Revenue collected from the Metropolitan Improvement Rate, commonly known as the parks charge, is paid into the Parks and Reserves Trust Account (PRTA).

Allocations from the PRTA primarily support Parks Victoria, Zoos Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the Shrine of Remembrance to deliver on core obligations relating to the access, safety, utility and environmental quality of their managed estates. This PRTA funding ensures that our world-class network of large urban parks and trails is maintained and staffed for the enjoyment of future generations.

Where is the PRTA’s revenue and expenditure information published?

Information on the parks charge and PRTA is reported in the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action's annual report. A summary of PRTA revenue and expenditure over the past 2 financial years is in the table below:

Financial year

Total amount collected from parks change revenue

Total amount spent on the control and management of open spaces, parks and waterways

PRTA's closing cash balance


$206.204 million

$195.315 million

$202.167 million


$200.061 million

$195.074 million

$184.965 million

What recent strategic projects has PRTA funded?

Significant annual allocations are issued from the PRTA to key park managers including Parks Victoria, Zoos Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and the Shrine of Remembrance.

In addition to the core operational funding to key entities, the following projects were funded from the PRTA during the 2022-23 financial year.

Entity or program



Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust

Operational and site remediation works

$0.500 million

City of Port Phillip

EcoCentre redevelopment project

$0.600 million


Priority biodiversity actions in Port Phillip Bay

$3.570 million


Victorian Landcare Grants

$0.573 million


Core threatened species program

$1.000 million


Peri-urban weed management partnerships

$1.565 million


More Trees for a Cooler, Greener West initiative

$2.970 million


Land acquisition in Epping for addition to the metropolitan park network

$1.720 million


Dredging assessment and works at Mordialloc Creek

$2.000 million

DEECABeach cleaning subsidy (metropolitan area)$0.600 million
DEECALand management programs in the metropolitan area$1.300 million
DEECAPest and park management in the metropolitan area$1.000 million

Parks Victoria

Construction of Gipps Street steps

$6.457 million

Parks Victoria

Good neighbourhood program

$0.026 million

Parks Victoria

Grey haired flying fox program (Yarra Bend)

$0.480 million

Parks Victoria

Implementing the Link Barring landscape conservation plan

$0.703 million

Parks Victoria

Asset works within the metropolitan area

$4.700 million

Zoos Victoria

Raptor Rehabilitation Facility at Healesville Sanctuary

$1.420 million

What is the parks charge?

The parks charge is an annual levy on commercial, industrial and residential properties in the metropolitan Melbourne area (as specified by Order of the Governor in Council and published in the Victorian Government Gazette).

The retail metropolitan water corporations bill and collect the parks charge on behalf of the Minister for Environment. The levy appears as a separate annual charge on the water bill. The parks charge has been included on the water, sewerage and drainage bills for residential and commercial properties since 1958.

The parks charge is levied on the Net Annual Value (NAV) of the land. For 2023-24, the parks charge rate is 0.497% of NAV with a minimum annual charge of $84.86.

What activities are funded through the parks charge revenue?

The Water Industry Act 1994 provides for the disbursement of PRTA funds for the following purposes:

  • Management and control of open space, parks and waterways, within the metropolitan area, for the purposes of conservation, recreation, leisure, tourism and navigation.
  • Acquisition of land by the Crown in the metropolitan area for the purpose of conservation, recreation, leisure or tourism.

During the 2022-23 financial year, a total of $195.315 million was disbursed from the PRTA for:

  • park, waterway and bay management in the metropolitan area (including maintenance and asset construction) at national and state parks, zoological parks, state gardens, Shrine of Remembrance, and Committees of Management
  • purchase of public open space for conservation, recreation, leisure or tourism
  • management and maintenance of public beaches and renourishment works.

How is the PRTA governed?

The Water Industry Act 1994 provides for the Minister for Environment to approve allocations from the PRTA on the determination of the Secretary DEECA. The Minister and Secretary are supported by the PRTA Governance Committee.

Contact us

Contact David Sheehan, Manager Governance Unit, Land Management Policy, for information about PRTA on 9637 9479.

Page last updated: 13/11/23