Green light for spending

Melbourne’s “people’s panel” has given a green light to the City of Melbourne to increase rates, sell assets, borrow money, spend more on “green initiatives”, maintain community services and cut capital works spending.
In May, the City of Melbourne determined to bring together a representative group of 43 people to help guide the development of its 10-year financial plan.
The panel’s report was submitted to a special meeting of the Future Melbourne Committee on November 17.
In its report, the panel also cautioned the council on over-spending on the Queen Victoria Market redevelopment and said it wanted motorcycles off footpaths.
The panel presented a list of issues it wants the council to advocate on, including:
Improved public transport;
More schools;
Higher congestion taxes on cars in the central city;
Higher open space contributions, developers levies and more control of development for the city; and
More state-based welfare.
The panel met six times between August 23 and November 8 to determine its position.  At its fifth meeting, it engaged with councillors and presented its report to councillors at the meeting on November 11.  Councillors were expected to formally respond on November 25.
At the November 17 meeting, councillors engaged with a number of panelists selected to present the elements of their reports.

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