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.

More recognition and visibility of Wurundjeri’s ongoing cultural connection to Country and the neighbourhood.

What you told us

You value the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people’s ongoing cultural connection to Country and its significance in the development of the city. You would like this connection to be more visible through cultural appropriate signage, more cultural education, placemaking and creative art initiatives.

“Should turn Parliament Gardens into an Indigenous Garden. There are no Aboriginal gardens with native plants in the municipality.”

“More programs, events or landmark markers showing Aboriginal history and significance.”

“More recognition of Australia’s Aboriginal heritage within Fitzroy Gardens.”

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 the East Melbourne area.

In 2022, our annual festival of ideas was dual named narrm ngarrgu | Melbourne Knowledge Week, following consultation with Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Traditional Owners.

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 the East Melbourne area.

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

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

- 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.

- 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.

October 2022

- Learn about key places of Aboriginal cultural and historical significance using the innovative and interactive digital map Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne. Created by the City of Melbourne, in consultation with Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung Traditional Owners. Accessible as both a physical display and online via desktop and smartphones, the map is a powerful truth-telling tool that gives all Melburnians education and insight into the history of the land and its Traditional Owners. It also seeks to engage the community in dialogue around the gathering, interpreting and storing of Aboriginal knowledge.

  • Access and affordability

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

Advocate for better rental security and support for first home buyers.

What you told us

We heard that the increasing cost of housing including rental properties is a challenge for current and prospective residents. You would like to see initiatives that support more people to be able to afford to stay or become a part of the neighbourhood in the future.

“Include more diverse/social housing options.”

“More affordable housing initiatives. It's a very affluent suburb and feels exclusive. Not sustainable for future generations.”

“More affordable living spaces — renting a flat is getting prohibitive.”

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 us in delivering more affordable housing in response to the affordable housing shortage that the municipality is experiencing.

Currently, there are no areas within the East Melbourne neighbourhood that have been identified for affordable housing projects. However, there are several projects ongoing and planned in the City of Melbourne that aim to benefit vulnerable community members across the municipality.

What we’re doing next

We’re also looking at ways to make homes in East Melbourne more comfortable, healthy and affordable to live in. Some resources are available for residents here.


October 2023

- We will encourage short-term accommodation operators to shift their properties onto the long-term rental market to deliver more homes for people wanting to live in Melbourne. At the 29 August Council meeting, Councillors voted to begin consultation to inform the development of new local laws that are designed to encourage the flip of short-term accommodation into long-term rentals. Consultation opened in September for feedback. New regulation is likely to be introduced in February 2024.

- We are running a People’s Panel on Affordable Housing in October and November.

This panel will include 40 randomly selected people who are collectively representative of our resident community. The panel will 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.

Amenities, services and spaces that are accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds.

What you told us

You told us that you would like the neighbourhood to become more inclusive for families and people of all ages, abilities and identities.

There aren't any good school options in or near East Melbourne, so most families move out of the area once kids are old enough to go to primary/secondary school. The childcare/kindergarten here is great and should be supported.”

Make it more inclusive - better access for people living with disabilities and also more inclusive for gender diverse people (more welcoming)."

“Improve disability access on footpaths and streets.”

What we’re doing

Our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2020-24 outlines how we work to reduce and eliminate barriers, to further help people with a disability who live, work, visit and study in our city.

The Accessing Melbourne page provides information on where to find accessible facilities, amenities and services in the City of Melbourne.

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, LGBTIQ communities.

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.

Also, our Creating Communities of Equality and Respect: Women’s Safety and Empowerment Action Plan 2021-2024 outlines action that can be taken to prevent violence against women.


October 2023

- A new translation function has been added to Participate Melbourne, helping users to translate content can into the top 10 languages other than English that are spoken in the municipality.

- 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 seeking 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.

- 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.

- An inclusion and access officer role was created within our Family Services team to provide inclusive and responsive support for families. The officer will help families from culturally diverse backgrounds access support and services.

