Danni Hunter Property Council
Danni Hunter of the Property Council says the Melbourne CBD “needs our love and attention” after lengthy lockdowns. Image – Canva
  • VIC restrictions ease 6pm Friday 29 October
  • Property Council embraces return of workers to offices
  • Critical to revitalisation of CBD, says Danni Hunter

Victoria is on track to meet the 80% double dose vaccination milestone nearly a week before expected, on Friday 29 October. Restrictions will ease significantly as of 6pm that night, including allowing Melburnians to travel both regionally and interstate.

As for mask mandates, masks will no longer be required in outdoor spaces, however will remain mandatory indoors.

The next landmark in the state’s recovery Roadmap will be achieving a 90% double dose vaccination rate of Victorians over the age of 12. The current prediction for when this can be expected to happen is Wednesday November 24.

Once the state reaches this stage, density quotients will be removed and indoor and outdoor events can go ahead provided that COVIDSafe rules are being observed. The mask mandate will be removed with the exception of high-risk facilities including hospitals, aged care and public transport.

Property Council welcomes office reopening

The Property Council of Australia has released a statement welcoming the Victorian government’s announcement that fully vaccinated workers can return to offices, thanks to the state reaching the 80% milestone.

Danni Hunter, Property Council Victorian Executive Director, expressed her appreciation for the government’s decision to withdraw all restrictions and mask mandates once the vaccination rate meets 90%, saying it will “further supercharge the return to office”.

“We know this is critical for employees and employers and for the revitalisation of Melbourne’s CBD and we are excited that Victorians will return to the city in the coming weeks as they are the lifeblood of Melbourne.”

Danni Hunter, Property Council Victorian Executive Director

The Property Council has been a strong advocate in the past for the safe and swift return of office workers in Covid-afflicted states across the nation, citing the vitality of business districts to achieving economic recovery.

“Melbourne’s central city economy supports 500,000 jobs and produces about 7% of Australia’s GDP and 25% of Victoria’s GSP at peak,” added Ms Hunter.

Ms Hunter emphasised that the return to offices is long awaited, stating that the Property Council’s survey in September reflected that Melbourne offices were only 6% of pre-COVID occupancy levels. Additionally, occupancy levels have not yet met 50% of pre-COVID levels since the pandemic began.

Ms Hunter also implored the state government to make returning to the office mandatory for public sector workers who have been absent from the physical workplace since the pandemic’s beginning.

“With mask rules indoors and caps and density limits lifted, there is no reason why we can’t see private and public sector workers back in the office,” she said.

“We want to see the State Government shift its focus to revitalising our central city economy and partner with business and the City of Melbourne to turn Melbourne from a ghost town into the world’s most liveable city once again.”

Danni Hunter, Property Council Victorian Executive Director

According to Ms Hunter, the Property Council continues to work alongside the State Government and the City of Melbourne with the aim to reactivate the city, and prepare for the city’s return to its new normal.

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