City in Crises City Council to pay subsidies for businesses to set-up shop as City retailers relocate to aviod Council’s ‘War on Cars’

Melbourne City Council in recognition that the City is facing a crises of confidence and a decline in reading will soon be paying selective businesses to set-up shop in the City Centre.

The Age Business report 15 February.

Whilst the City Council looks to advice form overseas consultants to tell them what everyone else has known for the last decade. (See the article by Arnold Zable on Melbourne’s Museum development and associated planning issues written in 1996 reprinted below)

The report which will be released in April recommends that Melbourne promote it boutique lane shops and that the City Council pay a bounty in the form of a subsidies to attract the “right type” of business for the City.

We look forward to this report to see if it has identified the true reason why Melbourne retail is in decline.

What the report does not address is that the a serious of bad strategic planning decisions by successive Melbourne City Council and State and Governments are slowly killing off retail trade in the City Centre.

Bourke Street is no longer the center of family entertainment, the museum is no longer in the City center, the city no longer caters for the family day out and adult-sex-shops and peep show venues dominate our main Street.

To add to the City’s woes the Council’s war on cars is beginning to have a serious effect on retail trade with traders reporting they have had enough with the cost of doing business in the City outstripping the profits with customers giving the City a miss in favour of the suburban shopping complex.

As business begin to vacate the city centre property values will begin to decline.

Eventually Myers will have to do more then just offer up free-space to innovative designers with the City store sales and profoits continue to drop-off. How long will it be before Myers down sizes and goes the way of the other big retail outlets that once dominated our City retail precinct?

The City Council, oblivious to reality, spends more time wining dinning and living the good life then trying to reduce operating costs.

City in Crises City Council to pay subsidies for businesses to set-up shop as City retailers relocate to aviod Council’s ‘War on Cars’

Melbourne City Council in recognition that the City is facing a crises of confidence and a decline in reading will soon be paying selective businesses to set-up shop in the City Centre.

The Age Business report 15 February.

Whilst the City Council looks to advice form overseas consultants to tell them what everyone else has known for the last decade. (See the article by Arnold Zable on Melbourne’s Museum development and associated planning issues written in 1996 reprinted below)

The report which will be released in April recommends that Melbourne promote it boutique lane shops and that the City Council pay a bounty in the form of a subsidies to attract the “right type” of business for the City.

We look forward to this report to see if it has identified the true reason why Melbourne retail is in decline.

What the report does not address is that the a serious of bad strategic planning decisions by successive Melbourne City Council and State and Governments are slowly killing off retail trade in the City Centre.

Bourke Street is no longer the center of family entertainment, the museum is no longer in the City center, the city no longer caters for the family day out and adult-sex-shops and peep show venues dominate our main Street.

To add to the City’s woes the Council’s war on cars is beginning to have a serious effect on retail trade with traders reporting they have had enough with the cost of doing business in the City outstripping the profits with customers giving the City a miss in favour of the suburban shopping complex.

As business begin to vacate the city centre property values will begin to decline.

Eventually Myers will have to do more then just offer up free-space to innovative designers with the City store sales and profoits continue to drop-off. How long will it be before Myers down sizes and goes the way of the other big retail outlets that once dominated our City retail precinct?

The City Council, oblivious to reality, spends more time wining dinning and living the good life then trying to reduce operating costs.

City in Crises City Council to pay subsidies for businesses to set-up shop as City retailers relocate to aviod Council’s ‘War on Cars’

Melbourne City Council in recognition that the City is facing a crises of confidence and a decline in reading will soon be paying selective businesses to set-up shop in the City Centre.

The Age Business report 15 February.

Whilst the City Council looks to advice form overseas consultants to tell them what everyone else has known for the last decade. (See the article by Arnold Zable on Melbourne’s Museum development and associated planning issues written in 1996 reprinted below)

The report which will be released in April recommends that Melbourne promote it boutique lane shops and that the City Council pay a bounty in the form of a subsidies to attract the “right type” of business for the City.

We look forward to this report to see if it has identified the true reason why Melbourne retail is in decline.

What the report does not address is that the a serious of bad strategic planning decisions by successive Melbourne City Council and State and Governments are slowly killing off retail trade in the City Centre.

