What the election result means for the City of Melbourne
By Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece
It was Prime Minister Paul Keating who once said, “when you change the government, you change the country”. He was right, of course. But after this year’s federal election, you can also add “and you change the city too”.
Cities turn the cogs of our economy and are home to the vast majority of Australians. The City of Melbourne alone contributes more than 24 per cent to the Victorian economy and seven per cent to Australia’s overall economy. It is a national imperative that the federal government invests in, and cares for, our cities.
With this in mind, the City of Melbourne approached the leading parties in the federal election with a pro-active agenda of policies and initiatives to support the city.
With the election results now in, City of Melbourne residents have helped elect three members of parliament: Bill Shorten (Kensington) and Josh Burns (Southbank and Fishermans Bend) for the Labor Party, and Adam Bandt (CBD and surrounds) for The Greens.
The election of the Albanese Labor Government means the City of Melbourne will now partner with them to deliver a number of hugely significant election commitments for Melbourne.
First and foremost, we will partner with the Albanese Government to deliver Melbourne’s Greenline – a $300 million city shaping project that will revitalise the north bank of the Yarra River-Birrarung through a continuous four-kilometre-long promenade.
Greenline will be Melbourne’s largest transformational project since Federation Square, and Federal Labor’s commitment of $20 million to stage one means we can get on with a project that has the potential to contribute more than $1 billion in economic uplift and 6400 jobs through its delivery.
Federal Labor has also committed $200 million to install 400 community batteries across Australia. In the run up to the election, it was confirmed that a number of these will be within our municipality including in Kensington and Southbank.
The City of Melbourne will now partner with the new government on our Power Melbourne project, which will install an entire network of these batteries across the city.
This will contribute significantly to being a city powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and reaching zero net emissions by 2040. Steps that we can take to achieve these targets in major cities will have important impacts for Australia’s overall emissions reduction.
The City of Melbourne will also partner with the Albanese Labor Government to improve Moonee Ponds Creek with a $5 million investment from Labor’s new Urban Rivers and Catchments Fund. These funds will help clean up the southern reaches of the river, delivering key projects from our Moonee Ponds Creek Strategic Opportunities Plan.
The Moonee Ponds Creek is the most abused tributary of the Yarra River and arguably the most degraded waterway in Melbourne. In partnership with the new government, we will work to get rid of the dumped shopping trolleys, the plastic bags and the concrete drain. In its place we will re-wild the creek and bring back the pobblebonk frogs, the rufus night heron and other wildlife that once frequented this waterway.
In Melbourne we work closely with every level of government, no matter their colour, to help advance the interests of Melbourne.
There is so much opportunity for the new Federal Labor Government to deliver in partnership with cities and we stand ready to deliver their commitments and so much more.
Nicholas Reece is Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne.