The City of Melbourne has pledged $557 million this financial year on infrastructure and development programs to cater for its growing population and to retain its reputation as Australia's most liveable city.
City of Melbourne Councillor Kevin Louey said the 2017-18 funding commitment was the largest expenditure in Council history.
Spending this financial year includes a $17.4 million investment in major streetscape improvements including the redevelopment of the southern end of Elizabeth Street, pedestrian safety around Spencer Street, improvements to Racecourse Road, and to Queensberry, Cardigan, and Pelham streets in Carlton.
Council has allocated $25.3 million for public open space projects, including the transformation of Boulevard and Dodds Street in Southbank.
An $11 million down payment will allow works to begin on the installation of 1.2 km of bike lanes, a new playground, public art opportunities, significant planting and improved access and activation of Melbourne's arts and cultural precinct.
The Victorian Auditor-General’s office yesterday released a report, Effectively Planning for Population Growth,
which assessed whether state planning is meeting the needs of the rapidly growing population for birthing, maternal and child health, funded kindergarten services, and related infrastructure in greenfield growth areas and established suburbs.
The City of Melbourne's Daily Population Estimates and Forecasts reported more than one million people will be visiting the city on an average weekday within the next five years.
Acting Lord Mayor and Chair of the Finance and Governance Portfolio Arron Wood said Melbourne's daily population grew by six percent between 2014 and 2016.
"Our average weekday city population – made up of residents, workers, and local and international visitors – reached a high of 903,000 last year," Cr Wood said.
"At this rate, more than a million people will be entering our city everyday by 2022 and we expect that to grow to approximately 1.4 million by 2036.
"Once people get to the inner city more than 90 per cent of trips are on foot.
"With such a significant increase in daily visitation it's critical we invest more than ever in making our streets pedestrian friendly. That's everything from widening footpaths, to safer public transport interchanges, to more open space and even wider pedestrian crossings.""We'll also spend $29 million on the Queen Victoria Market precinct, as we move from planning into project delivery of the world's largest current market renewal," Cr Wood said.
Major works by numbers