December/January Yarra News

Mayor Amanda StoneMessage from the Mayor

I am honoured to be serving my third consecutive term as a Langridge Ward Councillor, and to have been elected as Mayor for 2016/17.

It is exciting to see the new Council representing the diversity of our community, with several younger councillors elected along with experienced, long-term Councillors. This new Council brings not only fresh ideas, energy and skills, but also common ground on many issues.

I am looking forward to working with the new Council on addressing urgent and challenging issues such as the rapid growth and development in our city, adapting to and mitigating against climate change, creating quality shared public spaces and community resources, advocating for improved public transport and reduced congestion and providing opportunities for safer cycling and walking. Our community has said they want us to build a greener city with more open space and vegetation, especially in areas of new development, and a fairer city where no-one is left behind.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the former Councillors who will not be serving in this term. Their leadership and commitment over the past four years has seen many wonderful outcomes for our community. There is still much work to be done. I am excited about future possibilities and committed to working with my fellow Councillors, our CEO and staff, and the community to create a city we can be proud of.

Cr Amanda Stone

Merry Christmas and holiday opening hours

Xmas carolsYarra Council wishes everyone a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

Council’s opening hours and services over the holiday period are:


Council customer service centres at Richmond and Collingwood town halls and the Connie Benn Centre will operate as per normal business hours on Friday 23 December. We will be closed on the Christmas Day and Boxing Day public holidays (Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December) and the New Year’s Day public holiday (Monday 2 January).


All rubbish and recycling collections will take place as normal during the festive period.


Yarra’s five library branches will close at 2pm on Saturday 24 December (Christmas Eve) and be closed Sunday 25–Tuesday 27 December. Branches will reopen on 28 December through to 30 December (with all branches closing at 6pm). All branches will be open for regular hours on Saturday 31 December (New Year’s Eve). Additionally, all branches will be closed on Sunday 1 January and Monday 2 January. Normal opening hours will resume from Tuesday 3 January.


The Richmond and Collingwood leisure centres and Fitzroy Pool will keep normal operating hours on Christmas Eve, while the Burnley Golf Course will close at 6pm. All Yarra Leisure facilities will be closed on Christmas Day. Modified hours will apply at various leisure centres for all public holidays. For details call Council on 9205 5032 or visit our Yarra Leisure page.

New Year’s Eve in Yarra

Council is encouraging a family-friendly atmosphere in local parks and public spaces this New Year’s Eve.

Please be aware that the consumption of alcohol is banned in Yarra’s streets, parks and other public areas from 9pm on Friday 30 December through to 9am on Sunday 1 January.

Amplified music is also not permitted.

If you’re planning to enjoy the occasion at your local park, please leave any glass bottles at home and remember to dispose of any rubbish in the bins provided, or to take it home with you.

New Year’s Eve celebrations are welcome in all of Yarra’s parks and gardens but there will be zero tolerance for antisocial behaviour.

For more information about New Year’s Eve in Yarra, contact Council on 9205 5555.

NYE @ Edinburgh Gardens

Edinburgh Gardens will play host to a range of family-friendly (and alcohol free – see above) activities this New Year’s Eve (Saturday 31 December).

Head to the Alfred Crescent Oval area to join in the fun at these free afternoon activities!


Sharpen up your ball skills, check out demos by the awesome basketball pros from Helping Hoops, and take part in a hoop shooting competition. For children aged 7–14.


Enjoy a delicious bite to eat at our Middle Eastern BBQ, hosted by Free to Feed, a non-profit organisation that works with chefs and cooks from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds who cook delicious food from their own cultures.


Dress yourself and your pooch in your craziest costumes and join our NYE dog show! Fantastic prizes are on offer for Best Fancy Dressed, Best Dog, Cutest Pup, Best Trick and Waggiest Tail.


The Gardens will light up with installations by local artists, including a huge projection across the grass and trees by artist Nick Azidis in partnership with Gertrude Projection Association.

There’ll also be a bespoke cinema programmed by Projector Bike, and an installation in the rotunda, created by local artist Ilan El.

If you’re planning to enjoy the occasion at your local park, please leave any glass bottles at home and remember to dispose of any rubbish in the bins provided, or to take it home with you.

For further information about New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh Gardens, contact Council on 9205 5555.

Australia Day Awards nominations open

Yarra’s Australia Day Awards celebrate the people who make extraordinary contributions to our community.

If you know of a person or group deserving of wider recognition, consider nominating them for one of our 2017 awards. Nominations are open in four categories:

  • Citizen of the Year
  • Young Citizen of the Year
  • Community Service of the Year
  • Community Event of the Year

The judges will be looking for nominees who have gone above and beyond in the fields of community service, sport, arts and culture, the environment or business and economic development.

Access the nomination form and eligibility criteria on our Australia Day Awards page or contact Council on 9205 5555 or

Nominations must be received by Friday 16 December.

