Media Centre

Residents are advised to contact Customer Service on 8470 8888 for assistance.

Journalists are welcome to contact:

Dave Bell
Senior Media Advisor
Phone: 8470 8603


Enhancing Transparency

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Darebin Council has launched a new website to help residents understand the Council’s vision and Plan for the City and to enhance transparency and accountability by helping people to keep track of the organisation’s progress and performance.

Darebin Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf said the website is a fresh approach to engage the community that Council hopes will help people to hold them to account.

“We recognise that people want to engage with us more and more online. The website is packed with information, photographs and videos. You can learn more about our diverse community, our changing economy and the climate emergency as you navigate around the website,” the Mayor said.

“It will be updated with a performance report each quarter to show the community how we are meeting our commitments and delivering value to ratepayers,” she said.

To visit the website go to:

Media Release - 20 September 2017

A Solid Balance Sheet

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Darebin Council achieved an operating surplus of $21.63 million, $11.2 million ahead of the annual budget for the financial year ended on 30 June 2017.

The surplus is a result of half of the 2017/18 Victorian Grants Commission funding being received early; increases to statutory fees and fines; higher open space and developer contributions charges and lower employee costs.

Council spent $31.43 million on capital works, $4.41 million less than the annual budget of $35.84 million. A total of $2.79 million in savings was realised on projects completed as part of the 2016/17 capital works program.

Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said in addition to a solid balance sheet, the Performance Statement showed Council was improving its performance.

“Of the 28 indicators audited by the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, 17 were exceeded or improved on in comparison to the results of the previous year,” she said.

“It is a good result and we aim to continuously improve as we work to make Darebin a greener, bolder more connected city,” the Mayor said.

Click on the link to view the Full Year Financial Report or Performance Statement.

Media Release - 5 September 2017



Citizenship ceremonies at Darebin Council

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Darebin Council is disappointed in the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection’s decision to revoke Darebin Council’s right to preside over citizenship ceremonies in Darebin.
“We are very disappointed and sincerely hope that the Minister will reconsider his decision,” said Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf.

“Darebin Council hosts large, lively and joyous citizenship ceremonies all year round and we very much wish to continue doing so, just not on January 26.

“This decision disadvantages new residents waiting to become citizens and makes no sense.”

Darebin holds up to eight citizenship ceremonies every year and already over 80 per cent of new citizens attend a ceremony on a day other than January 26.  

“We take our role in hosting citizenship ceremonies very seriously and every ceremony has the same sense of gravitas and celebration, irrespective of the date.  These are incredibly important events for new residents, many of whom have made arduous journeys to settle in Australia.

“Our citizenship ceremonies are heartfelt, meaningful and we do not want to relinquish this important aspect of our role as the level of government closest to our residents.   

“We will continue to explore the offer made by Members and Senators to be the presiding officer at Darebin ceremonies, allowing them to continue uninterrupted.  It’s not clear what mechanism the Minister could use to block this move – he seems to be over-reaching in an effort to further punish Council, when it’s Darebin’s prospective citizens who will be impacted by his decision.”

The Mayor said the move seemed at odds with recent feedback from the Government about Darebin’s exemplary performance as a citizenship ceremony provider.

“The Government recently commended us for our efforts to help the Department get through the backlog on local citizenship waiting lists, so it would be a great shame if we weren’t able to continue to assist both the Government and our residents in this way.”

The Mayor said Darebin would continue to support the ‘change the date’ campaign, despite the Government’s action.

“It’s ironic that the Prime Minister has said changing the date is a national debate we need to have, yet his Government appears to be working to silence it by punishing councils for taking a stand in support of their Indigenous communities.”

Media Release - 22 August 2017


Two wins for human rights and equality

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Darebin Council made two important decisions tonight that support equality, human rights and seek to protect the health and wellbeing of the Darebin community and beyond.

January 26 

“We formally recognised that January 26 is not an inclusive date for our national celebration,” said Mayor Kim Le Cerf.

“January 26 is indelibly tied to the dispossession and subsequent oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and our Council cannot ignore the exclusion this entails and the impact it has on the health and wellbeing of our Indigenous community.  

“We will support the broader movement to ‘change the date’ and have resolved to ensure that the way we mark January 26 in Darebin is inclusive and respectful of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.” 

The inclusive actions endorsed by Council include:

  • In collaboration with the Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Council will host an event on an agreed date that celebrates the World’s Oldest Living Culture. 
  • Council will continue to recognise excellence and service in Darebin, renewed as the Darebin Community Awards, and held as part of a community celebration on a date other than January 26.  
  • Council will introduce new community awards to specifically honour the contribution of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.
  • Council will continue to host citizenship ceremonies in a positive and timely way throughout the year, but not on January 26. 

Darebin says yes to marriage equality

Council also resolved to fully support the ‘yes’ campaign for marriage equality, recognising it as a human rights and public health issue.

