This consultation is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Following presentation of feedback and submissions received to Council at the 8 June 2021 Special Council Meeting, Council adopted its integrated Council Plan 2021-31, which includes a 10-year Community Vision and incorporates the Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan, Financial Plan and Budget 2021/22, at the 23 June 2021 Special Council Meeting.

The Budget 2021/22 includes:

  • a $311,600 economic and cultural recovery package, including rent relief for tenants in Council owned properties and the South Melbourne Market, which follows a $2.8 million COVID-19 package in 2019/20 and $7.58 million in 2020/21
  • continuing the FOGO trial for Elwood for another two financial years ($225,000) and residents’ free access to the Rippon Lea Estate Gardens ($50,000)
  • one year’s extra support for six arts organisations whose triennial funding had ended ($180,000), with a competitive process to be undertaken in 2021/22 for the next round of triennial funding (2022/23 – 2024/25)
  • project investment of $53.8 million to maintain, grow and improve services and infrastructure, which includes $36.7 million of capital investment in community assets including roads, footpaths, drains and stormwater pipes, parks and foreshore, sport fields and facilities and community facilities.

You can view or download the integrated Council Plan 2021-31 from the Document Library on the right.

To view the Council Reports, attachments and minutes of these meetings, visit our Council Meetings page on our website at

Feedback on the draft Council Plan 2021-31

One of the first key tasks for our new Council has been to develop with our community, a Community Vision, Council Plan and annual budget that aligns key strategies with community priorities. Our Council Plan 2021-31 will need to meet the challenges and opportunities posed by social, economic, political and environmental factors over the next decade.

The impact of COVID-19 has drastically changed the financial position of Council and most public bodies across the world. The impact of the pandemic has been devastating for many residents, businesses, community organisations and cultural institutions. As a result, the draft Council Plan 2021-31 and draft Budget 2021/22 will continue to focus on initiatives and programs focussed towards the recovery of our City. This, combined with the existing financial pressures caused by rate capping and increased cost of services, means that money remains tight this upcoming financial year.

The draft Budget 2021/22 includes a number of services, initiatives and programs that we continue to offer. To achieve a balanced budget that responds to the significant financial impact and risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and other risks, it also proposes a range of service changes.

The draft Council Plan, which includes our Community Vision and incorporates our Health and Wellbeing Plan, Financial Plan and draft Budget 2021/22, was endorsed for consultation at the 21 April Ordinary Council Meeting. To view the Council Report for this meeting go to the Council Meetings page on Council's website at

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To achieve a balanced Budget 2020/21 that responds to the challenges we face while continuing to provide critical services and infrastructure, we are proposing a small number of temporary and permanent service changes in the draft Budget:

1. Reduce Sport Phillip & Community programs - expected saving is $107,000

Under this proposed change, Council will no longer provide a resource to run and support sporting and recreation community programs or funding to subsidise enrolment costs for underrepresented groups.

Sport Phillip incorporates all Council's recreation participation programs and aims to eliminate barriers to participation by providing low cost, flexible options to all members of the community. This includes underrepresented groups such as females, all abilities, seniors, indigenous and CALD communities.

Activities from the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Access for all abilities sport and recreation activities
  • Female participation programs like Mums and bubs lawn bowling
  • ‘This Girl Can’ program and ‘Get Active Victoria’ programs
  • Indigenous and CALD community swim programs.
  • Programs on community housing estates
  • One Ball inclusive soccer
  • Walking soccer for older adults
  • Fitness in the Park
  • Yoga on the beach
  • Mini judo
  • 3on3 basketball program St Kilda Beach

Permitting of commercial recreational activities will continue.

2. Cease free access to Rippon Lea Estate Gardens - expected saving is $50,000

Council currently pays for free access for residents to Rippon Lea Estate Gardens under a funding agreement between Council and the National Trust of Australia. Rippon Lea Estate is located in Elsternwick (City of Glen Eira), along the municipal boundary with Port Phillip.

Under this proposed change, any funding agreement providing Port Phillip residents with free access to the Gardens will cease.

3. Change to a booking system for access to Community Transport service - $150,000

This proposed change includes introducing a booking system for the Community Bus and reducing the routes and frequency of the current service.

4. Cease funding deed for Neighbourhood Ngargees - expected saving is $11,000

Neighbourhood Ngargees (support for individual local street parties) are currently delivered under a funding agreement with the Port Phillip Community Group (PPCG).

This proposed change involves ceasing this funding deed and exploring alternative avenues to supporting local street events, including via Council’s established Community Grants.

5. Reduce Quality Subsidy for Community Managed Child Care from 5 per cent to 4 per cent - expected saving is $141,000

The Quality Subsidy is a payment received by community managed children’s services that operate from Council owned centres. The payment is an amount equal to 5% of the total Educator Salary and Wages expenditure and training costs. It is designed to enhance the quality of the childcare and education the centre provides.