Yarra 2021: Help shape the next four years

Council Plan consultationThis is your opportunity to help shape your city!

We’re asking people to share what they love about Yarra, and what Council should focus on over the next four years to make it an even better place to live, work and visit.

Your contributions will help us develop the next Council Plan (which will also include a municipal public health and wellbeing plan for Yarra). This is our overall strategy, and a key document used by Council to guide our work and priorities up until 2021.

We’re encouraging all members of our community to have their say until Tuesday 20 December.

A draft Council Plan will be released for further community feedback in early 2017.

We want to hear from you!

  • What do you love about Yarra?
  • What would make Yarra better?
  • What do you want your Council to do over the next 4 years?
  • How can Council improve community health?

Get involved:


Phone: 9205 5555

Email: (put ‘Council Plan’ in the subject line)

Our city snapshot

Yarra has undergone considerable change in the past 30 years and this will continue as Melbourne’s population grows. Council needs to take this into account as it plans for the future.

Did you know…

  • The median age of Yarra residents is 33.7
  • Almost a third of residents were born overseas and nearly a quarter speak a language other than English at home
  • 11% of households live in social housing (the highest proportion in Victoria)
  • 30% of households earn over $2,500 per week, while 18% earn less than $400 per week.
  • 50% of residents are renters

To find out more about Yarra’s demographics, visit

Tribute to the stolen generationsBev Murray

Fitzroy has long held significance for the Aboriginal community, as the birthplace of the Victorian Aboriginal rights movement and a place where members of the Stolen Generations reconnected with family.

In recognition of this history and in the spirit of reconciliation, Council is working with Aboriginal community members and organisations to create an outdoor artwork in tribute to the Stolen Generations, to be located in Fitzroy.

We spoke to Aboriginal community advocate Bev Murray, who is working with Council on the project, about what the Stolen Generations Marker would mean for the community.

Q: What do you hope this project will achieve, both for the Aboriginal community and the wider community?

A: The Stolen Generations Marker should be seen as belonging to all of us. It’s about acknowledging and always remembering what happened to our children and families when governments sought to deliberately destroy our family networks and obliterate our connections to our country. It’s about acknowledging that the impacts of this history are still being felt today. It’s also about how we have survived as a people still rich in culture and spirit despite what has happened to us.

Finally a fervent hope is that the Stolen Generations Marker becomes a symbol for promoting understanding and possibly even healing between our people.

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people share a history so we now need to be equal partners in working together to heal from the past and move into the future to build an inclusive and caring society that respects all cultures, from the cultures of the First Peoples to the new ones being welcomed into Australia today.

Q: The Stolen Generations Marker is going to be located in Fitzroy. Can you briefly explain why Fitzroy is such an important place for the Aboriginal community?

A: It is not confirmed yet where the Stolen Generations Marker will be placed in Fitzroy, but wherever it is it will be a fitting location.

Fitzroy is seen as the birthplace of the Victorian Aboriginal political movement and it is an area that has a vibrant history of the Victorian Aboriginal community. It was here in Fitzroy that our fight for Aboriginal self-determination grew into an unstoppable wave that resulted in the creation of Aboriginal community controlled organisations.

There is still much work to be done to address the past but as someone said “from little things big things grow”. On behalf of the project team, I look forward to the creation of the Stolen Generations Marker and to its unveiling next year.

The Aboriginal artist who will design and build the Stolen Generations marker will be appointed soon.

The marker is expected to be completed in November 2017, to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the Bringing Them Home Report, the 25 year anniversary of the landmark Mabo decision and the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 Referendum.

You can find out more about the Stolen Generations Marker and register to receive project updates at

Learn more about the Aboriginal history of Yarra, take a self-guided walking tour of local sites of significance, and access educational resources at

Sharing our parksCitizens Park Sign

Summer may be only a few days old but Yarra’s 50+ parks and reserves are already abuzz with activity.

To ensure that everyone has a chance to enjoy the great outdoors, each park has its own regulations that guide when and where certain activities can take place.

For example, some parks allow dogs to be off-leash, but only in specific areas or at certain times of the day, while prohibiting dogs entirely in other areas.

Our parks are the centre of community life during summer, so it’s important to keep the needs of others in mind.

Whenever you arrive at a park for the first time, take a moment to read the signs and familiarise yourself with the local conditions. Always remember to take any rubbish home with you and clean up after your dog.

If you’d like to learn about a particular park ahead of time, visit or contact Council on 9205 5555.

Improving the management of licensed venues

Licensed Premises PolicyPubs, bars and restaurants are part of what makes Yarra an exciting and desirable place to live. They’re also integral to our local economy.

However, it is important for Council to manage the potential impacts, such as noise, of licensed venues on the amenity of the local area.

That’s why Council is planning to introduce measures that will improve the way licensed venues are managed, through changes to Yarra’s Licensed Premises Policy.

