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.

Consultation 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 341 people who completed the survey).
  • 3% Under 15 years old
  • 4% 15-19 year olds
  • 8% 20-24 year olds
  • 18% 25-29 year olds
  • 17% 30-34 year olds
  • 15% 35-39 year olds
  • 8% 40-44 year olds
  • 9% 45-49 year olds
  • 5% 50-54 year olds
  • 5% 55-59year olds
  • 5% 60-64 year olds
  • 2% 65-69 year olds
  • 2% 70-74 year olds
  • 1% 75+ year olds

  • 51% female
  • 46% male
  • 2% non-binary/transgender
  • 1% other / prefer not to say

Survey participants who responded to this question identified as:

  • Respondents identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander 1%
  • LGBTQI+ 21%
  • Speaking a language other than English at home 7%
  • Experiencing homelessness 0%
  • Living with a disability 5%
  • Living on a low income 5%
  • International student 2%
  • None of these 30%
  • Prefer not to say 2%

What is your primary connection to West Melbourne?

  • Resident 73%
  • Business owner 6%
  • Worker 14%
  • Study or visit 6%

How long have you had this connection with West Melbourne?

  • Less than a year 21%
  • 1-5 years 45%
  • 5-10 years 17%
  • 10-20 years 11%
  • More than 20 years 7%

What we heard

  • Proximity to the CBD and the ‘convenience of the location’ for getting to work and nearby public transport.
  • The parks and open spaces.
  • Quiet and calm atmosphere.
  • Community connectedness.
  • The unique character of the neighbourhood and attractive homes and streets.
  • Parks, green space and dog parks.
  • Diverse retail offerings and services including banks, post offices, and supermarkets/grocery stores.
  • Sport and recreation amenities and facilities such as exercise equipment or gyms, a swimming pool, and playgrounds or skateparks.
  • More hospitality options such as cafes, eateries, and dining places.
  • Public transport services and options and parking availability for residents and businesses.

Priorities for West Melbourne

  • Aboriginal Melbourne

    • Embrace the wisdom of Traditional Owners to enrich our shared experience of place.
  • Access and affordability

    • Encourage access to more local schooling, wellbeing initiatives, and entertainment facilities for children and teenagers.
    • Improve West Melbourne links to neighbouring suburbs through new or improved tram, walking and bicycle routes.
    • Negotiate public areas where both animals and humans can exercise and socialise safely.

  • Climate and biodiversity emergency

    • Invest in more natural spaces for the public to enjoy and encourage street gardens, compost facilities and shared energy storage.
  • Economy of the future

    • Foster a vibrant retail, hospitality and services precinct within the neighbourhood.
  • Melbourne’s unique identity and place

    • Cement the suburb’s unique identity and promote it as a distinctive destination.
    • Generate an exciting range of affordable social and cultural experiences that bring people together.
    • Transform the Maribyrnong River waterway and trail into a well-known and well-utilised natural asset.
    • Ensure each new building adds positive value to the neighbourhood as it grows.

  • Safety and wellbeing

    • Improve traffic management, fix unsafe intersections and increase pedestrian safety.
    • Cleaner streets, better lighting, more police presence and public toilets.

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

West Melbourne 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.

Engagement reach

Who we heard from

  • Under 15 years: 1.4%
  • 15 - 19 years: 4%
  • 20 - 24 years: 2.7%
  • 25 - 29 years: 10.8%
  • 30 - 34 years: 6.2%
  • 35 - 39 years: 8%
  • 40 - 44 years: 15%
  • 45 - 49 years: 11%
  • 50 - 54 years: 9.5%
  • 55 - 59 years: 6.8%
  • 60 - 64 years: 2.7%
  • 65 - 69 years: 4%
  • 70 - 74 years: 4%
  • 75 + years: 4%
  • Prefer not to say: 0
  • Female 36.5%
  • Male 62%
  • Non binary/gender diverse 0
  • Prefer not to say 1.4%

  • Live 62.1%
  • Work 19%
  • Own a business 6.8%
  • Study 2.7%
  • Visit 1.4%
  • No connection 0
  • Other 8%

What we heard

Of the 74 people who rated how well we captured the twelve draft priorities for the neighbourhood of West Melbourne, 88% felt they had been captured "well" or "very well". For the 12% of people who collectively gave a score of "average", "somewhat" or "not at all", suggestions were provided about what was missing or could be improved.

  • 1 out of 5 (not at all) 1.4%
  • 2 out of 5 (somewhat) 1.4%
  • 3 out of 5 (average) 9.5%
  • 4 out of 5 (well) 43.2%
  • 5 out of 5 (very well) 44.6%

Comments from community


We have refined the priorities based on the feedback received.

These include:

  • Incorporating car parking into the 'Better Transport Connections' priority.
  • Highlighting the role of community in the 'Activity, Arts and Events' priority.
  • Better articulating community desire for a main street/central activity hub in the 'Local Shopping and Dining Options' priority.

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.