Merri-bek Council adopts budget for a resilient city (media release)

24 August

A $6.24 million COVID-19 Recovery and Rebuild package targeted at residents, businesses and the arts is the centrepiece of Merri-bek Council’s $206.35 million budget, focused on helping the community through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020-21 budget is focused on kickstarting the city’s economic recovery and includes a $62.7 million capital works program to create more jobs and improve suburbs.

“Moreland City Council’s role in supporting the community has never been more important than during this challenging time,” Merri-bek Mayor Cr Lambros Tapinos said.

“Our strong financial management has enabled us to respond to the community’s immediate needs since the beginning of the pandemic in March and ensures we can continue to do so in the coming months.

“Our $62.7 million capital works program will stimulate the local economy and provide jobs for Merri-bekers, while improving the amenity of our suburbs for the long term.

“We are helping businesses with more than $500,000 in grants and initiatives, and eligible ratepayers will have access to a $50 rates waiver, interest free rate payment programs and grants for upgrades to solar and thermal systems to reduce household energy bills.”

Cr Tapinos said initiatives such as abolishing parking fees and library late fees during the pandemic helped all members of the community, while other programs were targeted towards the most vulnerable.

“Moreland City Council recognises the significant impact the pandemic has had on young people. We have committed additional funding for youth programs in this budget including $50,000 in mental health support services in our COVID-19 Recovery and Rebuild package,” he said.

Moreland City Council will continue delivering core services such as aged care, immunisation, early learning support, waste services, libraries, leisure centres and the 5-year Zero Carbon Merri-bek plan, while also funding worthy new projects and infrastructure upgrades.

“The community let us know its priorities through the public submissions process and we have responded with an additional $1.7 million for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure,” Cr Tapinos said.

Other highlights of the 2020-21 budget are:

  • $24.1 million for infrastructure, including roads and carparks ($7.6 million), footpaths and bicycle paths ($4.9 million), drainage ($1.0 million), and parks, open space and streetscapes ($8.1 million)
  • $16.6 million for the continued construction of the $30.1 million Community Hub project in Glenroy
  • $3.1 million for new parks as part of the Park Close to Home initiative
  • $2.2 million to upgrade and renew facilities at City Oval in Coburg
  • $2.0 million for improvements to the Coburg Leisure Centre
  • $0.4 million for Open Space Development in Gowanbrae
  • $0.4 million to improve facilities at Charles Mutton Reserve in Fawkner

To view Merri-bek City Council’s 2020-21 Annual Budget visit