Who makes  the big decisions?

City of Melbourne staff recently “advised” councillors that the city would be spending $50 million on revitalising local roads and public space in West Melbourne.

The money is a matching contribution from the state government following negotiations about the impact of the West Gate Tunnel project.

Asked by CBD News on September 18 whether the decision to allocate $50 million had been agreed by the council, CEO Ben Rimmer said: “The future capital works budget of the city of the next five or six years is likely to be some $700 million or $800 million at least and, within that context, many of the works that may be relevant in the future of that area of Melbourne, from a traffic mitigation perspective, are already things that are being considered within the council’s forward capital works program, with no particular decisions as yet about them.”

“So, from that perspective, we were confident in advising council that it would be a relatively straight forward matter to make sure that council could meet its matching obligations under the agreement with the state government within existing and likely future capital works budgets.”

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