement options available depending on the outcome of these enquiries. We will consider all of the circumstances before taking further action.

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The Age, September 2015 - Settling with Grocon over proposed tower at 85 Spring Street

The City of Melbourne withdrew its application to be joined to the proceeding in VCAT after agreement was reached between the department and the applicant on revised plans for the development at 85 Spring Street. The revised plans addressed a number of the City of Melbourne's concerns with the proposal.

While the revised plans did not address all of the City of Melbourne's concerns, it was considered that the resulting amended proposal agreed by the department and the applicant was unlikely to be improved by pursuing the matter through VCAT.

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Herald Sun, September 2015 - Levels of non-payment of rates

The City of Melbourne has a number of payment options to assist people pay their rates. The City of Melbourne issues reminder notices for unpaid rates over a six-month period before commencing debt recovery through a debt collection agency.

Legal proceedings are only instigated once this process has been exhausted and there has been no payment or contact with the ratepayer. This happens in approximately 300 cases a year, which represents about 0.3 per cent of more than 90,000 annual assessments

The City of Melbourne's outstanding rates balance at the end of each year is approximately 1.5 per cent of its total rates bill. The majority of this outstanding is collected in the first three months of the following rating year.

Rates totals and outstanding balances



2014-15

2013-14

2012-13








Total General Rates

$232,254,970.98

$216,045,820.69

$203,601,852.84

Balance of current year rates at 30 June

$3,646,994.52

$3,056,918.29

$3,055,951.08

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Melbourne Leader, March 2015 - No we can't force the Baptists in North Melbourne to sell their church


· The Eight Day Church site has never been owned by the City of Melbourne.

· The land grant or allocation for the Church was gazetted by the colonial government of the day, at a date estimated to be 1886.

· Most Church properties throughout inner Melbourne were granted land under the same process.

· The site remains the property of the Church and it cannot be purchased by the City of Melbourne as it is not for sale.

· The City Of Melbourne does not compulsorily acquire land for open space, and we do not have land available to swap.

· The City of Melbourne's Open Space fund balance is $14 million for the entire municipality.

· The City Of Melbourne has a range of existing commitments to expand open space within close proximity of this site. These include the Hawke and Adderley Street Park expansion, the Railway Place and Miller Street park expansion, and the recently completed Errol Street Park.


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The Age, August 2015 - Writing to the State Government about Port of Melbourne privatisation

At its meeting on 28 July, 2015, Melbourne City Council directed the Chief Executive Officer write to the state Treasurer highlighting a number of issues relevant to the City of Melbourne in the Delivering Victorian Infrastructure (Port of Melbourne Lease) Bill, which is currently before Parliament. On 5 August, City of Melbourne's Chief Executive Officer Ben Rimmer wrote to the Treasurer to request his consideration of issues affecting the Council in the potential lease transaction.

Council's resolution and the Chief Executive Officer's letter raised four key issues regarding the proposed lease transaction. These included:
  • Seeking an assurance that it was not the intention of the bill to render rateable Port of Melbourne land unrateable. The Port of Melbourne is currently freehold land that is rateable by Council

  • Recommending that all parties to the Port of Melbourne lease enter into a long-term rates agreement.

  • Seeking adjustments to the boundary of the Port of Melbourne to maximise the present and future opportunities to expand public open space in the City of Melbourne. *(see below)

  • Requesting that a formal requirement be established to ensure that Council is consulted on future planning decisions, consistent with other planning controls in the municipality. Port of Melbourne is subject to its own planning scheme and the Minister for Planning is solely responsible for its administration.
Background

There are a range of issues covering the future management of Moonee Ponds Creek and its surrounds, and on other open space fronting the south bank of the Yarra in the context of the proposed lease transaction.

The City of Melbourne believes the eastern bank of the Moonee Ponds Creek has great potential as a recreational boat launching area to assist the operation and activation of the Docklands waterways.

In addition, there are parts of the southern banks of the Yarra at Fishermans Bend which the public is currently able to access. The City of Melbourne has recommended that Government consider whether some of these areas can be excluded from the Port area and reserved for public open space

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Herald Sun, March 2015 - Relationship with AFL clubs and spending on grand final parade
Along with providing support to AFL affiliated clubs, the City of Melbourne provides sponsorship, grants and funding to a large amount of grass roots football clubs and sporting initiatives within the municipality.

