Council will ensure the City of Melbourne remains highly regarded for its leadership, its strong relationships and its ability to achieve the best outcomes for the community.
This includes excellence in governance and organisational practices.
Outcome 7.1 Respected and credible leadership
Implementing good governance practices that enhance transparency, citizen participation, accountability and risk management is a key priority for the City of Melbourne.
Following the state-wide council elections in October 2012 the newly formed Council was required to formulate a four-year Council Plan to guide the work of the administration across the term of the new Council. Following 10 months of research, deliberation, debate and two rounds of community consultation, the new Council Plan 2013–17 was adopted by Council in June 2013.
The City of Melbourne participated in a liability and professional indemnity insurance audit for MAV Insurance in late 2012 and received a score of 96 per cent. The organisation’s insurance broker checked systems and records to ensure that inspections and maintenance activities were being completed as they should be, and within set timeframes. The several business processes and areas received a perfect score in their area including: stormwater and drainage (Engineering Services), swimming pools (Recreation Services), town planning (Planning and Building) and organisational and reactive risk management (Governance Services).
The City of Melbourne is committed to being available and accessible to the public and providing reliable information.
For the first time audio recordings of Council meetings and Future Melbourne Committee meetings were made available for download on the City of Melbourne’s website at melbourne.vic.gov.au to make it easier for the community to keep up to date with Council business.
The corporate website also provides a comprehensive and easily accessed information source. The site is updated regularly with information from across the organisation’s operations.
The City of Melbourne Twitter account is also used to quickly communicate important and timely information such as storm warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology and traffic jams identified by VicRoads or CityLink.
The organisation’s customer service representatives are another source of reliable information. Representatives are available to answer customer queries from 7.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. The overall customer satisfaction rating was 91 per cent for 2012–13 and 93 per cent of inquiries from the public were completed on time. Contact was made in a variety of ways, with the total number of customer contacts received distributed as follows:
273,798 by telephone
43,332 in person
15,166 via email or web
96,462 via SMS.
Recognised leadership excellence The work of the City of Melbourne was recognised in a variety of industry awards throughout the financial year.
Award summary 2012–13
Jacinta Bartlett Award2012
The award recognises individuals who have consistently enhanced the way in which their organisation has procured goods and services, delivered results beyond expectation and ensured that the demands of current legislation are satisfied.
Molley Qi, Manager Procurement
Public Relations Institute of Australia Victorian State Award Excellence in the Environmental 2012
The awards celebrate excellence and hard work in the industry and recognise this year's outstanding public relations and communications campaigns.
Urban Forest Strategy community engagement and communications campaign
Excellence in Infrastructure Award 2012
The awards recognise excellence in the innovation, development and management of stormwater projects and the stormwater professionals involved.
Darling Street stormwater harvesting project
Association of Consulting Surveyors Victoria
Peter Tyrrell Award 2012
The award recognises outstanding service to Association of Consulting Surveyors Victoria.
Chris Blackwood, Land Survey Team
Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Excellence Awards
Lumiere Award 2012
The award recognises the light’s innovative design, which is hidden by street trees during the day and gently illuminates the street at night.
City of Melbourne Industrial Design team for new Swanston Street lights
Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Victoria
Planning Award 2012
The jury commended the City of Melbourne for commissioning its first vision for open spaces across the municipality, and ‘for identifying that the success of a strategy like this lies in the skill set that leads it, and the commitment to implement it’.
Open Space Strategy
Department of Education and Early Childhood DevelopmentAccreditation 2012
Lady Huntingfield exceeded National Quality Standards, which is the highest level of accreditation awarded.
Lady Huntingfield Children’s Centre
Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2012
The award recognises outstanding achievements and services of individuals and organisations which have actively supported cultural diversity and made a real impact in promoting community harmony; and promoting the linguistic and cultural diversity of Victoria’s multicultural communities.
City of Melbourne EDGE International Student Leaders’ program
Facility Management Association of Australia
Industry Innovation Prize 2012
The award recognised the leading role the City of Melbourne has played in the development of Environmental Upgrade Finance, We are the first government in Australia to use this mechanism to support building owners to retrofit commercial buildings, contributing to our municipal zero net emissions by 2020 goal.