The proposed change to reduce this payment from 5% to 4% is not expected to impact service quality, as this subsidy has achieved its original purpose for all Council and community managed centres to be provided a quality service that is meeting quality as rated by ACECQA (Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority).

6. Changes to Arts Programs - expected saving is $56,000

This proposed change refers to cuts to the Arts budget that relate to a number of partnerships that will have run their course at the end of FY2020/21 and are not considered appropriate for renewal. Funds set aside for ‘rainy day’ activities would also not be retained given the current budget climate under this proposed change.

7. One-year trial for Design Awards to be held online only - expected saving is $10,000

The City of Port Phillip Design and Development Awards are held biennially. The previous Awards program was delivered primarily online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This proposed change proposes a one-year trial to deliver the next Design and Development Awards completely online.

8. Remove Counter Service at South Melbourne Town Hall – to be reviewed post building works - expected saving is $50,000

South Melbourne Town Hall Counter Service is currently unavailable due to building works. In addition to improved digital services, alternative face-to-face support for customer service interactions through other established Council services may be developed. St Kilda and Port Melbourne town hall counter services remain open and available for face to face service.

This proposed change would see the South Melbourne Town Hall Counter Service remain closed throughout the period of building works, with a review of this service change to take place once these works are finished.

9. Reduce budget for Ride2School Day, Healthy Tracks, Ride2Work, Festival of Everyday Riding programs - expected saving is $15,000

This proposed change includes a reduction in funding for the following sustainable transport programs:

  • Ride2School Day (support for schools to run events)
  • Healthy Tracks (route marking for walking / bike riding routes to schools)
  • Ride2Work Day (reduced funding for incentives for businesses to participate)
  • Festival of Everyday Riding (activities to promote use of new bike corridors and connections across City)

Let us know what you think of these proposed changes by clicking on the tab below to complete the survey or make a submission.

1. Increase Summer Management resource - expected additional cost is $223,000

The increase provides for additional local laws officers and infrastructure such as signage and toilets.

2. Place on hold scheduled rental increase for commercial properties owned/managed by Council - expected additional cost is $52,000

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Government introduced the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme) to relieve financial hardship faced by commercial tenants and landlords as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

During this period, Council introduced its Emergency Rent Relief Package which provided rental waivers over and above the requirements of this scheme, and also halted all scheduled rental increases. Both of these support packages expired at the end of March 2021.

This proposed change involves continuing to provide a measure of support to Council’s rent-paying tenants by not implementing scheduled rental increases.

3. Continued rental reduction for Palais Theatre due to COVID restrictions impact on operations - expected additional cost is $296,000

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Government introduced the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme to relieve financial hardship faced by commercial tenants and landlords as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

During this period, Council introduced its Emergency Rent Relief Package which provided rental waivers over and above the requirements of this scheme. Both of these support packages expired at the end of March 2021.

While we have started to see the reactivation of many businesses and activities across our municipality, larger entertainment venues such as the Palais Theatre will take much longer to recover due to the constraints on the industry.

Council on 7 April resolved to continue to provide proportional rent relief in the form of rent waivers until the end of June 2021 with any further rental support after this date to be considered as part of the 2021/22 Council Budget.

This proposed change involves continuing to provide rental support to the Palais Theatre as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry.

4. Increase pressure cleaning of main streets - expected additional cost is $400,000

The proposed increase in funding will allow Council to help improve the cleanliness of our activity centres.

This will include procuring specialised contractors to wash down the streets, footpaths and street furniture at the activity centres. This will be a couple of times a week for some streets and less frequently for others depending on need.

The additional funding will also establish a new two-person crew of Council staff to clean activity centres early in the morning. They will trial the use of a special walk-behind scrubbing unit.

At the 21 April 2021 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council agreed to one change that impacts on the financial statements, relating to:

  • Reinstating $126,000 in 2021/22 in funding for the Friends of Suai program, with a request for a transition plan by the end of December 2021 that would reduce all funding to Friends of Suai over a reasonable timeframe and outline ways Council can continue to support the friendship without providing direct funding, as well as a plan to support the Committee to source other income to support projects in Suai.

Click here to view the updated financial statements that reflect Council’s decision at the 21 April 2021 Ordinary Meeting of Council.

According to the Local Government Act 2020, the Community Vision must describe the community's aspirations for the municipality's future.

By industry standards, the Community Vision should:

  • be authentic and meaningful to the community, Council and staff
  • be aspirational – stretch our thinking around the possibilities
  • be unique to Port Phillip.

We want our Community Vision to reflect our community's future aspirations for our City.

In February we developed with members of our community, a series of key topics that they wanted to be reflected in a Community Vision. These topics were used as building blocks to identify future achievements they wanted to see for our City and support Council in finalising a draft Vision.

Typically, a Community Vision has an overarching statement supported by a series of messages that describe the intent and detail of the future state.