For example, since 2012/13 the City of Melbourne has provided $96,000 to The Huddle, which is a joint initiative of the North Melbourne Football Club, the Scanlon Foundation, and the Australian Multicultural Foundation.

The funding to The Huddle has delivered over 70 sessions through the Sisters through Sport Initiative, which aims to get women and young girls from multicultural and multi-faith communities involved in sport and recreation. These sessions include drop-in soccer, women's AFL, The Good Wheel bicycle program, regular Monday night sports, as well as School Holiday Activities at the Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Club and Surf Day camps.

AFL Victoria was also successful in applying for a $5,000 grant in 2013 for the project Fitness through Football. This allowed up to 30 women to improve their fitness, connect with other local residents and improve their knowledge and skills in AFL.

The following sponsorship has been provided to the AFL as part of the Triennial Sponsorship Program. This goes towards providing free events in the city during the finals, such as the Grand Final Parade and Live Sites. Up to 100,000 people attend the Grand Final Parade each year, and the live sites attract around 40,000 people each day.

• 2011-12 FY $250,000 + GST
• 2012-13 FY $251,524 + GST
• 2013-14 FY $258,569 + GST
• 2014-15 FY $258,569 + GST
• 2015-16 FY $325,000 + GST.

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Herald Sun, August 2015 - Conflicts of interest and loss of quorum

The City of Melbourne is committed to increasing public disclosure and access to information. We want to be recognised as one of the most transparent councils in Australia.

Under the Local Government Act (1989), Councillors are required to disclose any conflicts of interest in matters to be discussed at Council and Committee meetings which they attend. All disclosures are recorded in the official meeting minutes. As an additional transparency initiative, the City of Melbourne compiles a register of these declared conflicts and makes them available online on a quarterly basis.

The Local Government Act includes provisions to support decision-making in the event that conflicts of interest result in a loss of quorum.

Where a loss of quorum is imminent due to Councillors having conflicts of interest, the following options are available:
  • Council could resolve to seek an exemption from the Minister for Local Government for any Councillor in regard to their conflict of interest.

  • If the CEO receives declarations of conflict of interest from six Councillors he can write to the Minister seeking and exemption for those Councillors.

  • If the matter is one that could be determined by a delegated officer, the matter could be determined under delegation.

    BACKGROUND

    In the current term of Council, the City of Melbourne has only sought – and received – an exemption from the Minister on one occasion.
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Herald Sun, September 2016 - Response about disclosure that council has 169 staff earning more than $139,000
  • The City of Melbourne is a capital city council with an annual budget of more than $490 million and around 1400 employees.

  • We want to be the best local government in Australia. To do that, we need the best staff.

  • In recent years, we have been recognised as global leader in fields such as city safety, sustainability and climate change and urban design.

  • The accolades we receive are an indication of the leadership, professional and technical expertise and experience of our staff bring and their remuneration reflects the responsibility and expectations that come with working at the City of Melbourne.

  • We are also one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia, which is leading to a growth in services.
  • In 2015-16 more staff were employed to work on key city shaping projects such as the $250 million renewal of the Queen Victoria Market, which is the largest project we have ever undertaken and the Melbourne Metro Rail project, which will make it easier for all Victorians to move around the city.
  • In addition to managing Council's overall staff numbers, we regularly evaluate the most cost effective way to deliver services for the community. In some instances, it makes commercial sense to employ permanent staff rather than engage external consultants and agency staff at a premium.
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Herald Sun, September 2015 - Clearways where vehicles get towed

Figures on the number of vehicles that were towed from clearways in the 2014-2015 financial year and also the number of fines issued for parking in a clearway if that is different to the number of tows.

- The number of vehicles towed from tow-away clearways in 2014-15 was 6,506.

- The number of infringements issued to vehicles in clearways (tow-away and non tow-away) in 2014-15 was 824.

How many clearways does the City of Melbourne patrol (the journalist believes it might be 13)

- The City of Melbourne is responsible for patrolling 15 tow-away clearways.

- In addition, the City of Melbourne patrols three clearways not designated as tow-away.

What the fine/towing procedure is and whether cars are automatically towed or whether they are first issued with a fine etc.

- A vehicle which has parked illegally in a tow-away clearway will be towed away by our contractor and no parking infringement will be issued.

- The contractor will take photographs as evidence of the illegally parked vehicle. All tow trucks are fitted with GPS which allows them to track what time the truck stopped at a particular location, how long it was stopped and when it commenced moving again. This enables the City of Melbourne to audit the contractor's process and ensure the appropriate procedures have been followed.

