Annual Report Summary 2019-20


The Annual Report 2019-20 details the performance of the City of Boroondara during the financial year.

Our vision is for a vibrant and inclusive city meeting the needs and aspirations of its community.

This Annual Report summary highlights the key achievements and challenges of 2019-20 by Council’s seven themes included in the Council Plan 2017-21 and Boroondara Community Plan 2017-27.   

 For a copy of the Annual Report summary, please call Customer Service on 9278 4444.


Feedback on this document is welcome. Please email [email protected] or write to City of Boroondara, Private Bag 1, Camberwell VIC 3124.


Council would like to thank all those who contributed to the development of the 2019-20 Annual Report.

More information

For a copy of the Annual Report summary or past Annual Reports, please call Customer Service on (03) 9278 4444.

Download the Boroondara Annual Report Summary

Welcome messages

The City of Boroondara’s Annual Report 2019-20 highlights the achievements and challenges of the past year. It reports on how we are meeting the strategic objectives set out in the Council Plan 2017-21.

A message from the Mayor | A message from the CEO.

A message from the Mayor

Image of Mayor Cynthia Watson

It is with great pleasure I present the Annual Report 2019-20 for Boroondara. This report marks the final year of the current Council’s term, which commenced in October 2016.

The 2019-20 reporting year has been a significant one. Our work has focused on delivering projects that reflect your priorities as outlined in the Boroondara Community Plan, our 10-year vision for the future of Boroondara, while responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents, local business and community organisations are facing difficult circumstances as a result of COVID-19, and it has been our responsibility to provide support during these times of crisis. To this end, Council announced a $4.5 million relief package in April 2020.

Despite the challenges we’ve faced due to COVID-19, we have continued to deliver projects which respond to each of the seven priority themes outlined in the Boroondara Community Plan.

We have continued to invest in community assets, with more than $63.95 million committed to infrastructure projects throughout our municipality. Of this, we invested $9.08 million on our much loved parks, open spaces and streetscapes and $27.64 million in enhancing community buildings so they meet the needs of our residents, now and into the future.

In 2020, upgrades to the Balwyn Community Centre were completed. The centre was upgraded to meet the needs of the growing and increasingly diverse population and include enhanced functional spaces for community programs and groups, an expanded Balwyn Maternal and Child Health Centre, and enhanced parklands and community gardens.

The Kew Recreation Centre is undergoing a major transformation to better meet the current and future needs of our community. It will provide opportunity for people of all abilities and stages of life to pursue a wide range of health and wellbeing needs. The innovative design responds to feedback received from over 2,000 people and will include an underground car park and be built to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The $68 million project is expected to be completed in 2022.

The Ashburton Seniors Centre and Camberwell Community Centre have also undergone major redevelopments to better meet the needs of our community. The Ashburton Seniors Centre is now complete and the Camberwell Community Centre to be completed in 2020-21.

In May, Council introduced a new Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service. The service enables residents to put both food and garden waste in the same bin, reducing the quantity of waste going to landfill. Residents are now diverting more than 200 tonnes of food waste from landfill per week by putting it into their FOGO bin. This amount is only expected to increase as more residents adjust to the new system and properties, which includes residential blocks that have between 4 to 15 units on them, commence the service. 

Council continued to advocate for the needs of the Boroondara community in relation to the North East Link project - the proposed freeway linking the Metropolitan Ring Road (M80) to the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road.

We will continue to advocate on behalf of our community to minimise the adverse impacts on our community as a result of this project.

It is important as well to highlight the many vital services that we deliver for our whole community. These include:

  • $8.40 million spent on library services providing a seven day per week service across the City, with more than 79,000 visits and nearly 1.85 million loans last year. 
  • $4.62 million spent on aged, disability and health services, including the delivery of 59,823 hours of in-home care for the elderly and those with a disability, and 20,972 immunisations to infants and children across Boroondara. 
  • $4.50 million spent on family and youth services, with 38 buildings also leased to community organisations providing long day care, occasional care and kindergarten services at little or no cost.
  • Collecting 71,669 tonnes of waste from kerbside bins.