- 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.

- Support for local young people continued through our partnership with The Drum, which provides inclusive services and programs for young people from all genders, religions, cultural and identity backgrounds. This partnership also supported Queerspace Youth, a peer-led program for queer, trans, intersex, gender diverse or questioning people aged 16-25 years old.

- Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Training was completed by 518 ‘Red Coat’ volunteers and event volunteers, and 74 staff members. This training helps volunteers and staff to be aware and support people living with non-visible disabilities.

- Laneway Learning hosted more than 40 ‘Queer Social Sessions’ for LGBTIQ+ people struggling with isolation and loneliness. These sessions were a place to learn new skills, be creative and connect with peers and friends.

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

Several 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.
  • 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

February 2023

- We are renewing and upgrading infrastructure to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, predominantly Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSIs). This program of works is running ahead of schedule and at the end of January approximately 20 projects have been delivered, equating to over 70% of the program.

- 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.

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

- Book-A-Librarian has kicked off again for 2023 where people can book one on one time to get some digital literacy support with online platforms and use of digital devices.

Balance parking and access needs of residents, workers and visitors.

What you told us

East Melbourne is home to several popular sporting grounds, medical facilities and other attractions that bring many visitors to the neighbourhood. You told us that a lack of parking spaces, costs associated with parking and public transport can be a barrier for some visitors and residents.

“Would be great if free tram zone was extended to East Melbourne now that it is getting harder to drive into city.”

“Better allocation for parking when [AFL] games are on.”

“Cost of parking permits are escalating; however, parking access remains an issue.”

What we’re doing

Our Transport Strategy 2030 aims to deliver a range of transportation projects, including better management of parking spaces and supporting effective public transport pricing.

City of Melbourne also provides increased parking officer patrols around the East Melbourne neighbourhood to enforce parking laws during AFL seasons to prevent illegal parking.

What we’re doing next

We will work with the local community to advocate to the Victorian State Government to consider the extension of the Free Tram Zone.


October 2023

- Community consultation on the Parking and Kerbside Management Plan took place from March to April. Overall, there was a high level of support for the direction of the draft plan. Results showed there was strong support for a strategic and data-led approach to kerbside management and equitable and inclusive access to kerbside space.

Council endorsed the plan in May and we're currently implementing parking improvements in the CBD. We'll shortly be engaging with residents and businesses, and improving parking across our neighbourhoods.

- 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.

- We launched Biketober 2023, 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.

- We supported neighbourhoods by presenting at resident association meetings in Southbank, East Melbourne and CBD.

  • 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.

Increase recycling, green waste and composting initiatives.

What you told us

You told us that addressing climate change and sustainability issues at a neighbourhood level, led by the community and in partnership with us is important to you. You made several suggestions that you believe could help the neighbourhood improve in this area.

“Composting, community-led focus on recycling including at business level.”

“More environmentally conscious community-based initiatives for example, food scrap depository for composting, incentives for businesses to take up environmentally friendly take away measures.”

“Improve waste and recycling opportunities and ability for apartments to run niche sustainability programs.”

What we’re doing

Our Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy outlines ways to help become a zero-waste city. We provide a wide range of services including street bins, garbage compactors and residential and commercial bin collections and recycling.

We are leading the reduction of food waste and diversion of waste from landfill, through 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 a food organics pilot in high-rise buildings.

Small e-waste items can be dropped off at three locations in City of Melbourne and residents are entitled to one free hard waste collection each year.

Community members can also claim subsidies to purchase worm farms, bokashi and compost bins.

You can find more information on Sustainability for Melbourne here.

What we’re doing next

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


October 2023

- All residential single-unit dwellings and low-rise multi-unit dwellings in the City of Melbourne had access to a food waste recycling service in 2022-23. This has resulted in more than 5600 tonnes of food waste being diverted from landfill and recycled into compost.

