05.08.2021From the CEO | 5 August 2021

As another lockdown comes and goes in Melbourne and Victoria, and Sydney and NSW face at least another month of lockdown, the importance of learning how to manage and live with COVID-19 becomes clearer every day.

Hard lockdowns are designed to control the spread of infection fast, so that our city, its services, businesses and people can return to some form of normal operation as quickly as possible. They are useful as a short-term tool, but every time one occurs, the disruption is progressively more severe – to our lives, jobs, livelihoods and our confidence.

Constant lockdowns are not sustainable. They erode our ability to bounce back and repair key sectors which underpin Melbourne’s economy and standing, in education, especially the loss of international students and skills, in arts and culture, hospitality, retail and the visitor economy. Right across the board, declining consumer confidence and staffing shortages are beginning to take their toll.

In April last year, the Committee for Melbourne launched its Road to Recovery Taskforce, where we called for collaboration between industry and government based on a platform of tackling health and the economy together.

We successfully tapped into our 150 cross-sectoral member network to collaborate with the Victorian Government to promote and improve COVID-safe business practices, to help ensure businesses can stay open while also strongly pushing for an accelerated and at-scale vaccination rollout.

This month our Road to Recovery Taskforce with leaders from the education, communications, professional services, property, arts and culture, and visitor economy sectors will reconvene, review and refresh our call for a recovery and reform agenda which can lift our city out of this once in a generation crisis.

We will be calling for a longer-term, coordinated recovery plan which understands that the virus will not be eradicated from the community – but that we need a pathway for being able to live with COVID-19 well into the future as many other global cities are doing.

You can read more about our Road to Recovery Taskforce below.

Our plan to celebrate Melbourne and its resilience at our Annual Dinner will be deferred from Wednesday, 1 September to a date where we can truly celebrate. We promise that as soon as we have a new date, you will be the first to know!

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