Engaging with community, listening to what you have told us and then turning your suggestions into actions is a continuous process. Our first community consultation in 2022 asked you to talk about any gaps or issues that you were experiencing.

You highlighted that COVID-19 lockdowns forced us all to live more locally and that these amenities are even more important to you. You told us what you value in your communities, what the challenges and opportunities are and suggestions for shaping and planning the future together.

The priorities listed here reflect the great diversity of voices in the neighbourhood and are the beginning of a cycle of listening that is endorsed by Council’s Neighbourhood Planning Framework.

We’ve listened to you and heard you. We will continue to listen to you and expect over time for recurring themes to emerge and for these local priorities to grow and change. This portal will regularly update what is already happening and what areas we will be exploring further.

  • Aboriginal Melbourne

    For the Wurundjeri, Bunurong, Taungurung, Dja Dja Wurrung and Wadawurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin, the place now known as Melbourne has always been an important meeting place and location for events of political, cultural, social and educational significance. We will ensure that the Traditional Owners’ culture, lore, knowledge, and heritage enrich the city’s growth and development.

Greater recognition and opportunity to learn about Wurundjeri heritage, places and culture.

What you told us

You want more visible representation and celebration of Aboriginal culture and history around Carlton. You told us that you'd like to see more recognition of Wurundjeri peoples’ ongoing cultural connection to Country with visibility through native planting and greenery, signage, events, placemaking and creative art initiatives.

You’d like to see educational opportunities for people to learn more about Aboriginal culture and history and for events to be run in partnership with Aboriginal organisations and local Elders to help with this. You’d also like to see more support for Aboriginal people experiencing homelessness in the neighbourhood.

“Indigenous references are non-existent - please bring this history into the region and including indigenous local greenery of all types.”

“More Australian native planting in all parks and pocket parks replacing the non-native over time.”

“In collaboration with First Nations Australians community, explore how we can recognise and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by activating the screen in the Piazza Italia.”

What we’re doing

As part of our Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-23 we are identifying and implementing opportunities for the dual naming of spaces to reflect Aboriginal cultural heritage for Carlton.

At this year’s narrm ngarrgu | Melbourne Knowledge Week we launched Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne a spatial mapping tool highlighting places and events of Aboriginal cultural significance within the city. An interactive map is located in Town Hall Commons and available in desktop and mobile versions. This educational resource has been developed with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and supports Council in placemaking and signage. The Map identifies a number of Aboriginal Places of Significance in Carlton.

The Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre located in the Melbourne Museum provides tours through its First Peoples Exhibition sharing stories of survival and celebrating Aboriginal culture and heritage.

We host the YIRRAMBOI Festival every second year, providing opportunities for Aboriginal artists to present their continuous and diverse contemporary practices.

Through What’s On Melbourne, we share events and initiatives that occur in the municipality including National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week celebrations.

If you want to become more familiar with Aboriginal history and living culture, check out this reading list of books by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers. You can borrow all the books from our libraries.


October 2023

- On 21 March, Melbourne City Council endorsed a motion in support of the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart, and the ‘yes’ campaign for the Constitutional Recognition of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament. As part of our ongoing commitment to truth-telling, we have compiled a set of resources about the Voice to Parliament, the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart, and the upcoming referendum. We will continue updating these resources as the referendum approaches, including information in multiple languages. We encourage you to bookmark this page to stay up to date. Authorised by Sally Capp in Melbourne on behalf of Melbourne City Council.

- In May, Yirramboi festival brought us an incredible program of First Nations creative exploration for community to experience across the city. In May and June as part of National Reconciliation Week, we hosted a range of events to promote truth-telling, learning, healing and change, including an oration by 2022 Melbournian of the Year, Anotinette Braybrook which is available to view. In July we celebrated National NAIDOC Week and offered a range of activities to embrace and deepen understanding of our Aboriginal history and culture including a Deadly Books Giveaway, NAIDOC in the City event, Finders Keepers Market and more.

February 2023

- Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder, Uncle Dave Wandin, shares the importance of understanding an Acknowledgment of Country and how to deliver it with respect. Find out more about Melbourne’s Traditional Owners and Aboriginal peoples’ deep connection to Country.

- Monday 13 February marked the 15th Anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. As part of the ongoing work towards reconciliation, we are in the process of acknowledging, recognising and paying tribute to the Stolen Generations by establishing a marker within the municipality. The Victorian Aboriginal Community – including those who are part of the Stolen Generations and their families – are invited to provide feedback on three potential shortlisted marker locations.

  • Access and affordability

    We will reduce economic and social inequality by ensuring universal access to housing, core services and information.

Better security and support for public housing residents.

What you told us

You told us that you’d like to see better Council support for residents of the Carlton Public Housing towers. You told us that many of you don’t feel safe and would like to see better lighting and more security presence in and around the estates. You would also like more access to community spaces for resident-led initiatives.

You also told us that you’d like more frequent and affordable programs and initiatives that support residents particularly in gaining employment and education. You’d like better physical and mental wellbeing programs for women, especially mothers, young people, older people and families.

You’d like more events and gatherings that celebrate and showcase the diversity of multiculturalism of residents.

“More security officers to monitor movement around our buildings and safety of our families.”

“Please bring programs for our communities like education and employment support for young people and activities for women and elders.”

“Better engagement for youth and career support.”

What we’re doing

We partner with Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre (CNLC), which delivers a range of programs and activities aimed to connect community, provide learning opportunities through courses, employment support, events and gatherings that celebrate culture and diversity.

City of Melbourne also partners with The Drum to deliver a range of crisis, social support, recreation and education programs for young people in the municipality. Activities and drop-in sessions are available to young people at Carlton Baths and Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre.

A series of one-on-one tech help pop ups are delivered in community rooms located on the Carlton Public Housing Estate specifically for older people over 55 years. The service is delivered by not-for-profit organisation Lively employing young people aged under 25 years.

We’re encouraging more grass-roots community leadership with the introduction of Connected Neighbourhoods Small Grants. Individuals and non-incorporated groups can now apply for up to $2000 to support neighbourhood-strengthening initiatives.


October 2023

- The Connected Neighbourhoods Small Grants program provides small grants to support connection and community-led responses to the neighbourhood priorities. There were 46 community-led projects that were funded in the first year. In Carlton this includes:

  • Sewing together - Staying Connected: Supported the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre to deliver sewing classes at the Open Door Hub on the Carlton Public Housing Estate with the purchase of 10 sewing machines.
  • Melbourne Festival of Puppetry Community Day 'The Puppet Picnic': La Mama Theatre brought Melbourne Festival of Puppetry’s The Puppet Picnic to the Carlton Public Housing Estate. The event began with a colourful parade from La Mama to the Neill Street Reserve gardens, bringing the festival to the community for a day of free performances, engaging workshops and an opportunity for all to connect, share and celebrate.

February 2023

- The Drum Youth Space is a dedicated space at Kathleen Syme Centre, facilitated by The Drum. It is a drop in space for young people to socialise, study and have a sense of ownership over how the space is presented and includes an outside garden area. The Drum also run various programs including Queerspace, Young Men’s program, and Underground Women at Kathleen Syme Library with young people from diverse backgrounds participating.

- Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre run Accredited English Classes at Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre. Courses are designed to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, numeracy and computer skills, and include education about the Australian workplace and culture.

