City of Melbourne Annual Report 2015-16

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Goal 5: An eco-city

As an eco-city, City of Melbourne and its community take shared responsibility for building and maintaining a healthy and resilient environment for Melburnians today and far into the future.


  • 5 projected outcomes

  • 6 progress indicators

  • 9 priorities identified

  • 22 actions for 2015–16

  • Delivered via 8 service areas, 13 strategies/plans

Our approach

We partner with the community to respond to impacts from our changing climate, population and economic growth – challenges that prompt us to explore new ways to adapt, while maintaining our status as one of the world’s most liveable cities. We lead by example by setting ambitious climate and environmental targets for the city and our operations.

Transforming Melbourne into an ‘eco-city’ is about the whole community coming together to help the city prosper while minimising environmental impacts, managing climate change risks and leading the way on renewable energy, biodiversity, waste and water management.

Issues and challenges

Our project to develop a roadmap for the city’s future electricity supply has now progressed into a collaborative, ongoing partnership – the Future Grid Program. A Steering Committee has been set up and work will continue throughout 2016–17. Our work to complete the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project is well underway, with the tender closing in June and a contract to be awarded in 2016–17. The project has also expanded in scope, and now includes the development of a replication strategy for the large energy-user-purchasing model. Other projects did not progress as planned due to unforseen issues. We were unable to collect drainage data collection due to issues with the quality of the field data captured and transfer of this data between Citywide and the City of Melbourne. We will improve our collection and data transfer processes and continue this work in the coming year.

Future directions

Major initiatives include completing the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project and the development of a replication strategy for the large energy-user-purchasing model. We will also deliver a pilot laneway greenings program within the central city, and ensure the findings are used to inform policy recommendations.

Future Melbourne snapshot

How the city measures up as an ‘eco-city’ based on: Municipal emissions: tonnes of greenhouse pollution (tCO2e) per resident and per worker in the municipality.

Data is only available through 2014–15 in accordance with international reporting schedules. 2015–16 data will be available in 2017. Figures from previous years have been adjusted using updated data and a consistent methodology to divide total municipal emissions between residents and worker populations.

Tonnes of greenhouse pollution (tCO2e):

per resident

2012–13 7.4 tCO2e

2013–14 7.1 tCO2e

2014–15 6.6 tCO2e

per worker

2012–13 10.3 tCO2e

2013–14 9.8 tCO2e

2014–15 9.9 tCO2e

Goal 5 service areas: Sustainable environmental management, Parks and gardens, Street cleaning and waste management, Property and assets, Public health and safety, Roads, transport and infrastructure, Building, development and planning, Urban policy and design

Major initiatives

  • Progress work on Lincoln Square stormwater harvesting, the university square expansion and sub-precinct planning as key projects contributing to Elizabeth Street’s Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan and aligned with the street’s master plan

We have installed four of the seven stormwater harvesting and flood mitigation tanks at Lincoln Square, and the project is set for completion in early 2016–17. The University Square expansion is progressing well, with successful negotiations with Melbourne Metro Rail Authority to minimise above ground station infrastructure. In addition, large chilling plant infrastructure will be able to be incorporated in a building at University Square rather than occupying Barry Street. Construction of University Square will begin in 2017 and run concurrently with the construction of the new Parkville Station, ensuring that usable public space is retained in Carlton during construction of the Melbourne Metro Project. These key projects contribute to Elizabeth Street’s Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan and are aligned with the street’s Master Plan.

  • Develop a resilience implementation plan that meets the needs of metropolitan Melbourne and our municipality, in keeping with the requirements of the 100 resilient cities program

The Future Melbourne Committee officially endorsed the Resilient Melbourne strategy on 17 May. The Committee also endorsed the establishment of a five-year Resilient Melbourne Delivery Office, hosted by the City of Melbourne. The City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government will jointly fund the office in year one, with equal funding from metropolitan Councils in years two-to-five. We launched the strategy with 100 Resilient Cities, stakeholders and project partners on 1 June at Meat Market in North Melbourne.


  • Innovative approach to central city rubbish

To reduce waste overflow, we installed six BigBelly bins with smart sensor technology at busy central city locations. The new bins hold 560 litres, compared with a standard public little bin, which holds 80 litres. This will help reduce waste overflow at some of our city’s busiest destinations. The bins include sensor technology that is solar-powered and a contractor is alerted when a bin is 70 per cent full and needs emptying with the hour.

  • Green light for our city streets

As part of our three-year program to provide more energy efficient and eco-friendly lighting solutions for the city, we replaced 1075 streetlights in residential streets with energy saving LEDs. The new LED lights will reduce emissions as well as operation, maintenance and replacement costs.

  • Spring clean goes online

Residents were busy sprucing up their homes last spring, making a record 1838 bookings for a free hard waste or garden organics collection as part of our annual Spring Clean campaign. Nearly 90 per cent of bookings were made using our new self-serve online booking system, saving our Contact Centre staff just over 120 hours on the phone.

  • Carlton Baths moves to green electricity provider

Carlton Baths has switched its power supply to a 100 per cent green option with Momentum Energy. The electricity is sourced from the hydro-electric power station in Tasmania and is boosted by the 40 plus solar panels installed as part of the stage two redevelopment project.

