City of Melbourne Annual Report 2015-16

Message from the Chief Financial Officer

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Message from the Chief Financial Officer

The Council has delivered another positive financial result for 2015–16 outperforming its budget and delivered an underlying surplus of $15.9 million. The Council remains in a very strong financial position.

The operating performance resulted in an underlying surplus of $15.9 million, an operating surplus of $58.2 million and a comprehensive result of $289 million. This strong performance was underpinned by focus on containing costs which grew by a modest three per cent while maintaining a high level of service standards and accommodating costs pressures associated with population growth.

The underlying surplus is the best indicator of the organisation’s underlying financial performance and sustainability. It removes once-off non-cash gains/(losses) from asset revaluations (included in the comprehensive result), non-cash asset contributions and external capital contributions (included in both the operating surplus and comprehensive result).

Overall cash assets declined during the year with the settlement of a strategic land acquisition as part of the Queen Victoria Market renewal for $76 million.

The Council’s balance sheet was strengthened during the year with net assets growing by a significant $289 million to nearly $4 billion. This was a culmination of the strong operating result, capital works delivered during the year and a material increase in asset revaluations, particularly land values.

The Council’s current asset ratio, a measurement of our financial strength, decreased from 1.65 to 1.41. This means for every $1 of current liability, the Council had $1.41 in current assets to meet those commitments.

The Council remains financially well positioned and the 2015–16 surplus provides further financial flexibility to meet the city’s future infrastructure funding needs.

- Phu Nguyen (CPA), Chief Financial Officer, City of Melbourne

Financial Result

June 2016

June 2015

Income statement surplus / (Deficit)



Comprehensive result surplus / (Deficit)



Underlying result



Cash assets



Net assets



Current asset ratio



Highlights and summary of progress

Below is a summary of our progress against each of our eight Council Plan goals. More detailed information is provided in the ‘Performance against our goals’ section of this report.

Goal 1A city for people

Looking back on 2015–16

This year we started to implement the Queen Victoria Market precinct renewal Master Plan and completed stage two of the Carlton Baths including a refurbished swimming pool, new toddlers’ pool, plant room and landscaping.

In terms of our performance:

  • 87 per cent of residents lived within an 800-metre walk of community facilities and more than 92 per cent lived within a 300-metre walk of open space – a minor decrease from last year.

  • Over 90 per cent of our customers thought the information they received and more than 97 per cent thought the support they received from our services helped them be healthier – a notable improvement on last year.

  • 93 per cent of participants in selected programs felt more a part of their community – an improvement on last year.

  • About 68 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the quality of public spaces – a decrease from last year.

  • 90 per cent of respondents felt safe in public in the daytime and 70 per cent at night – a decrease for daytime and a notable improvement for night time compared to last year.

Looking ahead to 2016–17

Future major initiatives include continuing to deliver the Queen Victoria Market precinct renewal program, the development of plans for the Fishermans Bend employment precinct and Lorimer precinct, and continuing to develop plans for the urban renewal of the Arden Macaulay area. We will finalise the Moonee Ponds Creek Master Plan and seek agreement on a funding and implementation strategy. Planning will also commence for the temporary relocation of Lady Huntingfield Childcare Centre places and redevelopment of the site.

Goal 2 – A creative city

Looking back on 2015–16

To contribute to artistic, cultural and heritage outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, detailed designs for the long-awaited Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener commemorative marker were agreed and initial site work began prior to construction.

In terms of our performance:

  • The number of artists looking to work or base themselves in the municipality who sought our support decreased by more than 9 per cent, largely explained by the triennial arts grant rounds being conducted in 2013–14.

  • 38 per cent of all participants in arts and cultural programs surveyed reported engaging in our programs for the first time – down from last year.

  • 86 per cent of respondents said Melbourne is an artistic and cultural city – slightly down from last year.

Due to two new planning scheme amendments, 342 properties were added to the Heritage Register, representing a huge increase on last year. No trees were added to the Exceptional Tree Register. These figures relate to the cultural heritage component of our creative city goal.

Looking ahead to 2016–17

Future major initiatives include delivering the 2017 Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival and working with Indigenous stakeholders and Traditional Owner Groups to prepare a Cultural Heritage Management Plan as agreed in the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Master Plan.

Goal 3A prosperous city

Looking back on 2015–16

We selected two activities (the business mission to Japan and China and the Tourism Action Plan 2015–19) to strengthen our economic development activities by using the Building Prosperity Together framework.

In terms of our performance:

  • Business respondents gave an average satisfaction rating of 64 out of 100 for a range of City of Melbourne activities in terms of their contribution to economic resilience ‒ the same as last year.

  • Trade connections made through business matching activities totalled 581 compared to 221 the previous year, partly due to the success of the mission to Osaka and Japan.