- Works have progressed so remaining households can access food waste recycling, including trialling options for recycling within high-rise buildings, which includes food waste dehydrator technology. This program diverts organic waste from landfill while minimising waste truck movement within the city.

- Programs to minimise waste from businesses within the city have also started, including educating small to medium businesses about the benefits of minimising waste and opting for reusable and recyclable packaging and products. Food waste recycling has also expanded within the city for businesses, utilising electric bikes to collect and divert over 146.59 tonnes of food waste.

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.

Include electric vehicle infrastructure and solar panels for apartments

What you told us

You want to see East Melbourne moving towards renewable energy sources including providing electric vehicle charging outlets and alternative energy infrastructure and initiatives.

“Electric Vehicles charging for residents.”

“Solar panels on apartment blocks - […] If council could assist financially and/or logistically to install a solar system on smaller apartment blocks, this would be a big win for reducing emissions and power bills.”

“More solar energy incentives and initiatives.”

What we’re doing

We declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in 2019 and are taking bold action on climate change. We’ve committed to zero net emissions by 2040 in addition to a range of other actions and priorities.

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 whole city powered by 100 per cent renewables by 2030.

We’re also committed to zero emissions transport, including supporting transition to electric vehicles, as outlined in our Transport Strategy 2030 and Climate Change Mitigation Strategy.

We’re pursuing higher environmental standards through our proposed planning scheme amendment C376 Sustainable Building Design. This proposed amendment will incorporate electric vehicle (EV) charging and EV readiness for new buildings to ensure they support our vision of a zero emissions city by 2040.

Information on the Victorian Government’s Solar Rebate program and other Sustainability for Melbourne information can be found here.


October 2023

- This initiative seeks to shift the City of Melbourne to gas-free operations and to ensure climate change and biodiversity are considered as we manage our assets.

Progress this year towards implementing gas-free operations included:

  • Completing projects at East Melbourne Children’s Co-operative 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.

February 2023

- We're working to make it easier to access affordable renewable energy. 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 electricity. Late last year we consulted with community on ideas for where neighbourhood batteries should be installed and how we design retail plans with an energy retail partner. Keep an eye on the Power Melbourne page for opportunities to get involved in the next stage of engagement activities, opening soon.

  • 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.

Provide more tailored support and foster stronger connections between local businesses.

What you told us

East Melbourne is home to businesses that have been loved for many years and newer businesses that have innovated to meet the needs and tastes of locals and visitors.

Traders would like to see more localised support and initiatives for businesses that address needs that are specific to the neighbourhood.

“Develop an informal traders’ association so that East Melbourne hospitality businesses can advocate for better exposure and support from City of Melbourne like precincts in CBD receive.”

“I see the limited parking availability to be a barrier to getting more customers through the door. A one-hour park near our business isn’t enough.”

“We want City of Melbourne to help promote our business on their social media outlets. We want to be approached for interviews and photoshoots too!”

What we’re doing

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

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

Through our Business Precinct Program 2021-25, local businesses are encouraged to form or join their representative association to benefit from City of Melbourne support to deliver local activations and marketing and promotion campaigns.

What we’re doing next

We can further help community organisations to explore opportunities with local business and precinct associations around increasing job opportunities. Find out more about our services and support for business.


October 2023

- 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 and increase 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.

Encourage diversification and increase retail, fresh produce and hospitality offerings that meet the needs of the residents.

What you told us

You would like to see targeted street activation and a wider range of hospitality and retail businesses that attract locals and visitors, especially on Wellington Parade.

“More quality local establishments (cafes, bars, restaurants) - in particular, casual, not just corporate, chain or fine dining options.”

“I’d like to see the commercial strip along Wellington Parade developed into a thriving yet local neighbourhood hub.”

“Grocery shop - I have to go to Victoria Gardens [Richmond] to do a big shop but I'd rather go somewhere closer. It would also be nice to see more boutique retail, local makers markets, etcetera.”

