- The Property Council has welcomed the end of Melbourne's lockdown
- The government is urged to set it's sights on recovery
- Work from home has been highlighted as a threat to Melbourne's CBD
With the world’s most locked sown city set to taste freedom come midnight tonight, the Property Council is urging the government to set its sights on recovery.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has made the announcement that Melbourne’s lockdown will end at 11.59 pm tonight, as the state reaches the milestone of 70% double vaccinated population.
Property Council of Australia Victorian Executive Director Danni Hunter said that as the vaccination rate increases Victoria is able to reopen more quickly.
“We now 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 start to turn Melbourne from a ghost town into the world’s most liveable city once again,” Ms Hunter said.
Ms Hunter has said that recurring lockdowns have “devastated” the CBD.
“Many businesses have closed, office occupancy is at record low levels, vacancies are at a record high and the city has been on life support.”
Danni Hunter, PCA Victorian Executive Director
Ms Hunter highlights the work from home (WFH) trend as a threat to the CBD economy.
“We still need a detailed plan to allow workers to return to the office, with people in metropolitan Melbourne required to work from home if they can at 70 per cent double dose vaccination. And at 80 per cent they can still remain working at home.
Ms Hunter’s concerns are confirmed by recent research which found that WFH could come at a considerable cost to CBDs.
“The Government should lead from the front and require fully vaccinated members of the public service to return to the office for a minimum of three days per week as soon as it is safe to do and the mask wearing rules are lifted and launch a program of proactive campaigns to entice people back to the office and the CBD.
“We need people back in the city as they are the lifeblood of Melbourne and support our business sector.”
Ms Hunter acknowledges that a hybrid model is here to stay, where at least part of the working week is done from home.
“…but there’s also no substitute for collaborating with our colleagues, sharing knowledge and ideas and the social connection that being in an office environment offers,” she said.