Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp has announced she will step down at the end of June.

Concluding her six-year tenure as Melbourne's first directly elected female mayor, Capp's leadership came during pivotal moments for the city, including a series of challenges ranging from addressing a culture of “unacceptable councillor behaviour” to managing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The City of Melbourne was in dire need of leadership when I was elected as lord mayor in 2018,” Capp said this week 

“There were significant internal and external issues - including a culture of unacceptable councillor behaviour and delays on major projects, such as the renewal of Queen Victoria Market.” 

She said it had been “an honour and privilege to represent the people of Melbourne”. 

Deputy Mayor Nicolas Reece is set to assume the mayoral responsibilities from June until the local government elections in October. 

“I feel confident that Nick, together with our councillor group, and our executives here at the City of Melbourne, will continue to do a brilliant job,” Capp said. 

The Lord Mayor reflected on her achievements and the challenges faced during her tenure, including the global pandemic and its profound impact on the city. 

“Despite this, together we have driven the revitalisation of this magnificent city – emerging as Australia’s largest city, the world’s third most liveable, and the fourth-best student city globally,” she said.

Among the key projects Capp highlighted were the Greenline project along the Yarra River, the redevelopment of the Queen Victoria Market, and the Make Room homeless shelter and services, none of which have been completed. 

She expressed her belief that these projects have the full endorsement of the council and enjoy widespread support.

Premier Jacinta Allan lauded Capp's efforts during her time as lord mayor, particularly her leadership through the pandemic and her positive impact on the city's direction.

As the city prepares for the transition, the forthcoming elections will determine Melbourne's next phase of leadership. Capp's early departure ensures a peaceful handover to Reece, avoiding a by-election and setting the stage for the October council elections.