All of these great achievements and everyday service delivery cannot occur without our staff, and the support and partnership of our residents, community groups and local businesses.

On behalf of my fellow Councillors, I would like to thank everyone in the Boroondara, our wonderful volunteers, community and business leaders, friends and neighbours, for your ongoing contributions, be they big or small, to ensuring Boroondara continues to thrive as the City of Harmony. 

Cr Cynthia Watson



A message from the CEO

Image of Philip Storer

I am proud to present the 2019-20 Annual Report to the City of Boroondara community.

This year has presented us with ongoing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support and protect the health and wellbeing of our community, we activated various relief and recovery responses in line with our Municipal Emergency Management Plan and Pandemic Plan. 

A $4.5 million financial assistance package was developed to provide tangible support to residents, businesses and community groups experiencing the impacts of COVID-19. This package contains a range of initiatives, including the waiver of food premises registration fees, footpath trading fees and trader parking permit fees. Ratepayers are also able to seek assistance through Boroondara’s existing Financial Hardship Policy.

Council established various other support initiatives like our COVID-19 hotline, a dedicated hub on Council’s website to inform the community about support and changes to our services, and more.

Even during challenging times, we’ve continued to work hard on delivering what you told us was important to you through the Boroondara Community Plan.

Annual commitments are developed each year for delivery, underpinned by the priority themes you identified in the Boroondara Community Plan. I can report we met 84 per cent of our Annual Commitments this year, with a number of planned initiatives impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions, and our financial position continues to remain sound. 

Council achieved a surplus of $12.25 million in 2019-20. This surplus compares unfavourably to the original budget surplus of $15.76 million, however the difference can be attributed to revenue reductions and some expense impacts associated with COVID-19.

The adjusted underlying surplus of Council – after removing non-recurrent capital grant income, monetary contributions and non-monetary asset contributions – is $5.05 million. This helps us fund the renewal, upgrade and new asset programs for the $3.56 billion net community assets under our control.

The annual state-wide Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey rated Boroondara as one of the top performing Councils across the state. I am pleased to share that City of Boroondara outperformed both state-wide and metropolitan group averages on overall Council performance. 

We have continued to focus on delivering the Boroondara Customer First program to ensure your interactions with us are as easy and accessible as possible. Achievements to date include expanded payment options for Council services and infringements, making it easier and more convenient for customers to pay 24/7 on the device of their choice. We have also built new online service forms making it easier for you to make payments and applications, and to contact Council to report issues and request various services. 

To maintain our ongoing commitment to supporting our ageing population, we have developed a new healthy ageing plan, ‘Add life to your years’.  The Plan was developed to contribute positively towards physical and social environments that support older people’s health, wellbeing and capacity, as well as to connect them with the broader community. 

To ensure our sporting pavilions provide a more inclusive environment enabling increased participation in sport, Council has allocated $9.40 million to upgrade these facilities over a three year implementation period. By June 2022, we are aiming to upgrade 15 of Council’s 39 sporting pavilions to be accessible and welcoming to all. Remaining sporting pavilions will be prioritised annually in line with Council’s Pavilion Policy for renewals or upgrades based on building condition, functionality and service assessments. 

We are embarking on a new way of improving our public places in Boroondara through a placemaking approach. This approach will help us to design public spaces and shopping centres in a way that increases social interaction, improves economic viability and enhances liveability. 

Throughout this report you will see number of other achievements and community infrastructure initiatives undertaken during the year. These achievements would not be possible without the help of our engaged, enthusiastic community. On behalf of Council, I’d like to thank you for your ongoing support and feedback which shapes the important work we do every day.

I’d also like to thank our dedicated Council staff whose contributions and continued hard work allow us to deliver the services and infrastructure our community needs and deserves. 
I look forward to another year of working together to deliver for Boroondara.

Philip Storer 

Chief Executive Officer

Your Community, Services and Facilities

Strategic Objective

Community services and facilities are high quality, inclusive and meet a variety of needs now and into the future.

