Property Australia

Reviving Melbourne

Allyse Wafer November 23, 2021

As Victoria moves towards a new COVID-normal era, the Property Council has released a nine-point plan for Melbourne’s CBD and Danni Hunter is championing a vision for a new “central experience district”.

Melbourne’s CBD is the epicentre of Victoria’s economy, accounting for some 500,000 jobs and producing about seven per cent of Australia’s GDP and 25 per cent of Victoria’s GSP at its peak.

While most remaining restrictions were lifted in Victoria last Friday, Melbourne’s CBD has been disproportionately impacted by successive lockdowns and the loss of city workers, domestic and international tourists and students.

To address the challenge, the Property Council has released its plan Reviving Melbourne, which identifies nine key areas to help revitalise the CBD and supercharge Victoria’s economic recovery.

241121 - Story 1 - Danni HunterThe plan proposes immediate actions to boost the CBD economy, including a $50 million CBD revitalisation fund, a minimum three-day per week return to the office for public and private sector workers, free public transport and a public events strategy.  

“Now is the right time to focus on the implementation of plans that will bring our central city and Melbourne’s CBD, our most crucial economic and creative hub, back to life again,” says Property Council Victorian executive director Danni Hunter.

“Our plan calls for a renewed effort by both the public and private sectors to stimulate economic activity, attract workers, residents, students and visitors back to Melbourne and restore its mantle as the world’s most liveable city.

“We need long-term strategies and vision and joint leadership from the state government, City of Melbourne and business to reimagine the city and where it fits into people’s working and social lives as we recover from the pandemic.

“Creating memorable experiences both at work and in our retail, hospitality and public spaces will be critical as Victorians transition back to doing the things that they love,” Hunter said.

Fundamental shifts to the way people work, live and play have been accelerated by the pandemic, and Hunter says “experience will be everything to attract ongoing visitation and investment to our CBD”.

She points to research conducted by EY together with the Property Council in 2020, which surveyed more than 600 CBD users, and shows that people want their CBD to be a destination that offers more than just workplaces.

People are seeking a variety of experiences – from leisure and dining to fashion and culture – that fulfils an essential human desire to connect, she says.

“Property Council members are already rising to the challenge of transforming our CBD into a CED – a Central Experience District, with the delivery of fit-for-purpose workspaces that emphasise collaboration and innovation to facilitate the new post-pandemic way of working.

241121 - Story 1 - Melbourne laneways

“The property industry is at the forefront of the delivery of premium office space that is attractive to new businesses, whether they be start-ups or global tech companies, positioning Melbourne as the place for high-quality jobs and investment.

“Coupled with Melbourne’s iconic hospitality, retail and cultural scene makes the city a wonderful place to be for work or leisure.

“People are the lifeblood of our city and we want Melbourne to roar back to life as quickly as possible. Office workers, tourists, residents and students all play a vital role in Melbourne’s economy and will be key to bringing back its vibe,” Hunter adds.

“Our nine-point plan forms an ambitious advocacy agenda in 2022, but the Property Council team is focused on the tremendous opportunity to reimagine the CBD and its place in our lives.”

Download the Property Council’s plan, Reviving Melbourne – A plan to boost jobs, economic growth and revitalise the CBD