“Council recognises that all couples have a human right to access civil marriage without discrimination on the basis of sex, sexuality or gender identity,” said Cr Le Cerf.

“We don’t support the use of a voluntary survey to decide on a human rights issue, but in the absence of a more appropriate stance by the Federal Government we will support the yes campaign.

“That includes helping to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our LGBTIQ community members through support and community information and education.

“Council believes that the decision to implement a national postal survey and the attendant campaigning for the ‘no’ case will have harmful flow-on effects for the LGBTIQ community, especially our young people – and we want to do everything we can to counteract that.”

Note to editor – please find attached below the wording of the two urgent business items adopted by Darebin Council that are referred to in this media release.

Item 9.1 – Australia Day

That Council: 

(1) Acknowledges that January 26 marks the beginning of the British invasion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands and oppression of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and is therefore not an appropriate date for an inclusive national celebration. 

(2) Acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people never ceded sovereignty of their land and have continuously cared for their country for over 60,000 years as the World’s Oldest Living Culture.

(3) Acknowledges the first Day of Mourning was held on January 26, 1938, being the 150th anniversary of the British invasion.  The Day was attended by Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous supporters in protest of the national holiday and the ‘callous treatment’ of Aboriginal people and continues to be held annually.

(4) From 2018 onwards, hosts an inclusive and culturally-appropriate event on an agreed date in partnership with the Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee that recognises and celebrates the World’s Oldest Living Culture.  

(5) Supports the #changethedate campaign and initiates an ongoing conversation, in partnership with the Darebin Aboriginal Advisory Committee, to build better understanding with the broader Darebin community of Australia’s history and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community’s pain in relation to the significance and history of January 26.  This includes referring to January 26 merely as January 26 in all communications.  

(6) Commits to engaging with Darebin's diverse community, including established and newly arrived communities, to raise community awareness and understanding.

(7) Advocates to the Federal Government to change the date in line with the resolution passed by the National General Assembly of Local Government in June 2017.

(8) Seeks opportunities to collaborate and partner with Yarra City Council and other relevant stakeholders to support each other’s events, advocacy and education initiatives.

(9) Continues to recognise excellence and service in Darebin, renewed as the Darebin Community Awards, and to be awarded on a day other than January 26.

 (10) In collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, introduce new categories within the Awards that recognise and celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live, work or study in Darebin. 

 (11) Reaffirms our commitment to holding citizenship ceremonies in a positive and timely way on dates as required that will not include January 26. 

Item 9.2 – Urgent Business

Marriage Equality

That Council:  

1) Reaffirms its longstanding commitment to achieving marriage equality through a free vote in parliament, noting Council’s previous endorsement of marriage equality in July 2015 and December 2016, as well as Council’s support of its LGBTIQ citizens since 2012 through actions delivered via the Sexuality, Sex and Gender Diversity Action Plan and also the Sexuality, Sex and Gender Diverse Advisory Committee, and Council’s support to IDAHOBIT since 2010. 

2) Endorses the Mayor to write to the Australian Government expressing Council’s disappointment at the decision to implement a national postal survey and outlining the harmful impacts on LGBTIQ Australians that will flow from this, particularly for young Australians. 

3) Endorses the Mayor to write to all local, LGBTIQ-focussed services, organisations and groups to express Council’s support for their members and communities over the next four months. 

4) Supports LGBTIQ-focussed organisations to access Council meeting rooms and spaces at no cost, for gatherings and activities that promote the health and wellbeing of the community while the national postal survey is administered over the next four months and effective immediately. 

5) Endorses the Mayor to write to all civic, religious, educational and sporting organisations to highlight Council’s position and support for marriage equality and the actions that we will take to support and promote the safety, health and wellbeing of our LGBTIQ community over the next 4 months.

6) Delivers a proactive advocacy and communication strategy over the next four months that affirms Council’s support for marriage equality and the “Yes” campaign in speeches, website and social media, local multicultural news outlets and in buildings and other public realm opportunities. 

7) Explores any additional ways in which Council can support the “Yes” campaign.

8) Urgently explores options to facilitate participation in the survey by people who are homeless or do not have a fixed address.

 Media Release - 21 August, 2017

Walk to School Month

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Darebin Council is encouraging more families to ditch the car and experience the multiple benefits that stem from walking, riding or scooting to school as part of VicHealth’s Walk to School Month.

Darebin Mayor, Cr. Kim Le Cerf, said it is a free, easy and fun way for kids to get active and establish healthy habits for life.

“Research shows children who get some exercise while travelling to school are more able to concentrate throughout the day and achieve better academic results,” she said.

“I have three children and I know many parents are aware of this, but are time poor and find it difficult to walk. But when you think about it, one of the best ways you can free up some time in your day is by combining travel with exercise. If you can’t walk all the way, try parking the car a few blocks from school and walk, ride or scoot the rest.