  • Green your laneways

More than 800 city residents, building owners and businesses nominated their favourite laneways to ‘go green’ as part of our Green Your Laneway program. The program was established to help transform the city’s laneways into leafy, green and useable spaces for everyone to enjoy. The four pilot laneways selected for their great potential for greening were Katherine Place, Meyers Place, Guildford Lane and Coromandel Place.

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 2013–17. We measure progress by the indicators below.

Projected outcome

Our greenhouse gas emissions are reduced

The proportional change in greenhouse gas emissions generated by City of Melbourne activities, per year.

Change in greenhouse gas emissions from our activities

2013–14 to 2014–15: 3.85% decrease

2014–15 to 2015–16: 5.83% decrease

The gross reduction we achieved in greenhouse gas emissions in tonnes of CO2 equivalent

2013–14 to 2014–15: 1993 tCO2e

2014–15 to 2015–16: 2,864 tCO2e

Our progress

From 2014–15 to 2015–16, we reduced direct and indirect emissions associated with our operations. All greenhouse gas emissions are offset and the City of Melbourne is a carbon-neutral certified organisation.
What is a carbon neutral organisation?

Our operations have been certified carbon-neutral since 2011–12. As part of reducing the city’s emissions under our Zero Net Emissions by 2020 strategy, we maintain carbon-neutrality in our own operations by measuring, auditing, reporting and offsetting our greenhouse gas emissions through the National Carbon Offset Standard Carbon Neutral Program.

Projected outcome

Less municipal waste-to-landfill with less negative impact on amenity from collecting waste

The proportional change in total tonnes of waste-to-landfill.

Change in total tonnes of waste-to-landfill:

2012–13 to 2013–14: 15% increase

2013–14 to 2014–15: 6.7% increase

2014–15 to 2015–16: 5.7% decrease

Our progress

There has been an overall decrease of 5.7 per cent total residential tonnes of garbage-to-landfill this year (including street litter bins but excluding hard waste), reversing the recent upward trend and in spite of growing numbers of households. This is the first year since 2011–12 that the reported residential waste collected has been less than the previous year and the first significant decrease since 2008–09.

The volume of complaints per capita about waste removal the City of Melbourne receives, per year.

Complaints per capita about waste removal:

2013–14: 0.02

2014–15: 0.02

2015–16: 0.02

Our progress

There were 3,446 waste related complaints in 2015–16, with recycling and general waste missed bin collection representing 82 per cent of this figure.

Projected outcome

Sustainable water management

The proportional change in the capacity of infrastructure to capture and reuse stormwater, per year.

Change in stormwater storage capacity, per year:

2013–14: 43% increase

2014–15: 0% increase

2015–16: 0% increase

Our progress

The stormwater storage capacity is unchanged from last year (30,508 kilolitres) as no significant harvesting storage was created. We expect the benefits of planned new stormwater harvesting projects to be reflected in future results.

Projected outcome

Increased biodiversity and tree canopy cover in the municipality

The percentage of tree canopy cover of the municipality, annually.

Tree canopy cover:

2012–13: 23.7%

2013–14: 24.38%

2014–15: 24.09%

2015–16: 24.09%

Our progress

Canopy cover in 2015–16 has remained consistent with the 2014–15 figure of 24.09 per cent. This is a positive reflection on the tree planting program and consistent with our projected canopy cover change modelling. The tree planting rate continues to be above the required level to reach our 40 per cent canopy cover target by 2040. The benefits of the current planting program will be realised in the decade leading up to 2040 with an increased rate of canopy expansion. This year we planted 3274 new trees, which includes 871 trees in the new landscape at Ron Barassi Senior Park in Docklands.

Projected outcome

Climate change impacts on the municipality are managed

The proportional change in the number of residents who are aware of climate change-related risks and the actions they should be taking, annually.

Change in number of residents aware of climate change-related risks per year

2013–14 to 2014–15: 7.3% increase

2014–15 to 2015–16: 8% decrease

Our progress

Just over 70 per cent (71.8 per cent) of residents surveyed are aware of climate change, connect extreme weather to climate change and have done or intend to do something to prepare for extreme weather events. This reflects a decrease of over 8 per cent from last year, when 79.8 per cent of residents reported awareness of climate change risks.

Priorities and actions

A total of 15 actions and activities were completed under Goal 5, an eco-city. Several actions not completed in 2015–16 will continue to be delivered in the 2016–17 financial year. Some relate to projects that span multiple years and some were delayed due to unforeseeable external factors.