1200 Buildings – Environmental Upgrade Finance
Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2012
1200 Buildings Program was one of three finalists at the Premier’s Sustainability Awards.
Green Flag Award 2012
The Green Flag Award is recognised internationally for the highest standard for parks and green spaces. The scheme has recently been introduced to Australia, and recognises well-managed, high quality green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways.
Green Room Award
Outstanding Production 2012
The Green Room Awards are Melbourne’s performing arts awards and recognise the world-class cabaret, dance, musical theatre, opera, theatre, alternative and hybrid performance productions from Melbourne’s stages each year.
Australian International Design Awards
Public Furniture and Lighting 2013
The Australian International Design Awards is an international industrial design competition. This year, the competition received 250 international entries from industry leaders including Dyson, Citreon and Mercedes Benz. From a shortlist of 160, only 66 projects including City of Melbourne received honours at the gala dinner in Sydney. City of Melbourne received a prestigious design award for the new lighting and furniture in Swanston Street.
City of Melbourne, Industrial Design Team
Sustainable Living Festival Greenie Awards
Best Creative Event 2013
The award recognised the City of Melbourne’s contribution to the festival, which was seen and experienced by over 120,000 people participating in the Big Weekend at Federation Square.
City of Melbourne Look.Stop.Swap.
Association of Consulting Surveyors (Victoria) Municipal Excellence Award 2013
The City of Melbourne was been awarded this industry recognition of sustained excellence in subdivision management by Victorian councils and shires for the ninth time. The award is based on a state-wide survey of local government performances on subdivision application processing.
City of Melbourne Land Survey Team
Association of Consulting Surveyors (Victoria)
Top 10 Subdivision Officer 2013
The top 10 nomination recognises the councils and council personnel providing an excellent service.
Leon Wilson, Land Survey Team
Chinese People's Friendship Association (Tianjin Branch) and the Tianjin Municipal People’s Government Foreign Affairs Office, People's Friendship Award 2013
The City of Melbourne Tianjin Office received the award for their outstanding contribution to the development of foreign relations and the opening of Tianjin to the world. The Melbourne Office Tianjin was the only international organisation to receive an award.
The award recognises the use of effective management practices to improve the operation and continued development of a facility, leading to better community outcomes.
City of Melbourne North Melbourne Recreation Centre
United Nations World Environment Day Awards, Local Government Awards, Best Specific Environmental Initiative 2013
The award acknowledges demonstrated environmental leadership through the delivery of a suite of innovative green infrastructure interventions for the urban landscape including the Urban Forest and Open Space strategies, Growing Green Guide, stormwater harvesting, expanding green space, doubling tree canopy to reduce city temperatures, introducing permeable paving and cutting edge research to understand climate change.
City of Melbourne
Prime Minister’s Environment Awards 2013
Start the Switch was a finalist in the sustainable education category.
Start the Switch
Outcome 7.2 Productive, respectful strategic relationships
Connecting with Government
The City of Melbourne is keen develop and maintain strong relationships with all levels of government.
The Lord Mayor and CEO attend the national Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM) meetings on a regular basis to develop and maintain strong relationships with all levels of government and take part in topical debates.
At the Perth meeting of the CCCLM in July 2012, among the items on the agenda was a look towards the 2103 federal election and the likely policy platforms of the two major parties in relation to capital cities and their infrastructure needs. The political connections and experience of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk were seen as a significant asset for group discussions on how well the role of cities is understood and supported at a federal level, by both major parties.
At the Canberra meeting of the CCCLM in November 2012, meetings were held with politicians including Simon Crean, Anthony Albanese, Tony Abbott, Warren Truss, Barnaby Joyce and Arthur Sinodinos, along with a series of senior bureaucrats. The information acquired is feeding into several Australia-wide research projects for capital cities, as well as plans for pre-election presentations to and working meetings with politicians in Canberra in 2013.
