The Economic Development Strategy, developed with feedback from our community, is our vision for how we’ll boost Boroondara’s local economy over the next 6 years. It is accompanied by an action plan that outlines how we’ll direct our efforts.

On Monday 26 February 2024, Councillors adopted the strategy at a Council meeting. You can watch a recording of the meeting on the City of Boroondara YouTube channel.

The strategy aims to make sure Boroondara remains a great place for our community to live, work, study and play. We also want to increase opportunities for businesses, workers, residents and visitors to enjoy all that Boroondara has to offer.

You can download the strategy and action plan from our website's Economic Development Strategy page.

Our 4 priorities

We completed several rounds of consultation with our community, businesses and stakeholders on the details of the strategy. See Community consultation below.

These consultations helped us identify and develop 4 priorities:

  • Priority 1

    Thriving Shopping Precincts

    We are committed to activating and enhancing activity centres and shopping precincts across Boroondara to ensure they offer vibrant places to meet and be entertained, access to job opportunities and green spaces, as well as meet the diverse shopping, social and service needs of residents, workers, businesses and visitors.

  • Priority 2

    A Supported Business Community

    We are committed to promoting business growth and investment in Boroondara that capitalises on existing industry specialisations and achieves successful economic and employment outcomes.

  • Priority 3

    A Sustainable, Circular and ‘Smart’ Local Economy

    We are committed to encouraging a flourishing local economy that embraces innovative models of business and supplies environmentally-sustainable goods and services to our community.

  • Priority 4

    A Desirable Destination for Visitors

    We are committed to supporting the growth of tourism and the visitor economy by attracting non-local (Melbourne residents from outside Boroondara), regional and interstate visitors and increasing visitor spend.

Community consultation

Thank you to everyone who had their say during the following stages of consultation.

Council reviewed the following sources of feedback gained during consultation for the Boroondara Community Plan 2021-2031 (BCP):

  • 5,070 comments about our local economy, collected from 4,723 community members
  • Boroondara conversations workshops with 149 participants
  • BCP workshop with young people
  • BCP workshop with local business owners.

What we heard

  • 'Your Local Shops and Businesses’ was the third ranked theme for Council to focus on over the next 10 years
  • 45% of survey respondents put ‘Your Local Shops and Businesses’ as a top 3 priority for Council (18% increase since 2017, ranking third in 2021, up from sixth in 2017).
  • ‘Having shops nearby’ (8% in 2021) and ‘supporting local business and employment’ (6% in 2021) mattered the most to people under this theme.

This stage involved consultations with:

  • Boroondara traders’ associations
  • local businesses, including major industry sectors and home-based businesses
  • relevant Victorian Government departments
  • regional networks and partners
  • City of Boroondara departments.

Key priorities identified for Boroondara’s business community and local economy more generally were:

  • activity centres and shopping precincts
  • business development and support
  • workforce development
  • environmental sustainability
  • tourism.

This consultation phase involved seeking community feedback on the draft plan and the 4 proposed priorities via an online survey.

We received 96 responses from businesses, traders’ associations, residents, visitors, community organisations and groups and visitors to Boroondara. 43 respondents provided feedback, which included comments, suggestions or concerns relating to the draft Strategy or specific locations within Boroondara.

Most of the feedback indicated general support for the draft strategy. Most comments and suggestions related to the 4 priorities, strategic objectives and focus areas.

We used the feedback received during this phase to develop our final strategy.

Thriving Shopping Precincts

Half of the respondents ranked ‘Thriving Shopping Precincts’ as the most important of the strategy’s 4 priorities. Almost half of the comments and suggestions related to this priority.

Feedback highlighted:

  • the importance of providing ongoing maintenance, enhancements and activations
  • the importance of a diverse range of services and products, as well as areas where people can meet
  • a desire for more green spaces
  • an interest in more outdoor dining to facilitate increased vibrancy and visitation to shopping precincts.

Several respondents highlighted their support for greater activation and promotion of the Union Road, Surrey Hills shopping precinct.

A Desirable Destination for Visitors

About a third of respondents raised this priority. Feedback highlighted:

  • Council’s role in leveraging Boroondara’s parks, walking trails, history, heritage character and shopping precincts to attract visitors
  • improving how public spaces, including parks and carparks, are used for markets and community events
  • the importance of pedestrian-friendly streets that are well serviced by a range of transport modes.

Under the topic ‘A Productive and Supported Business Community’, respondents highlighted the:

  • role of Council in attracting and supporting local businesses
  • need to help the growing number of employees working from home and those facing barriers to employment.

Facilitating ‘Environmental Sustainability and the Circular Economy’ was also highlighted as a key factor to consider when developing Boroondara’s economy into the future.

Read more in the Community Engagement Summary in the Document library on this page.

What happens next

2024 to 2026: We will work through the actions in our first Implementation Plan, which runs until July 2026.

2026: We will develop a new 3-year Implementation Plan. This will make sure the actions we deliver in the final 3 years of our strategy are relevant and continue to meet the needs of people in our community.