Funding plan for Greenline completed as construction gets under way

Sean Car

The City of Melbourne has finalised an all-important plan for funding its $315 million “city-shaping” Greenline project as Lord Mayor Sally Capp helped mark the beginning of construction at Birrarung Marr on May 23.

Councillors approved the Greenline Partnership and Funding Strategy at their May 21 meeting, which sets out how the revitalisation of the north bank of the Yarra River between Birrarung Marr and the Bolte Bridge would be achieved.

While the council had originally sought a matched contribution of $100 million from their Victorian and Commonwealth Government counterparts, it has so far only managed to secure $20 million from the federal government.

However, with partnerships having always been an “essential component” of the project, the council has already collaborated with private developers and other levels of governments on several Greenline projects to date.

This includes the construction of Seafarers Rest Park within Greenline’s “Maritime Precinct” near the Mission to Seafarers building at North Wharf, which is being delivered in partnership with developer Riverlee as part of its Seafarers project.

The strategy identifies six potential funding sources, including direct budget funding across all levels of government, partnerships, grants, philanthropy, loans and value capture and commercialisation.

For the Greenline precincts which sit opposite the Southbank and South Wharf areas – Maritime, River Park and The Falls – the plan aims to fund a majority of these projects through partnerships, with the bulk of the remaining funds to be provided by direct funding and grants.



The Falls Precinct, which will revitalise the section of north bank opposite most of Southbank between Evan Walker Bridge and Enterprize Park, including the Banana Alley Vaults, relies heavily on a funding partnership with VicTrack, which is the principal landowner in this precinct.

In what was her last time speaking on a major strategy for Greenline at Town Hall, Lord Mayor Sally Capp paid tribute to everyone who had contributed to the “enormous effort” so far but admitted “there’s still plenty of work ahead”.

Despite a considerable 44 different planning overlays that cover the breadth of Greenline, Cr Capp, who will resign as Lord Mayor at the end of June, said the strategy set the project up “in the best way we can for success”.

“Difficult things are often the most worthwhile projects. I note that there are heritage overlays, environmental overlays, water overlays, and Indigenous cultural heritage overlays,” the Lord Mayor said.


Navigating a path through these rules and requirements requires an unprecedented level of coordination, cooperation and collaboration and this is reflected in the partnership and funding strategy.


“We’re also, of course, realistic that we can’t rely solely on government for delivering this project, and this is really similar to projects in other cities.”

Cr Rohan Leppert said the funding plan represented the final strategic step in allowing Greenline to realise its “maximum potential”, and he looked forward to “continuing to watch an extraordinary project evolve.”

“When we adopted the [Greenline] master plan at the end of last year, which was an exciting moment, my remarks at that time were that the master plan can be considered complete when the funding and partnership plan is endorsed alongside it,” he said.

“That’s what we’re doing tonight. And so, I do think that the master plan now with this funding and partnership plan paints that full picture and sets Greenline up for its maximum potential.”

On May 23, the Lord Mayor appeared alongside Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King to mark the beginning of construction at Birrarung Marr.

The Federal Government has contributed $20 million under its Priority Community Infrastructure Program to deliver the works in Birrarung Marr as well as the now completed master plan, with the council jointly funding both projects. 

“This project is a demonstration of our government’s ongoing commitment to providing new and improved infrastructure that bolsters social inclusion and encourages communities to thrive, both economically and socially,” Minister King said.

The Lord Mayor said, “We’re delighted to partner with the Australian Government to get this first stage done – a significant vote of confidence in the Greenline project.” •

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