The City of Melbourne also led a multi-agency emergency management scenario exercise in the Docklands in May 2013. Named Exercise MAZU, the scenario focused on a significant incident in the waterways area of Docklands. The aim was to test the emergency management and business continuity plans of City of Melbourne and its partner agencies. It involved over 100 people from a number of different agencies, including Victoria Police, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, VICSES, Ambulance Victoria, Parks Victoria, Red Cross, CityLink, Yarra Trams and Metro Trains. It also included businesses located in the area, such as ANZ, National Australia Bank and Etihad Stadium.
Outcome 7.3 Internal unity characterised by good communications and collaboration between councillors, the senior executive team, staff and volunteers
Internal relationships within the City of Melbourne are unified through the regular exchange and dissemination of information between councillors, management and staff.
A portal was launched in October 2012 to provide councillors with easy access to important information required to carry out their role. The cloud based platform provides councillors and key members of management with secured access to information from desktop computers and mobile devices from any location with internet access.
Information provided by management through the portal covers areas such as agendas, briefings, media, governance, planning and finance. The portal and an integrated app provides an alternative to paper-based agendas and gives users the ability to annotate, retain and share marked-up documents. The portal also allows councillors and other users to maintain a portable library of personal documents, which they can access remotely.
Community satisfaction rating for City of Melbourne 's engagement in decision-making on key local issues
Community satisfaction rating for overall performance generally of the City of Melbourne
Community satisfaction rating for City of Melbourne s interaction and responsiveness in dealing with the public
How has the City of Melbourne performed on informing the community over the last 12 months?
In response to feedback from local councils, Local Government Victoria introduced methodological and content changes to the Community Satisfaction Survey in 2011–12. Methodological improvements to the Community Satisfaction Survey in 2011–12 and 2012–13 included increasing the sample size from the previous minimum of 350 respondents per municipality up to 400 respondents so the sample better reflects the demographic composition of a municipality. The survey also allows for respondents to be ‘residents over 18 years of age’ instead of restricting respondents to ‘head of household’. For these reasons, direct comparison with previous Community Satisfaction Survey results is not possible.
In both forms of the survey, the response to each of the standard 'scale' questions above is assigned a value. These values are then averaged across all respondents to create an 'index score'. However, the values assigned changed in 2012:
2010–11 response scale and values
100 – Excellent: outstanding performance
80 – Good: a high standard
60 – Adequate: an acceptable standard
40 – Needs some improvement
20 – Needs a lot of improvement
Excluded – Don’t know / can’t say
2011–12 and later response scale and values
Our programs and training will focus on attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce and all commitments that we make will be supported from a diverse revenue base.
We recognise that revenue will be impacted by global finances and will continue to monitor our corporate performance and strive to achieve efficiencies while maintaining high standards of service.
Outcome 8.1 A diverse revenue base
Revenue sources and financial modelling The City of Melbourne explores new revenue sources and seeks to increase existing ones through a range of means including grant applications.
Actual revenue from parking meters exceeded budget target for 2012–13 by a small amount due to unplanned removal of approximately 200 on-street parking spaces as a result of Swanston Street redevelopment and La Trobe Street bike lane works.
Several rounds of funding were received through the VicHealth Bystander Preventing Violence Against Women Project during the financial year.
Staff completed two grant applications for Crime Prevention Funding (Australian and Victorian governments). The Victorian Government application was unsuccessful and the outcome of the Australian Government application was unknown at the end of the financial year. An application for funding for international students to volunteer to assist in healthy ageing programs was also completed and was unsuccessful.
Outcome 8.2 Sufficient resource to meet commitment
The organisation always endeavours to align resources with service and program delivery.
An archive relocation project was undertaken as the Little Bourke Street site has reached capacity. A team of archivists and auditors methodically checked the records and sent around 37,000 archive boxes to Grace Records Management, lodged 600 boxes with Public Record Office Victoria, and securely destroyed more than 3000 boxes of records. The project removed 11.2 kms of material and approximately 400 metres of material (less than 4 per cent of the total) was transferred to an alternative Council-owned storage facility for final assessment and processing. Altogether the volume of records reached 2.2 km higher than Mount Everest before sorting and removal.
