sydney cdb
Image – Canva.
  • Follows second 'Ideas Summit' facilitated by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet
  • Office occupancy rate in Sydney is still only 50%
  • Five-point plan involves collaboration with various businesses and industry bodies

Recently the NSW Treasurer,  Dominic Perrottet, held an ‘Ideas Summit’ – the second he has held so far – with the Property Council of Australia NSW Executive Director, Jane Fitzgerald, praising the raft of ideas resulting from the summit.

Government representatives, businesses, industry bodies and other interested parties participated in the event where proposals have been made to encourage people and workers back in Sydney’s CBD.

Other Property Council’s have proposed an array of initiatives to increase the office occupancy rate – Melbourne, for example, has a ‘Fab Friday’ initiative as an incentive for employees to spend Fridays in the CBD.

Data from the Property Council shows that office occupancy for Sydney in March 2021 was at 50% – well below the 90% during the pre-pandemic days and notably the second-lowest in the nation.  This is a significantly lower rate than the two smallest capital cities – Darwin and Hobart – which have an occupancy rate of 84% and 80% respectively.

“The Sydney CBD is the economic heart of the nation.  About seven per cent of the country’s GDP is generated in our CBD so Sydney getting its groove back is integral to the economic health of the nation.”

Jane Fitzgerald, Property Council NSW

To increase the uptake of workers in the CBD, the Property Council has proposed a five-point plan.

  • Global-focussed media pitch through imagery for business, tourism and capital attraction – to showcase the city’s offerings.
  • Social and business lunch culture is promoted – to support local restaurants and cafes
  • Pricing an enticing event that encourages workers to commute to the city on a Friday – similar to the Property COucnils campaign in Melbourne
  • Leading by example by enticing the public sector workforce back – committing to prioritising Fridays and Mondays.
  • Form a CBD activation task force consisting of key industry bodies – these bodies will work together on a collaborative campaign

“Sydney is in the unique position as Australia’s global city to showcase how well Australia, and in particular NSW, has managed to continue to conduct business throughout the pandemic. We are the envy of the world in the way we can gather, socialise and meet. Why would you want to do business anywhere else?”

After all, as former Prime Minister Paul Keating once remarked, “If you don’t live in Sydney, you’re just camping out”.

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