Bourke Street is no longer the center of family entertainment, the museum is no longer in the City center, the city no longer caters for the family day out and adult-sex-shops and peep show venues dominate our main Street.

To add to the City’s woes the Council’s war on cars is beginning to have a serious effect on retail trade with traders reporting they have had enough with the cost of doing business in the City outstripping the profits with customers giving the City a miss in favour of the suburban shopping complex.

As business begin to vacate the city centre property values will begin to decline.

Eventually Myers will have to do more then just offer up free-space to innovative designers with the City store sales and profoits continue to drop-off. How long will it be before Myers down sizes and goes the way of the other big retail outlets that once dominated our City retail precinct?

The City Council, oblivious to reality, spends more time wining dinning and living the good life then trying to reduce operating costs.

City Council Mystery Tour

Public denied access to Council meeting as Melbourne’s Business community express no confidence in proposal

Melbourne City Council screws up again! With allegations that the Council Administration have no idea of the Melbourne Tourist Market.

Herald Sun: Crown tourism snub [01feb06]

Melbourne City Council’s controversial Mystery Bus Tour, costing ratepayers $750,000.00 plus pr year, will exclude Melbourne’s Crown Casino raising questions as to the tour bus’s viability and management.

The Council’s management are out-of-control and out of touch with reality. The City Council proposed empire building undermines private operators who have invested millions of dollars and already service this market.

The cost of running the Mystery Tour will certainly blow out with ratepayers left footing the bill.

The City of Melbourne should have negotiated with Crown Casino to help subsidise this extravagant expensive exercise.

There was only one item on the agenda of last nights meeting and that was the Tour Bus.

The meeting was poorly managed and the public were shut out and denied access . Council’s deliberation and determination was made behind closed doors. (Shame)

Don Parsons, Melbourne Business community representative, was furious to learn what happened.

Councillor Peter Clark spoke out at the meeting saying “They should have shut the meeting down.”

The proposed Tourist Bus should be abandoned pending further discussion with all stakeholders and a proper review. The City Council should, instead, concentrate on providing a mini-bus service linking the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne communities.

The Lord Mayor continues to demonstrate that he has no idea how to run the City.

The City Council failed again to express confidence in the Deputy Lord Mayor following revelations of Gary Singer’s professional mismanagement.

City Council Mystery Tour

Public denied access to Council meeting as Melbourne’s Business community express no confidence in proposal

Melbourne City Council screws up again! With allegations that the Council Administration have no idea of the Melbourne Tourist Market.

Herald Sun: Crown tourism snub [01feb06]

Melbourne City Council’s controversial Mystery Bus Tour, costing ratepayers $750,000.00 plus pr year, will exclude Melbourne’s Crown Casino raising questions as to the tour bus’s viability and management.

The Council’s management are out-of-control and out of touch with reality. The City Council proposed empire building undermines private operators who have invested millions of dollars and already service this market.

The cost of running the Mystery Tour will certainly blow out with ratepayers left footing the bill.

The City of Melbourne should have negotiated with Crown Casino to help subsidise this extravagant expensive exercise.

There was only one item on the agenda of last nights meeting and that was the Tour Bus.

The meeting was poorly managed and the public were shut out and denied access . Council’s deliberation and determination was made behind closed doors. (Shame)

Don Parsons, Melbourne Business community representative, was furious to learn what happened.

Councillor Peter Clark spoke out at the meeting saying “They should have shut the meeting down.”

The proposed Tourist Bus should be abandoned pending further discussion with all stakeholders and a proper review. The City Council should, instead, concentrate on providing a mini-bus service linking the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne communities.

The Lord Mayor continues to demonstrate that he has no idea how to run the City.

The City Council failed again to express confidence in the Deputy Lord Mayor following revelations of Gary Singer’s professional mismanagement.

City Council Mystery Tour

Public denied access to Council meeting as Melbourne’s Business community express no confidence in proposal

Melbourne City Council screws up again! With allegations that the Council Administration have no idea of the Melbourne Tourist Market.

Herald Sun: Crown tourism snub [01feb06]

Melbourne City Council’s controversial Mystery Bus Tour, costing ratepayers $750,000.00 plus pr year, will exclude Melbourne’s Crown Casino raising questions as to the tour bus’s viability and management.