- The Church of All Nations Homework Club is a free, non-denominational, volunteer-lead homework club that runs from 4pm to 6pm, Mondays to Wednesdays during schools terms, in Kathleen Syme’s Common Lounge and Training Room.

- Since the launch of City of Melbourne’s Connected Neighbourhoods small grants in June 2022, 16 applicants across all neighbourhoods have been successful in their applications. Carlton High Rise Elder Citizens project is a project that aims to increase community connection for older men living in the Carlton Housing Estate. The program is also supporting the purchase of a new fridge/freezer for the Community Cooking Club, a weekly program running at Carlton Primary School that aims to educate community members on recipe planning and budgeting while also building leadership skills and encouraging participants to become involved in site activities including community events involving food.

Affordable housing options that cater to diverse needs.

What you told us

You’ve told us you are concerned about housing availability and rental affordability for people of varying needs and backgrounds to be able to continue to live in the neighbourhood or move to Carlton in the future.

“Lobbying to state and federal governments must be a priority to better address the housing affordability crisis and this should be a point of pride for our local council.”

“Better housing options for those in public housing (that is, build more) housing affordability - it’s hard to even afford rent in the area, let alone buy!”

“Make it more affordable for young families to live in Carlton.”

What we’re doing

Affordable housing, including social housing and subsidised market housing, is a priority for the whole of the municipality. Our Affordable Housing Strategy 2020-2030 guides our actions to deliver more affordable housing in response to the affordable housing shortage that the municipality is experiencing.

Our recently established Homes Melbourne is exploring ways to increase the supply of affordable housing including partnerships with private developers, state and federal government advocacy and ways individuals can help solve the housing crisis.

It has identified three City of Melbourne owned sites across the municipality to develop new affordable housing projects including ways to support people experiencing homelessness and increase pathways out of homelessness.


October 2023

- We are running a People’s Panel on Affordable Housing in October and November. This panel will include 40 people who are representative of our resident community, to hear from the experts, learn about affordable housing in the community and explore new and innovative ways to truly make Melbourne a city that everyone can call home. Recruitment for the panel has begun and the outcomes will be shared to Council and the general public.

- Through one of our community grants, Anika Legal developed self-advocacy guides for renters in 10 priority languages to help local residents experiencing disadvantage navigate changes in rental laws and find support for housing related legal problems.

Spaces are welcoming for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

What you told us

You’d like more community access to local venues and spaces for community activities, including meeting places, spaces for vulnerable groups such as older people and young people to gather, a community hub and spaces for community events.

Many of you highlighted that the lack of access to the community spaces at Carlton Public Housing estate (unavailable due to COVID-19) was an issue for you.

“More public community spaces would be ideal for residents and families.”

“For the Carlton Estate halls and community spaces to be opened back up again.”

“Community spaces for seniors to gather.”

“Indoor community spaces for young men and women.”

What we’re doing

Our Women's Safety and Empowerment Action Plan aims to promote the inclusion and safety of women and gender diverse people in our communities and public places. Planned activities for 2022-23 include the delivery of Club Respect within sporting clubs, review of policy and practice in relation to lighting of sporting pavilions, and the redevelopment of Bren's pavilion.

As part of our obligation under the Gender Equality Act 2020, council is required to support the identification and elimination of systemic causes of gender equality in policy, program and delivery of services in communities.

Outcomes in our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan address barriers in the physical, information and social environment and ensures infrastructure development and public spaces demonstrate best practice in universal access.

Our Inclusive Melbourne Strategy increases access to opportunities for all people and outlines how we will respond to the diversity of religions, cultures, age groups, gender, sexual orientation and ability among the people who live, work, study in and visit the city.

Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre is a local library providing learning and training rooms with a computer lab, recording studio, meeting rooms, community activity spaces, cafe and also free wifi. Connect Café at Kathleen Syme offers a series of sessions with one-on-one tech help for older people while the Social Support Group program provides support and connection for older people.

We are looking at ways to provide flexible multi-use spaces across the city for the community to access and are continuing to promote to the Victorian government, the importance of resuming community access to the community spaces at the Carlton Public Housing Estate.


October 2023

- We’ve installed a new accessible public toilet on Faraday Street in Carlton. The new toilet replaces the underground public toilet on the centre median strip east of Lygon Street. Two car parking spaces will be permanently removed. The new toilet is a modern and compact cubicle with features including an automatic sliding door, automatic flush, touchless handwashing station and a secure locking system.

- Inclusive employment program Game Changers, supported eight young people to gain employment at our recreation facilities. This program, delivered in partnership by The Huddle and YMCA, provides free support to young people looking for employment, including resume writing, interview practice, career planning, and goal setting. The program has helped improve diversity in the recreation facilities’ workforce with 26 per cent living in the City of Melbourne, 25 per cent born overseas, 15 per cent identifying as being a part of the LGBTQI+ community, and 9 per cent with a disability.

- Our libraries provided a safe and welcoming space for all community members, through programs such as storytime for children, ‘Cook to Connect’ social cooking sessions, book clubs including Chinese book club, queer book club and Womempower book club, ‘Connect Café' to provide tech help for older people, talks such as queer history in Melbourne, and a trans and gender diverse writing group.

- Communication boards were provided at customer service point and libraries. These boards contain symbols and pictures and are an alternative communication device for people with limited or no language. Scope Australia was engaged to update and customise the communication boards and provide training to staff in 2023–24.

February 2023

- We are continuing our mission to alleviate period poverty with the extension of our free period care pilot program until 30 June 2023. Since the launch of the trial in September 2021 more than 6,700 period care products were dispensed from vending machines across six Council-owned facilities at: Library at the Dock, City Library, Carlton Baths, Melbourne Town Hall public toilets (on Collins Street), North Melbourne Community Centre, and Kathleen Syme Community Centre.

- Our libraries have recently launched their own Disability Inclusion and Accessibility Plan with action to improve accessibilty to our libraries, services and resources.

- We are embedding equity of access and inclusion across our tourism services, programs, events and information. We have worked with Guide Dogs Victoria to implement virtual beacon technology to aid people with vision impairment in navigating Swanston Street and Bourke Street. We are also investigating improvements to our tactile street signage across the city.

Education and participation opportunities encouraging multicultural communities, young people and students to engage in Council decision making.

What you told us

You told us that you would like more information on how to engage with us, including how local government decisions are made and how you can participate more in Council processes, so that your voice is heard.

“We need a better relationship with the Council because my community is not very connected to the Council. We don’t speak to the government, and we need our voices heard.”

“We need Council to provide better opportunities for young people and people from diverse communities to be heard and take part in decisions that affect them.”

What we’re doing

We engage with our community in various ways throughout the year. Once a month, the Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) is held in a community location moving between neighbourhoods. The FMC was held in Carlton on Tuesday 15 February 2022 giving increased access to residents and highlighting Carlton specific initiatives and issues.

Our Participate Melbourne online community provides opportunities for you to have a say in the city’s big issues and future plans. Through this platform, your opinions and ideas help shape Council’s decisions. Recent examples of public consultation projects in Carlton include Participate Carlton and Carlton Gardens Masterplan Review.

