Yarra adopts a balanced Budget for 2024/25 that delivers for community now, while future proofing the city

Wednesday 19 June 2024

a montage of different services including roadworks, leisure centres and kindergartens.
Yarra City Council has adopted a balanced Budget for 2024/25 that delivers essential services and infrastructure, funds our community’s priority projects and future proofs the city.

Yarra City Council Mayor, Edward Crossland said, "Through the Budget engagement process, we listened to our community and have responded with an exciting breadth of projects that speak directly to that feedback. Priority projects this year are split across the key pillars of our Council Plan, ensuring that social, economic and environmental needs are evenly addressed.”

“Key projects tackle the climate emergency and improve biodiversity, provide more open space where our community needs it most, improve active transport, focus on the future by investing in our children and young people and deliver upgrades to our much-loved community sporting facilities.”

“Our city’s population is set to grow by almost 42% by 2046 which will put increasing pressure on Council’s services and infrastructure. These key projects have been carefully chosen to ensure they both meet the needs of our community now and respond to growing community demand, making sure Yarra remains one of the best places to live, work and play.”

“In addition to delivering vital projects and initiatives for our community, I am confident that this balanced and responsible Budget will leave a lasting, positive impact on Council’s long-term financial sustainability.”

“Building on last year’s Budget, we have again taken great strides towards our goal of financial sustainability, with smart investments, significant savings and careful and timely measures to reduce expenditure.”

“Despite significant financial challenges shared across the local government sector, including increases to the costs of delivering services and infrastructure outpacing the rate cap and cost shifting from other levels of government, I am pleased to say we have delivered a surplus of approximately $15m.”

“This surplus will ensure we can invest in capital works for future growth, avoid unnecessary new borrowings, respond to unforeseen challenges and address the emerging needs of our community.”

“Rates revenue will increase by 2.75% overall in line with the Victorian Government’s rate cap and we will continue to support vulnerable community members through our Hardship Policy and Pensioner Rebate.”

Highlights of the draft 2024/25 Budget include:

  • Implementing the new Climate Emergency Plan including assistance for climate-safe rooms for people on low-incomes, electrifying Council assets, and planting more native trees and vegetation to improve biodiversity.

  • Designing and delivering new parks and open spaces including through the Roads to Parks initiative, an upgrade for Charles Evans Reserve Park with a new playground, construction of the Charlotte Street Pocket Park (subject to the road discontinuance process) and a new public space on the corner of Gertrude and Brunswick Streets.

  • Upgrading sporting grounds and facilities including Yambla Pavilion and Brunswick Street Oval and improving access for women and girls.

  • Renewing Council’s much-loved aquatic and leisure centres at Fitzroy Swimming Pool and the Richmond and Collingwood Leisure Centres.

  • Improving walking and cycling safety infrastructure and encouraging uptake in sustainable and active transport with the New Deals for Walking, Cycling and Schools including an intersection upgrade at Scotchmer St and St Georges Road in Fitzroy North, the design of a bike kerb ramp from Gibdon St in Burnley to the Main Yarra Trail and more protected bike lanes and line markings on Church St in Richmond.

  • Renewing critical infrastructure like roads, footpaths and kerbs along with improving drainage systems to mitigate flooding as a result of climate change.

  • Expanding kindergartens to accommodate free 3 and 4-year-old kinder under the State Government’s reforms, including refurbishment and reactivation of the Atherton Gardens Kindergarten to accommodate 44 children.

  • Providing empowering programs and activities for children and young people with a focus on members of culturally and linguistically diverse, at risk and hard-to-reach communities, including training and employment opportunities for young people who live in public housing.

  • Supporting First Peoples’ self-determination by commencing respectful participation in treaty discussions led by the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Corporation.

  • Supporting the Yarra Zero program, which brings local service providers together to provide a coordinated and compassionate response to people who are sleeping rough and experiencing homelessness. 

  • Partnering, supporting and providing funding for Yarra’s Neighbourhood Houses, which offer responsive, local programs designed to empower, connect, and educate individuals and groups.

  • Delivering the hugely successful Leaps and Bounds Music Festival for its 12th year to support our diverse arts community and stimulate the local economy in the winter months.

  • Commemorating the anniversary of Vietnamese migration by designing and installing a permanent structure on Victoria Street, in consultation with our local Vietnamese community.

  • Designing a queer memorial and place of reflection for members of our LGBTIQA+ community who have passed away.

  • A deliberative engagement on the new Council Plan that will bring a representative panel of the Yarra community together to inform Council’s plans for years to come.

Read the Budget 2024/25.


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