The Council’s management are out-of-control and out of touch with reality. The City Council proposed empire building undermines private operators who have invested millions of dollars and already service this market.

The cost of running the Mystery Tour will certainly blow out with ratepayers left footing the bill.

The City of Melbourne should have negotiated with Crown Casino to help subsidise this extravagant expensive exercise.

There was only one item on the agenda of last nights meeting and that was the Tour Bus.

The meeting was poorly managed and the public were shut out and denied access . Council’s deliberation and determination was made behind closed doors. (Shame)

Don Parsons, Melbourne Business community representative, was furious to learn what happened.

Councillor Peter Clark spoke out at the meeting saying “They should have shut the meeting down.”

The proposed Tourist Bus should be abandoned pending further discussion with all stakeholders and a proper review. The City Council should, instead, concentrate on providing a mini-bus service linking the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne communities.

The Lord Mayor continues to demonstrate that he has no idea how to run the City.

The City Council failed again to express confidence in the Deputy Lord Mayor following revelations of Gary Singer’s professional mismanagement.

Empire Building City Council propose free tourist bus service to support fleeting Museum attendance. Residents’ needs left wanting

City of Melbourne will today decide what appears to be a given with the proposed establishment of a free Tourist bus service. The Council is being asked to fund a 40 seat bus shuttle service between Southbank/Crown Casino and Carlton.

The City of Melbourne have already spent/allocated $500,000.00 and plans to provide a further $750,000.00 ratepayer subsidy at the average cost of $85.00 per trip. (four trips per hour 6 hours a day 365 days a year)


Problems exist in that the free-shuttle service has a limited route and directly undercuts private tour operators who already service this sector and have invested a considerable amount of money in their business. Other cities around the world provide similar services but most are subsidised by the commercial sector. Establishments such as Crown Casino stand to benefit from such a service. The Museum, which was poorly located on the outskirts of the City (An issue that was identified when Jeff Kennett ignored community and professional advice and shifted the location of the Museum from Southbank to Carlton), are hopeful the free tourist service will revive its patronage – which is well below expectations. The proposed route is already serviced by the tram network although it is not direct and not free.

Insufficient information has been provided by the City Council as to the assessment of alternative proposals and we wonder if they were given due weight and consideration.

The City administration report recommending the establishment of the free bus service lists dubious statistical information based on the number of responses they received for and against the proposed project. On what basis the Council can give weight to the numeric analysis of the number of submission and respondents is beyond me, other then it gives an impression that the service has wide support and is worthwhile and viable, but is it?. Reliance on the statistical information of submissions would be foolish and adds little to the merits of the project. Issues of economics, viability and assessment of alternatives outweigh the self interests statistics of those who made a submission.

The City Council is not a good or efficient provider of services. In most cases they are empire building, expanding the management job market within the Council.

Let’s not forget the proposal, supported by former Councillor Kate Redwood, to establish mobility support/hire services for the disabled. The Redwood proposal was 3-4 times the cost of providing a similar service utilising infrastructure and services provided by existing community organisations such as Travellers Aid. Council should have considered more the submission made by former Lord Mayor Trevor Huggard. The council could have approached the Car Hire companies based in the City to asked for their support and assistance in providing this service to the public. Chances are hire companies would have offered their services free of charge as good corporate citizens, after all the provision electric wheel chairs is complementary the service they already provide. where they consulted?

The City Council should think twice before establishing a free tourist bus service.

Prediction: We expect that Council will soon find it need to put in significantly more funds and additional managerial services to oversee the provision of this service. The size of the buses will need to be reviewed with consideration given to the use of smaller buses that are better suited to manoeuvring though city traffic less city congestion. Operators will soon ask for more money. The proposed service in two to three years time will be closed down as it will be found to be economically unviable. The true cost of the project will not be disclosed as hidden costs will be allocated to other budgets and areas of expenditure. More money and limited resources wasted on ill-considered ideas designed to keep management busy.

Further consideration needs to be given, in preference to the proposed tourist shuttle, to the establishment of a mini-bus service linking East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne complementing and adding to the existing public transport connections currently available. This service could be run by private operators with a nominal fee per trip. It would significantly benefit residents of the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne who currently have no access to cheap efficient public transport linking these areas, other then having to travel into the city centre and out again. Parkville in particular has limited public transport options available providing access to Carlton and North Melbourne shopping precincts.

