City of Melbourne Annual Report 2015-16

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Goal 2: A creative city

Melbourne will be a place that inspires experimentation, innovation and creativity and fosters leaders of ideas and courage. It will build upon long-standing heritage and embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.


  • 5 projected outcomes

  • 5 progress indicators

  • 7 priorities identified

  • 15 actions for 2015–16

  • Delivered via 5 service areas, 12 strategies/plans

Our approach

The City of Melbourne recognises that artistic expression, risk-taking and the new ideas that flow from it are part of the lifeblood of a truly great city. Just as we seek to support new forms of cultural expression, we also recognise the importance of the city’s heritage as a mirror into our shared cultural identity.

Building a ‘creative city’ is about supporting artists, creating opportunities for everyone to share in creative activity, growing our reputation as Australia’s art and cultural capital, and protecting our cultural and natural heritage for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

Issues and challenges

The installation of a Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner commemorative marker progressed, with artists selected, designs completed and construction commencing. The project was not completed and will continue to be delivered in the 2016–17 financial year. A decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to allow partial demolition and redevelopment of the Palace Theatre site meant we did not go ahead with implementation of the planning scheme amendment C241 – Palace Theatre Heritage Review.

Future directions

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

Future Melbourne snapshot

How the city measures up as a ‘creative city’ based on: The size of the creative sector: people employed in the creative industries as a proportion of total employment in the municipality.

Historically, the creative sector makes up about 4 per cent or less of the city’s total employment.

Creative sector size (note 2015 is based on latest available data):

2013 3.8%

2014: 3.8%

2015: 3.5%

Goal 2 service areas: Arts and cultural policy, planning, infrastructure, asset management and programming, Building, development and planning, Urban policy and design, International and national connections, Arts participation and activation.

Major initiative

  • Install a Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener commemorative marker.

Completion of the long-awaited Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner marker is edging closer, however a contractual delay means this is now scheduled for the end of August 2016. Brook Andrew and Trent Walter, the artists selected for the project, have agreed on detailed designs with the City of Melbourne. Vegetation was removed in anticipation of the work and, in June, contractors were given the green light to begin construction. Consultation will now be scheduled on the final details including plans for the launch event.


  • Celebrating 10 years of creativity

Arts House celebrated its 10th birthday in style with the inaugural Summertime Party – a curated evening of music, dance, activities and food. North Melbourne Town Hall was filled with celebrations, with over 250 local residents and artists enjoying the festivities.

  • Sunset series 2016

Filled with music, dance, food trucks and family-friendly performances, Sunset Series returned to Fitzroy Gardens in January. Audiences were enthralled by some of Melbourne’s best up and coming acts, and embraced their inner dance at Bollywood and Go-Go workshops, all in the beautiful green setting of one of our most iconic parks.

  • Getting creative at signal

For 10 days in January, the Signal Summer program offered a jam-packed program of workshops, mentoring, opportunities, conversations, exhibitions and performances. Young people worked alongside professional artists, developing skills across a wide range of art forms, as well as presenting new work.

  • Celebrating Women’s Art Register

The Women’s Art Register captivated Melbourne with a flurry of 13 free exhibitions and events zigzagging across the city. With 94 artists and curators working together to showcase Australian womens’ artistic contributions to the cultural landscape, the AS IF festival also took out the Best Visual Arts Award at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

  • Fixing a drink

Conservation work was completed on one of Melbourne’s more interesting drinking fountains. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union presented the fountain, opposite the Queen Victoria Market in Elizabeth Street, in 1901. Back then, a pub was the only place to get a drink of water and the new fountain provided a free, accessible and healthy alternative.

  • Kensington heritage protected

There was great news for the Kensington community with heritage protection being extended to a further 160 heritage buildings in the area. This was a result of the approval of Amendment C215 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme. This inclusion will help ensure the conservation of Kensington’s history for present and future generations.

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 outcomes

  • Artists are supported to present and work locally;

  • Artistic enterprises choose to base themselves in the municipality

The proportional increase in the number of artists and creative enterprises seeking support from the City of Melbourne to work or base themselves in the municipality.

Proportional change in artists who sought support from the arts and culture branch:

2013–14 to 2014–15: 48.5% decrease

2014–15 to 2015–16: 9.64% decrease

Our progress

The number of artists seeking support in 2014–15 was 7,236 representing a 48.5 per cent decrease on the previous year due to the triennial arts grant rounds being conducted in 2013–14. In 2015–16, 6,404 artists sought support from Arts Melbourne programs and 134 artists/creative practitioners were on waiting lists to access City of Melbourne arts spaces. This total of 6,538 artists seeking support represents a 9.64 per cent decrease from 7,236 artists in 2014–15. Last year's reported figure of artists who sought our support was incorrect, with a duplication of figures reported from an arts program. The figure is now corrected.

Projected outcome

People participate in creative expression and attend arts and cultural activities

The proportion of people participating in selected arts and cultural activities provided by the City of Melbourne who report engaging in these for the first time.

Participants in our arts and cultural activities who reported engaging in these for the first time:

2013–14: 37%

2014–15: 49.6%

2015–16: 38%

Our progress

A smaller number of programs recorded their first time recipients in 2015–16 – ArtPlay, Arts House, First Friday Dance Club (Arts Program) and the Town Hall Grand Organ. This sample size is comparable with the 2013–14 data, which indicated 37 per cent of respondents in the same programs participated for the first time. Last year's (2014–15) data included a larger arts and cultural event sample size including Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, New Year’s Eve, Melbourne Music Week and the Moomba Festival. These large-scale events are predominantly free and offer a diverse and accessible range of activities, which may be more attractive to first time participants.