What we’re doing

We strive to maintain and support a diversified economy and to attract investment from all over the globe across many industries. Our Invest Melbourne program provides support to existing and new businesses. This includes access to government financial support and to experienced business advisers.

Our Business Concierge Service fields enquiries and provides support to new businesses with their start-up and helps existing businesses to transform to new operating models.


October 2023

- A lease has recently been signed with the Vue Group for the pavillion in Fitzroy Gardens, which begins on1 January and runs for a 15 year term. The pavilion will be used as a restaurant from Thursday to Sunday and the tenant wants to provide community initiatives to activate the premises outside those hours. They have agreed to develop a community initiative program, and are working with us to determine how this will evolve over the term of the lease. Proposals include operating regular workshops around sustainable cooking, indigenous ingredient and cooking classes and Yiaga talks focusing on cooking, sustainability, innovations and growth.

- A Melbourne Business group held a networking event at Pullman on the Park talk about how to network and connect with opportunities to practice pitches.

February 2023

- We are seeking an Expression of Interest (EOI) from a commercial hospitality provider to lease, fit-out and manage the Pavilion in Fitzroy Gardens. The EOI is open until Tuesday 28 February 2023. Follow the Pavilion Fitzroy Gardens Participate Melbourne page to stay updated and learn about the successful tenant.

- 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.

  • 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.

Protect and celebrate local heritage, parks and gardens, and work to retain the ‘village feel’.

What you told us

East Melbourne is known for its historic and heritage buildings, wide streets with median strips and beautiful parks. You’d like to see East Melbourne’s heritage, unique identity and low-rise living protected and celebrated.

“Preserve the village-like community, look after the heritage and character of the neighbourhood.”

“Minimal change to streetscapes. Achieving any need for additional housing through low to mid intensity low rise development of unused utility land (such as the Jolimont railyards) including social housing.”

“More public awareness of the heritage of East Melbourne, more open days to significant houses, walking tours through the gardens and major houses/churches.”

What we’re doing

The City of Melbourne’s Heritage Strategy 2013 sets out our plan to protect our 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.

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.

The Melbourne Planning Scheme is a living document that governs the development and use of land in our municipality. It includes both state and local policies, zones and overlays.

In early 2022, the Amendment C405 was proposed to reinstate heritage protection for the Punt Road Oval in Yarra Park. The Amendment proposal will undergo an independent review later in 2022.

We’ve developed a Development Activity Model to better inform you of future buildings and construction in your area.

Following extensive review and consultation, the new Code of Practice for Building, Construction and Works came into effect from 17 March 2022.

The new Code coincides with the City of Melbourne Services online, which brings digital permits to construction activities. We are advocating to the State Government for a stronger regulatory framework to manage construction noise.

We are reviewing central city waste regulations and waste truck movement restricted areas as one of our 2021-22 Budget initiatives.

What we’re doing next

We will commence the East Melbourne and Jolimont Heritage Review in the 2022-23 financial year. This is an independent review that will take a holistic view of East Melbourne’s historical buildings and open spaces, carefully considering Aboriginal, colonial, contemporary, community, tangible and intangible heritage values.


October 2023

- Council will be commissioning the East Melbourne Jolimont Heritage review this financial year.

- 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 Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) Trust is reviewing the Yarra Park Master Plan, which will provide a framework for the sustainable future use, management and renewal of Yarra Park to ensure its long term viability, whilst continuing to respond to the current needs of the Park and its function as a multi-purpose recreational resource within the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct.

- 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.

- Through our Urban Forest Fund, we’re supporting five new greening projects that will beautify and cool our neighbourhoods, creating 1000 square metres of new green cover. Tram stops will be transformed into lush eco-installations and community gardens will pop up in unlikely places through $500,000 in matched-funding to create a greener, more sustainable city.

