Economic Development


Melbourne is ideally placed to lead prosperous and environmentally sustainable development, while respecting workers’ rights, facilitating fair employment opportunities and advancing social responsibility. Our city’s future growth – in population, jobs and global influence – is an opportunity to engage old and emerging industries in exciting initiatives that put our planet first.


  1. Economies exist within and are dependent upon natural systems. This is as true in the centre of Melbourne as elsewhere.
  2. The Council has an important role to play in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship of micro and small businesses.
  3. With the rise of the ‘sharing economy’, Council must plan for the associated opportunities and challenges relevant to the City of Melbourne.
  4. Government should support businesses that embrace social justice and social and environmental responsibility.
  5. The City of Melbourne is home to a world-renowned knowledge sector, and the economic development of associated industries and the identification of jobs of the future are central to Melbourne’s prosperity.
  6. Council should support the creation and operation of local businesses.
  7. City to city links in the Asia Pacific region should be an increasing focus and source of economic development.
  8. Council’s trade missions should endeavour to promote social, environmental and employment best practice.
  9. Council should encourage all participants in the City’s economy to produce, buy and use durable goods rather than disposable and short-life goods.
  10. Council should foster an economy that discourages businesses that aggressively minimise taxation.


Fostering a healthy business environment

  1. Focus on triple bottom line outcomes (financial, environmental and social) in all business partnerships Council enters into.
  2. Ensure that all council sponsorship, funding or tendering arrangements with external commercial organisations are only entered into once organisations have been assessed for environmental and social outcomes, and respect relevant employment conditions and union rights.
  3. Support businesses that go beyond carbon neutrality and aim to achieve a net reduction of carbon from the atmosphere.
  4. Explore avenues to remediate the known and potential downsides of disruptions caused by the sharing economy.
  5. Attract and actively promote industry leaders in bio-medical industries and renewable energy.
  6. Work closely with city based Universities, TAFEs and research institutions to identify and plan for jobs of the future.
  7. Actively support national campaigns to reduce the incidence of aggressive tax minimisation in Australia.
  8. Work with Indigenous people to facilitate their participation in the economy as they determine.
  9. Work with community and business interests to encourage employment of refugees.
  10. Encourage full economic participation of Melbourne’s diverse, multicultural community.

Supporting local businesses

  1. Work with other levels of Government to establish high quality advanced digital technology infrastructure throughout the municipality.
  2. Support local emergent and micro businesses and producers of high quality and durable goods to access space in the City of Melbourne by expanding current incubator space and working with commercial property owners and developers.
  3. Promote the establishment and expansion of business development, marketing and distribution networks for locally produced goods.
  4. Work with community groups and businesses to promote responsible consumerism and its benefits on personal finance and the environment.
  5. Work with community groups and companies on the repair and repurposing of damaged or unwanted items.
  6. Partner with social enterprises that have developed alternative business models to help them establish and thrive in commercial as well as social contexts.
  7. Promote and support the local-foods industry and the benefits of a city having access to fresh seasonal produce grown locally.
  8. Promote and facilitate the interaction of small to medium size enterprises between Melbourne and cities in our Asia-Pacific region, particularly those reliant on or drivers of new, emerging, renewable and sustainable technologies.
  9. Investigate world best practice for providing seed funding for local, sustainable and socially responsible businesses.


  1. Work with major players in the hospitality and tourism industry to increase their energy efficiency and/or achieve at least carbon neutrality in their operations.
  2. Actively promote businesses that are leading the way in sustainable hospitality and tourism practices.
  3. Actively promote the City of Melbourne’s eco-tourism and sustainable travel experiences.