Key figures

  • $44.6 million net operating cost
  • 163 groups received Council community grants
  • 1.85 million library items borrowed


Volunteers of Boroondara


Develop and implement a campaign to promote volunteering across the Boroondara community to raise awareness of the benefits and impacts of volunteering, and encourage local residents to volunteer.

Project overview

‘Volunteers of Boroondara’ is a celebration of Boroondara’s outstanding community of volunteers. The campaign is a collection of 12 stories and portraits of volunteers making a positive impact in Boroondara. Each story highlights the participants’ motivations for volunteering, explains why volunteering is important to them, and encourages readers to consider a volunteer opportunity for themselves.

Launched online in May 2020, the stories are housed on a dedicated campaign page on Council’s website, and have been promoted through Council’s flagship publication (the Boroondara Bulletin) and via social media.

The Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre invited organisations to nominate a volunteer for inclusion in the campaign. Ten organisations were selected to be a part of the campaign, including:

  • Boroondara Neighbourhood Watch
  • Solve Disability Solutions
  • The Koala Kids Foundation
  • Uniting AgeWell, Hawthorn Men’s Shed
  • Villa Alba Museum
  • Canterbury Neighbourhood Centre
  • Epilepsy Foundation
  • Blind Sports Australia
  • The Fathering Project
  • Friends of South Surrey Park

Project aims

The campaign aims to celebrate Boroondara’s diverse volunteer community and drive residents to consider how their time, skills and interests could make a positive impact in their own community. 

As a unique campaign which highlights and brings to light the unsung heroes who generously give their time to support the work of local community organisations and the broader community, it is hoped that these stories will inspire the community and contribute to an increase the amount of volunteer enquiries received by the Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre.

Volunteers of Boroondara also aims to drive traffic to Council’s dedicated volunteering portal:

Project outcomes

The success of the campaign is a credit to the involvement of local community organisations and volunteers interviewed as part of the project; sharing their stories and taking photos and video as part of the campaign collateral. 

Ongoing promotion of Volunteers of Boroondara through Council’s flagship publication, the Boroondara Bulletin, and online via Council’s social media channels is underway to drive awareness of the campaign among the community.

Summary of other achievements

  • Council adopted an Asset Management Strategy which outlines the objectives and supporting actions that will be carried out over a five year period to advance asset management practices across the organisation. 
  • Following the adoption of the Flood Mapping Study in 2019-20, approximately 6,000 properties have been identified as liable to flooding. This allows residents and Council to plan and reduce any potential impacts.
  • Launched the new Boroondara Families section of our website, designed for families to discover local services and activities for children from birth to eight years of age. 
  • Introduced a new Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre (BVRC) portal ‘VIKTOR/VIRA’ to enable the BVRC to centralise volunteer recruitment, registration and records management, promote volunteer opportunities and manage the Boroondara Volunteer Skills Banks. 
  • Greythorn Community Hub won the 2020 Award for Excellence in the ‘Community Assets and Infrastructure Initiatives (projects over $2 million)’ category at the LGPro Awards.
  • Council adopted the new healthy ageing plan, ‘Add life to your years - Healthy Ageing in Boroondara’ to support the City’s ageing population to remain healthy, engaged and connected to their community.
  • Delivered the Boroondara Eisteddfod via an online digital model during the lockdown in March 2020 enabling an opportunity for musicians to perform and celebrate incredible talent from musicians of all ages. 
  • Council adopted the revised Community Strengthening Grants Policy to set out Council's framework for delivering grant funding and to provide information for Council and the community on the principles guiding the Boroondara Community Strengthening Grants. 
  • Council adopted the updated Amenity Local Law on 9 December 2019 after a comprehensive review. The review and adoption of the Amenity Local Law 2019 resulted in a series of changes designed to protect and enhance amenity and neighbourhood streetscapes.  
  • Council has activated various relief and recovery responses to assist our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is included on page 30.


  • Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, libraries across Boroondara have temporarily closed and are now delivering services, collections and programs online. Despite the success of the online services, many library members miss the social connection provided by the library services.
  • As a result of the State restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, sporting clubs and the Boroondara Leisure and Aquatic Facilities (BLAF) closed down. Impacts were also felt in other areas including early years services, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and Boroondara Youth. Officers faced significant challenges working closely with key stakeholders to provide support to impacted facilities and operators, as well as ensuring service provision continued where possible and in accordance with changing restrictions.
  • According to the Hawthorn rainfall station, the start of 2020 has been the wettest since the station was commissioned in 1972. This has resulted in a significant increase in drainage requests from residents. 
  • During the State restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council experienced a 25% increase in workload responding to customer concerns and requests related to safety and amenity issues around building sites, inadequate public authority reinstatement work, asset conditions and the flooding of roads, reserves and properties.

Attendances at Youth Services programs and services


Bar graph: 2015-16: 3,512; 2016-17: 4,285 2017-18: 4,664; 2018-19: 4,990; 2019-20: 6,338


Number of vaccinations administered


Bar graph: 2015-16: 28,606; 2016-17: 28,849; 2017-18: 30,549; 2018-19: 25,254; 2019-20: 20,972

Your Parks and Green Spaces

Strategic objective

Inviting and well-utilised community parks and green spaces.

Key figures

  • $16.8 million net operating cost
  • 1,923 new trees planted during the year
  • 437ha of open space maintained 


Sporting Facilities Upgrade


Implement year one program actions to deliver accessible facilities enabling increased participation in sport.

Project Overview

Female participation in sport has been increasing in Boroondara. This increase has been seen by an improvement in player numbers and a rise in seasonal allocation ground requests from sporting clubs.

Through our Diversity, Inclusion and Participation (DIP) Program, Council will upgrade seasonal sporting pavilions across Boroondara to support participation for all.

Council has allocated a budget of $9.40 million to upgrade these facilities over a three year implementation program, commencing in 2019-20.

Project Aims

The DIP Program aims to ensure pavilions provide a more inclusive environment and greater participation opportunities for diverse sectors of the community.

Improvements will be made to wet area amenities based on universal design features, including:

  • Lockable showers and toilets in change rooms and umpires rooms.
  • Dedicated (non-shared) wet areas for each change room.
  • Construction of additional change rooms at some locations.
  • Construction of a first aid room at some locations.
  • Safety park lighting in high foot traffic areas around the pavilion.

The pavilion improvements aim to improve accessibility and ensure women and girls in particular feel safe and welcomed when participating in sport.

Project Outcomes

Feedback received from sporting club representatives and users during consultation has been considered as part of a case by case assessment and has informed the project’s implementation program.

Further consultation will be conducted for pavilions scheduled in the final year of the program, as well as during the design phase.

By June 2022, at the conclusion of the implementation program, 15 of Council’s 39 sporting pavilions will be upgraded to be accessible and welcoming to all. 

Remaining sporting pavilions will be prioritised annually in line with Council’s Pavilion Policy for renewals or upgrades based on building condition, functionality and service assessments.

Summary of other achievements

  • Implemented priority actions from the Shade Policy Implementation Plan to improve the provision of shade at key sites across Boroondara.
  • Sought feedback from the local community to help inform the design of the Victoria Park Regional Playground.

Satisfaction with appearance of public areas

Bar Graph: 2015-16: 80 percent; 2016-17: 78 percent; 2017-18: 78 percent; 2018-19: 80 percent; 2019-20: 80 percent

Area of land managed for biodiversity (hectares)

Bar Graph: 2016-17: 40.6; 2017-18: 41.9; 2018-19: 43.1; 2019-20: 44.2

The Environment

Strategic objective

Our natural environment is healthy and sustainable for future generations.

Key figures

  • $25.5 million net operating cost
  • 71,669 tonnes of waste collected from kerbside bins
  • 44.2ha of land managed for biodiversity


Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside collection


Progress actions associated with the introduction of a Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service to reduce the volume of waste going into landfill.

Project Overview

In May 2020, Council introduced a new FOGO kerbside collection service. The service enables residents to put both food and garden waste in the same bin, reducing the quantity of waste going to landfill. 