An owners’ corporation on Agnes Street has converted a large, hostile concrete area between two 1970s apartment buildings into a green oasis with native trees and shrubs, improving biodiversity and canopy cover.

January 2023

The Neighbourhood Portals have been updated with links to planning register entries relevant to each neighbourhood, making it easier for community members to find local planning applications. Weekly Planning Applications and Decisions Lists are now sorted by neighbourhood for ease of reference. Sign up to receive these weekly emails.

Promote and support activities that foster diversity, inclusion and connection between community members.

What you told us

You told us that East Melbourne is a diverse community with many residents who have a lot of experience, skills and knowledge to share. Knowing your neighbours and feeling connected to East Melbourne as a community is important to you. You want to be supported to deliver more activities and events that bring the community together.

“...Culturally and age diverse neighbourhood events in Fitzroy Gardens.”

“Community based and community driven events in the parks would be great. There's a lot of wonderful green space and we could make better use of them! More community activities and opportunities that goes beyond Facebook pages.”

“Think of better ways to share information about what’s happening in East Melbourne. A touch screen kiosk in front of the library? A neighbourhood bulletin?”

What we’re doing

Our Inclusive Melbourne Strategy 2022-32 aims to increase access to opportunities for all people and outlines how we will respond to the diversity of age groups, ability, cultures, gender, religion and sexual orientation among the people who live, work, study and visit the city.

We support the delivery of community events through our Events Partnership Program and community grant program.

Community groups and individuals can apply for the Connected Neighbourhoods small grants program to deliver community-led projects and events.


October 2023

- The Connected Neighbourhoods Small Grants program was introduced, providing small grants to support connection and community-led initiatives in line with the neighbourhood priorities. There were 46 community-led projects that were funded in the first year.

Other partnerships to support community led action include:

• A two-day Muslim Youth Parliament was held in partnership with the Islamic Council of Victoria, with 15 young people learning about the Australian political system and participating in a mock parliament.

• We supported the Welcoming Cities Symposium, which brought together international and local researchers, policymakers, business innovators and community organisations to discuss the benefits and opportunities of migration, cultural diversity and inclusion across a two-day program.

• We collaborated with Re-gen Melbourne in a series of workshops and forums throughout the year. The project ‘Participatory Melbourne’ aims to identify experiments and scaling solutions to social, environmental and economic challenges in greater Melbourne that require interventions. These interventions seek to generate community led action, increase- community connectedness, and inspire participation, and will be developed in the next phase of the project.

• The Climate Justice Project saw us partner with community sector organisations to address emerging climate justice issues and the disproportionate impact they have on vulnerable communities.

- Locally, we collaborated to support KereKere cafe and the visitors centre in Fitzroy Gardens to host teddy bears picnics in spring.

- The newly formed Powlett Reserve group held its first in a series of monthly inter-gernerational walking tours in the neighbourhood from Powlett Reserve to the East Melbourne Library. In October the group will venture to Fitzroy Gardens.

- East Melbourne Library hosts an open community garden at the back of the library with group members meeting monthly

- Rally4Ever hosted a free tennis program in Powlett Reserve, to inspire and motivate people with mental health issues to reconnect with their natural life force.

- Expressive landscapes painting workshops were held at the Victorian Artists Society.

February 2023

We supported the following community-led activities in East Melbourne:

Unity makes Community East Melbourne – This was an event that aimed to be inclusive of all the community to encourage post pandemic re-connection and assist residents to get their bicycles running again in a community setting.

East Melbourne Community Christmas Picnic - ‘Building Community Spirit’ was an inclusive Community Picnic to celebrate the festive season and bring our community together. The event will take place on the grounds of Bishopscourt and residents are invited to bring along a picnic and enjoy an afternoon of music, entertainment, social interaction, and community connection.

Activate local spaces and provide sheltered outdoor spaces for community-led programs, gatherings and events.