“Another barrier stopping people from walking is a perception that it is unsafe. I’d like to bust this myth. Pedestrian safety has been vastly improved since the 1970s thanks to better infrastructure and the introduction of reduced speed limits around schools and on local roads.

“We are keen to recruit more schools like East Preston Islamic College whose school community have become big supporters of the program,” the Mayor said.

Council is running competitions for participating schools, organising park and walk events, and holding healthy breakfasts at local primary schools during the month of October.

Participating schools will also receive certificates to celebrate their students’ achievements, and will be in the running for a series of prizes provided by VicHealth.

Darebin schools are encouraged to contact, telephone 8470 8383, or visit for more information.

Darebin received a $20,000 grant to from VicHealth to run the program.

Link: VicHealth Walk to School Month

Media Release - 15 August, 2017

Walker Street Public Housing

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Darebin Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf is encouraging local residents, support agencies and the wider community to have their say on a proposed planning scheme amendment that will shape the future redevelopment of the Walker Street public housing estate in Northcote.

The community consultation session will be hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services on 2 August at the Northcote Library between 5pm and 7pm.

Mayor Kim Le Cerf said advocating to secure the best outcome for local families is a big priority for the Council with an ever growing waiting list for public and social housing.

“The redevelopment is a once in a generation opportunity to secure significant social benefits for current and future residents and the surrounding community,” she said.

“The Department of Health and Human Services have told us they are planning to redevelop the ageing Walker Street public housing estate into a vibrant, better-connected, mixed-tenure neighbourhood as part of the Victorian Government’s Social Housing Renewal Program.

“We are encouraging local people and support agencies to come to the consultation to help secure the best outcome for existing and future residents by setting the bar high for the redevelopment,” the Mayor said.

The Department of Health and Human Services will publish information about the proposed Planning Scheme Amendment from 31 July at

Media Release – 31 July 2017

Preston Market Update

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Darebin Council’s planning team have reviewed amended plans for Preston Market submitted to VCAT and found they failed to address Council’s grounds for refusal.

Darebin Council’s Planning and Building Manager Darren Rudd said the amended plans, submitted by developer Salta Properties, were assessed by his team of planning experts who concluded they did not deliver sufficient community benefit.

“My planning team undertook a detailed technical assessment which considered if the amendments adequately addressed Council’s grounds for refusal.

“It is our opinion that they did not deliver sufficient community benefit and they therefore do not warrant any further reconsideration by Councillors,” Mr Rudd said.

Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said she backed Mr Rudd’s call.

“Mr Rudd and his dedicated planning team have a wealth of expertise, experience and integrity which is a huge benefit to the local community,” she said.

“This is incredibly important to ensure we secure the best outcomes from developments, especially for complex applications as significant to our community as the Preston Market.

“Although I understand the amended plans offered some improvements, I strongly back Mr Rudd’s decision,” the Mayor said.

The Planning Application will now be considered by VCAT at a hearing which is scheduled for seven days starting on 14 August 2017.

Council will continue to oppose the Planning Application.

The current grounds for refusal are published on page 20 of the minutes from the 13 June Planning Committee Meeting: Minutes - 13 June 2017.

Media release: 27 June 2017.

New Darebin CEO Announced

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Darebin Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf, today announced that Sue Wilkinson has been appointed as the organisation’s new CEO to lead the delivery of the Council’s ambitious plan for a greener, bolder, more connected city.

“Following an extensive executive recruitment process, I am delighted to announce that Sue Wilkinson has been appointed CEO for a period of five years starting on 18 September 2017,” she said.

“I thank the Independent Chair of the Council’s CEO Employment Matters Committee Mary Crooks for assisting our fair and thorough recruitment process.

“We have accepted the Committee’s unanimously recommendation in selecting Sue Wilkinson on the basis of her track record in local government, leadership attributes and values.

“I am confident we have selected the very best candidate from what was an incredibly high calibre field of applicants.

“On behalf of Council, I wish to publically thank acting Chief Executive Officer, Phil Shanahan, for his leadership.

“His extensive experience and strategic advice was critical in helping us to develop an ambitious Council Plan that will leave a lasting legacy on the City,” the Mayor said.

Ms Crooks said consultation with the local community, Council management and staff was central to the recruitment process.

“One of the fundamental elements during the recruitment process was to understand what skills, competencies and outcomes the Council and community sought in its Chief Executive Officer,” she said.

“The response was extremely strong and Sue Wilkinson emerged as the preferred candidate from a very high calibre field of applicants,” Ms Crooks said.

“This appointment ushers in a new era for Darebin as a vibrant and effective local government,” Ms Crooks said.

Ms Wilkinson said she is honoured by the appointment and very excited to be joining Darebin. 

“I am deeply committed to delivering Council and community objectives and will work hard with staff to achieve future focused, positive outcomes in the years ahead.”

Sue Wilkinson’s total remuneration package will be $345,000.

