Yarra City Council has lifted developer contributions to fund open space by almost three per cent - from 4.5 per cent to 7.4 per cent - in a move that significantly adds to the already rising cost of development.
The increase is less than the original 5.6 per cent hike planned by the council that would have lifted the fee to 10.1 per cent of the value of the land being developed.
Councillors voted unanimously to accept an interim developer open space contribution of 7.4 per cent following an independent panel review which effectively vetoed the higher amount.
The rate, which will be extended to all developments, rather than only residential projects, was regarded as a positive step by councillors although the difference in monies levied between the 10.1 and 7.4 per cent rates "could be somewhere in the vicinity of $3 million".
The increased rate, which will be extended to all developments, rather than only residential projects, was regarded as a positive step by councillors
The council will present the interim increase to the Planning Minister in new planning scheme amendment, C306yara.
Meanwhile it will undertake a review of other councils' planning schemes to establish if the rate can be lifted.
Yarra City Council's heritage strategy is set to fail due to a lack of funding, according to Cr Bridgid O'Brien, with little progress made over two-and-a-half years on implementing the plan.
The 2019-2030 strategy "defines key priorities [in] developing and promoting a greater understanding of heritage within the community and ... key actions ...to achieve better protection and management of the city's heritage places and assets".
These include establishing a dedicated heritage department, updating precinct "statements of significance", identifying sites of potential archaeological significance and managing the graffiti of heritage places.
O'Brien, on behalf of the Heritage Advisory Committee, called for consideration to be given to moving funds from other areas of council to support the strategy.
The rollout of a food and garden organics (FOGO) collection service at Yarra due to take place this year has officially been put on hold, with processing facilities currently at capacity and insufficient demand for the compost they are producing.
While a trial of the FOGO service in Abbotsford initiated in 2019 is continuing, the council said it was assessing long-term options.
In the meantime, it will investigate community drop-off locations for food waste and support community composting and education programs.
Yarra City Council will lodge an objection to a planned third runway at Melbourne Airport, even though council staff say any increased noise for Yarra residents is unlikely to be significant
A new north-south runway, outlined in Melbourne Airport's 2022 preliminary draft masterplan, would enable simultaneous landings and take-offs, and would involve some changes to flight paths.
The runway, proposed to be built to the west of the existing one, would help cater for a projected increase of annual passenger numbers from 37 million to 77 million over the next 20 years, with aircraft movements predicted to grow from 246,000 to 429,000.
Although far less affected than local government areas adjoining the airport, such as Brimbank and Hume, Yarra will lodge a submission on the issue.
Councillors voted to include a statement that Yarra council did not support the third runway due to the "climate emergency". The statement will call for the construction of a high-speed rail line between Melbourne and Sydney instead. The council also wants a train line to Melbourne airport completed before a third runway.