See Melbourne and die. No wonder they filmed the end of the world there

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.

Bleak City

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.

This entry was posted in Australian Story, COVID-19, Rafe. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to See Melbourne and die. No wonder they filmed the end of the world there

  1. Anonandon says:

    A confession. I live in Melbourne and miss the city as it was 20 years ago. But part of me wants it to crash and burn now.

  2. ACTOldFart says:

    I’m old enough to remember the “On The Beach” film. Ava Gardner was one of the stars and, after staying there for a number of weeks for filming, she was heard to say “If they want to make a film about the end of the world, Melbourne is the right place to do it” Dan must be a fan of obscure old films, as he strives to make her observation come true.

  3. Daily llama says:

    I got to the Vic/SA border covid thing yesterday at about 230PM. The coppers were cool. I feel for them. Cold, wet, bored. A thankless task.
    They said I was good to go, but needed a test within 24 hours. There is a drive through test at Tailem Bend, about 110 km from Adelaide. They shut at 5 PM. I got there about 4.45. They had shut up shop. When I pointed out the time, a guy told me they’d run out of testing kits. This is national highway one. Murray bridge is about 20 km away. Why didn’t someone merely go to the hospital and get some more. I later discovered the test kits are good for 30 days, so why don’t they have thousands in stock. Whilst in Victoria, I went to a drive through at Wodonga hospital, and was told that because I was from interstate, they weren’t funded to test me. Imagine if I did have the germ- I could kill hundreds, but the system is a farce!
    Sorry old fart, but it seems that Ava Gardner statement is a myth. I too often quoted it

    “Did she actually SAY it, though?

    Well, fairly recently (in the late 90s), the author of the piece in the Sydney Morning Herald that contained the quote, Neil Jillett, admitted that the quote was fabricated. He was writing a tongue-in-cheek piece about the filming at the time, and attributed the quote to Gardner, but did it in a sort of “a friend of a friend of a friend said that Ava Gardner said this” joking manner, and then his editor changed it to a direct quote from Gardner.”

  4. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    On the beach ? The good old days , 6 oclock pub closing with drunks everywhere ,no Sunday newspapers,Sunday after church in the City ,you could fire a machine gun along the CBD streets without hitting anyone. BonaFide travellers 20 miles outside the City measured from the GPO , sign a book with your name and adress and you could buy drinks . You might not go to church but by God you were not going to enjoy Sunday . Television was frowned on ,people coud enjoy it and laugh ,the Wowsers ruled,they were like the ]Woke of that period .exacty the same fascist discipline .
    Lockdown Melbourne is like typical socialism ,”forward into the past comrades,side byside and back to back we will defeat freedom ,poverty beckons” .

  5. Mark M says:

    How is that getting back to normal because of the vaccine working out for you?

    “Anyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine will be barred from attending Bruce Springsteen’s comeback shows in New York next week … will require attendees to show proof of vaccination.

    However, the list will be limited only to jabs approved by the Food & Drug Administration- Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnston.

    Any potential concert-goers who received their Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine overseas will be left with the prospect of being turned away at the door should they book tickets.

  6. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    When the clouds of deadly CO2 converge upon the southern hemisphere Melbourne will be the last place on Earth to survive. Briefly.

    Hey that sounds like a great plot for a movie!

  7. Bruce in WA says:

    “Anyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine will be barred from attending Bruce Springsteen’s comeback shows in New York next week … will require attendees to show proof of vaccination.

    Looks like there’s an upside to the AZ vax after all!

  8. Old Lefty says:

    And it’s no coincidence that Danistan led the way in Australia in government-issued suicide pills.

  9. Shy Ted says:

    Any truth to the rumour they’re filming the next Mad Max in Melbourne? No script, no actors, just real folk going about their business.

  10. Rabbi Putin says:

    Anonandon, yep. Back when it was an Australian city.

  11. Howard Hill says:

    Anonandon says:
    June 19, 2021 at 11:15 am

    A confession. I live in Melbourne and miss the city as it was 20 years ago. But part of me wants it to crash and burn now.

    Same. The joint needs to be utterly destroyed and all its top brass hung from lamp posts. Only then do we have any hope of building back better.

  12. Lee says:

    You couldn’t pay me to go to see/hear a wanker like Bruce Springsteen.

  13. Robber Baron says:

    Lockdowns will never end in this Marxist war against freedom…l mean war against COVID.

    Mass detention centres are being planned. Internal passports are being introduced. Border guards are already in place. Private enterprises require registration of visitors.

    Melbourne feels a lot like the a major city in the former soviet block.

    Anyway you look at it, we are in a police state.

  14. covid ate my homework says:

    Yep agreed. I’m in the process of fleeing Yarradishu for regional Vic where at least some of the old world normality remains. In 2000 Sydney got the games and Melbourne started on it’s journey down the toilet.

