Can Melbourne ever recover? Or is it now Covid and out for the count?
Last week The Economist Intelligence Unit, observing the city’s slump across the past 18 months, relegated Melbourne from second to eighth in its list of the world’s most liveable cities.
But today it looks and feels like The Land That Time Forgot.
We refused at first to accept AC, After Covid, the extent to which Marvellous Melbourne had lost its mojo. Now, after two further catastrophic lockdowns, it’s patent to all who may be allowed, or be willing, to risk venturing into Melbourne city centre: the odds are being stacked ever higher against its revival, with state and city governments weirdly adding to its manifest woes.
Heroic cafe, restaurant and pub workers struggle on, clever specialty shops and wonderfully comprehensive department stores still battle to survive, but vital signs are ebbing away because there are so few people coming in and the city centre’s population is fast diminishing.
Property platform Domain recently reported: “Melbourne apartment owners have offloaded inner-city units at losses of up to 40 per cent in recent months, as some apartments continue to sit empty, a year after Melbourne first went into lockdown.” And this was before the latest, most devastating, lockdown.
Revisit the great old movie On the Beach and see the folk lining up for their government issue suicide pills. A telling image in the current context?
Read all about it.