A Business Information Systems project to develop, operate and improve systems, processes and infrastructure to meet the changing needs of the organisation was completed. Systems and processes, particularly in the support areas, were reviewed to accommodate changes in client demand and in emergent opportunities.
The Tourism Melbourne Workforce Plan was completed to ensure all areas can effectively adapt and respond to changes. Tourism implemented some of the recommended actions from the pilot including:
cross-training of staff and volunteers over all programs, not just visitor services
development of an Organisational Capability Framework
a review of the International Student Tourism Volunteer Program.
Outcome 8.3 An efficient, service-focused organisation
Lean thinking methodology Four years ago the City of Melbourne pioneered the application of Lean Thinking – a customer focused improvement and management system that has transformed manufacturing and health care organisations, but not yet applied on a serious scale in local government.
Since then, we have systematically shown how the methodology can apply to every service area within our diverse organisation and we can now say with complete confidence that enormous benefits can be achieved using Lean Thinking in local government.
Throughout 2012–13, the organisational and customer benefits of the Lean Thinking problem-solving approach continued to result in a steady stream of improvement at the City of Melbourne – better, faster, cheaper and easier became the mantra.
Across the organisation, we worked on important external and internal-facing process to remove waste and increase customer value. Our small internal Lean Team focused on training, through formally recognised programs to encourage leaders and others to apply Lean Thinking every day to their work. Many of last year’s organisational improvements came from our Lean students, and increasing numbers of staff used Lean Thinking as part of their every-day work. Lean helped us work better across service, branch and divisional functional silos.
Although the headline results are clear and quantifiable, we know they are conservative – with so many staff now applying Lean Thinking there are countless day-to-day improvements across the organisation we do not capture.
Building staff capability in Lean Thinking
To make Lean Thinking the way we work at City of Melbourne, more than 200 new staff participated in Lean Essentials, the organisation's lean induction. A further 300 attended our Lean Basics workshops this year, meaning that almost half of our staff members have now learned the basics of Lean.
The Lean Learner program increased in popularity, with 53 staff completing it in 2012–13. This course requires staff to apply knowledge learned in Lean Basics to a process or problem in the workplace. Our most rigorous course is the 20-week Lean Practitioner course, which had 20 graduates in 2012–13 and a further 30 enrolled for 2013–14.
A new program called The Way we Work was developed and rolled out. It applies Lean Thinking to service delivery and challenges different areas within the organisation to consider what they deliver, who they deliver it to and why. Participants then review and analyse a high-volume service or process with a view to improvement. Twelve branch managers in 2013 are doing this course with another member from their team. Tourism is reviewing customer contacts at the Melbourne Visitor Centre, Design is examining its unplanned work and Strategic Planning is reviewing the Planning Scheme Amendment process.
Large organisational change continued to be addressed through Lean Director Streams, in which the CEO or directors learn first-hand how to apply Lean Thinking together with operational leaders and staff. Lean Director Streams focus on improving high-volume organisational-wide processes or solving large business problems. The goal is to make organisational services and processes better, faster, cheaper and easier for the benefit of customers and staff. During 2012–13 the number of streams was reduced from nine to seven to align with our increased focus on Lean training. The childcare stream ended after three years of active work that returned an impressive $466,000 in increased revenue or decreased expenditure and it released 233 days of staff time to focus more on value-added work.
Several branches stepped up their Lean efforts and contributed significantly to organisational successes. Engineering Services improvement work increased revenue from parking meters and decreased time to process a busking permit and generate key reports for contractors. Parking and Traffic used visual management to monitor performance and identify problems. Customer Relations took the time to really understand their business and redesign the way they work across the organisation to improve our service to customers.
Our formal and informal Lean activity generated more than 150 improvements, delivering better, faster and easier processes for our customers and staff. In 2012–13, the Lean program has delivered financial return estimated at $715,000 and 1080 days of released staff productivity. Some examples of how the City of Melbourne has improved services and processes are listed below.