Empire Building City Council propose free tourist bus service to support fleeting Museum attendance. Residents’ needs left wanting

City of Melbourne will today decide what appears to be a given with the proposed establishment of a free Tourist bus service. The Council is being asked to fund a 40 seat bus shuttle service between Southbank/Crown Casino and Carlton.

The City of Melbourne have already spent/allocated $500,000.00 and plans to provide a further $750,000.00 ratepayer subsidy at the average cost of $85.00 per trip. (four trips per hour 6 hours a day 365 days a year)


Problems exist in that the free-shuttle service has a limited route and directly undercuts private tour operators who already service this sector and have invested a considerable amount of money in their business. Other cities around the world provide similar services but most are subsidised by the commercial sector. Establishments such as Crown Casino stand to benefit from such a service. The Museum, which was poorly located on the outskirts of the City (An issue that was identified when Jeff Kennett ignored community and professional advice and shifted the location of the Museum from Southbank to Carlton), are hopeful the free tourist service will revive its patronage – which is well below expectations. The proposed route is already serviced by the tram network although it is not direct and not free.

Insufficient information has been provided by the City Council as to the assessment of alternative proposals and we wonder if they were given due weight and consideration.

The City administration report recommending the establishment of the free bus service lists dubious statistical information based on the number of responses they received for and against the proposed project. On what basis the Council can give weight to the numeric analysis of the number of submission and respondents is beyond me, other then it gives an impression that the service has wide support and is worthwhile and viable, but is it?. Reliance on the statistical information of submissions would be foolish and adds little to the merits of the project. Issues of economics, viability and assessment of alternatives outweigh the self interests statistics of those who made a submission.

The City Council is not a good or efficient provider of services. In most cases they are empire building, expanding the management job market within the Council.

Let’s not forget the proposal, supported by former Councillor Kate Redwood, to establish mobility support/hire services for the disabled. The Redwood proposal was 3-4 times the cost of providing a similar service utilising infrastructure and services provided by existing community organisations such as Travellers Aid. Council should have considered more the submission made by former Lord Mayor Trevor Huggard. The council could have approached the Car Hire companies based in the City to asked for their support and assistance in providing this service to the public. Chances are hire companies would have offered their services free of charge as good corporate citizens, after all the provision electric wheel chairs is complementary the service they already provide. where they consulted?

The City Council should think twice before establishing a free tourist bus service.

Prediction: We expect that Council will soon find it need to put in significantly more funds and additional managerial services to oversee the provision of this service. The size of the buses will need to be reviewed with consideration given to the use of smaller buses that are better suited to manoeuvring though city traffic less city congestion. Operators will soon ask for more money. The proposed service in two to three years time will be closed down as it will be found to be economically unviable. The true cost of the project will not be disclosed as hidden costs will be allocated to other budgets and areas of expenditure. More money and limited resources wasted on ill-considered ideas designed to keep management busy.

Further consideration needs to be given, in preference to the proposed tourist shuttle, to the establishment of a mini-bus service linking East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne complementing and adding to the existing public transport connections currently available. This service could be run by private operators with a nominal fee per trip. It would significantly benefit residents of the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne who currently have no access to cheap efficient public transport linking these areas, other then having to travel into the city centre and out again. Parkville in particular has limited public transport options available providing access to Carlton and North Melbourne shopping precincts.

Empire Building City Council propose free tourist bus service to support fleeting Museum attendance. Residents’ needs left wanting

City of Melbourne will today decide what appears to be a given with the proposed establishment of a free Tourist bus service. The Council is being asked to fund a 40 seat bus shuttle service between Southbank/Crown Casino and Carlton.

The City of Melbourne have already spent/allocated $500,000.00 and plans to provide a further $750,000.00 ratepayer subsidy at the average cost of $85.00 per trip. (four trips per hour 6 hours a day 365 days a year)


Problems exist in that the free-shuttle service has a limited route and directly undercuts private tour operators who already service this sector and have invested a considerable amount of money in their business. Other cities around the world provide similar services but most are subsidised by the commercial sector. Establishments such as Crown Casino stand to benefit from such a service. The Museum, which was poorly located on the outskirts of the City (An issue that was identified when Jeff Kennett ignored community and professional advice and shifted the location of the Museum from Southbank to Carlton), are hopeful the free tourist service will revive its patronage – which is well below expectations. The proposed route is already serviced by the tram network although it is not direct and not free.