Media release: 25 July 2017


About Sue Wilkinson

Ms Wilkinson is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Colac Otway Shire and has a strong track record of delivery of high quality, coordinated services and complex public policy outcomes. 

She has significant senior leadership experience across both state and local government having previously worked at the City of Monash, the City of Port Phillip and the Department of Planning and Community Development. 

Sue is highly regarded for her ability to engage with people and establish partnerships and over the course of her career she has developed strong working relationships with other levels of government and key stakeholders to deliver for the communities where she has worked. 

Whilst at Colac Otway Ms Wilkinson has worked to build a strong organisational culture of community focused services and continuous improvement. She has also led the Shire’s community recovery efforts following several very challenging events including devastating bushfires, multiple floods and landslides. 

A greener, bolder and more connected Darebin

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The Darebin Council Plan 2017-2021, which articulates the vision, mission and goals for the four-year Council term, and Budget for the 2017/18 financial year were adopted last night following months of development and extensive consultation with the local community.

Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said the budget will enable Council to continue the delivery of quality services and address future needs of the community.

“It was developed taking into account feedback from over 1200 community members and I thank them or their time,” the Mayor said.

“It sets the foundation for the first year of the new four year Council Plan by considering the challenges that our city and community currently face and emerging issues that will become more significant over time.

“It will fund important services as well as infrastructure improvements, including more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly roads and paths and better transport outcomes. 

“Importantly, a new developer contribution scheme is being developed to ensure developers contribute to the infrastructure improvements needed to meet the needs of our growing community.

“Council can now get on with implementing a number of key initiatives that are important for the future wellbeing of the community. We will create a Darebin Nature Trust and Darebin Energy Foundation to ensure our sustainability and liveability goals are achieved in response to the climate emergency,” she said.

In line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System, rates will only increase by two per cent.

Media Release - 23 June 2017

Council moves to end unhealthy relationship

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Darebin Council will help local sports clubs to end their unhealthy relationship with the gambling industry to boost overall community health and wellbeing in the municipality.

Darebin Councillor and public health specialist Susan Rennie, said the Council wants to put an end to the current situation that benefits local sporting teams at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable.

"The harms associated with gambling include poverty, stress, reduced work performance and family violence. People experience a lower quality of life compared to the Australian population and are twice as likely to suffer anxiety and depression," Cr Rennie said.

"Local sports clubs do a great job promoting public health and wellbeing in our community but when they rely on gambling funds they are also causing harm. They are in fact relying on the poorest and most vulnerable to prop up their finances.

"This is fundamentally wrong and it is time that they hung up the boots and ended their unhealthy relationship with gambling.

"Council invests a significant amount of ratepayers'money to support local clubs and provide access to sporting facilities.

"That means we can't turn a blind eye and continue to allow our resources to support activities that undermine our work to promote great health in our community.

"We are also concerned that the gambling industry is reaching into clubs with junior teams to recruit the next generation of gamblers," Cr Rennie said.

Research commissioned by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation shows the prevalence of gambling is growing among 15 to 25 year olds1.

Council will consider a future report exploring options to help clubs develop transition plans which will be informed by AFL team North Melbourne which has already divested from electronic gaming machines.

Clubs will have until 2022 to transition, when all EGM licenses in Victoria expire.

- Gambling harm statistics
Gambling Industry Funding Policy, Public Health Association Australia. 
Study of gambling and health in Victoria, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
1Gen Bet: Has Gambling Gate crashed our teens? March, 2017.

Media release: 6 June 2017.

New exhibition Skin Thing coming to Bundoora Homestead

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Skin Thing, a new exhibition soon to open at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, explores the surface of skin through the lens of Australian contemporary art from 1989 to the present.

Including a range of impressive artworks, the exhibition positions skin at the centre of gender, health and racial issues. Many of the works have not been exhibited in Melbourne previously.

Artworks will be presented by Polly Borland, Ex de Medici, Adam Geczy and Peter Sculthorpe, Paul Knight, Archie Moore, Perimeter Books, Stuart Ringholt, Charles Robb, Salote Tawale and Jodie Whalen. 

Through their works, visitors will discover curious and confronting aspects of modern attitudes to skin including how we react to public nudity and racist beliefs that can be found within our society.

Works include Archie Moore’s highly farcical Blood Fraction Series where the artist uses the selfie to create a sequence of 100 portraits ranging from white to black. Elsewhere, Salote Tawale explores skin as a site that can be erased or masked. Paul Knight’s serendipitously folded photographs draw attention to the skin as a vehicle for intimacy and Charles Robb uses the surface of the skin as a way to explore the history of sculpture and self-portraiture. Perimeter Books has curated a selection of publications that expand the idea of skin as a surface. And finally, Sydney artist Jodie Whalen will revisit her Positive/Negative Positive/Negative project. 

An opening event will be held on Saturday 24 June at 2pm with guest speaker Olympia Nelson and with a performance by Jodie Whalen.  A Curator’s/Artists’ Talk will be held on Friday 14 July from 2-3.15pm. All welcome.