Our draft Community Vision

Proudly Port Phillip: A liveable and vibrant City that enhances the wellbeing of our community.

A decade from now...

We recognise the legacy of the traditional owners of the land, the Yaluk-ut Weelam Clan of the Boonwurrung and acknowledge the foresight of others who have come before us.

We celebrate Port Phillip as a city of many distinct places, connected by the common threads of safety, inclusion and wellbeing so everyone can live their best life. We have a well-designed and planned city where the heritage and character of the built form of our City is enhanced and protected.

We are renowned as a cultural hub, from live music to our creative industries. This creativity drives music, exhibitions and events which delight residents and encourage visitors to keep returning.

Our more diverse local economy enjoys greater protection from financial shocks and new investment and industries within our City are generating jobs and prosperity.

We have a range of accessible and active transport choices that make it easy for everyone to move around our City. Visiting lively shopping and dining destinations or accessing public transport is all possible within a 10 to 15-minute walk from our neighbourhoods.

Our health and wellbeing are enriched by having quality public spaces close to home. We can visit these spaces easily to enjoy quiet moments or more active pursuits with our friends and families.

The beauty and biodiversity of our coastal, bay, park, waterway and inland environments are protected and enhanced for future generations to enjoy. We have played our part in promoting and addressing environmental sustainability, from tackling climate change, emissions and sea level rise to minimising flooding risks.

We are proud that our participation in civic life means Port Phillip has retained its unique character and heritage while being admired as a creative hub that continues to evolve and innovate. We know our voice is heard and helps deliver meaningful outcomes.

We have a local Council that strives to deliver services in the most efficient, transparent and equitable way. Our Council provides strong financial stewardship, is responsible and works hard to balance meeting community expectations and diversifying revenue streams with minimising costs for our community.

This is the minimum we hope for our community in 10 years’ time – we hope to achieve much more.

This is our legacy for generations to come.

Let us know what you think of our draft Vision by clicking on the tab below to complete the survey.

Take the survey

Make a submission

How the draft Plan was developed

The Plan will provide a 10-year strategy, with a focus on our priorities for the next four years. It will outline and guide our responses to the challenges and opportunities posed by social, economic, political and environmental factors over the next decade. It will also be shaped by recent challenges, including the enormous impact of COVID-19.

Engaging with the community is at the heart of developing a Council Plan, and we thank everyone who registered for or participated in our deliberative engagement community workshop process earlier this year, or shared their thoughts and ideas with us in other ways as we developed the draft plan.

The draft Council Plan incorporating our Health and Wellbeing Plan, Financial Plan and draft Budget 2021/22, was released for consultation at the 21 April Ordinary Council Meeting. To view the Council Report for this meeting go to the Council Meetings page on Council's website at

Developing Council Plan 2021-31 with our community

The City of Port Phillip’s Community Engagement Policy has guided the development of the engagement program in line with Local Government Act 2020 requirements. The policy describes deliberative engagement as ‘an engagement process that enables individuals to draw on collective wisdom and expert advice to work through issues and explore potential solutions together to reach a shared recommendation. Deliberative engagement can be scaled to a project depending on factors such as community impact, interest, complexity and polarised views.’

As part of its engagement approach to inform development of the Council Plan and Community Vision, Council delivered a deliberative community workshop program in February 2021. Following an extensive Expression of Interest process, workshop participants were randomly selected based on the information they provided, to broadly represent the demographic profile of our City to the best extent possible.

The engagement program was delivered over two sessions, including a learning webinar (online) and a full-day deliberative workshop (in person). Thirty-three of the 41 recruited participants completed the engagement program. Reasons for not participating in the program included health changes, family commitments and different expectations of what the engagement program would be covering.

The learning webinar was designed to build participant knowledge through a series of presentations around Council’s financial and operating context, health and wellbeing and asset management. Participants were introduced to the role of the council plan and accompanying plans and provided with an overview of the operational challenges faced by Council in developing a council plan and annual budget.

At the full-day workshop, participants worked through a number of deliberative discussions and activities to identify and agree the foundation topics for the Community Vision and prepare corresponding future aspirations (imagined lived experiences of what achieving the Vision would look like). Participants also reviewed the draft set of strategic directions endorsed by Council at the 17 February 2021 Ordinary Council Meeting, and identified the service and asset priorities they felt were required to deliver on these strategic directions.

Outputs from the deliberative workshop activities were presented to Councillors to inform development of the draft plan in a dedicated workshop on 20 March 2021, to support their own deliberations in developing the draft plan.

We are inviting community feedback on the draft Council Plan until 23 May 2021. Once consultation closes, Council will receive and hear feedback and submissions from the public at a Special Meeting of Council on 8 June 2018, prior to considering adoption of the Council Plan 2021-31, including Budget 2021/22, at a Special Meeting of Council on 23 June 2021.