What you told us

You would like to see more community spaces to deliver neighbourhood programs, events and to help build community connections. You would like some of the existing local amenities to be reimagined as new community spaces to foster social connection and a neighbourhood spirit.

“A community hub where people can get to know each other, participate in activities together and support each other.”

“Make use of the Pavilion in Fitzroy Gardens to benefit the local community.”

“Spaces for the elderly... a men’s shed, life activity centre, spaces for mothers’ groups.”

What we’re doing

The Powlett Reserve Community Room and the “Hut” in Powlett Reserve are currently used by local groups.

The East Melbourne Library has bookable spaces available for community use.

The tennis courts in Powlett Reserve, which are managed by the Victorian Tennis Academy, are available for community hire and classes.

There are currently no plans for City of Melbourne to acquire additional property in East Melbourne. However, we are looking at ways to provide flexible multi-use spaces across the city for the community to access.

Council is planning for the future use of the Fitzroy Gardens Pavilion and earlier in 2022 invited expressions of interest to secure a suitably qualified and experienced operator to lease and occupy the space. Results from this process will be shared as soon as possible.

What we’re doing next

We will seek to partner with the East Melbourne community to audit potential existing spaces that could be activated for community gatherings and activities.


October 2023

- East Melbourne Library held programs included storytime, youth programs, book clubs, conversation clubs and employment support workshops. Our libraries provide a safe and welcoming space for all community members., through programs such as storytime for children, ‘Cook to Connect’ social cooking sessions, bookclubs 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 all 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.

- East Melbourne Neighbour Network held programs in Powlett Reserve community room, including health qigong, chair yoga, move play and stretch, book group, walking groups, pilates, ukele for beginners, social morning coffees, and gentle exercise.

- The tennis centre in Powlett reserve held low cost holiday programs for kids.

  • 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.

Negotiate shared use of roads and deliver initiatives to increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists and e-scooter riders.

What you told us

You told us that the neighbourhood would benefit from additional safety measures to help people feel safer and lower their risk of having an accident while moving around the neighbourhood.

“Improved safety for streets in the neighbourhood. We have many elderly residents who walk around the area and it’s dangerous to have speeding trucks cut through, e-scooters go past without making a noise, etcetera.”

“Some extra safety measures around tram stops and review and build better bike lanes.”

“Better lighting in the parks. I don’t feel safe walking through parks at night.”

What we’re doing

Our Transport Strategy 2030, delivers a protected bike lane network, little streets as streets for people, safer speed limits, micro mobility 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.

We completed the Pedestrian and Road Safety Review of East Melbourne and introduced new 40km/h speed limits in mid-September 2022. Additional funding has been approved for further pedestrian and road safety improvements to implement this financial year.

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.

What we’re doing next

Issues relating to public lighting are consistently monitored and City of Melbourne is open to considering ways to address arising issues.


October 2023

- We built two blocks of separated bike lane in Albert Street, from Powlett Street to Hoddle Street. A major upgrade of the Hotham Street, Simpson Street roundabout and footpath was undertaken improving functionality and look.

- We’re preparing designs for pedestrian safety treatments in the neighbourhood.

February 2023

- We undertook a study to identify a range of pedestrian and road safety improvement projects for East Melbourne. We consulted with community over October – November last year to understand which pedestrian improvement projects should be prioritised and other ideas to improve roads safety. We’re currently collating the feedback findings to inform the delivery of this work.

- 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.

Maintain cleanliness of public spaces and manage issues around noise pollution in residential areas.

What you told us

You told us that keeping the streets clean and maintaining public amenities is important to your sense of safety and wellbeing. You are concerned about the noise pollution created by frequent overhead helicopter flights and the impact on residents’ ability to enjoy a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood.

Better maintained public toilets in Powlett Reserve. There are syringes and other evidence of drug use in that toilet."

“Restrict helicopter flights - no hovering for hours over parks and residences.”

