Council Plan 2021-25

Yarra City Council


The Council Plan 2021-25 is our main strategy for the future. It informs all our work and decision-making for the next four years. The Council Plan is informed by extensive engagement – including a deliberative community panel – and addresses the Yarra 2036 Community Vision.

A message from your Mayor

I am honoured to lead a Council Plan that will help build a climate-safe, equitable and liveable Yarra. This plan guides our most important projects and activities, so we can build a strong foundation for the future together.
For the first time, our Council Plan has drawn on the hopes, aspirations and priorities in the Yarra 2036 Community Vision. We have partnered with and listened to our community to achieve the best outcomes for Yarra.
The Council Plan also provides a framework for us to monitor our progress and report back on how we are tracking.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the development of this important plan. Your insights, feedback and ideas have shaped our priorities for the future and led to the creation of a Council Plan I am incredibly proud of.
Cr Gabrielle de Vietri Mayor, City of Yarra (November 2020-21)

What is the Council Plan?

All councils must produce a Council Plan every four years. It’s an important document that sets out the medium-term direction for council. It includes a series of Strategic Objectives, Strategies, Initiatives and Indicators for the next four years to work toward Yarra's 2036 Community Vision. These are our obligations under the Local Government Act 2020.

From Community Vision to Council Plan

When we asked for your feedback on the Community Vision in 2020/21, we also asked for ideas to inform a draft Council Plan 2021-25 and our 10-year financial and asset plans. The adopted Council Plan aligns with this feedback and the Community Vision themes and priorities.

The Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan

The Council Plan also includes our Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan. This plan outlines how we’ll protect, improve and promote public health and wellbeing in Yarra. These are our obligations under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

City context

The Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people are the Traditional Owners of the land and waterways in Yarra.  
We’re an inner-metro city, and home to a diverse community of about 103,000 people. Yarra covers around 19.5 square kilometres, and includes many of Melbourne’s popular and most vibrant suburbs, like Collingwood, Fitzroy and Richmond.
We’re a creative community, economically diverse and proud of our First Nations history. We’re also home to Victoria’s largest public housing community, with 10% of the population living in public housing.
Our residents experience wellbeing that is relatively high by national and international standards, but some parts of Yarra have poorer health and wellbeing outcomes. COVID-19 continues to unequally impact Yarra’s health and wellbeing, as well as our businesses and communities.
looking over calm water in the Yarra River on a su

Yarra quick facts

Our estimated population is 103,125

1 in 5 households don't own a car

We have 40,000 households

10% of people live in public housing

12% of people report high or very-high levels of psychological distress

50% of residents' journeys to and from work are by sustainable transport

16,807 businesses call Yarra home

Every week we produce 8.8kg of waste per household

55% of people do the recommended amount of physical activity per week

100% of our council operations are powered by renewable electricity

Strategic Objectives

These six Strategic Objectives describe Yarra’s strategic direction for the next four years. To see the Strategies, Initiatives and Indicators for each objective, read the full Council Plan.

Strategic Objective 1
Climate and environment

Yarra urgently mitigates climate change while also adapting to its impacts and developing resilience in everything we do. The community, business and industry are supported and encouraged to do the same.

Strategic Objective 2
Social equity and health

Yarra’s people have equitable access and opportunities to participate in community life. They are empowered, safe and included.

Strategic Objective 3
Local economy

Yarra’s neighbourhoods and major activity centres, nightlife and employment precincts are thriving, accessible and connected. They support and inspire diverse creative communities, cultural activities, businesses, and local employment.

Strategic Objective 4
Place and nature

Yarra’s public places, streets and green open spaces bring our community together. They are planned to manage growth, protect our unique character and focus on people and nature.

Strategic Objective 5
Transport and movement

Yarra’s transport network is sustainable and recognises that streets are important shared public spaces. Transport and movement is accessible, safe and well connected.

Strategic Objective 6
Democracy and governance

Yarra is smart, innovative and sustainable. Our decisions and advocacy are built on evidence and meaningful engagement. Good governance is at the heart of our processes and decision-making.

Community engagement

Engagement began in November 2020. Stage One included broad community engagement where we heard from more than 1,300 community members about their aspirations for Yarra over the next 15 years. Stage Two involved the establishment of a randomly selected deliberative panel made up of 55 members of the Yarra community. The panel met four times over a number of weeks where they considered the views of the wider community and the diverse perspectives of other panel members. This extensive engagement process, spanning more than seven months in total, culminated in the creation of Yarra’s first ever Community Vision.
This Community Vision was used to develop the draft Council Plan. The six Strategic Objectives align to the Vision Themes and Future Priorities, to ensure our work responds to the aspirations of our community. The Yarra community was invited to provide feedback on the draft Council Plan in September 2021.

Next steps

The Council Plan is delivered through our Annual Plan and Budget, which reflects Council’s decisions on the specific initiatives to be funded each year. Some, but not all, initiatives from the Council Plan will feature in the Annual Plan.
We report progress on the Council Plan through quarterly reports and our Annual Report. This reporting ensures actions and projects are delivered on time and within budget, with any variations explained to maintain transparency.