Continuing to deliver for the community

Published on 10 September 2020

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A number of Council projects and initiatives will move to the next phase following the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 8 September. Council made a number of decisions to help meet the needs of the growing community through new infrastructure and community grant funding.

City of Maribyrnong Mayor, Cr Sarah Carter, said:

“I am proud that we have been able to provide much needed support to the community during the pandemic, whilst also progressing with projects that are essential for us to provide for our diverse and growing community.

“The Draft Climate Emergency Strategy, which was community led and developed by members of the Climate Emergency Advisory Group, was endorsed by Council. This is our first step in working together with the community to help protect and preserve our planet, to prevent the negative long-term climate impacts and to restore a safe climate for our entire community and future generations to enjoy.

“Council considered four Asset Management Plans, which will support the management and upkeep of Council’s significant asset base; the West Footscray Community Facilities Plan, which will enable the redevelopment of RecWest Footscray, Shorten and Barrett Reserve, and Johnson Reserve; and the Integrated Early Learning Centre, which will provide sessional kindergarten, maternal and child health, and long day care as part of the Footscray Learning Precinct.

“Council also endorsed the recommendations for the 2020/21 Community Grants funding. This year, the program was adapted to be more responsive to community groups and organisations that have been impacted by COVID-19, and was brought forward to provide this assistance,” Cr Carter said.

Detail on the items endorsed at the September Ordinary Council Meeting are as follows:

Draft Climate Emergency Strategy

This Strategy was written by the Climate Emergency Community Advisory Group to identify strong, overarching goals that Council will take to reduce carbon emissions and drawdown existing emissions from the atmosphere. The Strategy is Council’s first strategic document regarding the climate emergency and is the first part of our three-step response.

View the Climate Emergency Strategy

Footscray Learning Precinct - Integrated Early Learning Centre (IELC)

In 2018, the State Government announced funding to be allocated towards a new integrated early learning centre to be built adjoining the Footscray City Primary School within Council’s Hyde Street precinct as part of the Footscray Learning Precinct. The centre will provide long day care, sessional kindergarten, and maternal and child health, whilst supporting a seamless transition from early years to primary school.

In partnership with the Victorian School Building Authority, Council has undertaken schematic designs and costings for the project. These were endorsed at the 8 September 2020 Ordinary Council Meeting, and Council committed funding for the project to be constructed at the Hyde Street site.

West Footscray Community Facilities Plan

Following community feedback on the final Plan, Council endorsed the West Footscray Community Facilities Plan, which will enable the redevelopment of RecWest Footscray, Shorten and Barrett Reserve, and Johnson Reserve.

The West Footscray Community Facilities Plan will accommodate a mix of current and future users to address the needs of a growing population, and reinforces the importance of RecWest, Shorten, Barrett and Johnson Reserves as primary open spaces and recreation facilities in West Footscray, and being critical to the wellbeing of residents.

Community Grants Funding Recommendations 2020-2021

The 2020/21 Community Grant Program was adapted to be more responsive to community groups and organisations that have been impacted by COVID-19, and is providing funding to 37 local organisations, with grants totaling $170,000.

Funding was available in a three categories, including Large Grants (up to $15,000); Medium Grants (up to $5,000); and Small Grants, including seniors support (up to $500).

Further information about the successful recipients will be available on our website soon.

2019/2020 Financial Statements

Council provided approval for the draft 2019/2020 Financial Statements and Performance Statement, and appointed two Councillors to certify these statements after completion of the review by the Auditor-General.

The Financial Statements outline that Council’s financial position continues to be sound. Council’s operating position for 2019/20 produced an adjusted underlying deficit of $0.41 million. The adjusted underlying deficit of Council (after removing non-recurrent capital grants, cash capital contributions and non-monetary capital contributions) is mainly due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Throughout the 2019/20 financial year, Council delivered on the actions in our Council Plan to invest in improving our assets and the City’s liveability, whilst supporting our community through a global pandemic.

Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan (2020 to 2030)

The development of a new Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan for the next 10 years is intended to support the State Government’s vision working towards zero fatalities and a decrease in all crash injuries within the City of Maribyrnong by 2030.

There is a focus on four key principles: safer roads through engineering and infrastructure; safer speeds by creating a culture where the community regards speeding as unacceptable as drink driving; safer people through a shared responsibility for the safety of all road users – cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers; safer shared paths and footpaths.

Council endorsed the undertaking of stage three of community engagement to seek feedback on the draft Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan, to commence in late October 2020.

Proposed road closure of Harris Street, between Hyde Street and Cowper Street

Council endorsed the closure of Harris Street between Hyde Street and Cowper Street, which will allow a new cycling and pedestrian bridge to be built over Whitehall Street as part of the West Gate Tunnel Project. The new bridge, which will link Yarraville Gardens and the Maribyrnong River, combined with an upgrade to cycling facilities along Hyde Street from Somerville Road, will improve cyclist safety.

The closure of Harris Street between Hyde Street and Cowper Street will coincide with the proposed redevelopment of Cowper Street, which aims to improve usability of the area for the entire community by improving traffic flow and safety for pedestrians in the area.

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Policy Update

Following community engagement earlier this year, Council endorsed the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Policy, which seeks to guide the installation and availability of charging infrastructure across the city. The policy recommends installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure at a number of priority locations across the city on a pilot trial. The four trial locations include installation of new infrastructure at Paisley Street Footscray and Robert Barret Reserve car park (near Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre and Highpoint Shopping Centre), and upgrades to existing facilities at Footscray Town Hall and Council Depot.

Triennial Arts Partners Funding Recommendations

Maribyrnong is known for its vibrant arts and creative industries sectors, and to help to meet the needs of our local cultural sector, Council endorsed the Triennial Arts Partner funding for 13 not-for-profit arts organisations based in the municipality.

The Triennial Arts Partner grant program will enable forward planning for local arts organisations, reduced administrative processes and builds organisational capacity. It will also play a vital role in the recovery of our much loved local arts sector as we re-emerge from the pandemic increasing creative outcomes and social cohesion in Maribyrnong.

Asset Management Plans, 2020

Council endorsed Asset Management Plans for transport, buildings, open spaces and drainage to support the management and upkeep of Council’s significant asset base.

Image: West Footscray Community Facilities Plan