15.05.2017Committee for Melbourne launches the MELBOURNE 4.0 summary report

The Committee for Melbourne has launched its MELBOURNE 4.0 summary report.

The Committee established the MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce in September 2016, to prepare our city for the forces of innovation and disruption brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Harnessing the knowledge and insight from our cross-sector membership, the Taskforce used scenario planning, a method particularly suited to formulating robust and long-term strategies in an uncertain world.

“The scenario planning process gave us four plausible scenarios for Melbourne in 2030 which are divergent, challenging, and relevant. If we keep progressing with ‘business as usual’ the future of our city may not be all that bright”, said Martine Letts, Committee for Melbourne CEO

The four plausible futures produced by the Taskforce generated a set of responses, or Strategic Needs, to the challenges and opportunities the scenarios uncovered.

These Strategic Needs will guide the Committee’s future agenda, with a series of tangible policy initiatives to follow. These initiatives are designed to prepare Melbourne for the unprecedented disruption facing our future economy and society out to 2030.

“Now that we are in the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we must ensure that our city can progress and develop in concert with our rapidly changing environment”, highlighted Ms Letts.

“Our Strategic Needs are relevant to all scenarios and we must work together to address them”.

“The coming months will be an exciting time for the Committee for Melbourne and the community at large as we work together to navigate these uncharted waters to retain our mantle as a city of international significance”, said Ms Letts.


The four plausible scenarios for Melbourne’s future are:

Scenario 1: Urban Rust
In scenario 1, the world has seen dramatic technological change. Asia’s systems are now under severe strain, while the West stabilises and innovates. Melbourne becomes a complacent technology-taker and our talent migrates to thriving hubs in the West. Our economy dips in and out of recession as our Asian trading partners become inward looking.

Scenario 2: Asia’s Bargain Basement
In scenario 2, the East drives the Fourth Industrial Revolution, while the West has not recovered from polarisation and isolation. Australia has become a second-tier economy on the edge of a thriving Asia. Melbourne’s workforce is not sufficiently competitive and only the traditional sectors are keeping the economy afloat.

Scenario 3: Metropolitan Misery
In scenario 3, after a brief period of protectionism, Western cooperation re-emerges. Western protectionism exposed structural flaws in Asia’s systems which severely slowed growth in Melbourne’s key markets, fuelling a sustained recession. Technology failures and security issues also slow global technological progress.

Scenario 4: Riding the Wave
In scenario 4, polarisation has crippled the West, while the East builds for long-term success. Fearing social instability, technological disruption is regulated globally – the Fourth Industrial Revolution has slowed to an evolution. Melbourne coasts on its traditional strengths, but growth puts the city’s infrastructure and housing markets under relentless strain.

The nine Strategic Needs the Committee for Melbourne will be championing are:

1. Future skills
2. Innovative ecosystem
3. Housing mix

4. Competitive internet
5. Airport link
6. Eastern seaboard transit link

7. Metropolitan collaboration
8. Eastern seaboard collaboration
9. Digital capability

Read our MELBOURNE 4.0 summary report:

Watch a short animation about our MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce

The full MELBOURNE 4.0 report will be published at the end of May 2017.

Related information

Red Tape

Read More

Sign up for Committee for Melbourne’s Communiqué

  • *Mandatory fields