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    $12 million boost to public spaces in latest City of Melbourne budget

    Two new open spaces will be developed by the City of Melbourne - one in the CBD, the other in Southbank - with $12 million allocated as part of the latest draft budget.

    Elizabeth Street between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane will be turned into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard thanks to $1.5 million of allocated funds. Council data reveals that over 9,300 pedestrians use the area between 8am and 9am, compared to just 73 southbound motor vehicles.

    The proposals will be presented for community consultations in June, prior to commencement of work.

    The council's 2017-18 draft budget allocated $11 million for the first stage of the $35-million Southbank Boulevard project, with the aim of creating 2.5 hectares of public space in Melbourne's most densely-populated suburb, Southbank.

    The council has additional plans to redesign an area near the Victorian College of the Arts to better cater to street performances and public events. The city will also see new bike lanes and outdoor play equipment. A considerable amount of street planting will be incorporated for temperature regulation of the area.

    The City of Melbourne’s draft annual plan and budget earmarks a record investment in infrastructure and services with total budget expenditure on capital works, programs and services in 2017-18 amounting to $557 million. This investment, according to City of Melbourne, will help deliver key services needed by Melbourne as one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities.

    The draft budget includes an allocation of $29 million for the redevelopment of Queen Victoria Market; $10.4 million for road and footpath renewal; $8.57 million for parks renewal and tree planting; and $5 million for LED streetlight rollout among others.

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