The City of Melbourne wants to partner with the Victorian Government to invest $22 million into Federation Square to feature a new public library and upgraded Koorie Heritage Trust.
It follows the State Government’s review of Federation square, which Lord Mayor Sally Capp says has galvanised ideas for the space and provided an opportunity for the City of Melbourne to step up as its manager.
If selected as manager of Federation Square, the City of Melbourne says it would consider investing $15 million to relocate City Library and $7 million to revamp the Koorie Heritage Trust.
“This much needed investment would preserve the cultural and civic value of this iconic Melbourne space and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors,” Capp said.
“Making Fed Square the home of Melbourne’s most popular lending library would provide Melburnians with free access to event spaces, creative technologies and world-class resources.
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“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new benchmark for Australian libraries and celebrate our city’s indigenous history.”
Funding will depend on the council being given management responsibilities for the site, which would include managing tenancies, maintenance and activation.
Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the proposal would cement Federation Square as a community meeting place and cultural hub.
“Melburnians have been loud and clear about what they want for Federation Square – they want this iconic site to be about people, civic and cultural engagement and for it to be a true ‘people’s square’,” he said.
“Investing $15 million to relocate our City Library will attract one million more visitors to the Square per year, bringing life and economic activity to the Square. That foot traffic will be critical to the existing small businesses in Federation Square.
“The Koorie Heritage Trust does an amazing job of teaching Australians about our Aboriginal history. This $7 million funding boost will ensure the stories the Trust tells and the experiences it offers reach even more people. We know one of the key issues our international visitors identify is the desire for more opportunities to experience and understand Aboriginal culture.”
The City of Melbourne’s submission to the Victorian Government’s Federation Square Review is currently under consideration.