This material is taken to a processing facility, where it is composted and turned into soil conditioning products for use in agriculture and horticulture. 

To ensure an effective and successful FOGO service, Council implemented the best practice FOGO system model which includes: 

  • A weekly FOGO bin collection.
  • A fortnightly landfill waste bin collection.
  • Provision of kitchen caddies and compostable caddy liners to help residents collect and separate their food waste in their kitchens.  
  • A comprehensive FOGO education program, inclusive of food waste avoidance, home composting support and a FOGO education pack.  

The FOGO service is being implemented in two phases. Phase one commenced in May for standalone houses and blocks of up to three units. Phase two, which includes blocks of 4 to 15 units, is currently being implemented in the 2020-21 financial year.

Project Aims

During the consultation for the Boroondara Community Plan, and the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Strategy, Council received significant community feedback that it should do more to divert waste from landfill, and that diversion of food waste should be a priority.

From bin audits, it was found that the average Boroondara landfill waste bin contained 46 per cent food waste and 6 per cent garden waste. By enabling residents to divert this waste to the new FOGO service, Council will reduce its landfill waste by up to 19,000 tonnes per year and avoid thousands of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in the process. 

Diverting waste into the FOGO system will also enable Council to reduce its waste management costs, as landfill levies increase significantly year on year.

Project Outcomes

After two months of FOGO, Council’s diversion from landfill increased from 49 per cent to almost 70 per cent. For the last 16 years, the amount of waste Boroondara has diverted from landfill has consistently measured around 50 per cent with weekly recycling and fortnightly green waste collections. The rapid 20 per cent increase is a direct result of FOGO. 

Residents are now diverting more than 200 tonnes of food waste from landfill per week by putting it into their lime-green lidded FOGO bin. This amount is expected to increase as more residents adjust to the new system and properties in phase two commence with the service.

Summary of Other Achievements

  • Carried out major water harvesting and treatment works at Boroondara Sports Complex.
  • Delivered Council's award winning Living for our Future community engagement program to support the community in living well and sustainably. 
  • Progressed the implementation of the Tree Strategy action plan to introduce the proactive renewal of ageing street and park trees. This included analysis of suburb by suburb data, identifying species and locations of concern, and the planning for the first batch of tree replacements.
  • Works underway to implement lighting upgrades using sustainable and energy efficient solutions to install lighting along the Gardiners Creek Trail between Patterson Reserve and Burke Road. 
  • Council resolved to prepare a Climate Action Plan to replace its existing Our Low Carbon Future Strategy which expires in December 2020.
  • Solar panels have been installed as part of Council’s new building projects.


  • A significant increase in customer enquiries relating to the rollout of the Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection service.
  • The ongoing challenge responding to the newly proposed Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations set out by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) and the changes in how ESV monitor and manage the statutory requirements that impact the City’s street trees. 

Kerbside collection waste diverted from landfill


Bar graph. 2015-16: 48%; 2016-17: 49%; 2017-18: 49%; 2018-19: 49%; 2019-20: 53%

Tonnes of CO2 emissions from energy used from Council operations

Bar graph, 2015-16: 23,397; 2016-17: 22,625; 2017-18: 22,483; 2018-19: 21,376; 2019-20: 21,788

Neighbourhood Character and Heritage

Strategic objective

Protect the heritage and respect the character of the City to maintain amenity and liveability whilst recognising the need for appropriate, well-designed development for future generations.

Key figures

  • $5.7 million net operating cost
  • 1,338 planning applications received
  • 2,710 building permits issued within Boroondara


Review of the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan (CJSP)


Review the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan (CJSP) and investigate the introduction of planning controls to ensure appropriate development in the centre.

Project Overview

The review of the CJSP when completed, would introduce statutory built form controls into the Boroondara Planning Scheme to guide appropriate development in the area. Community and stakeholder engagement forms a key part of the review.

An updated CJSP also provides the opportunity to align with Council’s Placemaking Framework, which enhances our community’s quality of life.

Project Aims

A key aim of the CJSP review is to implement planning controls that are informed by an analysis of preferred built form and land use, spaces and access requirements that meet the current and future needs of the community.

Project Outcomes

Scoping of the CJSP has commenced and some early community consultation has occurred. 

There will be further opportunities for the community and stakeholders to share their feedback on the recommendations contained in the updated CJSP. 

The updated CJSP is expected to provide benefits to the community such as:

  • Planning controls that give certainty and ensure appropriate development.
  • Promoting sustainable transport.
  • Improvements to public places and community facilities.
  • Improvements to the character and amenity of the centre.

Summary of Other Achievements

  • During the year, Council has made significant progress in finalising the Municipal Wide Heritage Gap Study and identified additional properties for inclusion in the Heritage Overlay.
  • Continued to work with the community and stakeholders on a review of the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan.
  • Implemented the Statutory Planning Paperless Office project which enabled Council to identify and implement more streamlined online and electronic processes, thus reducing timeframes and providing greater convenience to customers.


  • The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) introduced a new legislation, whereby owners are required to register their pool or spa with their local council. In response to the changes, Council developed a new communications strategy, website content and registration form for pool and spa owners. As a result of the new legislation, Council experienced a significant increase in requests for building permit information, which saw 1,659 requests made in quarter four compared to the 298 requests in quarter one.  
  • The COVID-19 pandemic saw an initial deferral of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearings, which are now proceeding through tele or video conferencing. Boroondara was chosen by VCAT to pilot video conferencing.
  • Council continues to play a major role in dealing with public and multistorey residential buildings comprising of combustible cladding in Boroondara. It has been a challenge to enforce and seek resolutions with multiple Owners Corporation managers, the State Government and the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

Building permits approved within 30 days


Bar graph: 2015-16: 99%; 2016-17: 100%; 2017-18: 97%; 2018-19: 71%; 2019-20: 86%

Planning applications processed within 60 days

Bar graph: 2015-16: 81%; 2016-17: 79%; 2017-18: 74%; 2018-19: 75%; 2019-20: 83%

Getting around Boroondara

Strategic objectives

Travel options that are connected, safe, accessible, environmentally sustainable and well-designed.

Key figures

  • ($3.4) million net operating cost
  • 567 kilometres of local roads 
  • 229 traffic counts and surveys


Advocacy regarding the North East Link Project


Advocate for the needs of the Boroondara community in relation to the North East Link Project.

Project Overview

The North East Link is a proposed freeway standard road linking the Metropolitan Ring Road (M80) to the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road.

The North East Link is the largest construction project in the history of Victoria, with an estimated cost of $16 billion.

The Victorian Government’s preferred option for the North East Link is corridor Option A, which has a direct impact on the Boroondara community.  

We will continue to advocate on behalf of our community to minimise and remove the adverse impacts on our community as a result of the North East Link.

Project Aims

Our aim is to continue to advocate to the Victorian Government and North East Link Project to ensure the needs of our community are considered in the planning, design and delivery of the North East Link.

These needs include, but are not limited to:

  • Reducing the loss of public open space.
  • Reducing the width of the Eastern Freeway expansion.
  • Reducing the bulk and height of the Eastern Freeway, Bulleen Road and North East Link interchange.
  • Reducing to zero (if possible) the tree and vegetation loss caused by the North East Link. 

We have worked closely with residents and organised community groups, with the aim of hearing their concerns in order to advocate on their behalf, and keeping them informed about the project.

Project Outcomes

Feedback received from the community has informed our advocacy focus and legal efforts. 

Our activities to date include:

  • Forming an alliance with Banyule and Whitehorse councils to share a legal team and information about the North East Link. 
  • Attendance and representation at the Inquiry and Advisory Committee Panel Hearing held in July, August and September 2019.
  • Following the Panel Hearing, commencement of legal proceedings in the Supreme Court to challenge the Minister for Planning’s decisions about the North East Link. 

We will continue to advocate for the best outcomes for the Boroondara community in relation to the North East Link Project.

Summary of other Achievements

  • Implementation of actions from the Road Safety Strategy to improve road safety for all road users. 
  • Improvements made to traffic counter data collection, to allow for easy storage in Council's corporate systems, which has resulted in significant time savings. 

Community satisfaction with sealed local roads

Bar graph: 2015-16: 73%; 2016-17: 71%; 2017-18: 73%; 2018-19: 71%; 2019-20: 72%

Number of traffic counts and surveys

Bar graph: 2015-16: 195; 2016-17: 159; 2017-18: 168; 2018-19: 196; 2019-20: 229

Your Local Shops and Businesses

Strategic objectives

A vibrant local economy and shops that are accessible, attractive and a centre of community life.

Key figures

  • $1.4 million net operating cost
  • 1,323 members of the Business Boroondara Network 
  • 1,295 proactive strip shopping centre maintenance inspections completed


Undertaking placemaking projects


Explore opportunities to undertake a placemaking approach in shaping and designing our public spaces and shopping centres, to increase social interaction, economic viability and enhancing the liveability of our community.

Project overview: We are exploring a new way of improving Boroondara’s public spaces. The approach is called placemaking, and it involves: 

  • creating places that improve social connection
  • creating thriving local economies
  • contributing positively the environment
  • enhancing the community’s quality of life. 

Council adopted a Placemaking Framework in late-2019 that outlines the process involved in enhancing our public spaces in partnership with local communities.

By listening to those who regularly spend time in a place, we can respond to the community’s ideas by implementing projects and initiatives to enhance these spaces, encouraging people to spend more time there.

We have commenced our first two placemaking projects to revitalise Maling Road in Canterbury, and the Glenferrie Precinct in Hawthorn.

Project aims

The Maling Road and Glenferrie Precinct placemaking projects aim to increase the community’s sense of place, belonging and ownership to their local precincts. 

A key aim of these placemaking projects has been to encourage the community and key stakeholders to partner with us on the journey by collaborating and co-designing places that meet their needs. 

Extensive community engagement conducted in late-2019 and early-2020 for both precincts aimed to define the community’s vision for these places by asking them to share their big ideas for the future, and then to prioritise various opportunities that were identified for improvements.

Project outcomes 

After extensive community feedback, analysis and research, the Maling Road and Glenferrie Precinct placemaking projects are in the planning and design phase. We developed a Place Vision and Place Plan for the Maling Road area and are currently consulting on the Glenferrie Precinct Place Vision, which outlines various projects and initiatives to be implemented over the next 5+ years.

As a result, the community will benefit from: 

  • higher quality public realm
  • greater engagement in cultural and social life
  • a stronger local identity and character
  • economic benefits stemming from greater foot traffic and visitor numbers.

Summary of Other Achievements 

  • Supported local businesses through the Business in Boroondara Program by providing a range of engaging and industry leading business support services. 
  • Explored new ways of improving Boroondara’s public spaces through placemaking projects to encourage the community and key stakeholders to partner with us on the journey by collaborating and co-designing places that meet their needs. 
  • Completed several shopping centre improvement works including Church Street, Fordham and Hartwell Shopping Centres.

Number of participants in Council's business training activities

Bar graph: 2015-16: 817; 2016-17: 1,556; 2017-18: 1,457; 2018-19: 1,543; 2019-20: 1,040

Members of the Business Boroondara Network 


Bar graph: 2015-16: 2,028; 2016-17: 1,267; 2017-18: 1,115; 2018-19: 1,238; 2019-20: 1,323

Civil Leadership and Governance

Strategic objective

Ensure that ethical, financial and socially responsible decision making reflects community needs and is based on principles of accountability, transparency, responsiveness and consultation.

Key figures

  • $34.1 million net operating cost  
  • 293 904 total customer contacts 
  • 78,312 rateable properties


Pop-Up Council program


Provide opportunities for the community to interact with Council at events and specific locations through the Pop-Up Council program.