What we’re doing

We have a Fly Neighbourly Agreement with a number of helicopter companies that was recently updated in 2022.

Various noise related issues, including noise from aircrafts, entertainment and sporting venues, can be reported through our noise reporting tool.

We also provide a range of services to ensure that needles and syringes are disposed of safely. These services include installation and management of syringe bins and on-call collection of inappropriately disposed syringes.

You can use our online form to have discarded syringes picked up or to get a fixed syringe bin emptied or repaired.

Our Rapid Response Clean Team responds swiftly to requests for general street cleaning and graffiti removal.

We clean streets and major roads are cleaned at least once a week, with major roads being cleaned every day.

What we’re doing next

We are at the early stages of exploring the feasibility of installing noise sensors in the safety city camera network to monitor and reduce loud noises, particularly from vehicles, in neighbourhoods.


October 2023

- The Fly Neighbourly agreement is in place and we continue to work collaboratively with airports to look into flight path changes around East Melbourne.

- 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 more than 70,000 square metres of surfaces of graffiti.

February 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.

Between October 2022 and January 2023:

  • 42,000 square metres of graffiti was removed
  • 1350 tonnes was sent to landfill from public litter bins
  • 11,400 combined tonnes from various sources including communal recycling bins, cardboard bins and residential collections.
  • Over 1800 tonnes of cigarette butts collected and recycled.
  • 1435 tonnes of street sweepings collected
  • 712 loose syringes collected from public spaces
  • 110 collections from syringe bins located in public and private facilities.
Investigate night-time safety and address theft and antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood.

What you told us

You are concerned about antisocial behaviour, the evidence of drug use, and theft in the area and would like to see holistic and localised initiatives to help reduce these incidents and increase the neighbourhood‘s overall sense of wellbeing and safety.

“My car has been broken into, mail stolen, and I know others who have experienced the same.”

“There's a lot of drug activity and discarded syringes there that makes it unsafe, especially for families with young children.”

"More interventions to prevent (stop) abusive behaviour around Tribeca caused by people who are under the influence of drugs and sleeping rough.”

What we’re doing

We are working with Victoria Police and other agencies to deliver initiatives that improve safety on the streets of Melbourne and within our communities.

We participate in the Neighbourhood Policing Initiative’s Local Safety Committee meetings, chaired by Victoria Police, to understand the community’s safety and security concerns and to collaborate with stakeholders in addressing issues.

We understand that some antisocial and drug activities in the neighbourhood are caused by people experiencing homelessness. We continue to work with other agencies and our recently established Homes Melbourne to support people experiencing homelessness and help them develop ways to more secure accommodation.

We chair the Melbourne Alcohol and Other Drugs Services and Stakeholder Network, through which we share information and work with services and stakeholders in addressing drug and alcohol related issues in the municipality.


October 2023

- In August the East Melbourne Group along with representatives of Victoria Police, City of Melbourne and the MCC held a community safety meeting with more than 80 attendees.

- ‘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 City of Melbourne Libraries in partnership with Cohealth. While the booklet itself is a major outcome of the project, the participants have also been supported to learn and care for each other and the community – building social, emotional, and practical skills

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

- We continued working closely with Victoria Police, including joint outreach patrols to engage with people experiencing homelessness to ensure they are supported. Our library social worker outreach program continues to support community members through outreach and connection to social services.

- We hosted the Melbourne Licensees Forum in June 2023, a forum where licensed venues share information and discuss matters impacting them. This forum shared information about the late night liquor license freeze and public intoxication law reform.

February 2023

- 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.

Increase outdoor leisure and recreation amenities in neighbourhood parks, including exercise and sports equipment and playgrounds.

What you told us

Being active outdoors is important to your physical and mental health. To encourage these activities, you would like to see more outdoor furniture, facilities and recreation equipment in the surrounding parks.

Install BBQ facilities and undercover areas so that people can enjoy the park in more ways.