Sharing our Lean experiences
Increasingly, the City of Melbourne’s Lean Thinking work is gaining a national and international profile. Presentations were made at two national conferences this year and one international meeting. A journal article was published in the international Lean Management journal.
The City of Melbourne featured at the May 2013 Australasian Lean Thinking and Practice Summit held in Melbourne. The summit attracted more than 200 people at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre where Dr Jim Womack, the founder of the Lean movement, and numerous other speakers including CEO Dr Kathy Alexander, shared how Lean thinking and working could improve organisational performance. Following the summit Dr Womack and 14 delegates, including representatives from BlueScope Steel, Kraft, News Ltd, the Australian Taxation Office, Melbourne Health and Brisbane City Council, took part in a Lean gemba walk around the City of Melbourne’s streets and offices to see how we incorporate Lean into our daily work.
Other visitors to the City of Melbourne this year included representatives from the National Audit Office UK, Dr Jack Billi, the University of Michigan, Bankstown City Council and the ANZ bank. Some visitors come to learn, others come to learn and share their own Lean Thinking experience.
Lean improvement snapshot to June 2013
The following examples were chosen to provide a cross section of the types of Lean activity across the organisation, from improving services to our customers to preventing errors and saving time, which allows us to better manage the challenges posed by our rapidly growing municipality.
Client review backlog reduced by 84 per cent.
Documentation first-time quality increased from 0 per cent to 84 per cent.
Maternal child health
Nurse time with clients increased from 54 per cent to 63 per cent.
Do Not Attend rate reduced from 10 per cent to 4 per cent.
Improved process resulted in a 22 per cent increase in applications.
Time to assess applications reduced from 80 to 35 days.
80 per cent of customers rated the briefing process as very good or excellent and 93 per cent indicated they would apply again.
Permit application time reduced from 10 days to an on-the-spot service (and saved 31 minutes per application).
Planning and building invoices
Process redesign reduced paper use by 3000 sheets a year.
Animal management permits
Process improvements increased first-time quality for permits from 25 per cent to 94 per cent.
Uptime increased from 96.87 per cent to 99.07 per cent.
Time to send a full-coin report reduced from two weeks to two days.
Document naming trial reduced time looking for documents by 86 per cent, from 4.5 minutes to 44 seconds.
Documents found increased by 26 per cent.
Annual Plan and Budget
Improvements to monthly reporting process saved 7.5 hours per month.
Well managed property and assets
The City of Melbourne is committed to using property and assets effectively.
In 2012–13 the program of major works projects proceeded broadly to plan and included:
Docklands Library and Community Centre – proceeding to plan
Swanston Street redevelopment – completed to plan
Carlton Baths and Resource Centre redevelopment – proceeding to revised plan
Fitzroy Gardens redevelopment – proceeding to plan
Fitzroy Gardens water harvesting – proceeding to revised plan
Fitzroy Gardens depot and visitor centre – proceeding to plan
Boyd School refurbishment – completed to plan
Holland Park pavilion – work has commenced
Kensington Town Hall refurbishment – completed to plan.
Completed projects delivered under the Cultural Precinct Enhancement Program include:
Chinatown lighting – Russell to Exhibition streets
Outcome 8.4 The City of Melbourne employs and retains high quality staff
A safe place to work
The City of Melbourne takes Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) every seriously and strives to make the organisation a great and safe place to work.
Regular workplace inspections are conducted by internal OHS representatives and the results are reported back to the corporate OHS committee. An internal OHS audit is completed each year. Staff training is also provided to OHS representatives and staff in high risk areas.
The City of Melbourne also proactively manages employee injuries to facilitate a return to work as soon as possible. ‘Keeping our People Safe’ training is mandatory for managers and has received positive feedback regarding practical application of strategies for injury prevention and management. Continual education and support to managers, team leaders and employees was provided to develop the skills and knowledge to proactively manage work and non-work related injuries. The ‘Managing Mental Health in the Workplace’ program was piloted with extremely positive feedback and was introduced as an ongoing training support for managers.
