Phase one

The conversation

We’re taking a neighbourhood approach to understand the strengths, needs and priorities of our local communities to build the foundation for a more empowered, engaged, and participatory community.

Consultations ran between 1 March and 30 April 2022, with a wide variety of consultation channels used to achieve broad and inclusive community reach.

Gathering insights

The Participate Melbourne website was a key engagement platform featuring a detailed online survey, an interactive map, a short fill in the gaps postcard and a community wall. Targeted phone surveys, community conversations and events were held to further capture feedback.

In-person community engagement for Phase One:

Engagement reach

Who we heard from

(These figures relate to 721 people who completed the survey).
  • <0% Under 15 year olds
  • 1% 15-19 year olds
  • 5%  20-24 year olds
  • 13%  25-29 year olds
  • 15%30-34 year olds
  • 14%  35-39 year olds
  • 11% 40-44 year olds
  • 8% 45-49 year olds
  • 9% 50-54 year olds
  • 8% 55-59 years old
  • 7% 60-64 years old
  • 4% 65-69 years old
  • 3% 70-74 years old
  • 2% 75-79 years old

  • 63% female
  • 35%  male
  • 2%  non-binary / other

Survey participants who responded to this question identified as:

  • 5 respondents (1%) identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • LGBTIQA+ 4%
  • Experiencing homelessness 0%
  • Living with a disability 3%
  • Living on a low income 1%
  • International student 1%
  • None of these 20%

26% of respondents spoke languages other than English at home.

Top languages included:

  • Hindi
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese

What is your connection to Docklands?

  • Resident 71%
  • Business owner / worker 21%
  • Visitor 6%
  • Student 1%
  • Other 1%

How long have you lived/worked/studied in Docklands?

  • Less than a year 20%
  • 1-5 years 47%
  • 5-10 years 19%
  • 10-20 years 13%
  • More than 20 years 1%

What we heard

  • Proximity and ease of access to the CBD.
  • Convenience to work or employment.
  • Quiet and peaceful neighbourhood that is close to the busier parts of the city.
  • Harbourside living.
  • Great lifestyle offering.
  • Apartment living with amazing views.
  • Sports and recreation facilities.
  • Capacity of the hospitality industry.
  • Unique attractions to Docklands.
  • BBQ facilities, public toilets, covered outdoor seating.
  • Local and fresh produce.
  • Parks and green open spaces.
  • Car parking spaces for residents and visitors.

Priorities for Docklands

  • Aboriginal Melbourne

    • More recognition of Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung people's ongoing cultural connection to Country.
  • Access and affordability

    • Make Docklands more accessible and easier to navigate with better information and improved public transport services.
    • Greater opportunities for people, especially families and children, to connect through community spaces and activities.

  • Climate and biodiversity emergency

    • More greening on streets, parks, and rooftops and more tree plantings.
    • Improve waste management through more bins and recycling and disposal options for residents.

  • Economy of the future

    • Provide more diverse hospitality and retail options.
    • Reinvigoration of spaces around the water specifically Central Pier and activation of empty shopfronts.
    • Local events, unique attractions and art for residents, families, children and tourists.

  • Melbourne’s unique identity and place

    • Improve street and waterways maintenance and cleanliness.
    • Address planning, development and construction impacts on liveability.
    • Celebrate Docklands as a unique waterways precinct with its maritime heritage and harbourside lifestyle.

  • Safety and wellbeing

    • Increase options for recreation and connection through sport/wellbeing programs.
    • More police and security presence, better lighting and improved management of late night events including party boats and venues.
    • Increase and enhance public amenities.
    • More programs, spaces and tools for local community connection.
    • Better regulations and protocols around short term accommodation within Docklands.
    • Initiatives and education around water safety for families who may not be familiar with living near water.

Phase two

The conversation

In this second phase of engagement we presented the draft neighbourhood priorities we’d developed based on community feedback received in March and April 2022. We wanted to check in with community again to understand how well we’d captured the priorities, and whether there was anything missing or if refinements could be made.

Phase Two consultations ran from 15 August to 4 September 2022.

Gathering insights

Docklands residents, businesses, workers, students and visitors were all invited to take part. Our Participate Melbourne website was a key engagement tool featuring the draft priorities and findings from Phase One engagement, a short online survey, and a ‘chat with us’ function to book in a time to speak with our Neighbourhood Partner.

A range of pop-up activities and sessions were held with community to enable participation from a broader range of people and to gather feedback.

Additionally, with our Business Concierge, we surveyed a range of local business to get their thoughts and ideas.

We also held a Docklands Summit on 2 September 2022 attracting 100 key stakeholders including the Victorian Government, major landholders, major businesses/employers, representative groups, and the small business and resident community. Outcomes from this summit will be shared in late 2022.

Engagement reach

Who we heard from

  • Under 15 years: 7.5%
  • 15 - 19 years: 0%
  • 20 - 24 years: 4.5%
  • 25 - 29 years: 3%
  • 30 - 34 years: 13.5%
  • 35 - 39 years: 19.4%
  • 40 - 44 years: 16.5%
  • 45 - 49 years: 9%
  • 50 - 54 years: 13.5%
  • 55 - 59 years: 4.5%
  • 60 - 64 years: 3%
  • 65 - 69 years: 4.4 %
  • 70 - 74 years: 0%
  • 75 + years: 1.5%
  • Prefer not to say: 0%
  • Female: 50%
  • Male: 50%
  • Resident: 55%
  • Business owner / worker: 20%
  • Visitor: 14.5%
  • Student: 7.3%
  • No connection: 0%
  • Other: 2.3%

What we heard

Majority of participants felt that the draft Docklands neighbourhood priorities were captured “well” or “very well”. Many respondents mentioned that the priorities were well presented and reflected community sentiment with 81% of respondents rating the priorities a 4 or 5 out of the possible 5.

Many respondents emphasised the importance of the following:

  • Community engagement and participation in Council decision making.
  • The need for increased activities for local residents.
  • A need for the reinvigoration of unused space within Docklands.
  • Supporting local traders by attracting customers.
  • More Police presence and patrolling, specifically on weekends when events may be happening.

Comments from community


We have refined the priorities based on the feedback received.

These include:

  • Change in wording around community gardens to amplify the need for a community garden on the New Quay side to complement the existing community garden on Victoria Harbour.
  • Change in wording to include and focus on families and children.
  • Increased focus on supporting local businesses.

Phase three

User testing

From April – May 2022 we undertook user testing with a diverse range of community members in small focus groups to assess the usability of the CBD and Kensington Neighbourhood Portals.

These portals are being developed as a one-stop shop for neighbourhood connection and planning.

Gathering insights

Sixteen community members participated in four sessions across four focus areas:

  • International Students
  • Members of the Disability Advisory Committee
  • Young People
  • Older People

Participants were asked to complete simple navigation tasks and provide feedback on their experience.

What we heard

Overall, participants understood and supported the idea and execution of the portals.

Participants provided useful feedback that then influenced the portal’s design and content, and improved accessibility and functionality.

Participants said they were 80 per cent likely to use a Neighbourhood Portal in the future.


We are using the community feedback gathered during the user testing sessions to further refine and improve the portal structure, navigation and content to increase community access and usage.

Draft neighbourhood priorities

See the draft neighbourhood priorities we identified during Phase One of consultation.