The Council Plan is our strategic plan that guides all our work. It provides a strong foundation for the continuing rollout of projects, services and initiatives that go to the heart of the health and wellbeing of our diverse community.
Council Plan and Budget documents
Until 30 June 2024
Adopting and implementing the Council Plan 2021-31 Year Three
On Tuesday 20 June 2023, Council adopted Year Three of the Council Plan 2021-31 and 2023/24 Budget.
Our community is always at the heart of every decision we make, including when building our Budget. This has been even more so this year (2023) with cost of living pressures, from rising inflation to interest rates, experienced across our City.
Recognising this burden on our community, this is the first year we have adopted a rate rise below the Victorian Government’s rates cap. A solid financial foundation, and unexpected revenue from streams including parking, means we can do this without cutting services.
The impact to our 2023/24 Budget of adopting a lower rate rise is about $900,000. As the accumulated impact over 10 years is $11 million less in rates collected, we will put less into our reserve fund in this Budget as a buffer for known and unexpected challenges over the next decade.
Council did not take this decision lightly and considered several options before adopting an average rates increase of 2.8 per cent, lower than the Victorian Government’s 3.5 per cent rates cap and well under the expected 4.5 per cent inflation rate.
While not everyone will agree, Council believe a lower rate rise is the best way of providing both current and ongoing financial relief to our community. This is because whatever rate rise may follow in the future, it will be based off the lower 2.8 per cent figure.
Our comprehensive 10-year Council Plan continues to roll out, with this Budget providing capital project investment of $62.8 million to maintain, grow and improve community assets.
Council will also keep delivering the sustainability, social and local economic priorities we know our community want and expect and provide targeted relief to those who need it most.
Additional efficiency savings are contributing to our ability to continue to roll-out initiatives including our new Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) and glass recycling services. Council expect to achieve permanent operational savings of $1.1 million in the 2023/24 Budget on top of $1 million in one-off project savings over 2022/23.
Council wants our beautiful City to be a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and enjoy all that Port Phillip offers, for now and years to come.
While cost of living pressures are the immediate concern, we are still delivering on important key projects in this Budget and ensuring our 10-year forecast will provide for future generations.
Council thanks everyone who participated in our extensive community consultation on the draft Budget. Council always carefully consider feedback and several changes from what was consulted on in the draft Budget have been incorporated.
These include a smaller reduction to the Cultural Development Fund – Projects stream (funding for individual artistic/creative projects). While funding was originally proposed to be reduced from $187,000 to $100,000, the Budget now provides $125,000 in funding.
Other Budget highlights include:
- additional project investment over 10 years including $25 million in provisional funding for the Elwood Foreshore Facilities Project (Stages 2 and 3), $17 million for South Melbourne Market Connect and an extra $9 million set aside in reserve for Fishermans Bend infrastructure
- rolling out the new Multi-Unit Dwelling FOGO kerbside service and communal hubs for glass and FOGO
- an extra $50,000 towards Early Education Grants (worth a total of $206,000) to support vulnerable families’ access to childcare
- two years’ extension of the Launch Housing funding agreement ($110,000 per annum) for outreach services assisting rough sleepers
- a one-off $40,000 allocation towards greater food relief in Port Phillip
- existing business support under the Economic Recovery Package continuing until June 2025, including ongoing activation of public spaces
- pensioner rates rebate increasing five per cent to $210 (Port Phillip is among only a handful of councils offering this rebate)
- most fees and charges increasing 3.75 per cent – some will be higher to reflect reasonable user pays charges while others will stay the same or reduce to support those who most need it or to encourage further take-up. The 3.75 per cent rise is under the 4.5 per cent inflation forecast
- funding to improve access for girls and women at sporting facilities including J L Murphy and Lagoon Reserve in line with our Fair Access Policy (under development)
- continuing to invest in implementing our sustainability strategy, Act and Adapt, and taking action to address the Climate Emergency, including building our first Climate Emergency Plan, reducing the impact of our buildings and operations and supporting our community to take action, and identifying and delivering programs to minimise climate risk in Council operations and to the community.
- continuing our annual Greening Port Phillip Program and developing a new Urban Forest Strategy and Street Tree Planting Program in 2023/24
- Public Space Strategy projects moving into construction in 2023/24 in its second year, including Moubray Street Community Park and Graham Street Overpass Skatepark
- No debt, aside from some finance lease liabilities which remain as part of our financing strategy.
Our community vision
Our Community Vision in Year Three of our Council Plan remains the same: "Proudly Port Phillip: A liveable and vibrant City that enhances the wellbeing of our community"
In the 10-year timespan of this Plan, we aim to exceed our community vision described in the subsequent statements.
We recognise the legacy of the traditional owners of the land and acknowledge the foresight of others who have come before us.
We celebrate Port Phillip as a city of many distinct places, connected by the common threads of safety, inclusion, and wellbeing so everyone can live their best life.
Social cohesion - forged from understanding, celebrating and listening to the diverse cultures in our City - is a foundation for this success.
We have a well-designed and planned city where the heritage and character of the built form is enhanced and protected.
We are renowned as a cultural hub, from live music to our creative industries. This creativity drives music, exhibitions, and events which delight residents and encourage visitors to keep returning.
Our more diverse local economy enjoys greater protection from financial shocks and new investment and industries within our City are generating jobs and prosperity.
We have a range of accessible and active transport choices that make it easy for everyone to move around our City. Visiting lively shopping and dining destinations or accessing public transport is all possible within a 10 to 15-minute walk from our neighbourhoods.
Our health and wellbeing are enriched by having quality public spaces close to home. We can visit these spaces easily to enjoy quiet moments or more active pursuits with our friends and families.
The beauty and biodiversity of our coastal, bay, park, waterway, and inland environments are protected and enhanced for future generations to enjoy. We have played our part in promoting and addressing environmental sustainability, from tackling climate change, emissions, and sea-level rise to minimising flooding risks.
We are proud that our participation in civic life means Port Phillip has retained its unique character and heritage while being admired as a creative hub that continues to evolve and innovate. We know our voice is heard and helps deliver meaningful outcomes.
We have a local council that strives to deliver services in the most efficient, transparent, and equitable way. Our Council provides strong financial stewardship, is responsible, and works hard to balance meeting community expectations and diversifying revenue streams with minimising costs for our community.
This is the minimum we hope for our community in 10 years’ time – we hope to achieve much more.
This is our legacy for generations to come.
Our Strategic Directions
The Council Plan sets out five Strategic Directions. They guide our priorities and actions as we work towards achieving the Community Vision. These are the Directions:
Inclusive: A City that is a place for all members of our community, where people feel supported and comfortable being themselves and expressing their identities.
Liveable: A City that is a great place to live, where our community has access to high quality public spaces, development and growth are well-managed, and it is safer and easy to connect and travel within.
Sustainable: A City that has a sustainable future, where our environmentally aware and active community benefits from living in a bayside city that is greener, cooler, cleaner and climate resilient.
Vibrant: A City that has a flourishing economy, where our community and local businesses thrive, and we maintain and enhance our reputation as one of Melbourne’s cultural and creative hubs.
Well-Governed: A City that is a leading local government authority, where our community and our organisation are in a better place as a result of our collective efforts.
Addressing our challenges
The Council Plan 2021-31 responds to eight key long-term challenges. These must be addressed to achieve the vision our community has for Port Phillip over the coming years. The challenges are: