Latest News

Our Pitch IT program was announced as the winner of an Economic Development Australia Award in the category of Digital Entrepreneurs.

Pitch IT is a competition where local university students, graduates, professionals, businesses and residents were invited to ‘pitch’ their IT start-up ideas to a panel of expert judges. Finalists went into a digital business accelerator program to continue developing their start-up. The program showcased how the tech industry, education providers, Darebin's business incubator the Melbourne Innovation Centre and local government can partner to provide up-and-coming entrepreneurs with the right business tools needed to launch in today's digital economy.

The winning pitch received $10,000 to help commercialise their idea. Preston resident Jessica Thomas won the grand prize for her website/app Dogshare which connects dog owners with services. The winner received widespread positive media coverage including Leader Newspaper, national Channel 7 Sunrise interview and a radio interview.

This program has been funded again in 2017/18 and will be launched in February 2018.

We are fully committed to supporting the 'Yes' campaign in the upcoming postal survey on Marriage Equality. On 21 August 2017, Council resolved to take a range of proactive actions to supporting the 'Yes' campaign.

These actions are reinforced by previous endorsements of marriage equality by Council in July 2015 and again in December 2016. Although Council believes marriage equality should be achieved via a free vote in the Federal Parliament, support is being provided to the 'Yes' campaign for the period of the national Marriage Law Postal Survey. Our support for marriage equality reflects our commitment to a community free from discrimination, with respect and dignity for all.

We have been flying the rainbow flag above Preston City Hall since 17 May 2017, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) .  The flag will remain flying until marriage equality is achieved in Australia.  It is a symbol of solidarity with and support for the LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer) community that live, work and study in Darebin.

We will continue to deliver support to the 'Yes' campaign over the coming months until the postal survey process in complete. Read the resolution in full.

What Role Does Council Have In This Issue?

It is a common misconception that Council’s role is to mend potholes and collect rubbish. In reality local government’s role is multi-faceted. The Victorian Local Government Act clearly mandates Councils to represent the interests of all its residents and rate payers and to provide leadership and guidance to the community. Councils are also mandated to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of communities through their Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan. 

In addition, both the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (2006) and the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act Vic (2010) place a ‘positive duty’ on Councils to be proactive and take steps to address and eliminate inequality, discrimination and human rights violations in the communities they represent.

This gives us a clear mandate to be working on the achievement of marriage equality. A significant proportion of our population identify as LGBTIQ.  Council supports the right of all people to be recognised as equal citizens and treated with respect and dignity.

Useful Resources

The marriage equality debate is having a major impact on the community. Below are some resources that contain tips and contact details for support networks that might help if you are struggling during this time:

The Australian Psychological Society has released tools for communicating about marriage equality that provides helpful tips for constructive ways to talk about marriage equality - one aimed at adults and one aimed at children:

We have produced a flyer and poster to send the message into the community that Darebin Council supports marriage equality. We encourage residents, schools, shops, local services, everyone to print and display these posters in front windows, waiting rooms, learning spaces, fridge doors – wherever support for marriage equality needs to be seen and heard.

Melbourne Water is renewing two sections of the M40 water main, from the Preston reservoirs to Merri Creek. Sections of St Georges Road and Robinson Road will be impacted by these works.

The St Georges Road bike path and surrounding vegetation will be restored by Melbourne Water once the pipeline work has been completed.

For more information and regular updates please visit the Melbourne Water website or phone 1800 754 077.

Be inspired by the wisdom of people of all ages through their postcard messages to their younger, older of present selves. Messages to Myself has been part of Council's Lifelong Learning for Wellbeing program, which affirmed and celebrated the idea that learning is a lifelong experience and part of our individual and collective journeys.

People shared things they wish they knew when they were younger, affirmations and things they have learnt and want to remember. Many Darebin people across six Council and community events participated - here are some of their messages to all of us.

Explore the Messages to Myself Booklet.

Free public WiFi is now available in our major shopping strips. Next time you’re out and about you will be able to browse social media, webpages, search for local businesses and read your emails.

Free Wi-Fi is now fully operational in the following shopping centres:

  • High Street, Preston
  • Station Street, Fairfield
  • Broadway, Reservoir
  • High Street, Northcote and Westgarth
  • Edwardes Street, Reservoir
  • Spring Street, Reservoir

For more detail on coverage areas please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

How do I access the Free Wi-Fi service?

  • Turn on Wi-Fi
  • Select “Free Darebin Wi-Fi” (in Preston, Fairfield and Reservoir) or “Darebin Free Wi-Fi” (in Northcote and Westgarth) and connect
  • Click on your internet browser from your menu page and select “sign in to Wi-Fi” when prompted
  • Accept the terms and conditions
  • Enjoy free Wi-Fi!


If you have problems accessing the service and need help, there are service technicians available, at or by calling:

  • Ph: 1300 765 543 for Preston, Reservoir, Fairfield
  • Ph: 1300 135 249 for Northcote and Westgarth

This free Wi-Fi service has been made available to you by Darebin City Council with the assistance of business owners and operators in the coverage areas and with the assistance of our industry partners Infrastructure Logic and Easyweb Digital.

Opportunities for Business

Businesses in Preston, Reservoir and Fairfield will be able to list and promote their businesses on a marketing portal (coming soon), this is already available in Northcote and Westgarth. 

If you would like to know how you can use the services to market your business products and services, please contact us.

Business Development

Ph: 8470 8344