Saturday, October 21, 2006

Greater Melbourne on the move

Councillor Peter Clarke demonstrates vision and committement to a proposed Greater Melbourne City Council

Melbourne City Councillor, Peter Clarke, has proposed a motion that the City of Melbourne enter into talks with its Neighbouring Municipalities to create a Greater City of Melbourne.

This is a policy that we have supported for some time and believe that the City of Melbourne along with the State Government should seriously consider supporting.

This will be a true test of the willingness of John So and the Melbourne City Council to investigate further the merits of a Greater Melbourne City Council. Question is John up to the Challenge? Does he have a real vision and commitment to Melbourne or is he just about his own backyard?

We also believe that the policy of direct election of the Lord Mayor should also be reviewed in particular issues related to the filling of casual vacancies. (We currently have a situation where if the Deputy Lord Mayor resigns Melbourne ratepayers will face a cost of up to one million dollars to hold a by-election. A burden on democracy that does not need to exist as there is an acceptable alternative but the State Government has not acted to make it available. more on this later)

Overall a Greater Melbourne is in Melbourne's best interest.

We congratulate Peter Clarke in taking this initiative and putting Melbourne's long term interest ahead of short-term limited thinking. We trust the elected `City Council will support this motion (Copy below) We will report on the voting within the Council chamber and hopefully provide some inside, behind the scene, politics.

It should be acknowledged and expected that a number of the Council administration will oppose the expansion and creation of a Greater City of Melbourne. (It will be interesting to see who within the administration gets behind the proposal and who will try and undermine it)

Those members of staff opposed to the creation of a Greater City of Melbourne are only interested in protecting their own personal interests and not that of Melbourne as a whole, They are concerned that if there was an amalgamation they may very well find themselves out of a job or that their job would be become more demanding as their responsibility and accountability would increase. They are the sort of staff Members that Melbourne is better off without.

Melbourne needs effective professional administrators, not those that are only interested in self serving cushy overpaid jobs with overseas travel and other perks and lurks. An expanded City of Melbourne would provide significant benefits and savings to all stake-holders through economies of scale and co-ordinated policy development and implementation.

The proposed creation of a Greater City of Melbourne will not only require support from other Municipalities but a genuine committment by State Government to deliver on the proposal.

Issues of local representation would be enhanced through an expanded expert/local advisory committee structure, professional representation and administration.

The fact that Peter Clarke, a senior member of the Liberal party, is proposing such a move hopefully will result in a bipartisan support.

The proposed Greater City of Melbourne should be fast tracked with all efforts made to put in place the new City boundaries and representative model by the 2008 Municipal elections.

Initial analysis shows that political control of an expanded City Council would not be dominated by any existing political party. The proposed expansion should not be seen as a party political power play but one that is in the best interest of Melbourne overall and something that is long overdue. The proposed new Greater City of Melbourne should take in the state seats of Melbourne, Richmond, Prahran and Albert Park.

We look forward to the review and future public debate on the merits and proposed structure of a new expanded Melbourne Municipal boundaries that will serve Melbourne in the 21st century and beyond.

See also previous posts on the Greater City of Melbourne

C O U N C I L Agenda Item 7.3

24 October 2006




1. That:

1.1. the Chief Executive Officer writes to the cities of Maribyrnong, Port Phillip,

Stonnington and Yarra, seeking their support for:

1.1.1. agreement of their councils that a poll be taken of voters in their

municipalities in conjunction with the 2008 Council elections, to support

an amalgamation of these cities with the City of Melbourne to create a

City of Greater Melbourne; and

1.1.2. a committee be formed to discuss an appropriate electoral model to be put

to the individual municipalities at this poll;

1.2. the City of Melbourne agrees to seek support for the concept of a City of Greater

Melbourne by a merger with the abutting cities, to be determined by a poll at the

2008 elections.


2. Some of the advantages of such a merger would reflect the capacity to implement with

greater effectiveness the eleven strategies in the Inner Melbourne Action Plan (see below)

as well as the more effective utilisation of the financial and management resources.

Strategy 1: Celebrate the unique and concentrated 19th Century heritage of Inner


Strategy 2: Effectively link transport routes so the region is accessible throughout

by walking;

Strategy 3: Minimise the growing impact of traffic congestion;

Strategy 4: Increase public transport usage;

Strategy 5: Plan to accommodate 90,000 more dwellings by 2030;

Strategy 6: Support the distinct and diverse character of activity centres;

Strategy 7: Promote Inner Melbourne as an investment location;

Strategy 8: Facilitate the growing importance of Inner Melbourne as South-East

Australia's freight hub;

Strategy 9: Substantially improve the environmental performance of Inner


Strategy 10: Complete the regional open space network;


Strategy 11: Promote Inner Melbourne as a tourism destination.

3. Such a concept should reflect continuation of a popularly elected Mayor and creation or

retention of Ward representation of the unique precincts throughout the merged cities.

Moved: Cr Clarke

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