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Council listens to its people’s panel

09 Jul 2015

Council listens to its people’s panel Image

City of Melbourne councillors unanimously endorsed the recommendations of the People’s Panel at its council meeting on June 30, as it adopted its 10-year financial plan and asset management strategy.

As part of the process of developing the plan, the City of Melbourne last year engaged a People’s Panel of 43 demographically selected residents and business owners from across the municipality to have their say on spending and revenue priorities for the next decade.

The panel had made recommendations in its report to the City of Melbourne to increase rates, sell assets, borrow money, spend more on “green initiatives”, maintain community services and cut capital works spending.

Chair of finance and governance Cr Stephen Mayne said the 10-year financial plan had taken on board the vast majority of recommendations made by the citizen’s jury.

“We spent time with the panel over six sessions in August and September last year to provide them with a solid understanding of council operations, challenges and needs,” he said.

“We encouraged them to think broadly about what they wanted Melbourne to look like by 2025.”

“They took into consideration that a changing climate, technological advances, a growing city economy and an evolving demographic would alter the needs of our city and provide new ways of doing business.”

“The panel came back to us with 11 key recommendations and I’m proud that our plan aligns with the majority of these.”

While it agreed to borrow more money, council has chosen not to increase rates by CPI plus up to 2.5 per cent for the next 10 years due to State Government plans to introduce a rates capping policy for all Victorian councils.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the 10-year plan would deliver on council’s vision for growth, prosperity and liveability.

“Melbourne is Australia’s fastest growing city, with daily users of the city expected to increase by 23 per cent by 2024,” he said.

“We need to be agile enough to make the most of the opportunities this growth will bring. We will need to do things smarter and more efficiently.”

“This plan will secure our competitive advantage as a top global city and as a premier location for business and knowledge.”

As well as adopting its 2015-16 budget, council also announced that consultation was now underway until July 22 for the asset management strategy.

The Lord Mayor said the strategy was developed to assess and monitor existing council assets to ensure they perform at their peak while also planning for future city assets.

The community is invited to comment on the draft asset management strategy online at www.melbourne.vic.gov.au

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