and the future

Here we talk about Merri-bek.

We look at how we are meeting the challenges we face and our focus for the future.

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Population and growth 

By 2036, our municipality is expected to have a population of 235,184. 

We are planning for the services and infrastructure needed by more residents. We have strategies on:

  • transport and how we move around our city
  • maintaining and increasing parks and open spaces
  • reaching our zero carbon targets by 2040
  • housing accessibility, affordability and liveability.

Housing for all

Families make up the largest proportion of households in our municipality (38%). One in 4 homes are people living alone. Our current population and housing forecasts suggest this will increase to 27% of all homes by 2036.

We have also seen a steady increase in townhouse and apartment living in recent years (in 2021, 46% of all homes). Increasingly, all types of households are living in these homes, including families (23% in 2021).

We are working for the best possible planning outcomes for our community. We are focusing on higher quality building design, increased canopy tree planting, redevelopment that maintains or increases local employment opportunities and protecting our valued heritage places.

Some people in our municipality cannot access or afford safe housing. We advocate to address homelessness in our municipality with strategies that aim to create housing for people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness.

Modes of transport

Population growth poses challenges for our city when it comes to transport, with transportation already accounting for more than one quarter of carbon emissions in our municipality. However, about three-quarters of homes in our municipality are within 400m of public transport. This is approximately a 5-minute walk.

Getting people where they need to be for work, education or leisure as sustainably as possible is a key challenge for us.

Open space 

We have one of the lowest rates of open space per person (31 sqm) in the metropolitan area. There are parts of our municipality where residents do not have access to public open space that they can walk to.

Forecasted population growth will continue to put pressure on access to open space. Plans like our A Park Close to Home initiative, where we purchase land to turn into parks, are helping ensure all residents have access to quality open space close to where they work, live and play.

Climate emergency

Climate change is a dangerous threat to life. We are already experiencing hotter summer days, more frequent floods and droughts. Climate change is a risk to our health and wellbeing, and the economy, not just the environment.

We are proud to be a leader in taking action against, and responding to, climate change. Our Zero Carbon Moreland 2040 Framework sets the vision and pathway for zero carbon emissions across our community by 2040.

Burning fossil fuels for energy is the largest source of carbon emissions for our community. Our emissions come from electricity (59%), gas (21%), transport (17%) and waste (3%).

Council maintains the largest electric vehicle fleet of local governments in Victoria, which includes e-bikes. We are also expanding our public EV charging network, improving the energy efficiency of our facilities and installing solar power where feasible.

It is up to all of us to work together to be part of the solution to climate change. This includes demanding state and federal governments put in place policies to enable Australia to transition to a zero-carbon future.

Kerbside waste reform

In February 2020, the State Government outlined that a new 4-stream waste and recycling system would be rolled out in partnership with Victorian councils. This is to:

  • improve the quality of material collected at the kerbside
  • reduce waste being sent to landfill.

Councils have until 2027 to introduce the new glass service (purple bin lid). We have until 2030 to introduce a food and garden organics (FOGO) service (light green bin lid).

We have been consulting with the community about changing our service. This includes making organics and glass collection available to all households. We continue to encourage households not already using the FOGO service to opt-in.

We are working towards implementing the kerbside service changes in 2022-23. This will start with a trial of a booked hard waste service in the second half of 2022.

Get more detail

You can find out more about the challenges facing Merri-bek and about our population and how we live. We also have full references for the figures used on this page.

You can download our Challenges and the future (PDF 181Kb)about the challenges facing Merri-bek.

1 in 4

households are people living alone



households with families


of all homes in Merri-bek are townhouses or apartments



of households living in townhouses or apartments are families

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