Last year we asked how we might make the East Melbourne neighbourhood the best it could be. From the 322 contributions received, these draft neighbourhood priorities were developed.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

Amenities and spaces to be more accessible and welcoming to all people.

What you told us

You told us that you would like to see the East Melbourne neighbourhood and its spaces become more accessible and inclusive for people of all ages, abilities and identities.

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, LQBTIQ 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.

Address parking access issues and extend the free tram zone to East Melbourne for residents 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.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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 tin 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.

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.

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.

  • 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.

Improve lighting and deliver initiatives to increase road 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 this year and road safety improvements, including new 40km/h zones, are being introduced. Additionally, funding has been approved for works to make a roundabout in Hotham St, identified as a high-risk area, safer.

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.

The Transport Engineering Team will be undertaking a Pedestrian Safety Review study in East Melbourne in 2022/23, to identify a range of pedestrian and road safety improvements in East Melbourne. The study will include consultation with the community.

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.

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.

Address and prevent theft, antisocial and aggressive 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.

Increase outdoor furniture, facilities and recreation equipment in neighbourhood parks.

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.

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.

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.