Annual Report 2014–15

Goal 3: A prosperous city

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Goal 3: A prosperous city

Melbourne will have a global focus with first-rate infrastructure and services, a highly skilled workforce and affordable business accommodation. It will share knowledge, mentor emerging businesses, collaborate and attract global investment and visitors.


  • 2 projected outcomes

  • 2 progress indicators

  • 7 priorities identified

  • 14 actions for 2014-15

  • Delivered by 7 service areas, 6 strategies / plans

Our approach

The City of Melbourne supports entrepreneurs and enterprises, small and large, to thrive and prosper in the local and global economy, in turn helping to create a high standard of living for all Melburnians. The changing face of local businesses, coupled with changes abroad in the global marketplace, new digital technology and consumer behaviour, require us to become agile in supporting the city’s continued prosperity.

Building a ‘prosperous city’ is about supporting a sustainable and resilient municipal economy, as well as fostering a globally connected municipal economy by strengthening partnerships locally, nationally and globally.

Issues and challenges

We are continuing to work with Places Victoria on transforming the Harbour Esplanade and surrounding Docklands area into a premier public space while key components of the master plan are worked through. Meanwhile, we are committed to supporting meaningful community engagement through each stage of Places Victoria’s redevelopment project.

Future directions

Major initiatives in the coming year will include beginning implementation of the 2015–2019 Tourism Action Plan, developing and running City of Melbourne business missions to key markets in China and Japan, and identifying activities to strengthen cross-Council economic development activities under our Building Prosperity Together framework.

Future Melbourne snapshot

How the city measures up as a ‘prosperous city’ based on: Business growth: total number of businesses in the municipality.

There are more than 19,000 businesses in the municipality (reflecting an upward trend from about 14,000 businesses in 2006).

Time period (Financial Year)

Total businesses in the municipality

June 2014


June 2015


Goal 3 service areas: Business, International connections, City promotion and tourism, Building, development and planning, Events, Local laws compliance, Urban policy and design

Performance summary

Key highlights

  • $42.68 million – the economic contribution of our premier events

  • More than 200 fashion and retail events at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week

  • 6 small business grants worth $159,700 approved

  • Around 7000 people attend first Oktoberfest

  • 72 small businesses and two family businesses received Lord Mayor’s Commendations

Summary of 2014–15 actions

Detail about this year’s prosperous city actions and activities can be found later in this chapter.

  • 13 complete

  • 1 ongoing

Major initiative

Work with stakeholders to improve the City Yield Program to gain greater benefits to the city from business event delegates and cruise ship passengers

Melbourne outbid competitor cities around the world to secure hosting rights for several major conference titles, including the 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies – Asia; the 15th World Congress of Epidemiology in 2017; the 17th Triennial International Convention of Inner Wheel – Women of Rotary in 2018; and the 2021 Congress of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH), to name a few. Events like these help support the city’s local economy and reinforces Melbourne’s role in global knowledge exchange.

Melbourne designs showcased in Milan

In partnership with Monash University, we delivered a joint exhibition in Milan titled BlackBOX: Design and Innovation in Melbourne Australia as part of the Expo in Citta program. Our exhibition celebrated Melbourne’s long history of cutting-edge design and innovation and featured Melbourne inventions such as the Baby Capsule car seat, Keep Cup, Black Magic Camera and Bionic Ear.

How we’re performing against our indicators of progress

The City of Melbourne aims for several outcomes over the four years of its Council Plan 2013–2017. We measure progress by the indicators below.

Projected outcome: A sustainable and resilient municipal economy


Business sentiment about the City of Melbourne’s contribution to the resilience of the municipality’s economy, per year

Time period (Financial Year)

Businesses’ average satisfaction score for our contribution to the local economy


62.6 / 100


64.1 / 100

Our progress

The score of 64.1 out of a possible 100 reflects the satisfaction rating given by businesses surveyed about a broad range of City of Melbourne activities that support local economic resilience. These include attracting visitors to the city, managing parking and street activities, planning regulation, delivering capital works and maintaining the city’s cleanliness.

In addition to our paid workforce, we also have a volunteer workforce of more than 400 individuals. Our volunteers, collectively known around the world as the ‘red coats’, work within our Business and Tourism Melbourne Branch across seven programs:

  • City Ambassador Program

  • Cooks’ Cottage

  • Cruise ship Program

  • Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre

  • Melbourne Visitor Centre

  • Melbourne Visitor Booth

  • Melbourne Greeter Service.

The work of our volunteers in encouraging visitors to see more, do more, stay longer and spend more in the city is highly valued by our businesses, arts and cultural institutions and attractions. Extensive training and ongoing support is provided to all volunteers to enhance their general knowledge of all things happening in our city.

First business breakfast forum held

The Lord Mayor and Chief Executive Officer hosted more than 200 city retail and hospitality representatives for the first business breakfast forum in July 2014, a new initiative to engage with the broader business community under the Melbourne Retail and Hospitality Strategy 2013–2017. The forum generated much discussion on how the City of Melbourne and businesses could work more creatively together and was extremely well received, with businesses requesting the event to be held every six months.
Melbourne Music Strategy launched

The Music Advisory Committee and music industry representatives celebrated the launch of the Melbourne Music Strategy 2014-17 at The Toff in Town in August. Aimed at supporting and growing the city’s music industry, the strategy has already seen a number of achievements including funding of a new recording studio in West Melbourne, a new Melbourne laneway named in honour of legendary musician Chrissy Amphlett and the development of Melbourne’s first Music Symposium to be held in November 2015.
Melbourne Music Week

The city became a stage during November for the fifth Melbourne Music Week, with a 10-day fully packed program featuring 110 dynamic events held across 40 uniquely Melbourne locations. This year’s flagship venue, the Queen Victoria Market, was transformed into a vibrant performance space to host an impressive line-up of local and international acts.

