04.03.2021From the CEO | 4 March 2021

As we emerge from COVID-19, the Committee has been reflecting on what sort of city Melbourne will be. Will we continue to be one of the world’s most liveable cities, with a strong, modern economy? Will Melbourne continue to be a vibrant globally recognised arts, culture, knowledge and sporting capital? Can we build on Australia’s effective COVID-19 response to attract and retain more talent and deliver the best possible health and community services?

What has COVID-19 told us about how prepared we are for transformative events like global pandemics, on top of other deeply disruptive forces like the Fourth Industrial Revolution, climate change and intense strategic competition between the world’s great powers?

What sort of leadership do we need to tackle these challenges?

These are some of the questions we will be discussing with you, our members and friends over the next few months as we continue to pursue our vision of Shaping Melbourne’s future.

Will COVID-19 fundamentally change the way we live, work and play? What does the road to normalisation look like? Will we see a shift away from the CBD to outer Melbourne and the regions and how does the city and its transport infrastructure and city planning change to anticipate and respond?

How will our city’s design and evolution, property and transport plans reflect the hybrid office and working from home arrangements which we have accepted as the new normal? How enduring will this phenomenon be? Is the much-heralded shift to the regions just a sugar hit, before we rediscover that the engines of our productivity are rooted in our city, through the power of agglomeration?

What can we learn from other cities and how do we create more robust systems for the future?

What is the leadership Melbourne needs to tackle these complex but exciting challenges?

The Committee has been very clear: Melbourne’s sustainable recovery depends on two fundamental things, good governance and collaboration. These are the foundation stones for restoring confidence for business and the community.

As we did in 1985, when the Committee was established, our primary objective is to work with Melbourne’s political, community, business and labour leadership, with bold and transformational ideas to restore Melbourne’s status as one of the world’s leading cities.

The Committee is reviewing its own agenda to ensure that we are focused on the best ideas for Melbourne’s recovery, based on input from our members and stakeholders.

Our Melbourne 4.0 strategic agenda was formed through deep consultations and workshops which produced highly relevant policy recommendations in transport planning, the not-for-profit sector, housing affordability, managing the challenges of AI and building a more productive Australian eastern seaboard, all of which remain relevant for today. We also continue to focus on Melbourne’s immediate needs in international education, the visitor economy, arts and culture and bringing the CBD back to life. We very much look forward to hearing your ideas and working together to shape Melbourne’s post pandemic future.

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