A community and climate-focussed Budget for 2021-22

Yarra City Council has listened to the community to develop a 2021-22 Budget that builds a fair, climate-safe and liveable Yarra for everyone.

Broad community consultation for this Budget began in November 2020 as part of the Community Vision project, where we heard the community’s ideas and priorities for Yarra.

The final Budget for 2021-22 has built on the draft Budget presented in April, and includes changes in response to community feedback.

“This community input has helped shape a Budget that will continue to make Yarra fair, climate-safe and liveable for everyone. This is a Budget that supports our most vulnerable residents, boosts our local businesses and addresses climate change,” said Yarra Mayor Cr Gabrielle de Vietri.

“This year our Budget delivers all the essential services and infrastructure our community relies on, while also looking to the future by funding projects that tackle the climate emergency.”

This Budget recognises the need to create more open green spaces for people as the city continues to grow, investing more than $5 million to create a greener, more liveable city. This includes investment in new and expanded parks, tree planting, and playgrounds.

The Budget also includes significant investment in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure across the municipality, to support safe, active transport, to encourage healthy lifestyles and to reduce our carbon emissions.

It also continue to support Council and the community to transition towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

“This Budget has a strong focus on sustainability, both in terms of our fiscal responsibilities and the types of infrastructure we are delivering. It delivers on Yarra’s key strategic priorities and ensures that Council has a stable financial position in the years ahead,” said Mayor de Vietri.

“We invested heavily in the local community throughout the pandemic by providing a package of community and business support totalling more than $7.5 million. I am pleased to say that, despite the deficit this created in 2020/21, we are continuing our commitment to the community.”

“I am proud to deliver a Budget that responds to last year’s challenges to strengthen community aspirations and strategic priorities for Yarra.”

Budget highlights

  • New and expanded green open space across the city, including in Cremorne.
  • The first step of a new Community Hub at the Collingwood Town Hall Precinct, delivering essential services including a maternal and child health service.
  • New pedestrian infrastructure in Cremorne.
  • Funding to develop a masterplan for the Inner Circle Linear Parklands.
  • Funding to plant 1300 new trees across the city.
  • More than $1 million for our community grants program, including an additional $20,000 for Youth Led Grants and increased pool of funds for community-led projects that respond to the climate emergency.
  • New toilets in Edinburgh Gardens.
  • A traineeship for one young person within our public housing estates to participate in training and employment experience at Yarra Council.
  • Funding for Gleadell Street, to commence the consultation and design development.
  • Renewing the playgrounds at Citizens Park (Richmond) and Batman Street Reserve (Fitzroy North), and undertake design works for playgrounds at Smith Reserve (Fitzroy), Golden Square (Richmond), Langdon Reserve (Fitzroy North) and Curtain Square (Carlton North)
  • Improving the energy efficiency of our council facilities.
  • Fitness equipment and upgraded outdoor table tennis in Atherton Reserve.
  • Capacity to continue delivering on important Council actions, such as integrated water management, urban agriculture strategy, nature strategy and our heritage aspects of Yarra, including Indigenous heritage.

The Budget includes a rate increase of 1.5%, which is in line with the 2021-22 rate cap outlined under the Fair Go Rating System. This will be accompanied by a 1.5% increase in our additional rate rebate for pensioners.

Councillors also agreed to extend Yarra Council’s hardship policy until 30 June 2022, which was implemented during the early stages of the pandemic in April 2020 and was due to expire 30 June 2021.

This policy will ensure the continuation of real and practical support to ratepayers experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

The final Budget for 2021-22 will be uploaded to the Yarra website over the coming days.

See the draft budget for 2021-22

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