We understand that some people in our community experience barriers to community and civic participation. Council’s Inclusive Melbourne Strategy 2022-23 aims to better empower diverse voices to be heard, diverse representation in the local economy and diverse groups to enjoy equitable access to neighbourhood assets.

We also host popups, working groups, workshops, walking tours, information sessions and consultations throughout the year encouraging community participation and engagement.


October 2023

- Community Resilience Assessments are conducted to understand better and respond to the physical and social vulnerabilities that communities face before, during, and after a disaster. We piloted assessments in Carlton, Southbank and Kensington.

- A new translation function was added to Participate Melbourne, meaning online content can be translated into the top 10 languages other than English that are spoken in the municipality.

Better support for women, young people, international students and social housing residents.

What you told us

You want more accessible and inclusive services and opportunities for women, young people, international students and people living in social housing to increase social connection and receive appropriate support.

“To celebrate its diversity and provide more community services for young people.”

“Community support services for young people, international students, new arrivals, public and social housing residents.”

“Mental health awareness for culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Many people are struggling especially after COVID lockdowns and need mental health care.”

What we’re doing

Our Affordable Housing Strategy and advocacy work enable us to support young people at risk of homelessness. In partnership with others, we deliver a range of support services including health and wellbeing, case management, youth participation and family support for young people in Carlton.

The safety and wellbeing of international students is important to us. We deliver a range of initiatives, including The Couch - International Student Centre in partnership with the Salvation Army, outings to attractions, events, behind-the-scenes tours and ticket giveaways through the Experience Melbourne program.

We also offer conversation clubs and many free items including books, eBooks, music and movie streaming from our libraries, along with wellness programs, and mentoring and workshops to help people get job ready.

We are a collection point for the Melbourne International Student Guides and we’ve partnered with Insider Guides on the Lighthouse International Student Directory. We also offer a City of Melbourne international student newsletter which can be subscribed to here.

We provide a broad range of health and support services, programs and resources to assist the community including children and their families, young people, older people, Aboriginal communities, LQBTIQ communities.


October 2023

- We partnered with all tiers of government through the Inner Metropolitan Partnership to promote food security and social cohesion. We have distributed food vouchers through our childcare centres, family services, Ageing and Inclusion programs, Multicultural Hub, neighbourhood centres and libraries. We have also started a Community Lunch Club at Kathleen Syme Library and invested in The Carlton Community Grocer, enabling community members to access good food at affordable prices.

- The community was better able to reconnect in 2022–23, following the isolation associated with the pandemic. We engaged not-for-profit organisation Lively to deliver digital literacy programs for older people. Lively trains and employs young jobseekers to provide support and connection for older people. It also builds meaningful intergenerational relationships that foster greater understanding and respect.

- Lively tech helpers provided one-on-one technology training and support for participants to use their smartphone, tablet device, laptop or computer. People were supported in their homes, at Connect Cafes and Tech Help pop-ups at public housing estates at Carlton, Kensington and North Melbourne. A total of 589 older people participated.

- Each month City of Melbourne Libraries induct new people to access library makerspaces. These makerspaces provided access to technology, creative infrastructure and programs that support digital literacy and skill development. Libraries deliver specific Digital Literacy workshops to support employment, financial and wellbeing needs. Individuals can also Book a Librarian for a one-on-one digital literacy support program that is tailored to user’s needs. The Mel-Van outreach continues to visit community centres and festivals with community wifi and digital literacy resources.

- In June Council considered a report called ‘Improve internet access in City of Melbourne's community facilities and for hard to reach groups’ and agreed to develop a Digital Inclusion Plan. This will include establishing a standard for Wi-Fi at Council facilities and looking at a model for the City of Melbourne to support a device donation scheme, allowing hard to reach groups access to devices.

- TalktoMe was an application developed by St Vincent’s hospital and funded by us to facilitate brief, sentence-based, non-clinical information in multiple languages when communicating about day-to-day topics relating to healthcare.

- Our Family Services team has created an inclusion and access officer role to provide inclusive and responsive support for families. The officer will help families from culturally diverse backgrounds access support and services.

- A forum to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act was attended by 140 people and co-designed and delivered by community members with lived experience of disability. The forum celebrated the positive changes that have happened over the past 30 years, but also highlighted numerous barriers that still exist, such as community attitudes, employment opportunities, and persistent gaps in accessible transport.

- Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Training was completed by 518 volunteers, and 74 staff members. This training helps volunteers and staff to support people living with non-visible disabilities.

February 2023

- The Community Grocer’s Carlton Market relaunched on Friday 25 November 2022. After its closure following the COVID-19 pandemic, we have supported the return of the Carlton Market to Carlton Public Housing Estate. The Market is running every Friday 8am to 12pm at 510 Lygon Street, Carlton.

Improving public transport options.

What you told us

You told us that you’d like more affordable and more frequent public transport services to cater for community members especially older people and international students.

“It’ll be better if they extend the free tram zone until the University of Melbourne and Hay Market.”

“Review bus services, they don't go anywhere useful. Always empty. Expand tram services using old/existing tram tracks.”

“To be more affordable and accessible for the whole community, including people living in Ministry of Housing areas and International Students.”

“It’s not just in Carlton but if public transport is much cheaper, more people will come here.”

What we’re doing

The Victorian government through the Department of Transport and its agencies is responsible for the delivery of public transport and improvements to public transport infrastructure.

The Metro Tunnel’s Parkville Station is currently under construction and due for completion in 2025, connecting Parkville and Carlton to the rail network for the first time. This will elevate pressure on local trams and roads while providing more frequent services. The service will also link directly to Melbourne Airport in 2029 via the Melbourne Airport Rail.

We can play a role in highlighting community feedback and further advocating for improvement to infrastructure and public transport services.


February 2023

- Yarra Trams is working with the Department of Transport and City of Melbourne to install tram separation kerbs and modify the bike lane separator islands along Swanston Street, between Victoria and Grattan streets, Carlton.

Balancing the needs of various transport and road users including addressing antisocial road behaviour and parking issues.

What you told us

We’ve heard that you value the use of active transport options such as walking, cycling and e-scooters. But you stressed the importance of making these modes of transport safer and easier in the community.

You told us that making bike lanes safer, improving public transport services and enhancing pedestrian access throughout the neighbourhood were important to you.

To accommodate all types of transport, you said Carlton needed better management of car parking spaces, but also needed traffic calming measures to discourage aggressive and sometimes dangerous driver behaviour.

“Many public spaces are unpleasant for pedestrians and cyclists.”

"There needs to be better enforcement of parking spaces and people need to be considerate towards parking inspectors just doing their job.”

“Fewer cars, more walking space. Lygon St is still a thoroughfare for commuters, and I feel like it really detracts from the street. It should be more of a boulevard with a light bus/commercial delivery lane limited to 10km per hour.”

“The only negatives would be the increasing amount of graffiti tagging across our beautiful buildings, anti-social behaviour on Lygon Street and the weekend car hooning.”

What we’re doing

Our Transport Strategy 2030 commits to reducing speed limits on all local streets plus key arterial roads to keep people safe in places where lots of people are walking and riding bikes.

It delivers a protected bike lane network, station precincts as key gateways, safer speed limits, trials including e-scooters, and more efficient traffic signal timing. It also supports electric vehicles, bicycling encouragement programs and advocacy and implementation with the Victorian Government.

The Victorian Government has established a Hooning Community Reference Group to understand intentional high-risk driving, or hooning, in Victoria. A series of four meetings will be held across Melbourne to hear from local voices and understand local context.


October 2023

- In May a new Parking and Kerbside Management Plan was endorsed which provides an opportunity to review the location and design of accessible parking spaces to ensure maximum benefit to the community. In addition, there were 418 City Access Permits issued to community members in the financial year. The City Access Permit is our initiative, which provides extra parking time for people with disabilities to regularly attend work, study or specialist medical appointments within the municipality.

- We launched Biketober, a bike encouragement program, in collaboration with RACV, Banyule, Glen Eira, Bendigo and Ballarat. Biketober will run through October and is open to businesses and community members for free.

- We are working through the M9 Active Transport Behaviour Change Working Group, made up of other inner-Melbourne councils, to support collaboration on sustainable transport behaviour change initiatives. This work has seen Open Streets and e-Bike subsidy schemes expand across multiple areas.

February 2023

- Yarra Trams is working with the Department of Transport and City of Melbourne to install tram separation kerbs and modify the bike lane separator islands along Swanston Street, between Victoria and Grattan streets, Carlton.

- Flashing bicycle warning signs have been installed along Queensberry St at Berkeley St and Leicester St in Carlton.

- We’re working with the Department of Transport and Planning to inform its evaluation of the e-scooter trial and decision on the legalisation of e-scooters. The Victorian Government extended the trial until 31 March 2023. To date there have been more than 3 million e-scooter trips across the city as part of the trial, many of which are replacing car trips and providing increased access to city attractions.

- We’re collaborating with other nearby councils as part of M9 to develop actions that encourage more people to ride. We supported Ride to Work Day activities in October that showed an increase in bike and scooter users by 48 per cent compared to 2021.

  • Climate and biodiversity emergency

    We will prioritise our environment and take urgent action to reduce emissions and waste in order to protect public health, strengthen the economy and create a city that mitigates and adapts to climate change. The City of Melbourne declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2019.

Improve waste management and encourage sustainability, recycling and circular economy initiatives in Carlton.

What you told us

You’d like to see initiatives that address the climate and biodiversity emergency, provide community education on waste management and encourage circular economy projects within the neighbourhood.

To encourage sustainability initiatives, you suggested including refilling stations for household products, electric vehicle infrastructure, renewable energy and sustainability education.

“Stronger climate action politics by Council that is neighbourhood batteries, EVs points.”

“Building regulations requesting energy and water efficiency and green rooftops.”

“A continued expansion of recycling systems would be highly beneficial, as would more education around what happens to our waste, and creative ways to reduce it in the home and business.”

What we’re doing

Our Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy outlines a vision and range of actions to help become a zero-waste city.

We are leading the reduction of food waste and diversion of waste from landfill, by continuing the roll-out of our food and organics (FOGO) collection service for single-unit and multi-unit dwellings up to five storeys. We will also be trialling textile bins and conducting a food organics pilot in high-rise buildings.

We are also supporting the development of a circular economy through leadership and community neighbourhood projects, including social enterprise grants, reviewing the options for a container deposit scheme, alternative waste technologies and developing circular economy guidelines.

We became the first capital city council in Australia to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy in 2017 through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. By continuing our innovation in renewable energy, Power Melbourne will play a lead role in reaching our ambition to become a city powered by 100 per cent renewables by 2030.

To prevent e-wastes going into landfill, we offer e-waste drop-off locations. You can drop off batteries at Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, and other libraries.


October 2023

To protect Princes Park from the impacts of future drought, we are progressing a project to capture excess stormwater from Moonee Ponds Creek to provide a sustainable water supply to this valuable open space. 

- More than 150 kW of battery capacity has been installed across the municipality, primarily at residential properties in Carlton, Kensington, North Melbourne and Parkville. Capacity figures were taken from data updated by the Australian Energy Market Operator in March. This initiative seeks to shift the City of Melbourne to gas-free operations and ensure climate change and biodiversity are considered as we manage our assets. Progress this year towards implementing gas-free operations included:

  • Completing projects at, Royal Park Golf Course, Carlton Gardens Lodge, Gatehouse Lodge and other facilities across the municipality.

- Our Power Melbourne project will install a network of neighbourhood batteries around the city to help renters, people living in apartments, and those running small businesses access more affordable renewable energy. Last year we consulted with community on where the first batteries could be installed, and the first three locations were approved by Council: Library at the Dock in Docklands, Boyd Community Hub in Southbank, and Council House 2 in CBD.

- We identified further areas for future neighbourhood batteries and ran a city-wide online survey and pop-ups in Carlton, North Melbourne, Kensington, South Yarra and East Melbourne. A team of community champions also explored the topic with their personal and professional networks. This helped us understand how people feel about potentially having a neighbourhood battery in their area, the kinds of benefits they want to see, and their location ideas. Follow the Power Melbourne page for updates including the report on this phase of engagement.

- We’re committed to reducing the threat of extreme urban heat for all, particularly vulnerable people. We are working to create a ‘heat safe city’ with our goal that the city provides places of respite for residents, workers and visitors during extreme heat events. Earlier in the year we consulted with community on heat health priorities and ways we can create a heat safe city. We spoke to community members in the CBD, Docklands, Kensington, South Yarra and West Melbourne. This feedback is helping us develop heat safe city principles and advocacy positions which will guide actions for future summers, such as design of streetscapes and open space, location of shading and services to support vulnerable community members. Keep an eye on the Heat Safe City page for further updates.

February 2023

- We continue to provide a wide range of services for reusing, recycling or disposing of unwanted household items and materials. 11,400 combined tonnes were collected from various sources including communal recycling bins, cardboard bins and residential collections between October 2022 and January 2023

- We continue to roll out the Food Organics Service to high-rise residential apartments across Melbourne. Selected buildings are undertaking a 12-month pilot program to collect and process food scraps using an on-site organic processor. For more information on the pilot, visit Food Organics High-Rise Pilot.

- We’ve become one of six cities around the world to appoint dedicated Chief Heat Officers to raise awareness about extreme heat risk, provide local leadership and collaborate to deliver solutions. We’re currently delivering Heat Health Preparedness seminars with a range of community groups across February and March. We're also working on developing a plan to make the city safer from the impacts of heat and will be engaging with people who may be vulnerable to the experiences of heatwaves across each neighbourhood.

- We’re continuing to roll out our four-year Major Initiative Prepare Melbourne to engage and prepare residents and communities to enhance their resilience to hazards, disasters and the health impacts of climate change. Over October and November last year we delivered a pilot project for the Southbank neighbourhood to better understand the physical and social vulnerabilities our communities face to disasters and how we can build a more resilient community. Community ideas for resilience building will be shared soon. Kensington and then Carlton will be the next neighbourhoods to participate in community resilience assessments during March to May. Look out for information on Participate on how to get involved in the coming month.

- To be better prepared for challenges that may come your way, consider downloading the Get Prepared App from Australian Red Cross.

- To protect Princes Park from the impacts of future drought, we are investigating options to capture excess stormwater from Moonee Ponds Creek to provide a sustainable water supply to this valuable open space. It is proposed that pipework and infrastructure will be predominately underground and needs to cross Royal Park to reach Princes Park.

Maintain greening on residential streets and shopping strips, and increase through innovative use of median strips and other public spaces.

What you told us

You understand that spending more time in green spaces is good for your physical and mental health.

To enable this, you would like to see maintained and increased greening across the neighbourhood especially on residential streets, median strips and other public spaces. Several of you want to see more native plants to help with rainwater runoff retention, biodiversity and create a cooling green canopy effect.

“More greenery. Summers are getting hotter and there is a noticeable benefit from greener, shady parks.”

“Indigenous references are non-existent. -Please bring this history into the region and including indigenous local greenery of all types.”

“Growing more local food would be great but, in many parts, too much pollution from cars, so reduce cars and provide more community gardening spaces.”

What we’re doing

We’ve developed an Urban Forest Strategy and are currently delivering year 8 of the Central City Urban Forest Precinct Plan. The future review of this plan will incorporate community engagement and input.

The Urban Forest Fund supports gardens, tree planting, biodiversity projects, green roofs and vertical greening, and intersects with the Green Our City Strategic Action Plan which aims to improve the quality and quantity of green roofs and vertical greening in Melbourne.

We are also currently undertaking Amendment C379, which proposes to protect an additional 119 exceptional trees (privately owned and managed land) in the municipality including Carlton.

Our Nature in the City Strategy also outlines how we will protect and enhance ecosystem health and biodiversity in our city.

Community gardening is available for people who want to start a community garden on land that the City of Melbourne owns or manages. To set up a community garden in a high rise residential building, Owners Corporation can apply for Connected Community Grants program to establish community gardens.


October 2023

- We continued our tree planting program with 2554 trees planted this year. There are now more than 80,000 trees planted in the City of Melbourne, and our canopy cover was mapped at 25 per cent this year. We renewed our Urban Forest Precinct Plans and engaged the community about priorities in Carlton, East Melbourne, South Yarra and Central City this year.

- We released our new Greening Melbourne permit system which enables community-led greening on council-owned footpaths. Visit Greening Melbourne to read more about this initiative.

- Canning and Neill Street Reserve is now a timed dog off-leash area. Dogs are allowed off-leash in this area between 6pm to 8am from 1 November to 31 March, and 5pm to 9am from 1 April to 31 October.

- We held three ‘dog in the park’ events in Princess Park, Fawkner Park and Riverside Park, chosen based on the results of an online poll, with these locations being the most favoured.

February 2023

- We are renewing our Urban Forest Precinct Plans, starting with East Melbourne, Melbourne CBD, South Yarra and Carlton. Consultation for these neighbourhoods will begin in March. The precinct plans outline what is going to be planted where, when and why over the next ten years. We are delivering workshops in the neighbourhoods and asking community members to provide feedback to us from March to May this year. This is an exciting opportunity for local residents to have their say on the future of street trees within their neighbourhood.

- We are currently seeking feedback on options for a new timed dog off-leash area in Carlton. Consultation is open until 27 February 2023. Throughout 2021 we consulted with the community on creating a number of new dog off-leash areas in the municipality. As a result, Council resolved in June 2022 to support a municipal order to create seven new dog off-leash areas within the City of Melbourne.

  • Economy of the future

    We will focus on driving economic recovery and creating the conditions for a strong, adaptive, sustainable and thriving future city economy supported by a diverse mix of industries and jobs that provide dignity and opportunity.

More initiatives to attract and encourage diverse local businesses.

What you told us

We’ve heard that you’d like to see more support and ‘backing’ for small businesses and more diverse offerings. You'd like businesses to be supported through marketing and promotional activities and reduced running costs in some way. You’d also like to see more support to help young people and people from diverse communities become business owners.

“More shops. More grocery stores. Encourage diverse businesses on street level.”

“More and more bars and restaurants. It’s the best part of Melbourne.”

“Young people make up a large portion of the Carlton demographic, however they are seldom represented in business in the same way they may be in Fitzroy or Brunswick East. This may be due to high rent prices in the area or a lack of engagement. Definitely a great opportunity for growth and diversification there!”

“I hope there is some support for the restaurants to have more customers. For example, continue the Melbourne money (discount) voucher.”

What we’re doing

We’ve provided and continue to provide a range of support for businesses including: grants, mentoring, workshops, extended outdoor dining initiatives, regular newsletters, sharing data and research and more.

Our Business Precinct Program 2021-25 recognises Carlton Inc. and provides annual financial support to benefit traders in Carlton.

We continue to strengthen Melbourne's economic recovery, including through delivery of an enhanced business concierge service and support for the night-time economy.

Our Shopfront Activation Program helps our creative and entrepreneurial sector by supporting businesses and activating areas in our city that need it most, including Lygon Street. In partnership with the Victorian government, we have invested $2.6m transforming empty shopfronts into creative spaces, bespoke displays and pop-up shops.


October 2023

- Carlton Inc. was funded for business development initiatives, consumer advertising, marketing and promotion campaigns and local activations that promote the Carlton trader area to visitors.

- Our small business grants program supports new businesses to get started and existing businesses to expand and grow. This year we have a special focus on supporting small businesses that enhance the city’s vitality by increasing the occupancy rate of shopfronts across the municipality.

- Our business concierge team had 8089 contacts with business across the City of Melbourne between February and September.

February 2023

- We’ve launched the Melbourne Economy Snapshot, a free seasonal activity guide designed to help businesses make data-led decisions by understanding Melbourne’s new rhythm.

- The first edition shows a sky-high December, with a record $1.1b spent across the city. Friday and Saturday remain the busiest days in Melbourne, while our night-time economy continues to flourish. Delve into the nitty gritty and explore weekday, weekend and night-time activity.

- Dusk 2 Dawn applications were open throughout November and December. Applications are currently being reviewed, with successful activations commencing in May.

- The City of Melbourne’s social enterprise grants program supports social enterprise businesses to thrive in Melbourne. The program supports startups and existing enterprises which are expanding or developing new products or services with a distinctly social purpose. Applications are currently open and close at 2pm Friday 10 March 2023.

- Between October 2022 and January 2023 our Business Concierge service have had 5000 interactions with businesses across the municipality. The range of enquiries have been simple support requests over the phone and email, face to face interactions and supporting new businesses in their start up.

- The Christmas Collective program is an initiative as part of the Christmas Festival. One of the objectives is to increase visitation and spend supporting the economy. A total of $74,726.00 in funding was allocated to 15 businesses/groups to deliver an event or activity.

- To support local businesses, we lifted the holiday spirit with our Christmas Decoration program, including the Melbourne CBD, East Melbourne, Carlton, Docklands, Southbank, North Melbourne and Kensington.

- Carlton and Docklands have been focus areas in recent years from both a decoration and programming content perspective. Both neighbourhoods had key programming content delivered as part of the 2022 Program - Docklands Maze and The Carlton Roller Rink. The CBD and the river’s edge in Southbank remains a focus with regards to driving visitation and connection to the city’s core retail and hospitality offering.

- Carlton Inc hosted the Enliven Carlton event held in Lygon Street on 3 December. A number of Christmas activations also ran from 9 December to 24 December.

More events, activities, and art initiatives.

What you told us

You’d love to see more events, activities and art within the neighbourhood. You want more festivals and gatherings that attract people to Carlton and help the community celebrate its diversity and vitality.