- In the rare instance that a very large vehicle is parked in a tow-away clearway and a heavy haulage tow truck is not readily available, a parking infringement will be issued.

- If a vehicle is parked in a non tow-away clearway, a parking infringement will be issued.

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Herald Sun, March 2016 - Cost of farewell function for CEO

REQUEST: The journalist asked about the cost of the farewell function for the former CEO.

He has been provided with the information that the function cost $4616.55 + GST.

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The Age, August 2016 - The future of City Library in Flinders Lane
  • The Melbourne Library Service has more than 1.4 million visits annually. Our six libraries don't just service local residents; they support the workers, students and visitors who travel to our city's heart each day.
  • Our three new libraries include Library at the Dock which opened in May 2014; Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre which opened in July 2015; and Southbank Library at the Boyd Community Hub which opened in July 2012.
  • We believe that City Library is one of the busiest lending libraries in Melbourne, if not the busiest.
  • It is located in a former Flinders Lane clothes house and was created by the City of Melbourne and the Council of Adult Education in 2004.
  • City Library has proved so popular that we are now engaging with key stakeholders to consider short and long-term options to relocate the library.
  • Our current lease on the Flinders Lane site ends in December 2020. In assessing options, we would look to find a location that is equally central, dynamic and able to form part of the cultural heart of the city.
  • City Library attracts on average more than 67,000 visitors per month, and over 3,000 visitors per day on some weekdays. We recorded more than 810,000 visits to City Library in 2015-16 (an increase of 15 per cent on previous year).
  • Library at the Dock received more than 220,000 visits in 2015-16, (an increase of 74 per cent on the previous year) and Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre recorded more than 110,000 visits in 2015-16 (its first year of operation).
  • Library at the Dock covers approximately 3,000 square metres (1,000 square metres per floor); while City Library covers 2200 square metres.
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The Age, July 2016 - Complaints about homelessness


The City of Melbourne has seen an increase in general homelessness/emergency assistance enquiries in recent years. This is in line with the increasing number of people sleeping rough in the city, as recorded in our recent StreetCount.

Our homelessness unit works collaboratively with homelessness services in Melbourne to assist people sleeping rough.

When we learn of people in need or in distress, we contact agencies such as Launch Housing, the Salvation Army and the Royal District Nursing Service, who then visit the person and offer them shelter, clothing, medical or other basic needs.

We also coordinate a fortnightly meeting of agencies working with people experiencing homelessness, including discussing case-by-case situations.

This allows us to streamline services and reduce duplication of efforts for rough sleepers, better linking them to suitable support and ultimately working towards getting people off the streets and into housing.

We also work closely with local businesses to build their understanding of homelessness issues and support their response to any incidents.

Under the Activities Local Law 2009, it is not illegal to sleep rough and all people have a right to be in a public place.

The Activities Local Law prohibits camping in public places (including erecting structures such as tents, tarps and stretchers).

We regularly schedule clean-ups when necessary, particularly if items and rubbish accumulate and block pedestrian access. This can include cleaning excrement, syringes and other waste.

In the case of a larger scale clean-up of an area, this is outside of our daily tasks and requires additional resources and costs.

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The Age, August 2016 - City of New York employs a rodentologist - what does City of Melbourne do about rats?

* Rats and mice are common worldwide in high density urban areas where there are more sources of food, shelter and water. In addition there is also increased building construction activity in cities, which can disturb their breeding and nesting habitats.
  • Rats and mice breed at all times of the year, but they may become more visible in winter as they seek out shelter.

  • The majority of rats of observed in inner Melbourne are Black Rats.

  • The City Of Melbourne has a baiting program in place in a number of locations where increased rodent activity is reported to Council, this includes but is not limited to many of our inner city laneways and parks.

  • The baiting may comprise several methods and it is monitored to ensure that only rodents are affected, animals do not suffer unnecessarily and there is no health risk to the community.

  • We also work with businesses and residents to ensure they do not encourage rodent activity. This includes discouraging the illegal feeding of possums, which may attract rodents.
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Herald Sun, July 2016 - Man sleeping in parks with his pet sheep

Camping in the City of Melbourne is not permitted without a permit, as set out in Council's Activities Local Law.

The City of Melbourne has been working with Mr Aquilina, Launch Housing and the Shire of Moorabool to see if there is a way for him to return to his home with his ram. This work is ongoing.