Looking ahead to 2016–17

A major initiative in the coming year is to develop an action plan to support our Melbourne start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Goal 4 – A knowledge city

Looking back on 2015–16

We implemented stage two of our Open Data program and increased the capacity of the Quarterly Services Dashboard by enhancing it with a live to the public beta platform (see

In terms of our performance:

  • More than 82 per cent of student participants in our programs believed their involvement increased their positive experience of Melbourne ‒ down on last year.

  • Library visitation increased 30 per cent on the previous year – a significant increase from last year.

  • The number of attendees at knowledge-related events increased 254 per cent from the previous year due to two Melbourne Knowledge Week festivals being delivered within the one year.
  • 82 per cent of Knowledge Week participants felt more informed about the local knowledge sector ‒ slightly down from last year.

Looking ahead to 2016–17

A major initiative in the coming year is to co-create a smart city approach.

Goal 5 – An eco-city

Looking back on 2015–16

We continued work on stormwater harvesting at Lincoln Square with four of the seven stormwater harvesting and flood mitigation tanks installed. Work progressed on the expansion of University Square and sub-precinct planning for Elizabeth Street’s Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan. We also developed an implementation plan as part of our work under the 100 Resilient Cities program.

In terms of our performance:

  • We achieved a 5.83 per cent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from City of Melbourne operations on last year.

  • Residential waste-to-landfill decreased more than 5 per cent, a significant improvement from the increases in the past two years.

  • The volume of complaints per capita about waste removal received by the City of Melbourne held steady at 0.02.

  • There was no change in the capacity of our infrastructure to capture and reuse storm water this year; the benefits from planned new stormwater harvesting projects are expected to be reflected in future years’ results.

  • Tree canopy cover in the municipality remained consistent at 24.09 per cent, a positive reflection on the tree planting program and consistent with our projected canopy cover change modelling.

  • Surveys showed that the number of residents aware of climate change risks decreased 8 per cent ‒ down on last year.

Looking ahead to 2016–17

Future 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 inform policy recommendations.

Goal 6 – A Connected city

Looking back on 2015–16

We worked with the Victorian Government on the Melbourne Metro Rail Project and started preparatory research on a streetscape plan for Elizabeth Street.

In terms of our performance:

  • The number of street connections allowing pedestrians to move easily within and between blocks in the city remained unchanged at an average 0.87 connections per block.

  • The average footpath space devoted to pedestrians in the city remained unchanged at about 19.5 per cent of the total carriageway area.

  • The proportion of trips by bike or on foot to the city declined by 25 per cent, however the proportion of trips by bike or foot within the city increased by 7 per cent.

Looking ahead to 2016–17

Future major initiatives include working with the Victorian Government on the Melbourne Metro Rail Project and coordinating our response to the Environmental Effects Statement planning process. We will also complete consultation and seek endorsement for the Elizabeth Street Strategic Opportunities Plan and deliver a detailed design for the southern end of Elizabeth Street.

Goal 7Resources are managed well

Looking back on 2015–16

We developed a Town Hall Precinct Redevelopment Proposal, including consideration of options such as library services and exhibition space for city memorabilia.

In terms of our performance:

  • The City of Melbourne’s long-term underlying surplus was $15.9 million this year – lower than last year.

  • The rateable property assessments per employee at the City of Melbourne were 70.33 – down from 73.22 the previous year.

  • Residents’ satisfaction rating for our services was 73 out of 100 – no change from last year.

  • Our voluntary and total workforce turnover was 6.49 per cent and 12.54 per cent respectively – both down from last year.

Looking ahead to 2016–17

A major initiative in the coming year will be to endorse the scope, staging and financing of the revitalisation of the Town Hall precinct.

Goal 8 – An accessible, transparent and responsive organisation

Looking back on 2015–16

As part of our digital transformation program, we consolidated and redeveloped our corporate website to be customer-centred and responsive for mobile devices.

In terms of our performance:

  • There were 105 Council and Future Melbourne Committee items handled in confidential session, or 27 per cent of agenda items, which was similar to last year.

  • The number of online City of Melbourne registers remained unchanged at 19.
  • Visits to webpages with Council registers and Council decisions made under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 increased 31 per cent.

  • Of residents surveyed, 56 per cent were aware of and 34 per cent had participated in our community engagement processes – slightly down from last year; 41 per cent rated those processes good or very good – slightly down from last year.

Looking ahead to 2016–17

A major initiative in the coming year will be to broaden our quarterly services dashboard to include measures on customer experience and organisational performance.

In addition to the measures of progress in this report, the City of Melbourne also publishes information about how we’re delivering to our customers on a range of services and programs. See our quarterly performance results1 or visit our interactive reporting dashboard2 that links to our Open Data platform.

: 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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