What’s happening at Council? 

Words by Virginia Ruchel

Nillumbik Council met on Tuesday 23 May and 27 June. The next Council meeting is on 25 July 2023.


At the May meeting Council adopted the budget and declared the rates and charges for the 2023-2024 financial year. This includes a 3.5 percent increase in rates per property, the maximum allowable set by the Minister under the Fair Go Rates System.

Good progress was reported on the 2022-2023 Annual Action Plan including: 

  • endorsement of the Reconciliation Action and Community Engagement Plan,
  • securing funding for a Youth Hub in Eltham, 
  • an updated Municipal Planning Strategy, 
  • a first draft of the Integrated Transport Strategy, 
  • completion of significant Arts and Culture Strategy public art projects, and 
  • significant progress on creating a community focused approach to bushfire response as part of the Bushfire Mitigation Strategy Action Plan. 

Satisfaction with Council’s overall performance, as measured in the 2023 Community Survey conducted in February, increased with Council’s overall performance rating 6.88 out of 10 (categorised as ‘good’), an increase of 7.3% compared to 6.41 in 2022. This is better than the 5.7% increase across all Melbourne metropolitan councils but lower than the northern region councils’ average (7.02 out of 10) and the Melbourne metropolitan average (6.98). 

Councillors endorsed the recommendation of the Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Advisory Committee to reappoint Carl Cowie for a second four-year term, starting 1 October 2023.

Check the character type and design guidelines applied to your property and provide feedback on the Neighbourhood Character Strategy by 30 July. For each area, a statement of preferred character and character attributes, threats to the character and design guidelines for future development have been provided. Feedback on the current round of consultation will be presented to Council in September. 

Have your say by 30 July on the draft Biodiversity Strategy which aims to help guide the planning, protection, engagement, and restoration of biodiversity across the Shire. There’ll be further opportunity for input on the draft strategy during stage two consultation in 2024.


The 6 June Planning and Consultation Committee Meeting received several submissions on the Draft Governance Rule – Meeting Procedures, with most asking for Prayers to be deleted from Council Meetings. At the June Council meeting councillors voted to retain the Prayer in the Order of Business.  

Kitchen caddies for separating food waste from landfill rubbish will be available from August for households who would like one. Residents can pick one up at various council locations if they sign up on council’s website to be notified when the caddies are ready for collection.

There will be no introduction of kerbside bin collection service for glass (purple-lidded bin) by the end of 2024. Council will continue to investigate the introduction of this service taking into consideration the impacts of Victoria’s container deposit scheme, legislated requirements, service options and design. 

There will be an amendment to the Nillumbik Shire Planning Scheme to insert the Municipal Planning Strategy, with some specific amendments and an amended Clause 74.02. On receipt of the Minister’s authorisation, the amendment to the Nillumbik Planning Scheme will be placed on exhibition.

Draft designs for the Nillumbik Youth Hub were endorsed for public consultation. You can give your written feedback on the designs by 20 July 2023. 

Local Food Connect (LFC) has received a Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action grant to operate a proposed urban farm on Council-managed land at 2 Bell Street, Eltham, known as Fabbro Fields. LFC’s aim is for the area to become a financially viable not-for-profit urban agriculture centre. Have your say about whether you think an urban farm on the site, or part of the site, is a good idea by 20 July.

To share your ideas and give your feedback on Council projects visit participate.nillumbik.vic.gov.au.

Council meetings are live streamed on YouTube. Find links, dates, agendas, and minutes at nillumbik.vic.gov.au/Council.