While there is no specific prohibition on the keeping of livestock in the City of Melbourne, owners must ensure their animal's welfare needs are met and that they do not adversely affect amenity or cause a nuisance.

It is worth remembering that people should exercise caution when approaching animals.

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Southbank Local News, May 2016 - Why is there so much flooding near Crown Casino?

The City of Melbourne believes recent flooding in Whiteman Street / Clarendon Street in Southbank has been caused by a number coinciding astronomical and climatic affects.

Tuesday 10 May was a spring tide (registering 1.04m at the Williamstown pier). Persistent and strong south westerly winds and rainfall falling in the local catchment also combined to cause a storm surge of approximately 300mm in the Yarra River. Consequently there has been persistent flooding in this area of Southbank, which is a flood prone area.

It is also likely that the recent Yarra Trams port junction works exacerbated the incidence of flooding in Whiteman Street. We are working closely with Yarra Trams on this issue, and a design solution is expected to be finalised by August.

Once the design solution is complete, we will seek agreement from Yarra Trams to conduct drainage diversion works.

In the interim, Council's road maintenance provider is undertaking regular inspections and drain cleaning to mitigate the extent of flooding in the area.

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The AFR
, June 2016 - Is City of Melbourne getting into divestment?


The City of Melbourne has a target to achieve Zero Net Emissions for the municipality by 2020, and we have put in place a number of initiatives and programs which seek to engage and empower Melbourne's community to transition towards a low carbon future. It is important that the City of Melbourne leads by example. We have been a certified carbon neutral organisation since 2012, and continue to look for ways to improve our sustainability impacts.

We have committed to review our Banking Services contract, which is provided under contract until June 2016. In accordance with our Sustainable Procurement Policy, we will seek information from tenderers about their sustainability commitments and investment strategy.

Our Investment Policy is reviewed annually. The current policy does not address divesting from funds or companies that produce or fund fossil fuels.

In line with our Zero Net Emissions target, we will take this into consideration when our Investment Policy is next up for review.

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The Age, May 2016 - Which are the 1428 properties exempt from rates?

As a rule the City of Melbourne does not provide information about individual property owners to private organisations.

To access rate and valuation information about each of these properties you would need to purchase a Land Information Certificate (State prescribed fee $24.80 per assessment) for each property.

Most of the exempt properties (over 75 per cent by value) are owned by one of the three tiers of government (including public educational institutions). The balance is owned by companies, public and private trusts, charitable institutions (including educational institutions), incorporate associations and individuals. The general groupings are listed below:

General Groupings:
City of Melbourne

Waste & Environmental Service
Markets
Health / Welfare / Education
Housing
Parks, Gardens & other Public Lands & Bldgs

Commonwealth of Australia

Departments
Statutory Authorities
Courts / Legal
Consulates

Government Educational

Pre-School / Primary / Secondary
Tertiary / Further

Non-Government Educational

Pre-School / Primary / Secondary
Tertiary / Further

Religious Inst./Charities/Assoc./Culture

Arts/Recreation/Culture/Public Trusts
Religious/Associated Properties
Community Groups and Co-Operatives
Professional Bodies and Assoc
Welfare/Health/Hospital

State Government

Welfare/Health/Hospital
Courts / Legal
Statutory Authorities
Govt Departments
Park, Sports Grds & Public Land & Bldgs
Utilities/Infrastructure
Port of Melbourne Corporation

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News.com.au, March 2016 - Improving recycling rates at City of Melbourne
  • The City of Melbourne manages residential waste collection and recycling in our municipality, including a monthly green/garden waste collection service for residents.

  • One of the biggest challenges we face as a capital city council is the amount of landfill our city produces, so we are always looking at new ways to reduce waste and improve recycling.

  • In the 2014-15 financial year, 23,000 tonnes of residential waste was sent to landfill and nearly 8,000 tonnes of material was collected for recycling or composting through our waste services.

  • Material collected from household recycling bins is taken to a material recovery facility for sorting and separation into different material types such as paper/cardboard, steel, aluminium, glass and plastics. Plastics are sorted using optical technology which identifies the type of plastic. The sorting process is designed to maximise the amount and value of the recyclable materials. Once they are sorted, the materials may be processed for recycling in Victoria, elsewhere in Australia or overseas.