Skin Thing will be on display from 23 June to 6 August 2017.

Bundoora Homestead Art Centre is the public art gallery for the City of Darebin and is committed to presenting, challenging and inspiring contemporary visual arts exhibitions and public programs. The Homestead was built in 1900 and is registered by Heritage Victoria and certified by the National Trust.

Media release: 6 June 2017

Victorian council's declare climate emergency

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Victoria’s local government sector supported a motion submitted by Darebin Council declaring a state of climate emergency at the Municipal Association of Victoria annual conference on Friday 12 May

Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said the strong level of support for the motion in the sector reflected growing concern that current efforts to limit emissions are woefully inadequate.

“The global climate emergency means we must take urgent action now if we want future generations to live happy and healthy lives,” she said.

“At Darebin we will continue to take actions, to mitigate and adapt to climate change within our own operations and to support our community to do the same. 

“We were the first council in Australia to declare a state of climate emergency and it is pleasing to see such strong support among Victorian councils

“But we know the local government sector is only part of the equation. 

“It is still possible to restore a safe climate and prevent most of the anticipated long-term climate impacts – but only if government organisations at all levels and corporations across the world adopt an emergency mode of action,” the Mayor said.

The climate emergency motion was supported by 77 per cent of Victorian councils.

Motion 56. Climate Change (submitted by Darebin City Council)

That the MAV recognise that:

(a) we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including local councils.

(b) human induced climate change stands in the first rank of threats to humans, civilisation and other species.

(c) it is still possible to restore a safe climate and prevent most of the anticipated long-term climate impacts – but only if societies across the world adopt an emergency mode of action that can enable the restructuring of the physical economy at the necessary scale and speed.

(d) the MAV has a particular role in assisting local governments in this regard.

Media release: 15 May 2017

Draft Council Plan and Draft Budget

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Darebin Council is seeking feedback on its draft Council Plan 2017-2021 which articulates the vision, mission and goals for the four-year council term and its draft Budget for the 2017/18 financial year.

About the Council Plan

The City of Darebin faces a number of challenges and the Plan sets out how council will address them says Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf.

“The Plan begins by considering the challenges that our city and community currently face and it also considers emerging issues that will become more significant challenges in the future,” she said.

"For example, we have declared a climate change emergency and the Plan explains how council will respond to it.

“The Plan also explains how we will manage rapid population growth and increasing traffic congestion by advocating for better public transport, roads, and safer cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

“Other focus areas explain how we will tackle the affordable housing crisis and support the most vulnerable people in our diverse community.

“The commitments contained in the draft Plan respond to feedback gathered through an extensive consultative process and analysis of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other sources.

“For the first time it will contain a detailed annual action plan and our performance will be reported against it each year,” the Mayor said.

To view a copy and have your say visit or call customer service on 8470 8888.

You can make a written submission by email to or by post addressed to Jim Barrett, City of Darebin, PO Box 91, Preston Vic, 3072.

About Council Budget

An unprecedented 1200 local people from every part of Darebin have helped to formulate next year’s Council budget, but it’s not too late to have your say.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf said she was proud to present the first budget of the new council.

We reached an unprecedented 1200 local people from every part of Darebin and all walks of life to develop it and I thank them for helping us to formulate a budget that meets our diverse community’s expectations,” she said.

“It sets the foundation for delivering the big actions we have committed to over the next four years. Those actions are designed to benefit Darebin now, and well into the future.

“We want our diverse community and future generations to live happy and healthy lives and the global climate emergency means we must now take urgent action to reduce emissions. This is why funding has been increased to expand our community solar power program.

“We’ve committed funds to create a Darebin Nature Trust, along with funds to establish the Darebin Energy Foundation. Both initiatives will help to ensure our ambitious sustainability and liveability goals are achieved.

“The Budget commits funds for infrastructure and services, including building safer and more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly roads and paths. We intend to work towards revitalising the heart of Preston with new open space, street beautification and better transport outcomes through advocacy to expand the Victorian Government’s level crossing removals in Darebin.

“By establishing a new developer contribution scheme, we will ensure developers contribute their fair share to the infrastructure required to meet the needs of our rapidly growing population, and we’ll increase the levy for subdivisions to fund more open space.

“We’ll create the long-term plan for a whole new suburb in Northland that will include great public transport, community facilities, green spaces and employment,” she said. 

Other Budget highlights include additional funds towards:

  • Building better sports and recreational facilities, including a new multi sports stadium to provide more opportunities for women and girls and redeveloping the Northcote Aquatic Centre.
  • Investing more in local parks and green open spaces including the Edwardes Lake Park Boat House, Penders Park, playground improvements and developing a master plan for Mayer Park and Northcote Golf Course.
  • Planting more trees to increase canopy cover across Darebin.
  • Fast tracking improvements to school crossings, walking and cycling paths to ensure safer trips to school and work.
  • Providing more support for local community organisations including sporting clubs and multicultural organisations.
  • Delivering aged care and disability services and support.
  • Ensuring local arts and culture continues to thrive, including reinvigorating Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre.
  • Enhancing democratic participation through a Citizen’s Jury.

