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.
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
As part of our work to support the development of and access to Melbourne waterfronts, we worked on two projects: developing a recreational fishing plan for Docklands waterways and developing a berthing strategy for Docklands waterways. Due to key stakeholders delaying their response to the recreational fishing plan, we have deferred finalising it until December 2016 so we can include their feedback. The deadline for the Docklands berthing strategy has also been extended until late 2016, so we can integrate with Parks Victoria’s planning and allocation of commercial berthing arrangements. We are also continuing to implement the outcomes of the Errol and Victoria streets retail, streetscape and activation study. We’ve funded the North West Melbourne Precinct Association for marketing and promotion activities and other activities will progress in 2016–17.
A major initiative in the coming year is to develop an action plan to support the Melbourne start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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 now less than 19,000 businesses in the municipality reflecting a small downward trend from 2015.
Total businesses in the municipality:
June 2014: 18,221
June 2015: 19,061
June 2016: 18,932
Goal 3 service areas: Business, International connections, City promotion and tourism, Building, development and planning, Events, Local laws compliance, Urban policy and design
Begin implementing the 2015–19 tourism action plan
Implementation of our Tourism Action Plan commenced and highlights include a seven per cent increase in visitation to Cooks’ Cottage and six per cent increase in visitation to the Melbourne Visitor Centre. The international student volunteer program expanded to include placements at the Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre. We recorded a 95 per cent customer satisfaction rating of either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ at the Melbourne Visitor Centre and Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre.
Develop and run City of Melbourne business missions to key markets in China and Japan
During February and March 2016, the City of Melbourne led 28 delegates from 15 companies from the life sciences, clean technology and urban design sectors to Osaka, Tianjin and Beijing. More than 150 individual targeted meetings were arranged to create trade connections for the businesses and to contribute to building a resilient municipal economy that is globally connected. As part of the mission, a Melbourne architecture firm signed a memorandum of understanding which will significantly facilitate its bidding for commissions in China.
Use the building prosperity together framework to identify two activities to strengthen cross-council economic development activities
The two activities selected to strengthen cross-Council economic activities were the business mission to Japan and China in February and March 2016, and the Tourism Action Plan. The mission consisted of 15 companies with 28 representatives. Over 150 individual business meetings, networking sessions and seminars were delivered as part of the mission. Our Tourism Action Plan was developed using the Building Prosperity and the Visitor Information Journey frameworks and in consultation with major industry stakeholders.
Fashion in the city
The city came alive with all things fashion for the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. The week-long event involved more than 50,000 patrons, over 1000 City of Melbourne stakeholders, six precincts and five sold out designer and emerging shows.
Sharing big ideas over breakfast
180 retailers, hospitality and small businesses; hotel managers; precinct associations and industry stakeholders attended an inspirational business breakfast in February. Keynote speakers from renowned global trend forecasters, The Future Laboratory and local entrepreneur, innovator and creative success Dave Roper, co-founder of Crumpler ignited big picture thinking and generated big ideas on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship for Future Melbourne. The event was held as part of Future Melbourne and was an initiative of the Melbourne Retail and Hospitality Strategy.
Melbourne Music Week returned for its sixth iteration this year. The jam-packed program featured 115 events and 240 artists across forty locations, attracting around 41,000 patrons. Melbourne Music Week is dedicated to supporting and promoting our world-renowned music industry.
First consumer-generated marketing campaign #melbmoment launched
We launched our first consumer-generated social media campaign to capture quintessential Melbourne experiences. The campaign, through the use of #melbmoment, converts Melbourne fans into city advocates and inspires consumers with authentic city experiences. There have been more than 14,000 uses of #melbmoment on Instagram.
Business networking dinner
Designed to bring together local academics, associations, universities and luminaries of the knowledge sector, the inaugural business networking dinner saw more than 60 guests enjoying a thought-provoking evening. Guests discussed how they could help promote Melbourne as a leader in knowledge, innovation and business know-how through international business events.
Making democracy work better for you
Citizen empowerment and the democratic process across Australia and the Middle East were the focus of a vigorous conversation lead by Future Melbourne Ambassador, Maria Katsonis. A live cross to Lebanon-based humanitarian campaigner Samah Hadid opened up a global conversation with an audience of more than 250 people.
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.
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.
Businesses’ average satisfaction score for our contribution to the local economy
This year saw a very similar level of satisfaction to what was recorded in 2014–15. Business attraction initiatives were administered through the following channels: Tourism, marketing and promotion, visitor information services, business support activities and programs and public events. These initiatives were designed to engage individuals to visit and spend within the City of Melbourne.
In addition to our paid workforce, we also have a volunteer workforce within our Business and Tourism Melbourne Branch of more than 420 individuals. Collectively known around the world as the ‘red coats’, our tourism volunteers work across seven programs:
The work of our ‘red coats’ 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.
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.
Change in trade connections made per year
2012–13 to 2013–14: 4.6% increase
2013–14 to 2014–15: 53.6% decrease
2014–15 to 2015–16: 262% increase
The number of trade connections made (defined as introductions between local and overseas businesses and governments) was 581 this year compared with 221 in 2014-15. This 262 per cent increase was in part due to the success of the 2016 mission to Osaka and Japan, which delivered more than 300 trade connections.