The policy changes will help Council better manage the location, size, operation and opening hours of licensed venues through the planning permit process. For example, under the new policy the preferred hours for outdoor areas, deliveries and waste collection for licensed venues would be clearly specified, with the aim of minimising disruption to residents and other businesses.

The updated policy would also provide greater clarity about where new venues are allowed to be established.

The proposed changes to the Licensed Premises Policy will be implemented through an amendment to the Yarra Planning Scheme, known as Amendment C209. The amendment is open to community feedback until Friday 16 December.

You can find out more at or by contacting Erika Russell, Senior Planner (Community Health and Safety) on 9205 5555 or

The latest on waste

Hard rubbish collectionChristmas clean up

Having some extra time over the holiday period often means that summer is the perfect opportunity to do a bit of spring cleaning.

Council offers a range of services to help residents dispose of unwanted household items in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Clifton Hill depot

Council’s depot in Clifton Hill helps residents with trickier items, like TVs, laptops and old VHS tapes. Many of these items can be left at our all-day recycling drop-off point.

The depot also offers a specific service for hazardous items, such as light bulbs and batteries.

Our depot is located at 168 Roseneath Street, Clifton Hill. Light bulbs, batteries (including car batteries) and engine oil can be dropped off at reception Monday to Friday, between 8.30am–3pm.

Light bulbs

The depot has special technology known as the ‘Bulb Eater’ that crushes light bulbs and fluorescent tubes and uses a HEPA and carbon filter to capture the mercury gases they release. The remaining materials are then recycled. Our machine has a healthy appetite and eats about 5000 bulbs each year!


Batteries – especially those found in laptops, mobile phones and cameras – contain toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead. These materials can be harmful to the environment if they’re thrown away in the regular bin. All types of batteries can be dropped off at our depot so they can be recycled through Planet Ark’s battery recycling program. For more information about what can and can’t be left at our all-day recycling drop-off point, visit

Free Christmas tree collection

Time to say goodbye to your Christmas tree? Council offers residents a free Christmas tree collection service throughout January. All trees will be mulched and given a second life in Yarra’s parks and garden beds. To register for a collection, call Council on 9205 5190 before 31 January 2017. Trees will need to be left out for collection within property lines.

Rethink your rubbish

We’re a city of proud recyclers. Each year, about 9300 tonnes of recyclable goods are collected from Yarra’s homes. Every resident can have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the amount of rubbish they produce and send to landfill. It’s often as simple as rethinking your rubbish to make sure all items go in the correct bin.

Placing too many non-recyclable items in the recycling bin means the whole bin can’t be recycled, so getting our recycling right makes a big difference!


  • Pizza boxes
  • Plastic containers (plastic water bottles and yoghurt cups)
  • Aluminium cans (including tuna cans and foil)
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Cardboard (toilet rolls and milk cartons)

These items do not need to be clean, just empty.


  • Plastic bags (including recyclable items tied up in plastic bags)
  • Polystyrene
  • E-waste (old printers and mobile phones)
  • Clothing
  • Food waste
  • Garden waste (branches and leaves)

Council’s waste services

RUBBISH – Collected weekly

RECYCLING – Collected weekly

HARD WASTE – Two free collections each year. Call 9205 5190 to book.

GARDEN WASTE – Free unlimited collections. Call 9205 5190 to book.

DEPOT – All-day drop off point for many items.

For more information, visit

Staying safe during heatwavesBeat the Heat

In Victoria, more people die from extreme heat than from any other type of natural disaster. So, as we enter into another summer, it’s important to take precautions to protect our safety.

Here are some quick tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe during the next heatwave:

  • Check your cooling appliances now and have them serviced if necessary.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activities.
  • If you are on any medication, ask your doctor if this medication affects your body’s ability to regulate heat.
  • Plan your day to avoid unnecessary outdoor travel during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.
  • Check in regularly with vulnerable family, friends and neighbours during a heatwave to make sure they are okay.
  • Consider what you will do in the event of a power outage, as heatwaves can cause our electricity grid to fail.

For more information on preparing for a heatwave, visit  or call 9205 5555.

Pets during emergenciesCaring for animals during emergencies

Pets are just as vulnerable to emergencies like heatwaves, flash flooding and utility failure as people. That’s why it’s a good idea to start thinking about the needs of your pets long before such a situation arises.

Council has partnered with the Walking Forward Disaster Relief Team (WFDRT) to plan for pet care during emergencies and to help build a network of local people committed to the welfare of animals.

Register online and search for locations that may be able house your pet during a disaster at

You can also register your willingness to provide short-term housing and care for other people’s animals during emergencies. This is a great way to support animals and their owners when they need it the most.

WFDRT also maintains a database of lost and found animals, and collects and distributes basic items like pet food, water bowls and blankets.

If you have any comments or queries about Yarra News, please contact us at or call 9205 5555. Large print and audio versions are also available.

Back to top
Back to top Back to top