“Hold community events to show arts and heritage of multicultural communities and teach young children.”

“Events to celebrate community festivals for example, Eid Festival.”

“Build more activities for children like sports and community events or tea gatherings for the elderly.”

What we’re doing

We’re delivering our public art projects and program of events showcasing Melbourne's unique culture and creative strengths.

Arts Grants are also available to artists and small to medium arts organisations from all backgrounds and abilities.

We’re continuing to support local events and activations via the City of Melbourne’s Premier Events and Event Partnership Program. Events in Carlton through this program include Carlton Harmony Day Festival, Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Live Fast Festival (Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix) presented by AGPC, Melbourne Italian Festa, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Open House Melbourne.

Elements of the Christmas Festival and a free Christmas cinema program are also held at Argyle Square throughout December while parts of the Melbourne Knowledge Week and Melbourne Conversations are held at RMIT and Trades Hall.


October 2023

Several inclusive community events were delivered with the support of City of Melbourne, including the Carlton Harmony Day Festival, bringing the community together to celebrate cultural diversity and strengthen community bonds.

- At Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, programs included story times, youth programs, book clubs, conversation clubs and employment support workshops.

- Other inclusive community events were delivered with the support of City of Melbourne, including:

  • Coming Back Out Social, a celebration for LGBTIQ+ community members and allies.
  • Somali Day Australia Festival, acknowledging and celebrating Somali culture, performance, dance and history.
  • Carlton Harmony Day Festival, bringing the community together to celebrate cultural diversity and strengthen community bonds.
  • Queer Formal Melbourne, a safe and inclusive event where more than 700 LGBTIQ+ young people were able to be themselves and connect with other young people.
  • Australian Oromo Cultural Week, to engage the Oromo and wider community in a celebration of Australian and East African culture, music and entertainment.
  • Spanish Language Fiesta, celebrating the Spanish language by inviting the wider community to connect with, and learn about, Spanish culture.
  • Vasant Festival, in the lead up to Holi, which featured performances by community members, dance workshops, children’s art and Holi coloured powder making activities.
  • United Through Football soccer tournament, for African young people.

- We’re also supporting our talented creative community through its Annual Arts Grants Program. The 2024 funding will celebrate 102 excellent one off projects that will employ over 1,000 artists and attract 360,000 people. All art forms have been supported with an investment of $950,000 by Council. During September we opened grants for our 2024 Aboriginal Arts program and quick response arts grants that will seed small scale projects and help artists to test and develop new creative ideas. We look forward to these being visible over the next 4 months after approval in November.

February 2023

- Melbourne experienced its busiest month of activity in December since the start of the pandemic, anchored by the City of Melbourne’s beloved Christmas Festival and biggest ever New Year’s Eve celebrations. Around 475,000 people brought in 2023 in style in the city, with the vast majority of revellers safely enjoying the dazzling fireworks and laser displays from 30 CBD rooftops.

- Melbourne will be filled to the brim with dozens of new creative offerings, thanks to new funding to support and grow our vibrant arts sector.

- We have allocated more than $175,000 across 49 projects through our 2022 Quick Response Arts Grants program – the only fast turnaround micro-grant program offering this level of support in Australia.

- The latest round of the program will support nearly 350 artists to develop and present their work in public – including live theatre, dance, music, films, written pieces and visual art.

- Ride2Work Day Community Breakfast has been sponsored via the annual Event Partnership Program and the City Reactivation Event Support Program.

- 2022 Melbourne Awards Gala Ceremony was held on 12 November 2023 at the Melbourne Town Hall and celebrated the inspirational Melbourne organisations, projects and Melburnians who are dedicated to making the city a thriving, forward-thinking capital city in the categories of community, sustainability, Aboriginal Melbourne, arts and events, hospitality, knowledge and innovation, urban design and LGBTIQ+

Revitalise Lygon Street and other local shopping areas through innovative use of empty shop fronts and reducing graffiti.

What you told us

You told us that in order to attract more businesses to invest in the area and more locals to shop and participate in local services, you’d like to see key shopping strips in Carlton spruced up and made more inviting.

You have also shared that you would like to see a diverse representation of businesses including the presence of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse business owners and offerings in Carlton.

“Please include CALD communities in the shopfront activations. Many have applied but all have been rejected.”

“More greening and trees and less graffiti around Carlton shops.”

“Make shops and streetscape in Carlton and especially in Lygon Street more attractive and inviting, clean and green to attract people from all around Melbourne, support local and make the street more vibrant.”

What we’re doing

The City of Melbourne’s Shopfront Activation Program is reinvigorating key areas of the city, including Lygon Street and inviting artists, budding entrepreneurs and artisan makers to test their business ideas and help attract Melburnians back into the city. The program uses vacant spaces to deliver activations in Carlton and has four activations with more planned until end of 2022.

We recently completed streetscape upgrades in front of Trades Hall in Lygon Street. We also plan to upgrade asphalt footpaths and complete ongoing tree replacements and plantings around Carlton.

Our Clean City team and contracted partners conduct street sweeping, pressure hosing, and graffiti removal from public areas, and can assist with graffiti on private business properties upon request.

Our Rapid Response team recently conducted a two week litter and tagging removal blitz in Carlton. You can report a location for street cleaning, repair or maintenance online anytime, or call us on 8658 8658. 


October 2023

- We continue to expand our Rapid Response Clean Team to fast-track graffiti removal, dumped rubbish, cigarettes, street sweeping and syringe collection across the city. Residents, workers and visitors continue to play an important role in reporting graffiti and rubbish across the city using Council’s QR code reporting system.  From January to August this year we received 25,549 requests to respond to graffiti and cleaned from more than 70,000 square metres of graffiti.

- Since the Shopfront Activation Program began in September 2021, there have been a total of 67 improvements across Carlton, CBD and Docklands.

February 2023

- Since the Shopfront Activation Program commenced in September 2021, there have been a total of 66 activations across Carlton, the Melbourne CBD and Docklands. In Carlton there have been 9 activations (five currently open and four closed) across retail, hospitality, creative/professional services sectors as well as a pop-up library.

  • Melbourne’s unique identity and place

    We will celebrate and protect the places, people and cultures that make Melbourne a unique, vibrant and creative city with world-leading liveability.

Preserve old buildings and heritage.

What you told us

You told us that you value the unique historic buildings and heritage across the Carlton neighbourhood and would like assurance that it will be protected. Some of you specifically mentioned the importance of heritage trees and gardens in the area.

“Keep heritage feel. New apartment blocks need to consider street scape.”

“Stronger protection for the extensive heritage buildings, parkland and planning overlays.”

“Maintain and protect heritage trees.”

What we’re doing

The City of Melbourne’s Heritage Strategy 2013 sets out our plan to protect the city’s heritage buildings, places and objects. It has been developed to ensure the city’s rich traditions and memories are celebrated and our places and objects are identified and protected.

The Carlton Heritage Review was commissioned by the City of Melbourne in 2018. The independent Review was undertaken by Lovell Chen Heritage Consultants and is the first comprehensive review of Carlton since the 1990s.

i-Heritage, City of Melbourne’s online heritage database is currently being updated. Community members can use the database to search for information on heritage properties in the City of Melbourne.

