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Calls to revive Melbourne CBD amid easing restrictions

Market insights
2 weeks ago
2 minutes

The Property Council of Australia has called for the State Government to take action to revive Melbourne including establishing a new $50m CBD revitalisation fund, a return to the office for public servants and free public transport for three months. This plan can have a significant impact for property investors in the CBD; as more people start to move back towards the conveniences of city-living, there will be an increased demand for city apartments. 

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The ‘Reviving Melbourne’ plan identifies nine key areas to supercharge the city and fast track Victoria’s economic recovery after prolonged lockdowns caused by the pandemic. 

Danni Hunter, Victorian Executive Director, said, “Melbourne’s CBD has resembled a ghost town for the best part of two years as lockdowns deprived our city of its most important asset - its people. As we emerge from lockdown and more restrictions are lifted as we approach summer, we have a great opportunity now to revive the CBD and restore Melbourne’s mantle as the world’s most liveable city”

“But it will take a set of strategic initiatives by the State Government, City of Melbourne and businesses working in partnership to bring the CBD back to life and create jobs and investment to supercharge Victoria’s economic recovery.”

Ms Hunter said, “We know Melbourne’s central city economy supports 500,000 jobs and produces about 7% of Australia’s GDP and 25% of Victoria’s GSP at its peak so its revival is critical to Victoria’s economic recovery.”

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“Melbourne is currently at just four per cent of its pre-COVID office occupancy levels and has the highest office vacancy rate in 20 years, while City of Melbourne data shows foot traffic was down 80% during the pandemic with fears one in five stores in the CBD could soon be vacant.

“But as we emerge from lockdown, there are already signs of new life. Foot traffic has increased significantly over the Cup Day long weekend, the new Melbourne Money initiative will drive economic activity and there are some great other initiatives in the works with the City of Melbourne.

“The CBD needs our attention and our love, but most importantly it needs its people and a plan and it needs them now. With Reviving Melbourne, we have set out the steps needed to get our city back on track to again becoming a globally renowned destination to work, live and play.”

“The Property Council looks forward to working in partnership with the State Government and City of Melbourne to reactivate the city and once again make Melbourne the most liveable city in the world.”

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