Insufficient information has been provided by the City Council as to the assessment of alternative proposals and we wonder if they were given due weight and consideration.

The City administration report recommending the establishment of the free bus service lists dubious statistical information based on the number of responses they received for and against the proposed project. On what basis the Council can give weight to the numeric analysis of the number of submission and respondents is beyond me, other then it gives an impression that the service has wide support and is worthwhile and viable, but is it?. Reliance on the statistical information of submissions would be foolish and adds little to the merits of the project. Issues of economics, viability and assessment of alternatives outweigh the self interests statistics of those who made a submission.

The City Council is not a good or efficient provider of services. In most cases they are empire building, expanding the management job market within the Council.

Let’s not forget the proposal, supported by former Councillor Kate Redwood, to establish mobility support/hire services for the disabled. The Redwood proposal was 3-4 times the cost of providing a similar service utilising infrastructure and services provided by existing community organisations such as Travellers Aid. Council should have considered more the submission made by former Lord Mayor Trevor Huggard. The council could have approached the Car Hire companies based in the City to asked for their support and assistance in providing this service to the public. Chances are hire companies would have offered their services free of charge as good corporate citizens, after all the provision electric wheel chairs is complementary the service they already provide. where they consulted?

The City Council should think twice before establishing a free tourist bus service.

Prediction: We expect that Council will soon find it need to put in significantly more funds and additional managerial services to oversee the provision of this service. The size of the buses will need to be reviewed with consideration given to the use of smaller buses that are better suited to manoeuvring though city traffic less city congestion. Operators will soon ask for more money. The proposed service in two to three years time will be closed down as it will be found to be economically unviable. The true cost of the project will not be disclosed as hidden costs will be allocated to other budgets and areas of expenditure. More money and limited resources wasted on ill-considered ideas designed to keep management busy.

Further consideration needs to be given, in preference to the proposed tourist shuttle, to the establishment of a mini-bus service linking East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne complementing and adding to the existing public transport connections currently available. This service could be run by private operators with a nominal fee per trip. It would significantly benefit residents of the East Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne who currently have no access to cheap efficient public transport linking these areas, other then having to travel into the city centre and out again. Parkville in particular has limited public transport options available providing access to Carlton and North Melbourne shopping precincts.

ANZ quits Melbourne – City Council blamed for exit

The ANZ bank has indicated that it is planning a shift of its head quarters in Melbourne to Sydney.

Link to original story

The ANZ bank is a major employer in the heart of the city and its exit from Melbourne would deliver a big blow.

The main reason stated for the ANZ’s planned move is intransigence from the Melbourne City Council which in its view has shown little to no care to its concerns about planning and services.

Join the queue.

The ANZ bank is not the only corporation that is getting the raw end of the deal. The ANZ occupies one of Melbourne most historic buildings in Collins Street. It really is a gem dating back to Melbourne hey day in the gold rush. It would be a real blow to see the bank vacate these premises.

Whilst it is difficult to make a full assessment of the ANZ banks concerns without have access to its exact requirements and the reasons why the City of Melbourne could not accommodate their concerns. The departure of the bank will reduce the City Council’s bank balance and unless a new tenant of standing can be found a huge hole in Melbourne financially sector with added concern that other financial sector business will follow..

We do not think the State Government would be happy in hearing the news. “John Brumby is most likely calling for crises talks in the cabinet as we speak. The sand has not yet run out of the hour glass and hopefully the City of Melbourne can demonstrate is desire and find a solution to the Banks problems.

The onus is now on Rob Adams, City Director of planning and Design – Innovative City, to come up with a compromise. Rob Adams is well known for his ability to capitulate when the going gets tough (remember his quick back-down and loss of integrity on the issue of the relocation of the Museum to the Carlton Gardens – he knew it was wrong for Melbourne and wrong for the Museum but he couldn’t have back-down faster if he was driving a porche under pressure from the then Premier Jeff Kennett and his cohorts.)

Well Rob this is one of those monuments we wait with interest to see what you can come up with, that is unless it is way too late.

.