  15. Professor Fred Lenin says:

    These people moaning about Melboure dont know when they are well off , try living in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.on minimum wage surrounded by gun toting drugged up crazies,with bosses treating you like dirt and minimal Police protection. In a country where a [edited. Sinc] stole your vote and is leading you to oblivion . No people Victoria is not that bad ,YET .

  16. mem says:

    Just came back after spending two hours this morning in the City of Melbourne. The city centre has had its guts pulled out of it both physically and spiritually. So many big Government funded projects all happening at once causing its wonderful streets to be turned into a conglomeration of cranes, bollards, trucks and scaffolding. Yellow vested government contract workers outnumber all others by at least ten to one. (How all these major projects were allowed to proceed at once beggars belief, but I guess it keeps the unions happy)
    Overlay this brutal physical assault on Melbourne’s heart with the intimidating veil of Covid 19 restrictions and you have a city struggling to maintain its identity, it business and culture. Marvelous Melbourne is but a shell of what it was before this double edged attack.

  17. Lee says:

    Mem, up until about 18 months ago I used to go in to the Melbourne CBD about every 7-10 days.
    I have been in twice since then, the last time being last June.
    The compulsory “must wear a mask on public transport” mandate since then has put me right off going there again.
    I absolutely refuse to stew and suffocate in a mask for a fifty-odd minute train ride.
    If necessity forces me to go there again under the current restrictions I am driving instead.

  18. rickw says:

    I used to love Melbourne, international visitors that I used to host here loved Melbourne.

    The joint is completely fucked now. Even if the lockdown shit ends, the damage is done, you can’t have a free and vibrant city if the police and government are mere minutes away from stomping you on the face if you don’t conform to their world view.

    This once great city has been transformed into something akin to what the very worst the Soviet Union had to offer. The lasting image of Melbourne is Vikpol kettling and assaulting people who dared to protest at losing their jobs.

  19. Squirrel says:

    When the Magic Money Theory funding runs out there’ll be a day of reckoning for Straya in general, and for Melbourne and a few other parts of the country in particular (that might include some very rude shocks for denizens of the Canberra Bubble).

    I hope that our think tanks are working away on ideas for the pollies who are in the hot seat(s) when things start getting very hot – the “never waste a crisis” maxim reminds us that otherwise impossible reforms could be achieved when cop outs and easy options are gone.

  20. Andre Lewis says:

    I would have to tied, gagged and carried into anywhere that had Bruce Springsteen in it.

  21. Morsie says:

    In fairness, a journalist, Neil Jillette confessed years later to making up the Ava Gardner quote.

  22. John A says:

    Anonandon says: June 19, 2021, at 11:15 am

    A confession. I live in Melbourne and miss the city as it was 20 years ago. But part of me wants it to crash and burn now.

    Nope – only 1 Treasury Place, thank you. And maybe Trades Hall, or wherever the CFMEU hangs out. The rest would recover if those cancers were surgically removed, preferably from space.

  23. faceache says:

    I left Melbourne on the 15th hoping to take a leisurely drive to Perth. I was advised that as I was going home I could leave Melbourne and head for Perth. So I did.
    I travelled via the Great Ocean Road. At one point at about 10pm in the space of a kilometre I saw a fox, a koala sitting on the side of the road, a wombat, and a kangaroo! I missed the fox by a hairs breadth. Damn it.
    Got to the SA border check point (in Vic Territory) and was refused further travel. Advised by a masked copper that I would have to quarantine for a fortnight. I said I would do that in a parking area 100 metres from their checkpoint. So I went to bed in the back of my vehicle. I had enough fuel, water , food and reading material to last at least a fortnight. Asked if I could use their toilet as required.That perplexed him somewhat, poor chap.The copper wasn’t happy, but what could he do. Specially as he was SA cop on Vic soil. In the morning a newly arrived SA Sergeant came over and talked to me and basically said the situation was ridiculous. Went away to his computer, came back and said I could drive straight through to Eucla, stopping only to refuel car and body and waste disposal. Also told to stop at Mt Gambier for a Chinese Warfare Virus test which proved negative by the time I reached Eucla.
    At Eucla I presented my Approval to enter WA (approved 5 days earlier), and was told to proceed to Norseman for another virus test. Which was negative. Quarantine confiscated a container of honey which was unopened and was purchased in WA two months ago.
    Now I am in Rockingham (just south of Perth) and under quarantine. The cops are calling round every two days to check if I’m being a good boy. I have to have another test on day 11. Drive to the local hospital for it with a friggin mask on.
    The resources involved for f*** all is amazing. Funny thing is, I’m quite enjoying the rest after driving 20,000 kms around Oz.

  24. John of Mel says:

    Melbourne – the most leavable City,
    the most livable Goolag.

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