In line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System, rates will only increase by two per cent. During the month of May, people who live, work or learn in the City of Darebin are encouraged to review the draft budget which is proposed for next financial year and make a submission.

Submissions received may be incorporated into the final budget.To make a submission visit or call customer service on 8470 8888. 

Submissions open on 10 May and close at midnight on 8 June.

Media Release - 9 May 2017

Meet your councillors. Change your city.

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Darebin Council is inviting local people to come along to regular Ward meetings to talk about important issues and share their vision for the City with local councillors.

The Ward meetings will help to improve community participation and enhance transparency says Mayor, Kim Le Cerf.

“Meetings have been scheduled in different parts of the municipality to provide an accessible avenue for the community to have a conversation with councillors about matters that are important to them and the City’s future,” she said.

“Some of the best ideas come from the community we serve. The Ward meetings are an opportunity for us to listen to these ideas and be more open and accountable for the decisions we make,” the Mayor said.

Future meetings will be promoted via advertising in local media and online at

Ward meeting schedule;

Latrobe Ward
Cr Tim Laurence, Cr Gaetano Greco (Deputy Mayor), Cr Susanne Newton

Tuesday 23 May, 7pm-8.30pm
Reservoir Community and Learning Centre
23 Edwardes Street, Reservoir

Cazaly Ward
Cr Steph Amir, Cr Lina Messina, Cr Julie Williams

Tuesday 30 May, 7pm-8.30pm
Preston Shire Hall
286 Gower Street, Preston

Rucker Ward
Cr Kim LeCerf (Mayor), Cr Trent McCarthy, Cr Susan Rennie

Thursday 29 June, 7pm-8.30pm
Northcote Library
32-38 Separation Street, Northcote


Media Release - 7 May 2017


Darebin Business Award for Community Contribution

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Nominations are now open for the 2017 Darebin Business Award for Community Contribution.

City of Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf said the awards recognise local businesses that help to make Darebin a great place to live by contributing to the community.

“This Award is all about acknowledging those that go beyond delivering their own products and services to benefit the local community,” she said.

“Melbourne City Football Club won the Award last year after partnering with local job service provider MatchWorks on an initiative called City Sisters.

“It provided 23 unemployed and under-employed female MatchWorks clients with an opportunity to learn about active and healthy living and develop employment skills. More than half of them went on to secure work and further education placements at the conclusion of the program.

“Local businesses are encouraged to apply. I also encourage local community groups to nominate a local business that has supported them,” she said.

To be eligible, nominations must be for local businesses that directly benefited people who live, work, study or visit Darebin.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in June as part of Darebin’s annual business event.

For more information about the Darebin Business Award for Community Contribution or to nominate a business, visit or call 8470 8344.

Nominations closed on Friday 5 May, 2017.

Media Release - 13 April, 2017


Enhancing Democratic Participation

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Darebin Council endorsed several initiatives at its meeting on Monday 20 March that will give local people stronger influence on council decisions as part of the council’s wider push to improve governance and community participation in its democratic processes.

The changes will give the community stronger influence on decisions council makes so that they better reflect the community’s preferences says Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf.

“We believe community participation in democracy is essential to good governance and good decision making so we are introducing a number of changes which take participatory democracy to the next level,” the Mayor said.

“Local people will be invited to pop along to Ward meetings which provide an opportunity for the community to discuss local issues directly with their local councillors. They will be run in different parts of Darebin throughout the year.

“We will also establish bimonthly forums where the community will be invited to work with us to plan the future of city together. These forums will also help our community to better understand how the planning system works.

“Finally, we have also made a significant change to the council meeting procedure. From April changes will come into effect that enables individuals to make a comment or two-minute submission immediately before an agenda item is considered by councillors.

“It’s one thing to consult the community outside of the council chamber. This change means the community will have a stronger voice inside the chamber to inform the debate and shape the decisions we make,” the Mayor said.

To reflect this change ‘Public Question Time’ will be renamed ‘Question and Submission Time’. The new procedure comes into effect from 3 April, 2017.

The time and location of Ward Meetings and bimonthly planning forums will be advertised in local media and on the council’s website.

Media Release - 22 March 2017

Age-friendly Victoria Declaration

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Darebin Council has become a signatory to the Age-friendly Victoria Declaration to reaffirm its long standing commitment to make the city a better place for older people. The Age-friendly Victoria initiative is led by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.

It aims to promote the inclusion of older people and support services, business and community leaders to better plan for the needs of seniors and enhance the quality of life for people as they age.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, said the council has done a lot of great work over many years in these areas through its Active and Healthy Ageing Strategy 2011 – 2021.