Project Overview

Pop-up Council provides an opportunity for our community to engage with Council on a variety of key issues in a unique and meaningful way. An eye-catching, mobile van, Pop-up Council brings consultation opportunities to the community at local festivals and events, ensuring we hear from a diverse range of people from various age groups and backgrounds on topics that are important to them.

During the 2019-20 financial year, Pop-up Council was utilised to inform and gather community insights about the following projects:

  • Maling Road placemaking project (November 2019) 
  • Victoria Park Playground consultation (November 2019) 
  • Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) at Ashburton Festival (February 2020) 
  • Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) at Glenferrie Festival (March 2020). 

Project Aims

Utilising Pop-up Council aims to give City of Boroondara a presence and encourage feedback from a wide sample of the community. It serves as an engagement platform with a difference, supporting Council in our implementation of a multi-channel communication and engagement strategy that increases awareness of Council facilities and services in Boroondara.

It also allows us to seek input from the Boroondara community at locations convenient to them, as well as encouraging partnership opportunities and positive relationships between Council and local organisations.

Project Outcomes

Pop-up Council assisted in eliciting rich feedback from the community in the 2019-20 financial year about a number of important projects.

For the Maling Road placemaking project, we collaborated with St Paul’s Anglican Church in facilitating Pop-up Council at their fete where the community were invited to share their vision for the future of Maling Road in Canterbury.

For the Victoria Park Playground consultation, we hosted Pop-up Council and partnered with YMCA to run learn to scoot/skate sessions where the community had their say about opportunities to improve Victoria Park Playground. 

For FOGO, we partnered with the Ashburton Shopping Centre Traders Association and the Glenferrie Traders Association to host Pop-up Council at their respective annual festivals, allowing us to inform and educate the community about the new program.

Summary of Other Achievements

  • Hosted a delegation of 30 members from the Bangladesh government visiting Melbourne for a one week management training program with Swinburne University of Technology.
  • Updated the Councillor Support and Resources Policy, Election Period Policy and Public Interest Disclosure Procedures. These policies and procedures form part of Council’s good governance framework.
  • Conducted four pop-up Councils at festivals and farmers markets, allowing for increased community interactions with Council. 
  • Developed an Information Asset Register to record the sets of information that Council holds. This will support needs analysis and decision making in consideration of information security and risk assessments, as well as improved business processes, systems and information management. 
  • Developed and adopted the Budget 2020-21 document in accordance with the Victorian Local Government Model Budget, aligning its structure to the Boroondara Community Plan 2017-27.


  • Three new accounting standards were introduced in 2019-20 that affected Council's financial reporting. These were AASB 16, AASB 15 and AASB 1058. These standards effected the way Council accounts for its 280 vehicle and equipment lease payments, and how grant income from other levels of government is recognised.
  • One of the biggest challenges this year was responding and adapting to the COVID-19 restrictions which disrupted planned works and day-to-day work practices. Many staff members have transitioned to remote working and have adopted new ways of working to continue providing services and support to the community.

Capital projects completed - based on number of projects


Bar graph: 2015-16: 96%; 2016-17: 97%; 2017-18: 96%; 2018-19: 93%; 2019-20: 88%

Percentage completion of Audit Committee annual plan.

Bar graph: 2015-16: 100%; 2016-7: 100%; 2017-18; 100%; 2018-19: 100%; 2019-20: 100%

Financial summary

During 2019-20, Council delivered the following services for every $100 that they spent:

Where your rates go Actual 2019-20
Capital Works and Priority Projects $32.45
Environment and Waste Management $13.43
Parks, Gardens & Sportsgrounds $10.58
Health, Aged Community & Family Services $10.81
Roads, Footpaths, Safety & Drainage $4.95
Planning & Building $5.38
Library Services $6.73
Local Laws Enforcement $5.17
Culture, Leisure & Recreation and Civic Centres $2.44
Engineering & Traffic $2.40
Communications & Customer Service $3.40
Metropolitan Fire Brigade    -
Rates & Property Services $1.66

An allocation of corporate services, governance, risk management, building maintenance and public lighting has been included within these service areas.

Excludes operating expenditure for five externally managed recreation centres.