Finance is an important tool for shaping the society, economy and built environment. The Greens are committed to reforming the City of Melbourne’s finances to achieve prosperity and justice for all and a sustainable present and future.
- The major financial priority for the City of Melbourne is to plan for our changing population in a changing climate, by addressing the increasing funding gap between business-as-usual revenue and the infrastructure and services required to cater for the City’s future climate and populations.
- Council must broaden its revenue base beyond its high reliance on rates and parking revenue.
- Rate rises should be contemplated only after their socioeconomic impacts are known and assessed.
- Service provision is a primary function of Council.
- Council must do more to empower the community to determine expenditure priorities.
- Council must ensure that its expenditure is not only efficient, but also effective in promoting a green, just and prosperous city.
- Continually review annual budget consultation processes to ensure an ever-increasing engagement of community groups and individuals in Council’s revenue and expenditure priorities.
- Lift revenue from Development Contributions schemes to a level approaching that in Sydney and Brisbane, in order to ensure an adequate supply of new community infrastructure for forecast populations.
- Pursue differential rates and more flexible rating mechanisms where these can provide more equitable outcomes.
- Improve the detail of reporting on proposed capital expenditure in Annual Plans and Budgets, to transparently list discrete projects and their costs.
- Work with the State Government to comprehensively review the current congestion levy on car parks, with a view to implementing a fairer scheme which also genuinely impacts on commuting behaviour, including its potential replacement with variable congestion pricing.
- Explore Council’s Environmental Upgrade Agreement financing model to address other building retrofit needs such as heritage restoration.
- Complete the energy retrofitting of Council-owned infrastructure, including the use of debt finance where necessary where material savings over the medium term are identified.
- Work with the State Government to increase the minimum public open space contribution rates in high growth areas to at least 10 per cent of land value, in order to fund the City’s public open space needs.
- Lobby for a restoration of State and Federal grant programs where the withdrawal of funds have resulted in the shifting of costs on to Local Government.
- Resist the granting of funds to external organisations made by way of unassessed, discretionary and/or unbudgeted decisions.
- Continually ensure that there are no Council policies or practices in place which inhibit staff from unionising and collectively bargaining.
- Continually improve Council’s procurement policy and functions in order to ensure that environmental and social outcomes are achieved and enacted consistently.
- Ensure that decisions to outsource services are transparent and only made if demonstrated that outsourcing is more sustainable, both financially and in terms of social and environmental outcomes, than keeping the service in-house.
- Triple bottom line reporting on Council projects and services to ensure transparent accounting of Council’s financial, environmental and social impacts.
- Advocate for new funding mechanisms for the City’s and State’s major projects, such as value capture schemes for major transport infrastructure.
- Generally support the revenue and expenditure recommendations identified by the People’s Panel 2014.
- Maintain transparent and regular reporting of councillor and executive expenditure and expense entitlements.