“Signing the declaration is about reaffirming our long held commitment that meeting the needs of older people will continue to be a priority,” she said.

“We know active and healthy ageing is more than just delivering services to older people in their homes. It requires all of us to look through an older person’s lens to ensure our services meet their needs,” the Mayor said.

Council creates annual action plans to deliver on its ten-year strategy utilising the World Health Organisations’ Age Friendly Cities Framework in the areas of: 

  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Social Participation
  • Outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Respect and social inclusion
  • Civic participation and employment
  • Communication and information
  • Community support and health services.

For more information about the Aged-friendly declaration visit:

Join Council’s Active and Healthy Ageing Advisory Board

The Board is looking for new members to help make Darebin a better place for older people. For more information or to apply to become a Board member, telephone 8470 8339.

Media Release: 10 March 2017

A better plan for public housing

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Darebin Council’s decision to refuse the Department of Health and Human Services planning application for public housing developments at 16-20 and 29-35 Stokes Street, Preston and 15-19 Penola Street, Preston does not signal a departure from its long standing support for appropriate public housing.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf said she met with the Minster for Housing on Wednesday to explain why the decision had no bearing on the council’s long standing commitment and to discuss the council’s concerns about the proposed development.

“I met with the Minister on Wednesday to reaffirm our commitment to public housing and am pleased he was receptive to our concerns about this development,” she said.

“As a result it was agreed that we will now work with the Department to develop a master plan for the site which will involve community consultation and hopefully avoid the original plan being considered by VCAT.

“I am cautiously optimistic this approach establishes a better process that will result in a plan that has community support.

“It will also achieve our mutual objective to address the public housing shortage in our city.

“Research from around the world shows quality housing delivers significant social and environmental benefits and we believe disadvantaged public housing tenants deserve the best design possible.

“With the department confirming it has ear marked another site for public housing in Walker Street Northcote, it is absolutely crucial we set the bar high to secure the best outcome for existing residents and future public housing tenants,” she said.

The grounds on which council refused the original development application include:

  • Inadequate community consultation.
  • A failure to comply with clause 22.04 (Neighbourhood and Character).
  • Negative impact on amenity for residents in the area.
  • Inadequate natural ventilation.
  • Poor orientation and energy efficiency.
  • Inadequate landscaping.
  • Inadequate onsite resident and visitor car parking.
  • Inadequate provision for accessible car parking.
  • Excessive building height and bulk.

Media Release - 9 March 2017

Community Support Program 2017

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Local not-for-profit community groups and organisations can apply for Council funding for initiatives that make a positive contribution to local arts and culture; sport and recreation; community wellbeing; equity and inclusion; human rights; education; and environmental sustainability.

Darebin Mayor, Cr Kim Le Cerf, said the Support Program helps local groups and organisations run initiatives that meet the needs of the local community.

“Not-for-profit organisations have used these funds to enrich life in Darebin for many years and I encourage you to apply if you have a program or initiative that meets the criteria,” she said.

Funding is available in three categories:

  • Annual Cash Grants (up to $6,000)
  • Annual Facility Hire Subsidy Grants (up to $6,000) for the use of nominated Council venues.
  • Annual-combined Cash Grants and Facility Hire Subsidy Grants (up to $6,000).

How to apply

Download the Community Grants information booklet.

Applications must be submitted online. Support is available to eligible applicants who do not have access to a computer or internet.

Applicants can request translated information or speak to an interpreter via Darebin Council’s Multilingual Telephone Line on 8470 8470.

If you would like further assistance to develop your application, please attend one of the following information sessions:

Session one - Thursday 16 March 2017, 10am-12pm
Shire Hall, 286 Gower Street, Preston.

Session two - Thursday 30 March 2017, 6pm-8pm
Council Chambers, 350 High Street, Preston.

Applications open Monday 27 February and close at midnight on Monday, 24 April 2017.

For more information call the Community Grants Officer on 8470 8504.

Media Release - 21 February 2017

Council contests MAV decision re delegate

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Council seeks and injunction order to contest MAVs decision not to recognise our nominated delegate.

“Darebin Council has today sought an injunction from the Supreme Court in order to contest the MAV’s decision not to recognise Boroondara councillor, Coral Ross, as our MAV delegate.

"MAV’s rejection of Cr Ross as our delegate precludes her from running in the March MAV election for Board and President.

"If the Court grants the injunction it would restrain the MAV from conducting the election without including Cr Ross on the ballot paper, and will enable Cr Ross’ validity as Darebin’s nominated delegate to be determined by the Court. Council believes the matter to be in the public interest.

"We are maintaining a strong stance on this matter because we believe it to be legally sound, and because gender representation in local government leadership falls short of community expectations.” 

Kim Le Cerf

Media Release - 13 February 2017

60 years of reconciliation

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Darebin Council has reaffirmed its long and proud history of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the spirit of reconciliation, almost 60 years to the day that Aboriginal leader, Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls, delivered an historic speech in Northcote about entrenched inequality.