  • Audits have shown that around 10 per cent of the material that is placed into household recycling bins in our municipality can't be recycled.

  • There is often confusion among residents about which plastic items can be recycled. All hard plastic bottles or containers (including shampoo or detergent bottles, ice cream and takeaway containers) can be recycled, regardless of whether there is a recycling symbol or number on the item. Rigid household plastic items such as kitchen storage containers or plastic toys can also be recycled. Plastic bags and plastic wrapping cannot be recycled through household bins. Some supermarkets provide plastic bag and plastic wrap recycling bins where residents can drop off these items.

  • Another common recycling mistake is for recyclables to be placed in a plastic bag. These items cannot be recycled because the bags cannot be opened at the sorting facility due to occupational health and safety concerns.

  • We are currently running our annual Bin Inspection Program to help educate residents about recycling. Council officers look inside residential recycling bins (without touching the items inside) and residents who are recycling correctly will receive a green ‘well done' tag and the chance to win a $50 voucher. Residents who are mixing waste with recyclables will receive a friendly warning tag that says ‘Please Recycle Correctly'.

  • The program has resulted in 802 green positive tags and 282 red warning tags being placed on residential bins in Parkville, South Yarra, Carlton, Kensington and East Melbourne. So far, South Yarra has had the highest contamination rate, with 43 per cent of recycling bins presenting contamination.
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Herald Sun, January 2016 - dying and declining trees

The City of Melbourne's urban forest comprises more than 70,000 trees in streets and parks across the municipality.

Our internationally recognised Urban Forest Strategy was implemented to recover, expand and diversify Melbourne's urban forest.

By 2011, we had identified that 40 per cent of the municipality's significant trees were declining or dying due to the impact of water restrictions, ageing tree stock, and the long-running drought.

The Urban Forest Visual website allows you to view a map of the Useful Life Expectancy of trees within the municipality.

Since the drought we have done an enormous amount of work to improve the health of Melbourne's trees. We have installed sophisticated irrigation systems, improved soil health, increased mulching, and installed a number of stormwater harvesting systems such as the five million-litre underground stormwater tank in Fitzroy Gardens to increase independence from future water restrictions.

Some of the oldest trees in Melbourne are remnants from pre-settlement times, there are River Red Gums estimated to be between 300 - 400 years old. Many other significant trees are recognised on the Exceptional Tree Register and also on the National Trust Significant Tree Register.

Our aim is to keep trees in the landscape for as long as possible, as they provide significant social and environmental benefits.

Unfortunately, many of our oldest heritage trees are now reaching the end of their natural life expectancy.

We have removed 773 trees across the municipality since April 2015 due to a range of reasons such as vandalism, building development, tree decline, defects and death. These removals are spread across all city precincts.

We are responding to the expected tree loss by planting 3000 new trees per year. Our aim is double tree canopy cover from 22 per cent to 40 per cent by 2040.

In the past four years we have planted 12,000 trees.

We're also increasing species diversity to minimise the vulnerability of Melbourne's trees from climate change, pests and disease. Last season we also planted 50 trial trees representing 19 different species from around the world.

More information on the conditions for tree removal is available in our Tree Retention and Removal Policy.

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The Age, January 2016 - Replacing street lights with a loan from the CEFC

The City of Melbourne is replacing more than 15,000 street lights with energy efficient LED lights as part of a Federal Emissions Reduction Fund project.

While the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Regulations 2008 have been updated, the accompanying guidance documents are yet to be developed for lighting upgrades on roads or public spaces. This meant there was not a clearly defined process to participate in the State scheme at the time we were establishing the project.

We are pleased to have our first project registered under the Emissions Reduction Fund. We expect the $14.4 million project will create 10,000 tonnes of pollution abatement each year.

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Fifth Estate, December 2015 - Why is City of Melbourne represented at Paris climate convention?

The world's cities are showing unity and building momentum for a global response to climate change through our networks and initiatives such as C40, 100 Resilient Cities, ICLEI and the Compact of Mayors.

While the Paris negotiations will focus on more than 190 national governments, cities are at the forefront when it comes to responding to climate change.

We know that 50 per cent of the world's population live in urban areas, and cities currently contribute to 80 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Cities such as Melbourne will play a strong role at the climate negotiations through a number of events, including the Climate Summit for Local Leaders at Paris City Hall this Friday.

We'll be showcasing some of Melbourne's leading climate initiatives. Examples include our innovative group procurement model for renewable energy, and our Smart Blocks program, which has resulted in over 100kW of solar of being installed on residential apartments in the municipality.

