CBD projects funded budget

While a sharp jump in city parking was a headline act in this year’s budget, some CBD projects emerged as winners.

The council reaffirmed its financial commitment to the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) renewal project, with almost $20 million set aside for the next financial year.

Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the budget commitment – which pledges to work with the community on the design of the 1.5ha open space, restoration of heritage sheds and improved customer and trader amenities – reaffirms its support for QVM.

“(It) maintains our focus on that long-term thinking and paves the way for the largest investment in council’s history, the renewal of Queen Victoria Market,” he said.

On the same day, Planning Minister Richard Wynne announced approval for the $450 million mixed-use Munro site adjacent to the market. The council-owned site, which it purchased in 2014 for $76 million, will comprise dual 38 and 10-storey towers which will house apartments (including affordable housing), hotel rooms, a childcare facility, a gallery and retail shops.

The council announced in the budget that, alongside developers, it would deliver more than $70 million in community infrastructure on the Munro site.

There’s expected to be 22,000 more people living around the area in the next four years.

Other CBD projects to benefit from the budget include a $2 million streetscape facelift at the southern end of Elizabeth St.

Rectification works for Melbourne Town Hall have been assigned $3 million, while a council-owned block between Bourke St and Little Collins St will be redeveloped to the tune of $5 million for new retail and commercial tenancies.

North Bank open space projects are also set to benefit from a $2.1 million funding boost.

The council also addressed the growing rate of homelessness in the city, pledging $1.8 million to tackle the number of rough sleepers within the CBD and surrounding areas.

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