The general health of staff is also promoted through the organisation’s health and wellbeing program. The organisation's fifth LiL Lap (a lap around a Yarra River circuit) encouraged staff to get out and active with their teams. The event ran successfully with 384 staff members participating in the event, which represents over a quarter of the organisation.
The City of Melbourne participated in the Global Corporate Challenge for the second time in 2012. The 16-week pedometer challenge was undertaken by 399 staff member in 57 teams – a 10 per cent increase on 2011 participation. The City of Melbourne was the seventh most active government organisation globally and 80 per cent of participants exceed 10,000 steps per day. The 2013 Global Corporate Challenge was launched in May, with 441 staff member in 63 teams for the third year of participation.
Staff were also offered 15 minute private health and lifestyle screenings, with 356 checks completed. There was also promotion of additional health events and initiatives including Walk to Work and Ride to Work Days and Anxiety and Depression Awareness month. Ongoing health maintenance components such as ergonomic assessments continue to be conducted daily.
The Employee Recreation Association known as CoMLife remains popular with staff. Members are entitled to a range of benefits including discounted movie tickets, fitness classes and social functions.
Outcome 8.5 Timely and accurate financial and corporate reports
Monitor and evaluate performance
The City of Melbourne understands the importance of monitoring and evaluating performance to drive ongoing improvements and increased efficiency.
The financial forecasting module introduced in August 2011 continues to improve the transparency and timeliness of the City of Melbourne’s financial performance. The software enabled management to report a monthly ‘rolling forecast’ of the projected full year financial performance of the organisation. As with any forecasts, the rolling forecast is a moving projection updated monthly to reflect the changes in the organisation’s environment.
Work was undertaken to improving the budget and planning process within the business performance unit in consultation with the corporate finance and planning teams. Improvement was made in the quality and transparency of information obtained through the budget process. This work assisted in providing a greater insight into areas the business performance unit can provide future support and assist in making process improvements.
Cross-divisional work with the management team focused on a divisional Lean plan designed to produce priorities, metrics and targets for the divisional productivity, customer voice and people (human resources) which will then be used to in the development of aligned business plans.
The Council Plan 2013–17 incorporating the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan was endorsed by Council in June 2013. Health Services was a key partner in the development of the plan alongside corporate planning. The focus of the plan now shifts to implementation and evaluation.
Percentage of planned City of Melbourne works programs completed
Liquidity Ratio is greater than 1.5
Maintain a positive underlying surplus
Percentage of our customers satisfied with the overall customer experience when contacting the City of Melbourne
Staff retention rate
Staff satisfaction rating
Data not measured this year
Maintain Australian Standard 4801 accreditation*
*AS/NZS 4801 is the Australian Standard and New Zealand Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. It is a Standard that requires five main components of OH&S Management that are implemented into a business activities to ensure all OH&S issues are effectively managed.
Elected by the community, the Council is the decision-making body that sets the strategic direction and policy of the municipality.
The Four-Year Council Plan, which sets out what the Council will achieve during its four year term to further the community vision.
The Annual Plan and Budget, which describes the Council’s key objectives and activities for each 12 month period.
The administration, headed by a Chief Executive Officer appointed by the Council, delivers the vision of the elected Council.
This is done this by:
providing advice to the Council in a timely manner
resourcing the administration to deliver the results sought by the Council
complying with the statutory responsibilities required under legislation
delivering services to the community required under legislation or by the Council
implementing the decisions made by the Council.
Happy, high-performing employees help us to deliver an exemplary level of service to our community. As a result, the wellbeing of our staff is one of our highest priorities.
The City of Melbourne is based at the Melbourne Town Hall in Swanston Street from which it operates a range of facilities, services and administration functions at more than 30 other locations across Melbourne.
While most of staff work in the central city some are based at other sites across the municipality. As of 30 June 2013, we employed 1406 people:
998 full-time permanent
229 part-time permanent
119 maximum-term temporary (full-time and part-time)