We know that cities matter and we are heartened by the fact that there is now a Federal Minister for Cities and the Built Environment. Melbourne and Sydney alone represent almost 40 per cent of Australia's GDP, which means cities not only have an important role to play in responding to climate change, but we can have a huge impact at a national level as well.

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The Age, September 2015 - Suburb by suburb breakdown of open space and growth in open space reserve

In 2011, the proportion of open space within the municipality according to precinct was:
  • Carlton 4.1%
  • Carlton North 6.2%
  • Docklands 2.2%
  • East Melbourne 11.9%
  • Kensington 4.4%
  • Melbourne 3000 – 2.3%
  • Melbourne 3004 – 20.9%
  • North Melbourne-1.5%
  • Parkville – 30%
  • Port Melbourne – 5.2%
  • Southbank 1.1%
  • South Yarra 7.6%
  • West Melbourne 2.6%.
Below is a breakdown of growth in the open space fund:
  • 2014/15 – $18.6 million
  • 2013- $10.75 million
  • 2012 - $7.06 million
  • 2011- $3.66 million
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MAV Magazine, October 2015, City of Melbourne's leadership on resilience project

Local government has long been at the forefront of community strengthening and emergency response. Eighty per cent of Australians live in cities and Melbourne is Australia's fastest growing city. The Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities challenge is helping to make cities around the world more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges of the 21st century.

Resilience challenges can't be dealt with comprehensively by a single agency, and they don't stop at municipal boundaries. Australia's first Chief Resilience Officer, Toby Kent, has been appointed to lead the development of Melbourne's first resilience strategy. Unlike many cities in the 100RC network, with a single city council responsible for most metropolitan services, Melbourne is governed by both state and local government, with 32 municipalities.

The Resilient Melbourne project has brought councils, government and business across Melbourne together to understand their resilience challenges and work with them to identify priorities and projects that will build the city's resilience.

In the first phase of the project, the Preliminary Resilience Assessment identified a range of shocks (such as flood, fire and heatwave) and stresses (such as increasing social inequality and family violence) that affect Melbourne's resilience. Resulting from these discussions were five clear focus areas that are being analysed by working groups led by five metropolitan CEOs, to inform the goals and actions that will comprise the Melbourne Resilience Strategy.

The project is a significant opportunity for local government to work differently and more effectively on common challenges. You can hear more about how Councils are working together to build resilience when the MAV (Municipal Association Victoria) hosts an Urban Resilience conference on 1 and 2 December 2015.

The conference provides an opportunity to hear from leading international and Australian professionals in the practice of urban resilience and will feature outstanding case studies.

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IoT Hub, July 2015 - Parking sensors

In-ground sensors (IGS) have been progressively installed in 5300 parking bays in the City of Melbourne since 2011, replacing the traditional method of parking officers chalking tyres in these bays. They are located in the central city, Southbank and parts of West and East Melbourne. There are more than 12,500 fee-paying parking spaces in the City of Melbourne.

The introduction of in-ground sensors has provided the City of Melbourne with a range of benefits that go beyond our ability to enforce parking restrictions more effectively. For example, in the three years since we began installing in-ground sensors, we have been able to develop a much more accurate picture of driver behaviour.

In-ground sensors also allow our officers to work more efficiently. Parking Officers are rostered in sections across the City of Melbourne, based upon a number of factors, including officer knowledge, service requests (complaints in area) and data from the in-ground sensors. This data is also used to evaluate parking restrictions in areas, compared to the occupancy of the bay. Previously, and in areas where no IGS are located, this data is captured by a short-term manual exercise conducted several times per year. We now have this data at our finger tips.

Since the in-ground sensors were introduced, there has been better compliance with signed time limits, fewer fines issued and, most importantly, a more regular turnover of parking bays in the central city, the area of highest demand for parking in the city.

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Docklands News, May 2015 - New Melbourne City Marina lounge


The Melbourne City Marina lounge opened in March 2015, and offers a unique boating destination in the heart of the city.

The marina lounge and on-shore facilities aims to increase boating visitation and on-water activity in the Docklands, and create a hub for activity within the Victoria Harbour precinct.

The new marina lounge features, shower, and laundry facilities, a barbeque, and an outdoor deck with water and city skyline views.