More public recreation/sports facilities that are free. Also taking care not to overwhelm the green spaces.

“The playground in Fitzroy Garden needs an upgrade. The only other playground is in Powlett Reserve. There just aren’t many outdoor play options for kids around here.”

What we’re doing

We provide and maintain a range of facilities, street furniture and amenities to support people who live, work and play in East Melbourne, including leasing of the Powlett Reserve Tennis Centre to the Victorian Tennis Academy.

Earlier this year, we consulted the East Melbourne community on the installation of outdoor exercise equipment in Powlett Reserve. We are currently assessing the feasibility of this project.

We are doing background research to help us understand current and future recreation facility needs for the area.

The Active Melbourne app is our official 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.


October 2023

- In May, new lighting and bulb replacement was completed on Hotham Walk in Fitzroy Gardens.

- New exercise equipment opened in July in Powlett Reserve including a cross trainer.

- The design for the Fitzroy Gardens Lansdowne Street toilet replacement has received a permit from Heritage Victoria. The new facility has been designed by the City of Melbourne and will consist of one accessible and two regular toilet stalls, with a combined hand wash basin area and baby change facilities in the accessible cubicle. In our regular parks surveys, our public toilets are frequently identified as an area for improvement and this new toilet will contribute towards improving the visitor experience.

February 2023

- We are installing outdoor exercise equipment in Powlett Reserve. A funding application has recently been approved and Council will proceed with installation of the exercise equipment this year. Finalised plans will be shared in the coming months.

- The Fitzroy Gardens Lansdowne Street toilet replacement design has been undertaken and an application will be submitted to Heritage Victoria.

Expand community and street gardens and other opportunities to grow food and plants in the neighbourhood.

What you told us

Approximately 75% of East Melbourne residents live in apartment buildings and do not have access to a yard or garden. You told us that you would like to participate in community gardening, learn how to grow your own food and use the opportunity to meet other like-minded residents.

“Creation of more allotments for apartment residents to grow own food.”

“Would like to see more road-side plantings, for instance under street trees. Or allow residents to use these spaces.”

“A community garden in one of the under-utilised reserves or perhaps funding to assist apartment complexes, big and small, setting up their own.”

What we’re doing

There are currently two community gardens in East Melbourne at Sinclair’s Cottage in Fitzroy Gardens and at the East Melbourne Library.

Owners Corporations are eligible to apply for the Connected Communities grants Impact grants stream to establish and manage community gardens in apartment complexes.

As a part of the Community Food Relief Plan, we are investigating food growing in urban settings. This will guide activities in this financial year.

What we’re doing next

We will explore ways to expand community gardening opportunities for more community members in East Melbourne.


October 2023

- We continued our tree planting program with 2554 trees planted this year. There are over 80,000 trees 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 East Melbourne, South Yarra, Central City and Carlton 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.

February 2023

- KereKere Green Café installed 3 raised planter boxes in Fitzroy Gardens to support local community members to participate and connect through growing vegetables. Community members are welcome to join the initiative and take part in growing and harvesting vegetables.

- In February 2023, we distributed X productive plants displayed in front of the Melbourne Town Hall to 7 community gardens and groups across the municipality, including Carlton, CBD, Docklands, East Melbourne, Kensington, North Melbourne and Southbank.

- We are launching the Grow It Local program in early 2023 for all City of Melbourne community members to get involved in growing food at home. As part of the program, Grow it Local have launched the latest Autumn Seed Service, a patch-to-plate adventure that makes free heirloom seeds and instructional content available to local residents. This free offer is available to the first 100 participants who register at www.growitlocal.com/free-seed-service to receive a package containing heirloom seed varieties including kale, rainbow chard and spinach. Participants will learn to grow from seed-to-spanakopita with Costa Georgiadis via online videos for each stage of the growing journey and support is also available from Grow it Local’s garden guru.