Thursday, February 22, 2024

City of Melbourne on track to ‘turbocharge’ local economy

City of Melbourne Council says it’s on track to “turbocharge” its economy, create thousands of new jobs and boost the city’s residential population, as it considers the city’s latest economic analysis.   

At a Future Melbourne Committee meeting tomorrow, Councillors will discuss the progress made against the Economic Development Strategy 2031. 

If endorsed, Council will set ambitious interim targets for the 2023–24 financial year, including: 

  • a Gross Local Product (GLP) of $120 billion;
  • 525,000 jobs in the city;
  • a productivity measure of a $229,000 contribution to GLP for each job (on average) in the city;
  • a shopfront vacancy rate of less than 5%. 

Prior to the pandemic, the city’s economy was growing strongly – with GLP in 2019–20 up on the previous year, despite the early impacts of COVID-19, said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.

Council’s work to entice people back to the city through a range of major events and activation initiatives has generated significant momentum, ensuring the city’s economy is in a strong position to recover and grow, she said.

“Our Economic Development Strategy 2031 sets out a range of ambitious but achievable targets to ensure we continue to grow our economy for the benefit of all residents and businesses.” 

“We don’t just want to meet economic targets, we want to exceed them – because that means a stronger and more magnetic Melbourne.

“Only in the city can you find the best jobs – from our renowned hospitality and retail scene, to new tech start-ups and big-brand headquarters. 

“Despite the significant challenges of COVID-19, we’ve showed our resilience and managed to strengthen our economy – a promising sign for the city’s ongoing recovery and future.” 

“It’s clear the work we’re doing to attract new investment, create jobs and support traders is paying dividends – including the work of Invest Melbourne and our Business Concierge service,” the Lord Mayor said.     

According to Council’s latest figures, Melbourne’s shopfront vacancy rate has recovered from 31.2% in November 2021 (including shops closed due to COVID-19) to 17% in September 2022 – with initiatives such as the City of Melbourne’s Shopfront Activation Program, delivered in partnership with the State Government, building confidence in the city’s sustained bounce back.  

Over the next 18 months, City Activation portfolio lead, Councillor Roshena Campbell said Council will continue its focus on city activation, as well as work to attract new investment and create jobs. 

A number of key growth sectors will be targeted – including financial and insurance services; professional, scientific and technical services; and information, media and telecommunications, she said.

“As a council, we are focused on city activation that boosts visitation, spending and activity across the city because we know this is critical to Melbourne’s economic performance.”   

“We are committed to tracking our progress against economic targets to make sure we’re investing in the right programs and initiatives to attract more people into the city and support our local traders,” said Cr Campbell.

Council will report further on its progress towards the Strategy’s interim targets next year.  

  

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