We’ve developed a Development Activity Model to better inform you of future buildings and construction in your area. Council is also currently pursuing Amendment C376 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme, which proposes to regulate Sustainable Building Design requirements across the municipality.

What we’re doing next

We will progress the Carlton Heritage Review and associated amendments to protect and celebrate heritage sites across the neighbourhood.


October 2023

- Carlton Heritage and Punt Road Oval, Amendment C405, finished its amendment process and was submitted to the Minister for approval.

- The Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens World Heritage Management Plan was open for consultation through Engage Victoria and closed in March. The strategy plan for the World Heritage Environs Area was subject to a Heritage Council hearing in May.

- Melbourne’s heritage is a rich tapestry of Aboriginal and much later colonial and contemporary stories. We are celebrating all things heritage across the city and invite you to join us. Share your stories, photos and videos celebrating #timelessmelbourne. There are plenty of ways to get involved including self-guided walking tours, learning about history of neighbourhoods and exploring the arts and heritage collection.

February 2023

- The Carlton Heritage Review (Amendment C405) is nearing the end of the amendment process. The independent Planning Panel was held in October 2023, and a panel report was received in December. The amendment will return to Future Melbourne Committee and Council for final adoption in the first half of 2023. Interim controls are in place until February 2024.

- The Royal Exhibition Buildings and Carlton Gardens World Heritage Management Plan is currently open for consultation through Engage Victoria and closes on 3 March. The Strategy Plan for the World Heritage Environs Area will be subject to a Heritage Council hearing in May 2023.

Celebrations and initiatives to support and encourage inclusion, diversity and community connection.

What you told us

Carlton is a neighbourhood of diverse cultures and people, and you see this as a cherished feature to be celebrated and fostered. You’d like to see initiatives to support and encourage inclusion and accessibility across various communities and parts of the neighbourhood.

“There are lots of international people but many live alone. With lockdown it’s been hard to meet people. The area of Carlton I live in doesn’t feel like a community.”

“More people in the streets, including office workers, students and residents - more lively.”

“Activities for old people and activities for mothers because we feel very separate and isolated from community.”

What we’re doing

City of Melbourne supports the delivery of a range of community events through our Events Partnership Program and Connected Communities grants.

We’re encouraging more neighbourhood initiatives with the introduction of Connected Neighbourhoods Small Grants. Individuals and non-incorporated groups can now apply for up to $2000 to support grass-roots community-building.

We have also introduced a Neighbourhood Partner model to promote local collaboration opportunities that foster neighbourly relationships and local pride.

Our Inclusive Melbourne Strategy increases access to opportunities for all people and outlines how we will respond to the diversity of religions, cultures, age groups, gender, sexual orientation and ability among the people who live, work, study in and visit the city.


October 2023

- We have funded communities to host events and festivals like the African Music and Cultural festival, Somali Day Australia Festival, Carlton Harmony Day Festival, Australian Oromo Cultural Week, Spanish Language Fiesta, Vasant Festival, United Through Football soccer tournament, Polish Festival, Indian Film Festival and the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival.

- We received a High Commendation award at the Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence, for the holistic organisational approach to supporting international students during COVID-19, and newly arrived refugees evacuated from Kabul.

- The Lord Mayor’s Iftar dinner was hosted at Queen Victoria Market. This event strengthened connection amongst the Muslim community and demonstrated Council’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. A social enterprise that employs migrant and refugee women, Meals with Impact, was provided the catering. With 80 guests, this year was the largest Lord Mayor’s Iftar dinner to date.

- Through a community grant, RMIT held workshops with multicultural LGBTIQ+ people to create a glossary of LGBTIQ+ terms, concepts and services in different languages. These multilingual resources will be shared with community members, organisations, and translators to use when working in LGBTIQ+ contexts.

February 2023

-Our Mel-van is dedicated to bringing free wi-fi, books, games, craft activities, events and educational resources to people across the City of Melbourne who may find it difficult to access our libraries.

We regularly visit:

  • Carlton Public Housing Estate every Tuesday 10am to midday.

The Mel-van also visits parks and festivals, such as the Queensberry Cup, Eid celebrations, service fairs, and other community gatherings at neighbourhood houses and community centres including:

  • Open Door, Carlton Public Housing Estate, 480 Lygon Street Carlton VIC 3053
  • Carlton Learning Precinct, 150 Palmerston Street Carlton VIC 3053

- We have supported various community projects with Connected Neighbourhood Small Grants. They include:

  • The Creative Youth Coding Program - This project is aimed at providing outcomes for children (aged 11-12) in the City North area where there is currently limited low-cost weekend programming for children and young people.
  • Carlton High Rise Elder Citizens project - This project aims at increasing community connection for older men living in the Carlton Housing Estate.
  • Baby Wearing Boogie - This event will help new parents in the City of Melbourne connect with others, move their bodies, have some fun and enrich their babies lives with new sensory experiences.
  • Community Cooking Club - The Community Cooking Club will meet weekly at Carlton PS to plan recipes, budget for shopping for the following month. Meals will be cooked and shared by participants with participants leading the program. Participants will be encouraged and supported to set up a fortnightly school lunch program, become involved in site activities including community events involving food. The grant will be used to purchase a fridge/freezer for use by Community Cooking Club, healthy lunch program and other programs at Carlton PS. To be used to store fresh/frozen produce for community/school programs and food from Foodbank.
  • Gardening@33 - Gardening@33 is a social gardening project aimed at facilitating increased social connections between community members, building community resilience, and contributing to greater mental and physical health. This will be achieved through fortnightly sessions involving hands-on gardening alternating with theory-based guest lectures. The project is resident-led, and will build awareness of food systems, growing and cultivating, the importance and function of native plants in our community food garden.
  • Removing Barriers to Education - River Nile Learning Centre (RNLC) students are all newly arrived refugee and asylum seeker women who struggle to survive on limited or no welfare payments. The grant will be used to purchase Myki’s for participants in English language classes at our learning centre in North Melbourne.
  • Safety and wellbeing

    We will plan and design for the safety and wellbeing of those who live, visit, work and do business in Melbourne, regardless of their background.

Address drug and alcohol use, mental health, aggressive behaviour and increase police and security presence and better lighting.

What you told us

You told us you don’t always feel safe in the area and you’d like to see increased safety measures in the street. You have suggested that initiatives addressing drug and alcohol use, mental health issues, and aggressive behaviour are needed as well as and advocating for more police and security presence, Safe City cameras on Lygon Street and better lighting.

“For safety more police patrolling Carlton so criminals and drug sellers can stay away.”

“Women also study, live and work in Carlton, and we definitely do not feel safe walking around the area after 8pm.”

“More lighting in areas especially around the open green spaces such as Carlton Gardens.”

“More visible police presence - since the station moved to North Melbourne crime has increased.”

What we’re doing

City of Melbourne is working with Victoria Police and other community support agencies to enhance public safety. We are actively represented on the Police Community Consultative Committee, which meets monthly at the North Melbourne Police station, and will connect increasingly through the newly launched Neighbourhood Policing model.

We also chair the Melbourne Alcohol and Other Drugs Services and Stakeholder Network to look at ways to manage alcohol, drug use, mental health and community safety demands.

The City of Melbourne Lighting Strategy 2021 aims to responsibly manage the environmental and social impacts of night-time lighting whilst promoting improvements to safety and amenity, especially for pedestrians.