The opening of the marina lounge reaffirms the City of Melbourne's commitment to ensuring Docklands is a thriving community with imaginative and well-designed places.

We believe that fostering more colour and movement on the water will enhance the waterfront experience for visitors, and create a drawcard for the Docklands community.

The new lounge, where the Waterways' office is located, also provides our officers with greater observational control of the precinct and waterways.
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Dubbo Daily Liberal, September 2015 - Flight between Melbourne and Dubbo

Comments attributed to Lord Mayor:

I'm sure Dubbo residents will make the most of this new opportunity to visit Melbourne: the world's most liveable city for five consecutive years.

Our city is the sporting, shopping and cultural capital of Australia.

Melbourne offers world-class dining and entertainment such as the Spring Racing Carnival, the Australian Open, Formula 1 Grand Prix and wonderful galleries and theatres.

We pride ourselves on diversity of offer: no matter what your interests, we will take care of you in Melbourne.

It's no surprise that, for the first time, Victoria is now attracting more international visitors than Queensland.

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The Age, July 2015 - MV Missy B illegally berthed

While the MV Missy B has been in its current location since late 2011, it is moored outside of the marina lease boundary, and adjacent to a waterway that needs to be kept clear for safety reasons.

The vessel is therefore considered illegally berthed.

The City of Melbourne is committed to activating the waterway at Victoria Harbour and increasing boating visitation, but vessels need to be safely moored within designated marina boundaries.

We have been working collaboratively with MAB (the leaseholder of the Marina) and the owner to rectify the issue.

Our Superyacht Marina at Central Pier is primarily used for superyachts that visit Melbourne for relatively short periods of time.

If the Missy B was berthed at this facility for a year, the fee would be around $105,000, which is comparable with other superyacht facilities around Australia.

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3AW Rumour File/Herald Sun, July 2015 - Lights on new parking meters

The following item ran on 3AW's Rumour File:

Lights Go Out explains the City of Melbourne are having issues (rumour is fact) with their latest multiple parking meters because the light on the screen does not work after an hour and parking inspectors are introducing OHS complaint action because of a risk of people assaulted by drivers. There have been a lot of complaints from the public about the meters too, explains Lights Go Out.

The Herald Sun followed up on whether the rumour was true and this response was provided:

The City of Melbourne upgraded 105 multi-bay parking meters recently. While the meters are working correctly, the indicator in the meter which should activate the light when it becomes dark is not working as well as it was before the meters were upgraded. Council is working with the supplier to rectify this issue. Some officers have provided feedback on the issue however no incidents of assault on our officers have been recorded as a result of this fault, nor have any incident reports been filed.

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Herald Sun, April 2016 - Most popular books in our libraries

The City of Melbourne operates six libraries across the municipality. We have opened three of these libraries in the past five years – all with brand new book collections.

Our three new libraries include Library at the Dock which opened in May 2014, Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre which opened in July 2015, and the Boyd Community Hub which opened in July 2012.

Melbournians love books and usage of our library collection continues to grow. Our total collection includes over 275,000 physical items, and around 80 per cent of this collection was purchased in the last five years.

There were almost 1.2 million visits across our six libraries in the past year, and 1.38 million loans were made across our service in 2014-2015.

Modern libraries are about more than just their physical book collections as eBooks and eAudiobooks now account for seven per cent of all our loans.

Currently the most popular book in our collection item is ‘Go Set a Watchman' by Harper Lee. The much anticipated novel was borrowed 161 times from 1 January to 31 March, 2016.

The full list of our most popular items is below:
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

  • Reckoning: a memoir by Magda Szubanski

  • Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

  • Hunger Makes me a Modern Girl: a memoir by Carrie Brownstein

  • Pinball, 1973/Hear the Wind Sing: two novels by Haruki Murakami

  • The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop

  • The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

  • Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

  • The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

  • The Strays by Emily Bitto

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    The most popular genre of books in our collection is Crime Fiction. There were 52,000 loans from 1 from 1 January to 31 March, 2016. Thirty per cent of these loans were from the Crime Fiction genre, followed by Biographies.

    In terms of rare books, we hold a copy of the Edinburgh Review 1827 which was presented by Melbourne's founder, John Pascoe Fawkner, to East Collingwood Library in 1860. The book is inscribed and signed by him.

    The most valuable book in our collection is Mostly Cats (1964) by Ola Cohn, who is famous for creating the Fairies' Tree sculpture in Fitzroy Gardens.