Projected outcome: A globally connected municipal economy


The proportional change in trade connections made through business matching and information sessions with in-bound business delegations, per year

Time period (Financial Year)

Change in trade connections made per year

2012–13 to 2013–14

4.6 per cent increase

2013–14 to 2014–15

53.6 per cent decrease

Our progress

The number of trade connections made (defined as introductions between local and overseas businesses and governments) was 221 this year, coming off a relatively high base of 476 connections made in 2013–14. Note there were also fewer inbound business missions this year compared with the previous year.
Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre opens

The new Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre is now open, complementing the existing network of services across the city. The visitor centre facilitates merchandise and ticket sales for Cooks’ Cottage and provides customers with face-to-face information, brochures, access to touch screen displays and iPads. To date, more than 137,000 people have visited the centre.
New major events

This summer was one of the busiest on record for new events for the City of Melbourne, including three large scale events – Slidestreet Melbourne, Royal Croquet Club and the SummerSalt outdoor arts festival. Each delivered a range of new and varied experiences at Melbourne’s public spaces and contributed to the city’s vibrant summer landscape.

Our 4 year priorities are…

Our 2014–15 focus was…

Over the next year we will…

Support innovative and emerging sectors

Status: Completed

  • Work with stakeholders to improve the City Yield Program to gain greater benefits to the city from business event delegates and cruise ship passengers

Status: Completed

  • (Major initiative) Use the Building Prosperity Together framework to identify two activities to strengthen cross-Council economic development activities

  • Continue to work with the Melbourne Retail and Hospitality Advisory Board and Melbourne Convention Bureau to identify key business events and exhibitions

Support businesses through marketing, events and tourism activities including a special program for Docklands

  • Explore opportunities to engage and educate businesses in digital content development as part of the Destination Marketing and Retail and Hospitality Strategy

Status: Completed

  • Attract events and people to Docklands by:
    • raising awareness of the Events Partnership Program

    • promoting the Melbourne Star

    • extending City of Melbourne and other events to Docklands where appropriate and beneficial to the overall event concept

Status: Completed

  • Develop retail-focused events and activities as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and a Melbourne Music Week sponsorship strategy

Status: Completed

  • Develop a café licensee operating partnership at the Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre

Status: Completed

  • Improve the capacity of consumers to provide content as part of the Destination Marketing Strategy

Status: Completed

  • Work with others to attract events and people to Docklands, including extending to Docklands other city events when appropriate and beneficial to their overall event concept

  • Through collaboration and commercial partnerships implement the Retail Connection Strategy for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and the Hub concept for Melbourne Music Week

  • (Major initiative) Begin implementing the 2015–2019 Tourism Action Plan

  • Investigate encouraging younger people to participate in our tourism volunteer programs at key times

Build on city-to-city connections and identify opportunities in Business Partner City member cities within the ASEAN region for the municipality's businesses

  • Implement the actions from the ASEAN statement for Business Partner Cities in the context of the International Engagement Framework

Status: Completed
  • (Major initiative) Develop and run City of Melbourne business missions to key markets in China and Japan

  • Implement the Melbourne – Doing Business Globally framework, including evaluating further the opportunities related to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bandung

Improve retail and hospitality experience in laneways and shopping strips through good design, cultural and artistic activities and infrastructure

Status: Completed

  • Complete a desk-top study on retail, prosperity and streetscape upgrades and other business and event activation opportunities for the Errol and Victoria street strips

Status: Completed

  • Identify and upgrade selected central city laneways as part of the Love Your Laneway Program

  • Implement the outcomes of the Errol and Victoria streets retail, streetscape and activation study

Make information about the municipality available to businesses and investors


  • Work supporting this priority is included in our regular business for the year

Support the development of a vibrant social enterprise sector


  • Review and renew the 2010 Social Enterprise strategy

Support the development of and access to a Melbourne waterfront, and support the local port status of Victoria harbour

  • Complete the Melbourne City Marina Facility fit-out

Status: Completed

  • Complete the feasibility work for the boating ramp as part of the Waterways Strategic Plan

Status: Completed

Status: Ongoing

  • Develop a program or processes to raise awareness of accessibility issues amongst Melbourne retailers through the Melbourne for All People Strategy

Status: Completed

  • Develop a recreational fishing plan for Docklands waterways

  • Develop a berthing strategy for Docklands waterways

  • Work with the State Government to rationalise governance arrangements for the city's waterways

  • Work with Places Victoria to prepare an Implementation Plan to deliver the Harbour Esplanade Master Plan

Ongoing actions

One action relating to the Harbour Esplanade Master Plan not completed in 2014–15 will continue to be delivered in the 2015–16 financial year, and key components of the master plan still need to be worked through with Places Victoria.

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