We also recently upgraded Citipower’s streetlighting to LED and regularly investigate public recommendations to improve lighting in our neighbourhoods.


October 2023

- Anti-social behaviour around Lygon St was identified as a critical safety issue in partnership with Victoria Police, and we worked daily to improve safety. Following this work, a proposal to expand the Safe City Camera Program to Lygon St was developed. Community feedback on safety in Lygon St support a successful funding bid to State Government. Expansion will begin pending Councillor decision at Future Melbourne Committee.

- We upgraded four park paths to provide safe, clear and well-lit accessible paths of travel at Point Park, Princess Park (Icon Park Path), ArtPlay Playground boardwalk, and Princess Park (north) board walk.

- We’re continuing to work with the Department of Transport and Planning to monitor and evaluate the trial of shared e-scooters. The trial has been extended until 5 October. To date, there have been 5.4 million e-scooter trips made since the beginning of the trial in February 2022. In August, the Future Melbourne Committee voted on the future of commercial e-scooter operations. The rollout of in-app designated parking across the municipality is being looked at as part of this. We are also talking to Victoria Police and the Minister for Roads and Road Safety to ensure they can provide adequate infrastructure and enforcement of the road rules for e-scooters. We are currently working with e-scooter operators to rollout designated parking, focussing first on the Hoddle Grid, before moving to other high activity locations such as Southbank, Docklands and Carlton. By October we should have transitioned Flinders Street, Swanston Street, Elizabeth Street to fully designated parking. E-scooter operators are trialling technology to improve the safety of e-scooters, particularly targeting illegal activity such as footpath riding and riding with a passenger.

- A ‘drug safety in the city’ flyer was produced and distributed to key stakeholders and businesses.

- A Local Safety Committee Meeting was held in June, which covered the Melbourne West local area, which includes the western part of the CBD, North Melbourne, Docklands, Parkville and Carlton. Representatives from each of these neighbourhoods were present.

- We hosted the Melbourne Licensees Forum in June, a forum where licensed venues share information and discuss matters impacting them. This forum shared learnings and information about the late night liquor license freeze and public intoxication law reform.

February 2023

- We are continuing to work with Melbourne North Police Community Consultative Committee (PCCC) as we collaboratively raise safety concerns and discuss opportunities to address and prevent local crime.

- We are working with members of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation - Local Drug Action Team to develop a Drug Safety in the City of Melbourne flyer. Consultation has been undertaken with broader members of the Melbourne Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) Services Network as well as residents and small business owners in Carlton, East Melbourne, South Yarra and the Melbourne CBD. The flyer is currently in final production and will be distributed to residents and small business owners.

- As part of Victoria Police's Neighbourhood Policing initiative, a Local Safety Committee meeting was held for Melbourne West and North on 9 December 2022, and included representatives from Carlton, Parkville, Docklands, Kensington, North Melbourne, West Melbourne and the western part of the Melbourne CBD.

Provide wrap-around support for people experiencing homelessness.

What you told us

You are concerned about the number of people experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough in Carlton, especially in Lygon Street. You told us that you would like to see more wrap-around support offered to vulnerable people in the neighbourhood, to not only help them, but to also decrease anti-social behaviours observed in the area.

“Something needs to be done with the homeless people especially in Lygon Street. I don't think it is good for tourists to come and see that we are not looking after these people.”

“Definitely more interaction with the homeless on the street and initiatives to move them on, rather than sitting in front of businesses intimidating staff and customers.”

“Safety there is a lot of aggressive homeless people in the area, they steal a lot of stuff, there’s no security or police presence, I feel unsafe most of the time, we had to change opening hours to close earlier in the day due to run ins with aggressive homeless people.”

What we’re doing

We are actively working through our in-house support team, with other agencies and our recently established Homes Melbourne to support people experiencing homelessness and increase pathways out of homelessness.

We’ve appointed Unison Housing, a registered housing provider, to work with us on the Make Room project to convert a Council property into 50 studio apartments with essential homelessness and health services.

City of Melbourne chairs the Melbourne Alcohol and Other Drugs Services and Stakeholder Network and works closely with providers to address drug and alcohol related issues in the municipality.


October 2023

- ‘What you need to know to survive on the streets’ is a short information booklet produced every two months by a group of people experiencing or with lived experience of homelessness, published by our libraries in partnership with Cohealth. Participants have also been supported to learn and care for each other and the community – building social, emotional, and practical skills.

- We continued working closely with Victoria Police, including joint outreach patrols to engage with people experiencing homelessness to ensure they are supported.

February 2023

- The Need to Know editorial group has increased distribution of their Zine over 2022 tenfold to around 2000 hardcopies around key points and agencies. Members have secured employment, made friends, learnt digital literacy skills and one participant is exhibiting their art at Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre in March. Jobs Victoria Advocates from City Local Learning and Employment Network are continuing their partnership with Libraries and are available at Kathleen Syme Centre for free employment, financial and legal support.

More recreational facilities and programs to foster physical health and mental wellbeing.

What you told us

You would like more community opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate in recreational and social activities that are beneficial for their physical and mental health. Some suggestions you have made include yoga, Zumba and fitness classes and affordable sporting programs for young people.

“More fitness and sport activities for the community and education of healthy life.”

“More free community recreation - basketball courts, tennis courts, and skate parks."

“Somewhere where people can access exercise equipment at the local parks.”

“More sporting programs for all ages. Obesity is high in our community, and we need more fitness activities especially for children and senior people who stay at home and don’t move their body.”

What we’re doing

We operate a number of recreation centres including Carlton Baths offering fitness classes, swimming lessons as well as nutrition and exercise physiology services. There is also a range of outdoor recreational equipment throughout Princes Park.

The Active Melbourne app is our free fitness service to support your health and fitness and includes on-demand and live virtual gym classes, tracking and personalised training programs. Our website also has other training resources including Workout Wednesday videos.

With a big focus on Active Melbourne, we support health and wellness through encouraging participation in healthy moderate physical activity. We are doing this through supporting recreation in our beautiful parks and gardens. We have also extended our network of dedicated bike lanes to encourage more people to cycle.

What we’re doing next

We are doing background research to better understand our current and future recreation facility needs.


October 2023

- City Swimm(h)er, a partnership between us, Islamic Council of Victoria and Australian Muslim Social Services Association, received external funding to pilot women’s only open swim sessions every Saturday afternoon, as well as structured swimming lessons at Melbourne City Baths.

- A range of programs and activities are taking place at Carlton Baths including Reclink providing a safe and welcoming environment for various members of our community to participate in sport and recreation opportunities as well as Y Streetball, the volunteer-led program running sports activities in the basketball stadium for members of our community who experience homelessness. The pool has also more than 17,000 visits on a monthly basis.

- We're exploring ways to improve opportunities for women, girls and others who experience barriers to participation in community sport and recreation. To achieve this, we’re developing a Fair Access Policy. Public consultation was also carried out during September and October to better understand the barriers, as well as enablers to inclusion. Find out more about this work and how to get involved.

February 2023

- HealthNest, a women’s health and wellbeing program, has been awarded a Connected Communities grant. The program consists of yoga and mobility sessions at Carlton Baths as well as Swimming, Sauna and Spa hydrotherapy exercise with a view to create fun social outings for participants.