Darebin Mayor, Kim Le Cerf said Pastor Nicholls was a prominent Aboriginal Australian, activist, professional athlete, pastor and pioneering campaigner for reconciliation.

"Speaking in Batman Park on Australia Day in 1957, he called for the gulf between White Australia and our First Australians to be bridged, for adequate housing for the Aboriginal community, for Aboriginal representation in government and for equality," Mayor Le Cerf said.

"Today, there is a national debate taking place about how we can make Australia Day more inclusive and use it to bring all the peoples of our country together to heal the deep wounds inflicted on indigenous people.

"It’s a date that has a big history, a complicated history, a history that we grapple with. It's not something we put in our citizenship tests, but Australia Day, which marks the planting of the British Flag at Sydney Cove and the beginning of colonisation, is also a symbol of the unfinished business we have with the First People in this country.

"Standing on stage, together with the Mayor and City Councillors of the day, Pastor Nicholls spoke about the discrimination and the disadvantage that had plagued Aboriginal Australia since Europeans colonised their lands. He made the case that Australia’s First Peoples had been cast aside and forgotten by modern Australia.

"But he did not speak of recriminations or debts. This is what was so powerful about his speech. This is what captured the imagination of the crowd and helped to establish the reconciliation movement in this country – he asked only that we extend the hand of friendship. That we recognise our First Peoples, that we afford them the same chances and opportunities.

"As a Council I want to honour that tradition and reaffirm Darebin Council’s commitment to real recognition and real reconciliation.

"In the spirit of Sir Doug's speech, I want to extend the hand of friendship to local Elders and to say, we are listening. We have open hearts and we are ready to hear what we need to do, to work towards healing.

"Maybe it will mean shifting the date on which we celebrate the nation – to a date that can be owned by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people just as much as the rest of us.

"It is a conversation we need to have because we all play a role in shaping and building a better and more just Australia. We all play a role in healing wounds, and righting the wrongs of our predecessors.

"As we look to the future and learn from our past, I put it to you that Australia will remain an unfinished project until true reconciliation occurs.

"It is this however, the work of reconciliation – the dedicated work of so many Australians to bridge gulfs, to right injustices, to break down barriers and come together as one people – that makes Australia worth celebrating," the Mayor said.

Media Release: 27 January 2017

Interim CEO appointed by Darebin Council

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Darebin Council Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, today announced Mr Philip Shanahan has been appointed interim CEO to lead the organisation for a period of six months starting on the 2nd of January, 2017.

Mr Shanahan has previously been CEO at several Victorian councils, including Darebin between 1999 and 2005. He also has extensive expertise in governance having provided governance training to the Municipal Association of Victoria and as a consultant to the Victorian Local Governance Association during a career that spans five decades in local government.

Mayor, Kim Le Cerf, said Mr Shanahan has worked with more than 50 councils and will lead the organisation while an extensive executive search and recruitment process is undertaken to appoint a permanent CEO in 2017.

“I am very pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr Shanahan as interim CEO on behalf of my fellow councillors. We are very committed to restoring community confidence in Darebin Council and he brings a wealth of experience to the organisation in the areas of governance, organisational reform, managing cultural diversity, urban redevelopment and renewal,” Mayor Le Cerf said.

“We have a challenge ahead to maintain services and invest in the city to meet the changing needs of a growing population with less revenue due to rate capping and funding cuts from both the Victorian and Australian Government. “Mr Shanahan is the ideal person to lead organisation and work with councillors to develop a four-year Council Plan that will meet these challenges.

“It is important that we appointed someone who will hit the ground running for this critical task and he will also help Darebin Council to recruit an ongoing CEO,”

Mayor Le Cerf said. Mayor Kim Le Cerf thanked Mr Andrew McLeod for leading the organisation as acting CEO. Mr McLeod will continue to act CEO until Mr Shanahan starts in 2017.

Media Release - 20 December 2016

Resignation of Darebin CEO

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Chief Executive Officer with the Darebin City Council, Rasiah Dev, has resigned from his position.

Rasiah Dev has today resigned from his position as Chief Executive Officer with the Darebin City Council to allow him to spend more time with his family and to pursue other opportunities. His resignation is effective from today (7 December 2016).

Rasiah has served the Council in the position of CEO for more than six years. On behalf of the Council I wish to acknowledge the contribution Rasiah has made to the Council and the ratepayers of Darebin during the term of his employment, and to sincerely thank him for his contribution. We wish Rasiah all the best for the future.

Council has appointed Andrew McLeod, Corporate Services Director, as Acting CEO until 20 December.  Council will hold a Special Meeting on 19 December to appoint an interim CEO while recruitment is undertaken for the role.

I look forward to a busy year ahead in 2017 as we continue to deliver excellent service to our community and work to develop the new Council Plan that will set our goals for the future.

Media Release - 7 December 2016