Our 4-year priorities are…

Our 2015–16 focus was…

Over the next year we will…

Update and continue to implement our Zero Net Emissions Strategy

Status: Ongoing

  • To advance our vision of a carbon neutral city, convene a forum of business, government and community leaders to co-design a plan for partnering on future climate action

  • In consultation with the sector, establish a baseline 2020 emissions reduction target for the residential apartment building sector

  • Develop a 12-month integrated communication plan to engage Melbourne’s community on climate action, including delivery of a pilot project to test new digital communication methods

Provide services to enable residents and businesses to transition to zero net emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy sources

  • Extend 1200 Buildings and CitySwitch to include renewable energy services

Status: Completed

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

Develop low-carbon and renewable energy infrastructure through structure plans and planning approvals

  • Facilitate a group procurement model to encourage investment in large-scale renewable energy

Status: New Action in 2016-17

  • Prepare a planning scheme amendment to help provide solar access certainty for future solar facilities

Status: Ongoing

  • Develop sustainability plans for the Lorimer and West Melbourne structure plans and the Queen Victoria Market renewal project

Status: New Action in 2016-17

  • Investigate and consider options to document and make public the environmental performance of buildings approved under the Melbourne Planning Scheme - Clause 22.19 (energy, water and waste efficiency)

Status: Completed

  • (Major Initiative) Complete the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project and begin the development of a replication strategy for the large energy user purchasing model

  • Complete a review of innovative finance, governance and operational models for the implementation of sustainable infrastructure within urban renewal areas

  • Finalise sustainability plans for the Lorimer and West Melbourne structure plans

  • Work with other partner cities to deliver the 2016-17 work streams of the C40 Land Use Planning Network and Low Carbon Districts Network to develop Council's capacity in policy development, strategies and mechanisms to drive sustainable development

  • Develop a plan to increase the uptake of renewable energy for small energy users in the commercial and residential sectors
  • Select preferred approach to the use of incentives and/or regulatory mechanisms to help provide solar access certainty for existing or future solar facilities, and begin implementation

Embed municipal-wide waste management practices to increase recycling, reduce waste generation and lessen amenity impacts

  • Continue to implement the High Rise Recycling Program and public housing program in collaboration with the Department of Human Services, student housing providers and building managers

Status: Completed

  • Operate four waste compactors in the city

Status: Completed

  • Trial residential organic processing technologies

Status: Completed

Improve sustainable water management by updating and implementing our Total Watermark Strategy

  • Using preliminary analysis of municipal and related catchment areas, prepare a scoping document for the development of an Integrated Water Management Plan for the municipality

Status: Completed

  • (Major Initiative) Progress work on:
    (a) Lincoln Square stormwater harvesting,
    (b) the University Square expansion and
    (c) sub-precinct planning
    as key projects contributing to Elizabeth Street’s Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan and aligned with the street’s Master Plan

Status: Ongoing

  • Develop an integrated water management plan to include flood prevention and the meeting of Total Watermark targets for Council approval

  • Complete Master Plan and commence construction of University Square expansion

Develop integrated water management infrastructure through structure plans and planning approvals

  • Accelerate the program of closed circuit television (CCTV) inspections of selected drains to create 3D flood modelling

Status: Ongoing

  • In partnership with the Victorian Government, investigate new financial mechanisms for the delivery of open space and community infrastructure in growth areas

Improve resilience to environmental impacts by implementing our Urban Forest and Open Space strategies and also develop a Biodiversity Strategy

  • Complete the Urban Ecology and Biodiversity Strategy and begin implementation

Status: Completed

  • Continue to improve the resilience of the city’s parks and street trees to climate change and plant at least 3000 trees to reduce the urban heat island effect

Status: Completed

  • Undertake the development of both a participatory framework and a financial mechanism to enable community and stakeholder contribution to the urban forest


Update and continue to implement our Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan

  • (Major Initiative) Develop a resilience implementation plan that meets the needs of metropolitan Melbourne and our municipality, in keeping with the requirements of the 100 Resilient Cities program

Status: Completed

  • Review and update our Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

Status: New Action in 2016-17

  • Work with the University of Melbourne to establish a City of Melbourne chair in Resilient Cities

Status: Completed

  • Working with all other metro councils, commence implementation of the Resilient Melbourne strategy

  • Complete the refresh of the 2009 Climate Adaptation Strategy and Implementation Plan and commence delivery of year one actions

Embed a stronger focus on sustainability and climate change adaptation in our systems, governance, tools and knowledge and in our interactions with the community

  • Measure the environmental impact of Melbourne Music Week and select Melbourne Celebration events to identify opportunities to reduce their environmental impact

Status: Completed

Status: Completed

  • Implement actions from the Lighting Strategy, including continuing to change over street lights from mercury vapour to LED

Status: Completed

  • Complete 2015–17 actions from the solar action plan for Council-owned facilities

Status: Completed

  • Continue implementation of the lighting strategy, including energy efficient and smart city communications technology

: SiteCollectionDocuments
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Year one progress report
SiteCollectionDocuments -> City of Melbourne Annual Report 2012–13
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Year one key achievements Melbourne Music Symposium 2015
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Annual Report 2014–15
SiteCollectionDocuments -> We are pleased to present to you the City of Melbourne’s annual report for 2012–13
SiteCollectionDocuments -> World War One memorials in the City of Melbourne by Dr Michael Cathcart
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Learning Objective Activities Areas of Learning
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Queen mary 2 Fact Sheet
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Discussion Paper on Ecosystem Services for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Final Report
SiteCollectionDocuments -> Transport/movement re theme: leaders

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