Projected outcome

A growing reputation as the centre for vibrant artistic and cultural life

The proportion of survey respondents who agree Melbourne is an artistic and cultural city.

People who agree Melbourne is an artistic and cultural city:

2013–14: 93.4%

2014–15: 91.4%

2015–16: 86.5%

Our progress

A possible explanation for this decrease in findings may be related to differences in the sampling between 2015 and 2016, which resulted in the 2016 sample including higher proportions of students and lower proportions of people from metropolitan Melbourne.

Projected outcome

The municipality’s cultural and natural heritage is protected for the appreciation of future generations

The percentage increase in the number of exceptional trees recorded in the Exceptional Tree Register.

Percentage change in number of exceptional trees in Exceptional Tree Register:

2012–13 to 2013–14: 3.4% decrease

2013–14 to 2014–15: 0.58% decrease

2014–15 to 2015–16: 0.59% decrease

Our Progress

No new trees were added to the Exceptional Tree Register as the necessary planning scheme amendments were delayed by the ministerial process and budgetary constraints. One tree was removed this financial year due to an untreatable disease causing the tree to decline. This tree was removed to ensure the fungal disease did not spread to surrounding vegetation.

The percentage increase in the number of buildings and places with statutory heritage protection.

Percentage change in number of protected heritage buildings and places:

2012–13 to 2013–14: 1.2% increase

2013–14 to 2014–15: 0% increase

2014–15 to 2015–16: 4.88% increase
Our Progress

With the approval of Amendments C215 Kensington Heritage and C198 City North Heritage, 342 properties were added to the Heritage Register in 2015–16, representing a 4.88 per cent change in the number of protected heritage buildings and places.

Priorities and actions

A total of 11 actions and activities were completed under Goal 2, a creative city. The installation of a Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner commemorative marker was not completed in 2015–16 and will continue to be delivered in the 2016–17 financial year. We discontinued implementation of the planning scheme amendment C241 – Palace Theatre Heritage Review. This was due to the decision by VCAT to allow partial demolition and redevelopment of the site.

Our 4-year priorities are…

Our 2015–16 focus was…

Over the next year we will…

Develop sustainable cultural physical infrastructure and programming

  • Develop a Cultural Infrastructure Framework that maps existing cultural infrastructure and recommends future strategies for growth, including funding and partnership models

Status: Completed

  • Develop an implementation plan that aligns the Arts Infrastructure Framework with the Council’s agreed 10-Year Capital Works Plan

Increase access to and participation in creative expression and arts and cultural experiences, including music

Status: Completed

  • Continue to work with stakeholders to implement the Yarra Trams proposal for an Arts Line

Status: Completed

  • Coordinate the installation and removal of the second Melbourne Pavilion in Queen Victoria Gardens as part of a four year program

Status: Completed

  • Research what spaces currently exist to support music performance, collaboration and rehearsal in the City of Melbourne, as identified at the Melbourne Music Symposium 2015

  • Complete a desktop review of Melbourne's arts, entertainment and community activity calendar to establish the quality and quantity of free activities with a view to providing the outcomes to Council

Strengthen national and international artistic and cultural connections

  • Deliver the Biennial Festival of Live Art

Status: Completed

  • Deliver the biennial Dance Massive festival

Support emerging artists

  • Implement the Arts House Strategic Plan

Status: Completed

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

Contribute to artistic, cultural and heritage outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

  • In collaboration with key partners, develop the content for the 2017 Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival

Status: Completed

  • (Major Initiative) Deliver the 2017 Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival in partnership with community and arts stakeholders

  • (Major Initiative) As agreed in the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Master Plan, work with indigenous stakeholders and Traditional Owner Groups to prepare a Cultural Heritage Management Plan

Implement the Heritage Strategy

  • Following the 2014-15 review, undertake a planning scheme amendment to revise heritage policies under Clause 22.04 (Heritage Places within the Capital City Zone) and Clause 22.05 (Heritage Places outside the Capital City Zone)

Status: Completed

  • Undertake a Heritage Review of Guildford and Hardware Lanes

Status: Ongoing
  • Undertake a planning scheme amendment for the West Melbourne Structure Plan - Heritage Review

Status: Completed

Status: Ongoing

  • Undertake a planning scheme amendment to identify heritage places and introduce statements of significance for buildings in the Bourke Hill Precinct

Status: Completed

  • Establish an information portal to provide access to Melbourne heritage information repositories, including our own collection

Status: Completed

  • Implement Planning Scheme Amendment C241 - Palace Theatre Heritage Review

Status: Discontinued

  • Progress the planning scheme amendment for the Heritage Policies Review

  • Implement the Heritage Strategy by progressing planning scheme amendments for Southbank for Council consideration

  • Implement the agreed priority actions from the revised Heritage Implementation Plan 2013

  • Implement the Heritage Strategy by progressing the planning scheme amendment to conserve the heritage value of The Palace Theatre to completion (this action was developed as part of our 2016–17 Annual Plan and Budget and has since been discontinued due to a VCAT decision)

  • Work with the Victorian Government to undertake a heritage review of Fishermans Bend, including the Lorimer and Employment precincts

  • Implement the Heritage Strategy by progressing the planning scheme amendment for West Melbourne to panel

  • Implement the Heritage Strategy by progressing the planning scheme amendment for Guildford and Hardware lanes to exhibition
  • Undertake stage one of the Hoddle Grid Heritage Review

Build on the municipality's cultural heritage in creative and dynamic ways, ensuring appreciation by future generations (wording under review)

  • (Major Initiative) Install a Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner commemorative marker

Status: Ongoing

  • Begin the digitisation of the City of Melbourne’s art and heritage collection, enabling immediate access to a comprehensive online catalogue for all Melburnians

: 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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